Using rewards to influence driver attitudes towards pay


During the second half of 2017, large carriers began to announce significant pay increases and record sign-on bonuses for drivers. This turn of events raised serious concerns and set the tone for 2018 to be the most difficult market in the last decade, if not longer, for retaining drivers.

Holding onto experience

As might be expected, drivers have been watching these trends develop. Pay increases and sign-on bonuses certainly will contribute to higher industry turnover in the first quarter of 2018, but they are not the only reasons, and perhaps not even the top reasons, drivers will consider leaving their carriers.

Driver payA recent study shows that carriers should be especially concerned about attitudes towards pay by their more experienced drivers in the present climate, however.

A team of academics, led by Stay Metrics Director of Research Timothy Judge, PhD, recently examined a large sample of driver survey responses and carrier data from 2016 to 2017. The researchers correlated the professional experience of drivers with their pay satisfaction and turnover decisions.

The study revealed that drivers with more experience (5+ years) have become more dissatisfied with pay during this period than drivers with less experience. The effects of experience on pay dissatisfaction were not large, but are statistically significant.

For more detail about the research methods and results of the study, download a free copy of the whitepaper Driver Pay and Pay Satisfaction: Should We Sound the Alarm for the Experienced Driver? by clicking here.

Standing out from the crowd

The turnover advantage of experience may be eroding but the study shows that pay is not necessarily a big factor in why drivers leave. This leaves the door open to explore retention strategies that will increase driver satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty towards their carriers other than pay.

Given the current environment, many carriers are trying new strategies to further differentiate their workplace in the minds of drivers.

With the Driver Rewards platform from Stay Metrics, carriers are able to easily make adjustments to fit their present needs. With the platform, points can be awarded to drivers on a scheduled or ad-hoc basis for virtually any type of event. The many possibilities include rewards for birthdays, work anniversaries, training events and routine achievements like violation-free logbooks (weekly) or no accidents (monthly or quarterly).

A number of fleets are also engaging drivers with rewards for activities that most carriers would just expect them to do, like completing monthly safety training modules. Some fleets are also rewarding drivers for answering daily or weekly quizzes on important topics.

As drivers are awarded points, the online Driver Rewards platform automatically sends email notifications to drivers, prompting them to log in and monitor their progress. Drivers can redeem their points towards valuable goods from an online catalog with everything from movie tickets to household items and vacation packages.

Setting up for success

Staying competitive with pay this year is a given. To differentiate your company in the minds of drivers, consider rewarding them for activities or events that go unnoticed by other carriers. Doing so will demonstrate to drivers of all experience levels that their work is valued and appreciated beyond a weekly paycheck.

Carriers that recognize and reward drivers regularly in the New Year will continue to build the type of work environment that makes it more difficult to leave.

For more information and ideas to implement a successful Driver Rewards program, please give us a call at 1.855.867.3533 or send us a message through