In May, the New York Times shined a spotlight on the difficulties of being a professional truck driver in “Alone on the Open Road: Truckers Feel Like ‘Throwaway People.’” The article interviewed several drivers who painfully described the stress and loneliness of their jobs.
Problems like stress and loneliness do not go away when drivers change jobs, but the conditions that lead to those problems can be changed. A growing number of carriers are taking a fresh approach giving new driver hires an experience and support network they won’t forget. A process called driver socialization.
Below are some ideas to improve the socialization period of drivers, which is the most critical period in the employment lifecycle of drivers. The early experiences and impressions that drivers have with a carrier will lay the foundation for long-term success.
Creating a better fit
Carriers are now able to use a new orientation training platform from Stay Metrics to keep drivers engaged from day one. Drivers can complete forms online and some of their required training before arriving at the office.
The new Drive First platform helps carriers free time and resources to focus on building relationships with drivers while they have their attention in person and to fully immerse them in their culture and support network.
With our new Driver Match product, carriers are also able to establish a scientific process for assigning drivers to trainers and driver managers. The Driver Match product screens for 13 different values to create value profile measurements that reliably predict the fit of any driver, in terms of job satisfaction and retention, to any organization, team, colleague or manager.
Our research shows that drivers with a low satisfaction with their dispatcher — an interchangeable term with driver manager — leave at a 72.3 percent rate in the first three months on the job. Meanwhile, drivers with high dispatcher satisfaction leave at a 27.7 percent rate in the same time.
The driver surveys we administer for motor carriers gather critical feedback and insights at the 7 and 45-day periods of employment to identify warnings signs of drivers with a high turnover risk.
Interestingly, our data show drivers who do not take the 7-day Orientation or the 45-day Onboarding Surveys are 48 percent more likely to leave their carriers. We notify clients if drivers do not complete surveys in a timely manner so they can reach out to the driver and answer any questions or concerns that are causing the driver to withdraw.
All of these products help carriers socialize drivers in ways they have never experienced before. We recently completed a research project that shows what a difference it makes when carriers exceed driver expectations during the socialization process.
The study found that drivers who raised their Net Promoter Score (NPS) after the first 45 days of employment left the company at a 19 percent rate. The NPS is an indication of someone’s willingness to recommend their company to others and is commonly used to measure satisfaction with a product or service. By contrast, of the drivers that lowered their NPS rating after their first 45 days, 40 percent left their companies.
Being a professional truck driver has and always will be a difficult line of work, but carriers have new technology and resources available to set drivers up for success in the industry and at their companies by improving the socialization process.
For more information on areas where we can assist with socialization and help you retain more drivers, give us a call at and 1.855.867.3533 or send us a message at https://staymetrics.com/contact/.