Driver Retention & Flexible Schedules
Fleet managers are always looking for new ways to improve driver retention, and one of the ways many companies are working toward that goal is to create more flexible work schedules. Today, we’ll look at some of the best ways to do that and how it can positively affect driver retention. By allowing your drivers to work their own hours, you can keep them happy and improve job satisfaction. And by offering competitive pay and benefits, you can ensure that your fleet stays staffed with top-quality drivers. Keep reading for more tips on creating a winning driver retention strategy with flexible driver schedule!
Drivers Deserve Respect
Driver turnover is at an abysmal 91% throughout the industry. The driver shortage is driven by a lack of work-life balance, mental health concerns, and pay issues. What are the costs of such a high turnover rate? In addition to high recruitment and training costs, carriers face lost business opportunities and decreased customer satisfaction. The most efficient strategy is to keep the drivers you have.
Drivers are the lifeblood of the industry, and without them, fleets would be unable to operate. They need more than just a paycheck. They want to be treated with respect. That begins with health support, benefits, and proper training. Drivers often work long hours, with little time for themselves or their families. It can lead to burnout, lower productivity, and more accidents. Long hours can even lead to further health problems in an industry known for poor driver health.
One effective way to increase retention is an option more and more carriers are looking to, and that is to allow a little breathing room. For many drivers, it can be easier to maintain their mental health with flexible scheduling options. Enabling them to choose their hours and giving them more time off between trips. Flexible work hours can go a long way toward reducing driver turnover and maintaining driver mental health. When drivers feel they have more control over their work-life balance, they’re more likely to stick around.
How to Offer More Flexible Schedules
So, what methods can companies use to offer more flexible work schedules? One option is to consider hiring more part-time drivers. This can give your full-time drivers more time off and prevent them from burning out. Additionally, when possible, carriers can work with drivers to create routes closer to home. That minimizes time away from family and allows drivers to be home more often. Another opportunity is to rotate teams of drivers or offer a split-shift schedule when applicable. Finally, consider slip-seating. Slip-seating is a method of work where drivers don’t have an assigned truck. Instead, they “slip into the seat” of a driver who has just returned from a trip.
Flexible Driver Schedule Benefits for Drivers and Carriers
Some truck drivers prefer longer trips so they can stay at home for long periods. But accommodating those who want flexible driver schedule hours is in the best interest of all parties. How do drivers benefit from a flexible schedule? A better work-life balance means happier drivers that are not constantly on the verge of burnout. It may be smart to consider planning different types of routes and offering a wider variety of schedules. Carriers and transportation businesses can attract different types of drivers from diverse backgrounds who might not have been interested in commercial driving.
Other benefits of flexible schedules for truck drivers include:
- Lower risk of truck driver fatigue
- Fewer hours on the road and associated risks
- More time at home with family and friends
- Ability to work around other commitments
Flexible scheduling can also be a significant benefit for carriers. In addition to improved driver retention, it can also lead to:
- Reduced training and recruitment costs
- A better reputation for being driver-friendly
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Greater efficiency and productivity
- Lower turnover rates
When it comes to driver retention, work-life balance is key. Offering a more flexible schedule is one of the best ways to achieve that.
Driver Benefits for Carriers and Drivers
The bottom-line is that a well-rested driver is a more alert driver. That leads to fewer accidents, which means lower insurance premiums and turnover. Offering flexible driver schedules and a wider variety of schedule options is a win-win for everybody. Drivers get to stick with a company that values their work-life balance, and carriers get to keep their drivers (and customers) happy. If you’re a fleet owner or trucking carrier operator, consider offering more flexible scheduling options to your drivers. It could be the key to reducing turnover and maintaining a happy, healthy workforce.