The Human Edge: Best practices in HR

by Angela Splinter

Tucking HR Canada’s Top Fleets program was created to highlight and celebrate some of the best workplaces in trucking. They are the businesses which embrace high standards in human resources, and help enhance the industry’s profile in the process.

The following 10 fleets (listed alphabetically) earned the inaugural honours in 2014:

  • Bison Transport
  • Erb Group of Companies
  • Home Hardware
  • J&R Hall Transport Inc.
  • Kindersley Transport
  • Kriska Transportation
  • Logikor Inc.
  • MacKinnon Transport Inc.
  • SLH Transport Inc.
  • Transpro Freight Systems Ltd.

The honours themselves were distributed after a thorough review. Scores were based on a comprehensive, online application process, plus employee surveys and follow-up interviews. It turns out, the fleets which emerged at the top of the list clearly recognize well-designed human resources practices as key parts of their business strategies. Questions covered a wide range of topics including employee recognition, compensation, employee engagement, wellness, professional development, and recruitment and retention.

While each business approaches human resources in a distinct way, several best practices did emerge when the results were tabulated.

Employee engagement

The best companies do a better job of involving staff members in their operations. Transpro Freight Systems Ltd., for example, conducts employee surveys whenever it implements a new initiative. Bison Transport reaches out to employees through a monthly newsletter. J & R Hall Transport Inc. has a confidential, open-door policy to ensure that any employee concerns are addressed.

Employee compensation

The recognized fleets also look beyond annual wages or per kilometer rates when considering compensation. Home Hardware offers a performance bonus program. Kriska has a deferred profit sharing plan. Logikor Inc. offers group Retirement Savings Plans (RSPs), and MacKinnon Transport offers a fuel bonus among other incentives.

Employee recognition

As important as the core compensation may be, these fleets also find other ways to recognize employees. SLH Transport Inc. celebrates milestone anniversaries with a gift of choice from a partner supplier. Kindersley Transport has implemented a VIP points recognition program, and Erb Group of Companies offers gifts to retiring employees. Recognized fleets also carefully tracked employee opinions through formal surveys.

Rewards, training and more

Some of the recognized fleets offered separate employee rewards for strong safety records, error-free paperwork, and job referrals. Employee skills were enhanced through everything from formal orientations and mentorships to self-directed learning programs. And recruiting teams posted clear and detailed job requirements. Compensation programs even included discounts on personal services such as gym memberships and preferred rates on home insurance.

Addressing the labour shortage

As important as these approaches are to attracting preferred job candidates and improving safety records, they also play a role in tackling ever-intensifying employee shortages. Canada’s trucking industry faces increasing competition from other industries in the search for skilled workers. Individual human resources practices will make a difference in attracting the people that our industry needs.

This is why every category in the Top Fleets for-hire program was firmly rooted in the core values of the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Driver Shortage in Trucking, which take into consideration driver demographics, compensation, quality of life, and qualifications. At the same time, private fleets faced categories designed to reflect their unique operating environments and requirements.

The vigorous selection criteria also reflect uniquely Canadian HR issues, trends, and working environments, and were validated by a panel of trucking industry experts and a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP).

Get involved

Applications for the 2015 instalment of Trucking HR Canada’s Top Fleets program will open this December. We are even enhancing the application process itself to make it easier for fleets to complete the application packages.

Be sure to take a moment to recognize the steps that your business takes to recruit and retain preferred employees and enter your fleet in next year’s competition. Along with having the opportunity to earn some honours, you’ll be able to share some of your best practices with the industry as a whole.

The 2014 Top Fleet Employer Program would like to thank its partners Truck News and DriverLink. More information will be available in the Top Fleet Employers 2014 Best Practices Report, and published at

Angela Splinter is CEO of Trucking HR Canada.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.