As a business owner, drivers are the most crucial elements of your supply chain and transportation function. Naturally, driver turnover would dismantle the entire process and prove to be a huge roadblock in business growth. This is why, driver retention must be one of your top priorities if not the topmost. According to theAmerican Trucking Association, the turnover rate at large fleets averaged 89% in 2021.
What is Driver Turnover Rate?
Driver turnover rate is the percentage of drivers who part ways with the organization over a specific period, typically a year. It is a key performance indicator for companies in the transportation industry and helps in assessing the effectiveness of a company’s driver retention strategies. Here is the formula to calculate the driver turnover rate –
Drivers who left
______________________________________________________________ x 100
( Drivers at the beginning of the period + Drivers at the end of the period ) / 2
Need for Improving the Driver Retention Rate
- Business Loss
With every driver that walks out your doors, you lose business. The loss and problems are compounded when your drivers exit and join your competitors. This not only decreases your capacity but in turn, increases your competitor’s capacity and gives them an edge over you. To consistently improve business outcomes, you must improve driver retention.
- High Cost of Driver Turnover
According to an Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute survey, driver turnover can cost anywhere between $ 2,243 to $20,729. This figure only goes higher for small businesses where drivers are often the technicians as well. No matter how big or small your fleet is, these costs are too steep to ignore. Improved driver retention and reduced driver turnover are the two sides of the same coin that will help you increase your profits.
- Hiring and Training New Drivers
If you don’t put in the effort to improve driver retention, you will be forced to put in the effort to constantly hire new drivers. Your present fleet understands your business, needs and customers. Training new hires and acclimatising them to the business processes will take time and can lead to increased downtime and poor customer service.
- Improve Workflows
Improving workflows for drivers can help streamline their work processes, reduce stress and errors, and increase their productivity. Ensure your business process is planned and strategised in a way that does not create any hurdles for your drivers. Remember, your drivers are as important as your customers to run the business smoothly.
- Increase Communication & Engagement
A proven way to improve driver retention is to make them feel their voices are heard. Establish a transparent two-way communication channel where they can easily voice their concerns and be assured they will be addressed. This improves the engagement levels of drivers with their work and the organization, resulting in improved driver retention and reduced driver turnover
- Train and Educate
Conducting safety and regulation training is the best way to show your fleet that you care for their safety and well-being. With orientation and onboarding training, they can understand the business processes better and feel confident about their work. Assessments will help them understand the potential problems they might face at work and be fully prepared for the challenges.
- Offer Competitive and Fair Pay
Wages are a huge deciding factor in driver retention. People would want to work for you only if they are compensated fairly. It’s always a good business practice to benchmark yourself against your competitors and offer competitive pay to your fleet. Along with fair pay, you must also offer additional employee benefits like health checkups, flexible work hours, and a better hold over their work-life balance. This results in improved driver retention and reduced driver turnover.
- Leverage Technology to Make their Life Simpler
Fleet management software and route optimization platforms like Zeo can prove to be a lifesaver when it comes to effective driver management. Smart use of technology can establish a strong connection between drivers and fleet owners, irrespective of the distance. Zeo lets you create and optimize delivery routes in advance and save your drivers’ time and effort. Moreover, you can also onboard drivers in just five minutes, auto-assign stops depending on driver availability, track their live location, monitor route progress, and get detailed reports.
Proven Strategies to Boost Driver Retention
Making driver retention a priority will help your business thrive. The aforementioned strategies will help you boost driver retention and reduce turnover. Smart use of technology for better fleet management can help you maximise driver retention, minimize the impact of driver turnover and increase your business outcomes.
If you are ready to make driver retention a business priority and improve your fleet management process, get in touch with us. Schedule a free demo to understand how we help you optimize routes and eventually, business outcomes.