For years, Stay Metrics has offered a rewards program for our clients. Carriers award points to drivers. These points redeem for thousands of high-quality items, travel options—such as cruises, hotel stays, and airfare—or event tickets.
As a senior sales executive, one of the most common questions I get is, “Why rewards?”
Doesn’t it make more sense to just give drivers more cash? If your wages are already competitive, the answer is, “No.”
I recently read a story on an incentive program at Goodyear Tire to sell a specific type of tire at its stores. Half the employees were given a cash bonus for every 12 tires sold, whereas the other half received non-cash merchandise rewards. The non-cash group outsold the cash group by 46%, for an ROI of 31%, compared to -20% at the cash stores.
The monetary benefits are just the start, though …
A rewards program provides a vehicle for recognizing your team for great work. Truck drivers, as our CEO Tim Hindes has noted, are “chronically underrecognized and under-rewarded” as an employment demographic. Reversing this trend can be a solid differentiator for you as a carrier.
William Craig, in his 2017 article on Forbes, notes that there are three important reasons to focus on employee recognition. Firstly, an employee who is recognized is happier, and a happier employee is, on average, 12% more productive.
Secondly, recognizing your employees fosters a culture of trust. Craig cites a study that showed that nearly 90% of employees who received recognition in the past month felt a high level of trust with their supervisor, compared to 48% among those who did not.
Lastly, recognized employees don’t leave. In transportation, preventing turnover can pay off big time. We estimate that the average training costs for a new driver are around $6,000, so keeping the drivers you have is a great reason to invest in recognition.
One often overlooked aspect of a rewards program is how it can help you meet your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Setting point awards for goals like increased fuel efficiency, clean DOT inspections, and on-time delivery incentivizes drivers to meet them, improving your bottom line and reputation.
Marketing and Recruiting
Having a rewards program for your drivers can be a major differentiator for your company. You can highlight your program on social media or on billboards, and it gives your recruiters one more unique selling point for prospective drivers. People already love the things you can get with rewards points so the program can sell itself.
Achieve Specific Objectives
Want to increase driver participation in a survey or training? Tie these objectives to rewards points and watch your participation rates go up!
Applause awards are one of the most popular features of our rewards programs. They allow carriers to individually recognize drivers for great performance or simply say, “Thank you.”
Setup a specific amount of points a manager can distribute in a given time frame and track who they give them to and why. You will probably learn things about your drivers that make you appreciate them even more.
Research Your Drivers’ Behaviors
Do you need to learn something about your drivers, such as what motivates them or how engaged they are in particular aspects of your company? A rewards program serves as the vehicle to gather this data. Setup small surveys or forms, such as a brief maintenance survey, and award points for responding. The rewards program, again, helps you incentivize participation.
We Manage It
One of the most valuable things you have is your employees’ time. We know your team has a lot to accomplish each week, so let the Stay Metrics team manage your rewards program. Then your team can get back to doing what they do best!
A dedicated Client Relationship Manager (CRM) handles everything related to your rewards program and its website. Need something changed or updated, just let them know and consider it done!
Stay Engaged with Drivers on the Road
We know how hard it is to stay connected and engaged with drivers who rarely make it back to HQ. The rewards program helps them feel connected to your team, and the website allows them to get company news, updates, and training all in one convenient place.
While there are probably many other reasons to consider a rewards program, this list hits on the goals I hear carriers talk about most often. Our many successful clients, some of which have been featured in recent case studies, reinforce these benefits by showing them in action.
I hope you will consider adding a rewards program to your driver retention efforts. If you already have one, this list should help you find new ways to use it. If you are thinking about how to fund your rewards program, consider reading my colleague Becca Mathews’ blog on this topic. She gives three potential areas to look at to reallocate funds to rewards to amplify their effectiveness.