Reasons for Leaving: Driver Feedback Surveys

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The American Truck Association reports the average turnover rate for large trucking carriers is 92%. Now, more than ever, it is important to understand the reasons drivers quit and to take action to improve driver satisfaction. Because Stay Metrics clients are always driving to improve retention, we’ll be releasing a report this spring detailing the biggest opportunities for improvement — what drivers cite during their exit interviews as reasons for leaving, and what would have made it easier for them to stay.

This information has wide-reaching benefits. First, if we can understand what factors are most important to drivers, we can improve their general job satisfaction. Increased satisfaction leads to higher productivity as drivers will be happier. “When people aren’t happy with their jobs or their employers, they don’t show up consistently, they produce less and their work quality suffers.” Honing in to improve those factors that drivers find most important is the key to reducing turnover.

Second, if we can understand the factors that would make it easier for drivers to stay, we can prioritize the changes that will be most influential. While more money and better benefits consistently top the lists of why individuals stay with an organization, they only represent part of the picture. Benjamin Franklin said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” Looking beyond finances is where we really begin to see what drivers feel is important. Results of a recent workforce retention survey from the American Psychological Association reveal benefits and pay are not the primary reasons for staying with current employers. Of the 1,200 participants, 67% cited “I enjoy the work I do” and “My job fits well with the other areas of my life.” This may be true for the general workforce, but how do drivers feel? As one can see from the brief results below, financial matters are important, but so are health, respect, and relationships.

Here are a few highlights of the coming report:

Reasons for leaving:

  • 9% wanted to make more money
  • 3% wanted more home time
  • 4% cited health of individual or family member
  • 2% reported the dispatch relationship
  • 5% left to join another trucking company

What would have made it easier to stay:

  • 0% cited better pay
  • 7% cited more loads/miles
  • 8% cited more respect
  • 1% cited better dispatcher
  • 2% cited better equipment

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