Can joining the Retention Council help your business succeed?

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In my company, we had a saying that went like this: 1+1+1=7. It reflected the notion that one person throws an idea out to the group, and the majority discounts the offering. Still, one person sees a little nugget of gold, and the next thing you know, the entire group is hyper-focused on creating and developing a new process or solution to an existing problem.

That is why whenever we created a new team, we always established ground rules for behavior. One of the most important was that there was never a bad idea.

Now imagine yourself surrounded by transportation professionals who share a hyperfocus on the successful recruitment and retention of our industry’s professional truck operators. You and your company are participating members of a benchmarking group that shares and compares retention- and recruitment-related data. The participants also reveal their successes and failures designed to address many of the common challenges each company faces regularly concerning recruiting and retention.

What would it reveal if your company were to storyboard your entire retention and recruitment process? Does your company have a process that it follows, and is that process helping or hurting your numbers? Is it beneficial to review those numbers and procedures with other companies in your group, numbers related to turnover that are calculated with the same formula to ensure apples are being compared to apples?

What might you want to learn from like-minded competitors that might help your recruitment and retention efforts? I can come up with quite a few off the top of my head:

  • Hire rate per 100 interviews
  • Average cost per hire
  • 30-, 60-, 90-, 365-day and long-term turnover numbers
  • Turnover by board
  • Hiring programs for current drivers? What is the hire rate, cost per hire, and retention numbers versus bought drivers?
  • What do your fellow group members’ onboarding processes look like, including orientation and acclimation?
  • What ongoing training is offered?
  • How do you train your dispatch managers in retention?
  • What new technologies are you using, and what have the results shown?

With the support of my good friend and colleague Chris Henry of KSM Transportation Consultants, we have designed a new offering for the industry. It is a Retention Council, consisting of a manageable group of carriers that will meet once a month for 10 months virtually and two times in person. During our time together, we will compare data derived from commonly agreed-upon formulas. This data will reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly, which is where significant progress can be made.

People in meeting
(Photo: iStock)

The turnover trucking has become accustomed to is not reflective of this great industry’s lineage, and it deserves better. I see members of this group separating themselves from the pack and excelling in creating the stable workforce it takes to become a preferred carrier in their respective markets.

When you think about those companies that are perennial award winners in safety, retention, Best Fleets to Drive For, etc., a question always comes to me: What do they have that the rest of their competitors do not?

They have trucks, they have trailers, they move freight, etc. Physically nothing is different. Culturally, that’s a different story. They have found a way to allow drivers to become comfortable in their surroundings and take pride in their roles at their respective carriers. Those carriers follow a formula for this ever-evolving success but never lose sight of their core values and how integral the person behind the wheel is to them.

Will joining the North American Retention Council help your company turn the corner on recruitment and retention? I have no doubt in that, but it’s up to you. More information can be found here . We currently have a core of some excellent forward-looking, award-winning carriers committed to this effort, but we need more.

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Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations.

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