Use survey feedback to prevent early driver turnover

During orientation training meetings, your new driver will call or text home and be asked a few questions:
 “How do you like your new job?
Is it what you expected? Tell me all about it.”

Moment of truth

This is a critical moment of truth for a driver’s career with that company. Orientation is barely underway when drivers begin to commit themselves or entertain doubts about a future with their new carrier.

prevent early driver turnover
John Kammeyer-Mueller, PhD

Research from John Kammeyer-Mueller, Ph.D., a leading expert in early employee turnover, shows the attitudes and impressions that new employees have during orientation will stay in their minds and play out for years to come.

A member of the Stay Metrics Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Kammeyer-Mueller has studied early turnover for 25 years. For more than three years he has been working with Stay Metrics to apply his models to our data. The results clearly show the importance of managing driver expectations.

Matching expectations

Professionals in any industry have expectations when they start a job. Matching these expectations to reality is central to a “socialization” strategy. In organizational psychology, this term describes the process of bringing employees into the culture of a company.

For motor carriers, socialization starts with recruiting and continues through orientation and onboarding. The unique challenge for carriers is to match driver expectations with reality in a relatively short time period — perhaps as few as one week or even one day.

We recommend having consistent messaging, training and mentoring programs. Even so, driver expectations may not always match reality in critical areas like pay, equipment and home time.

A proactive retention strategy

To identify the early warning signs of turnover during socialization, Stay Metrics provides 7-day orientation and 45-day onboarding driver surveys as part of our driver engagement and retention platform.

The surveys are sent directly to drivers as text messages that contain a link to complete online.

The 7-day survey focuses on driver expectations in critical areas like home time, pay, and quality of equipment.

The 45-day onboarding survey focuses on early experiences to identify areas where clients have effectively matched driver expectations and where expectations are unmet.

Below is a sampling of questions that we know are predictive of early turnover. Dissatisfaction in any area indicates a higher risk of drivers quitting. The questions in our actual survey models are individualized for clients to suit their unique needs and cultures.

7-Day Orientation Survey Sample Questions

How satisfied are you with the overall information you received during orientation?

My recruiter described what it would be like to drive for my carrier.

My recruiter explained how compensation for deadhead miles works with my carrier.

How satisfied are you with your recruiter?

45-Day Orientation Survey Sample Questions

My experiences with my carrier match the expectations I had when I signed up for the job.

How satisfied are you with the compensation you receive?

Overall, how satisfied are you with the Operations Department?

How satisfied are you with the number of miles you typically drive per week?

Early feedback = Early intervention

Getting feedback from drivers on their early job expectations, experiences, and satisfaction make it possible to proactively respond to situations that otherwise would contribute to early turnover. Interestingly, we also find that if drivers do not respond to surveys they are 48 percent more likely to leave.

We immediately notify clients if responses indicate a high degree of turnover risk. We also alert clients to drivers that have not responded to surveys in a timely manner.

Our research shows 33 percent of new driver hires will leave their carriers within 90 days and an additional 22 percent will quit within 180 days. By using orientation and onboarding surveys, carriers act proactively to retain more drivers. By so doing, carriers position themselves to grow faster and become more profitable than their competitors.

For more information about using our survey products to improve driver engagement and prevent early driver turnover, give us a call at 1.855.867.3533 or send us a message at

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