March 15, 2022
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With the national shortage of truck drivers, many carriers are finding it difficult to attract and keep good drivers without offering incentives. Offering a safe driving rewards program can help your bottom line while keeping drivers engaged and committed to your company’s safety goals.
There are many benefits of driver incentive programs. You can attract quality talent, encourage existing drivers to drive safely, and ensure you don’t lose your best drivers to competing carriers. Driver turnover is a significant issue facing the trucking industry this year because of the driver shortage and increased demand for freight transportation.
Driver incentive programs are ways to reward safe driving and productive employees. The incentives can be cash, merchandise, peer recognition, and more. Driver incentive programs can improve morale, reduce insurance premiums, improve driver retention, and promote safe driving practices.
Fleet safety is a top priority for carriers nationwide. And incentivizing safe driving with a bonus program that periodically rewards the safest truckers is a recipe for success.
One purpose of a safe driving incentive program is to help drivers know exactly what the company means by “safe driving practices.” That phrase can mean different things to different drivers and carriers. Driver training is one way to make sure your drivers are driving safely, but a driver rewards program that incentivizes safe driving behavior is a great way to make sure your drivers are committed to safety every day. Providing hard data and precise metrics by which drivers will be measured ensures that your drivers know exactly what is expected of them.
Offering safe driving incentives improves driver retention, increases motivation and safety compliance, and decreases collisions (and their associated costs).
There are a lot of different options for bonus programs. Below are some of our favorites, but we recommend talking to your drivers about what kinds of rewards and incentives would motivate them.
Who couldn’t use some extra money in their pocket? A cash incentive is a great way to show employees that you appreciate their hard work and safe driving. Monetary rewards are consistently popular with employees across all industries.
If there is a popular restaurant or store near the driver’s home base, a gift card that allows them to treat themselves or their family to something nice is another great option for rewarding safe driver behavior.
If your company regularly has meetings or events where lots of people attend, announcing driver achievements is a very valuable way to express appreciation for a job well-done. Company newsletters and safety meetings are also good venues for recognizing safe driver behavior.
Many drivers have favorite routes or preferred destinations. Rewarding a safe driver with his or her favorite route is a good way to show appreciation and also illustrate that the company cares about what is important to their employees.
An additional day off is another very popular way to incentivize truckers to drive safely. We all value our PTO, and granting even one additional day off as part of a driver safety rewards program is a great incentive.
Driver safety incentive programs are great, but they can be tricky to implement. Keep in mind that you want to encourage best practices without accidentally promoting conflict. Be wary of creating an environment where drivers are pushed to compete with each other. You will also want to make sure that the goals are not so unobtainable that drivers feel they have to take shortcuts to achieve them. Keep the goals achievable and the rewards valuable so that your drivers remain engaged and excited. Measure consistently and objectively so that everyone feels committed to the company’s goals.
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