Create a Positive Driver Experience with a Streamlined Training and Onboarding Process

December 1, 2022

Create a Positive Driver Experience with a Streamlined Training and Onboarding Process

Keeping the Driver Experience Top of Mind

Recruiters who manage roles for trucking and driving know all too well how much effort they exert on filling just a few open positions. So naturally, it is an exciting moment when a qualified driver commits to joining your organization. Still, it is essential to keep in mind that you must keep the driver engaged even after this commitment. 

As much as having a solid recruitment strategy is critical for connecting with top-tier candidates, having a streamlined onboarding process is just as crucial for retaining talent.

We know drivers want to feel prioritized and cared for at each level of engagement with your company; we learned in our 2021 Driver Insights survey that drivers leave their positions because they do not feel respected by their employers. 

So, how can recruiters and human resource teams keep their businesses moving and drivers happy behind the wheel? 

Evaluate your current onboarding practices 

While a robust compensation package is king for recruitment–communication is key to moving drivers throughout your onboarding process. 

Remember the promises you made during recruitment and make it a priority to keep them. Research shows that nearly one-fourth of drivers are agitated by employers' tendency to over-promise and under-deliver. 

In this competitive market, driver satisfaction and transparency should be a top priority. Focus on building a plan that enables your team to onboard drivers as efficiently and safely as possible.

  • Focus on people, not processes - Ensure whoever is training is enthusiastic about facilitating a positive journey for new hires. Investing in human touch goes a long way; engage them, take some time to learn about them, and don't confuse or overwhelm them with to-dos. This period will weigh heavily on whether new hires feel welcome and if the relationship is starting on the right foot. 
  • Create a structured training program- Formalize your plan for training and provide those details to the driver as soon as possible. Make sure to outline the onboarding steps, how long it will take, and any evaluation criteria. 
  • Facilitate belonging through mentorship - Everyone feels more comfortable when they can connect with someone relatable. Pair your more experienced drivers and internal champions with new hires; creating an informal relationship can help new drivers assimilate more quickly and give them a more intimate perspective of your company. 

Emphasize safety as a core value 

Safety isn't something procedural that your onboarding and training specialists should gloss over. Although everyone agrees that safety is a significant part of a solid orientation program, only some companies execute safety training well. 

The best way to ensure the well-being of drivers and others on the road is to think of safety as a core value within your company, not a topic for discussion. 

  • Embed safety and best practices throughout the onboarding experience. It should be clear to drivers that safe processes are a core value at your company and that everyone is expected to uphold the organization’s standards. 
  • Liven up multimedia materials like safety videos, slides, or interactive courses to keep drivers engaged and reduce the boredom that steals attention from your message. As you incorporate safety throughout the orientation, use current materials and recent statistics to help support your messaging and ensure it feels relevant. 
  • Engage drivers in conversations about best practices. More often than not, you will have drivers with experiences, special endorsements, or supplemental education on safety. Use this as an opportunity to get their input, tips, and stories on how they have avoided problems in the past. Not only does this help newer drivers learn from more seasoned colleagues, but it also allows drivers to showcase their expertise. 

Keeping Trucks Drivers on the Road 

Keeping drivers satisfied and on the road means creating a thoughtful and positive, end-to-end job experience. 

Research shows that 100% of satisfied drivers would recommend a career in trucking. For carriers, this means happy drivers will suggest your company to their network, building trust with potential recruits and making recruiting efforts easier over time. 

Prioritizing drivers' wants and values should extend beyond recruitment and onboarding. Most commonly, drivers want regular home time and weekly pay from their employers. One way to ensure you keep your drivers happy is by providing competitive offerings and compensation.

Think about the long game and show your drivers you care about their future by recognizing drivers with exceptional performance and offering opportunities for advancement into other functions like dispatchers, managers, trainers, and leadership roles. 

Every driver has different wants and expectations from their jobs, but regardless, creating a thoughtful experience and showing a genuine interest in their professional and personal well-being go a long way toward retention. 

Are you ready to learn how we help carriers ensure driver satisfaction and get more drivers on the roads?  Talk to an expert today!