The best way to recruit and retain drivers is to listen to them and offer open communication channels, say Canadian carriers who took part in the Truckload carriers Association annual convention Truckload 2023 in Orlando, Fla., on March 6.
“Trucking is all about your people – when you take care of your people, they take care of you,” Wendell Erb, president and CEO, Erb Group of Companies, told TruckNews.com at the event.
Humility is also important for Erb. “I drive truck myself, a lot of my operations people drive truck, nobody is above any job that we have. If I am going to ask somebody to do this, I wouldn’t ask you if I wouldn’t do it myself and I in fact I do do it myself. And I enjoy it,” he said.
TransPro Freight Systems pays attention to what types of freight drivers want to haul. General manager Peter Jenkins points out that drivers are properly remunerated for loads that are time consuming and difficult.
The carrier, which has been placed in the TCA Hall of Fame for repeat winners, collects suggestions from its driver committee and sends out surveys. Action is taken where necessary, and another survey is sent out six months later to gauge how the changes were perceived.
Jenkins provides all drivers with his contact details. “I enjoy reading text messages from drivers,” he said.
TransPro offers an open-door policy, said director of safety Michael Frolick. “The more you engage with drivers, the more empathetic you become.”
Wellington Motor Freight creates an environment where people care about their work. “We are listening to our drivers all the time,” said Michael Zelek, vice-president of human resources.
Mark Seymour, president and CEO, Kriska Transportation Group, said his companies want to be an employer of choice and want employees to be happy with the choice. “We want them to stay. We want them to be proud. It is a race to be as best as we can possibly be.”
Seymour gave credit to the people who run and work in the businesses. “We talk a lot about the people who don’t drive a truck supporting the people who do drive a truck. This recognition is voted on by our drivers, so it also recognizes the fact that the people who support them are working hard to do just that,” he said.
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