Competitive compensation: 3 tips to get started

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Everyone wants to be paid well and fairly. And trucking employers want to be competitive. This should be simple math, resulting in competitive compensation all around.

In reality, it’s not that easy.

In trucking, pay and benefits go well beyond a salary, hourly wage, and rate paid per kilometer. A one-size fits all approach to competitive compensation would be nice. Too bad that doesn’t work.

The trucking industry’s wide range of schedules, routes, duties, equipment, specialties, and rates introduce lots of variables. Additionally, a paycheque isn’t the only thing that matters to employees. Benefits can include everything from supplemental insurance to more vacation days, boot or uniform allowances, health and wellness programs, and more. Young people entering the workforce have different expectations and needs than the mature drivers you are likely trying to retain. And then there are regulations to comply with.

It can get complicated, so here are some tips to help get you started:

Define your approach

This is your compensation philosophy. It mirrors what you value as an organization, and should map against your goals. Your philosophy should reflect things like where you want to be in the market, and how much you think pay should be tied to performance.

It’s important to keep your approach consistent with the size of your organization—you do need to effectively manage it, after all.

Put it in writing

Your compensation philosophy sets the stage for developing written compensation policies.

A well-written compensation policy clearly communicates conditions for pay and benefits. Things like when benefits start, terms of termination payouts, how flex-time, lieu-time, overtime, and other incentives are calculated.

A good compensation policy ensures consistency, supports regulatory compliance, and provides structure for all employees whether you are a large or a small fleet.

Communicate it

If you know that you offer a competitive compensation package, share it. When employees understand your approach they are more confident that they are being paid fairly. Include the results of a salary survey if it helps to prove the point.

Communicate the total package—this can include base pay, incentive pay, benefits, and other tangible benefits like professional development, wellness programs, or flexible work arrangements. Current and prospective employees may be balancing job offers, and you want to be sure they are comparing apples to apples.

In the end, be sure it all adds up to a fair, equitable approach. With a little homework you can have a tailored competitive compensation package that rewards behaviours critical to your company’s success.

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Angela Splinter leads Trucking HR Canada, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the human resources challenges and opportunities in the trucking and logistics sector. Angela is a frequent speaker at industry events sharing innovative HR best practices, trends and insights. As a respected leader in HR, Trucking HR Canada works with various associations, government departments and industry professionals to ensure employers have the skilled workforce needed for today and in the future. Feel free to learn more at, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us @TruckingHR for the latest tips, practical resources and more. You can follow Angela directly at @AngSplinter. And we can be reached by e-mail:

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