Just like the lyrics in that old blues song say, 'We've been down so long the bottom seems like up.' This industry is enduring what some have described as the worst economic struggle in memory, and ar...
Just like the lyrics in that old blues song say, ‘We’ve been down so long the bottom seems like up.’ This industry is enduring what some have described as the worst economic struggle in memory, and arguing that point is simply an exercise in semantics.
But there are opportunities to see some light, some encouraging signs with behind the scenes developments that will pay dividends to fleet operators -private or for-hire. Some examples were announced recently by the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC), an organization to which I have made many references in this column. The references are well deserved because they do such good work on behalf of the trucking industry and their products are practical, and helpful.
In the interests of full disclosure I will point out that I and some of my colleagues from the PMTC are directors of CTHRC, as are representatives of the for-hire carrier sector and other important industry participants.
But, having clarified that, I would also make it clear that I certainly do not need to shill for CTHRC products -they are excellent and need no selling from me.
In September, CTHRC announced the release of two such products that carriers will find invaluable.
The first is the latest Volume II of the Guide to Human Resources modules, which will support Canadian fleets in the hiring of immigrant and temporary foreign workers.
If, somehow you are unaware of the initial Volume I of the guide, let me tell you that it is an extremely useful reference tool with three sections: Recruitment, Retention, and Understanding Turnover.
The section on recruitment contains practical examples and advice on screening applicants, preparing job descriptions, assessing applicants, reference checks and orientation planning for new hires. The retention module contains a how-to on mentoring, communication, resolving employee concerns, designing a compensation package, recognition programs, progressive discipline and exit interviews.
And the section on understanding turnover describes how it can be measured, the root causes, the inherent costs, and how to plan for turnover. This really is a guide that belongs on every fleet manager and personnel manager’s desk. Notice I did not say bookshelf -because this guide will be used constantly.
The newest modules will make another useful addition to the guide.
“Building on areas in which the industry has expressed its interest, we now have the next round of information and tips, which tackle the subject of hiring and managing a multicultural workforce. The two new modules in the guide provide tools and templates for the recruitment, cultural awareness, orientation, and integration of foreign-trained truck drivers,” says Linda Gauthier, executive director of the CTHRC. “Examples are provided by using a fictional trucking company with real-world experiences.”
Gauthier went on to say that “except for a few large fleets, the trucking industry has had little experience in dealing with a multicultural society, and given the demand for workers, it is a certainty that other sectors will be looking at how they can attract workers from this pool. Trucking needs to make itself an attractive alternative, and having guidelines in place to help employers is a very good first step.”
And on the heels of that announcement, CTHRC had a second release in September, that of a new program for the development of coaches, mentors, and assessors. These three new professional development programs are for those who coach, mentor and assess Canada’s truck drivers.
The content of each program developed by the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council has been customized to reflect the unique roles, which can involve tasks such as coaching newly trained drivers or assessing job candidates.
Each module covers a variety of topics. For example the Coach Program deals with issues such as preparing trainees for the trucking lifestyle, reinforcing policies, procedures, and regulations, and reinforcing over-the-road skills.
The Mentor section will help proteges develop problem-solving skills, while assessing their risks and offering encouragement and the Assessor Program includes a how-to for pre-employment screening, skills assessments, and road tests.
These latest releases are but a few of the practical offerings from the CTHRC, and for a complete listing I would encourage a visit to www.cthrc.com, or place a call to any of the helpful staff at the office 613-244-4800.
CTHRC is supported by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and a broad and inclusive section of the trucking industry.
It is the go-to centre for information, industry studies and reports, training and certification programs, and of course, valuable tools such as Your Guide To Human Resources.
As such the CTHRC deserves the industry’s support and PMTC is proud to play a contributing role.
-The Private Motor Truck Council is the only national association dedicated to the private trucking community. Your comments or questions can be addressed to email@example.com.
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