If ever there’s a time to focus on maintaining the morale of your drivers, it’s now. In addition to dealing with larger workloads and longer hours due to high demand, drivers are also facing more restrictions and regulations due to the pandemic, on top of trying to stay safe and healthy themselves.
These physical and emotional demands can take their toll—on both your workers and the business: Research shows that low morale is associated with lower levels of productivity, poor performance and higher turnover, all of which can impact the bottom line. The following steps can help you mitigate the impact of low morale on your workforce and overall business.
Recognize and reward hard work
These days, with drivers working longer hours due to high demand, dealing with more regulations and taking on more risk of exposing themselves to coronavirus, it is particularly important to show them that the work they do matters.
Of course, money is always one of the fastest and easiest ways to reward hard work, so consider offering cash bonuses or providing hazard pay to keep them motivated and show your appreciation for the work they do.
Another way to recognize and incentivize drivers is by giving them top-of-the-line equipment or the latest and greatest technology to work with.
Think about investing in new dash cams with all the bells and whistles, a more sophisticated navigation system, or advanced collision mitigation, to name a few. These upgrades will help ensure a safer, easier and more enjoyable driving experience that keeps your workers happy on the job.
Put their safety first
These days, more than ever, safety is top of mind for drivers, as their jobs can put them at higher risk of getting COVID-19. However, a recent Workhound survey showed that many drivers feel frustrated if their company doesn’t have a plan or effective measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Don’t let such frustrations affect your drivers’ performance. Show your drivers that their safety is a priority by creating a plan to protect drivers from coronavirus, and then act on it.
In addition to providing drivers with basic protections, such as alcohol-based hand sanitizer, extra cleaning products and personal protective equipment (PPE), implement guidelines to limit contact with customers and fellow drivers where possible.
These are just a few of the measures employers the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends to protect truck drivers against coronavirus and prove that their safety is your priority.
Listen to them
Communicating with employees and being transparent is always important, but it’s particularly important now, when there is so much uncertainty about the future. Don’t keep your drivers in the dark, as that will only leave them guessing and you risk increasing their stress. Be as candid as you can, and err on the side of over-communication.
Better yet, let them be part of the discussion. Solicit their feedback and ideas, and ask them to voice their concerns. When workers feel a sense of ownership over their work, as opposed to simply taking orders and running errands, they are more motivated to perform.
And in addition to showing drivers that their opinion matters, getting their insider insight can help identify opportunities to improve processes and overall business outcomes.
Bottom line: Your customers aren’t the only people who deserve a best-in-class experience. Your drivers need to know that they are a priority as well. Show your drivers that you support them and want to see them thrive, and they will return the favor.
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