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One of the best ways to combat the driver shortage is by working to retain drivers. While money is important, a fleet culture that values and respects drivers may be even more crucial.

Fleets are beginning to introduce a wide variety of programs to hang on to what has become its most precious commodity — drivers — including better pay.

While there’s little doubt that pay is an important factor contributing to both the driver shortage and the ability to hold onto drivers, fleets need to do more than simply offer bonuses or raises: Drivers need to feel engaged by their work.

Cultivating Engagement

Fundamentally, engagement simply means being fulfilled by one’s job. An engaged employee will likely go above and beyond, look for ways to save and make the company more money, and, most importantly, stick around for the long haul.

The solution is relatively straightforward and cost-effective: Cultivate a culture where a driver feels valued and respected. Not feeling valued and respected is the No. 1 reason drivers will leave their companies, according to industry experts.

Demonstrating value and respect should start during the recruiting and onboarding period, and include:

  • Keeping promises made during the hiring process — nothing will disengage a new, eager employee than discovering the recruiting pitch didn’t live up to expectations
  • Giving the new driver a warm welcome on his or her first day
  • Providing onboarding that reflects the company’s stated values of professionalism, respect, and honesty
  • Introducing new drivers to key members of the organization, including company leadership — the driver should feel that he or she is an integral part of the company
  • Setting clear, consistent expectations

Making It Worthwhile

While building engagement through better onboarding, communication, equipment, and opportunities is crucial, drivers also need pay that reflects their value as well.

A raise — no matter the form —makes bottom-line business sense. SuperVision estimates that each 1% improvement in retention will net your company $40,000 in bottom-line savings.

Predicting Driver Retention

Developing a culture that values drivers is important. But culture isn’t enough to guarantee that drivers will stay with the fleet.

SuperVision’s Driver Retention is a tool can help fleet managers monitor driver satisfaction and predict the drivers that are most likely to leave the company. This gives the fleet manager and other company leaders an opportunity to talk to the driver and correct the problem — in essence, re-engage the driver.

Driver retention can be challenging, but with an engagement mindset and the right tools, it can be one of the most valuable things you do as a fleet manager.

This information has been adapted from an original post from SuperVision