Human resources planning for 2018

by Angela Splinter

Recruiting and retention are perennial concerns in trucking. Finding qualified drivers, attracting younger people to the industry, holding on to top performers, and aligning your efforts with your business strategy are more important than ever.

If you’re still pulling your 2018 human resources (HR) plan together, or you want to fine-tune your plan as the year goes on, here are five things I think you should consider.

Health and wellness
An aging workforce, people looking for a better work-life balance, technology that blurs the lines between business and personal time – these are all reasons to incorporate mental health and wellness into your HR policies and programs.

Employees are more likely to be loyal and productive when their workplace culture supports their overall well-being. Healthy employees impact your bottom line, too, from lower disability claims and absenteeism to better retention.

Change management
Organizational change can pose risks to employee health, engagement, and productivity. If you anticipate a disruptive event at your business – a merger, new technology or procedures, changes in personnel – your HR plan should include formal processes and identify tools and techniques to help employees.

Employers that are prepared to help managers guide their people through uncertain work environments are positioned for long-term stability and success.

Managing compensation – how people are paid and how much – is not just a job for the HR folks. Compensation should be a key and comprehensive part of your business plan. Makes sense when you consider that payroll is often one of the largest expenses for employers.

As the competition for skilled drivers intensifies, this will be a key issue. Employers that look at their total compensation package – and have plans in place to effectively communicate their total compensation – will be further ahead.

Coaching and mentoring
With different generations working side by side, and a younger generation that’s vocal about its desire for more coaching and mentoring, you have an opportunity to include coaching and mentoring in your HR plan.

Millennials Have Drive, Trucking HR Canada’s most recent report on youth, cites coaching and mentoring as a key recruitment and retention tool for this generation. These programs can be formal or informal, but successful organizations will be the ones that find an approach that works with their demographics and workplace culture.

The changing HR function
All of the above points lead to this: the HR function is not immune to change, either.

People are your most valuable assets and your biggest expense, so it makes sense that your HR function be managed strategically. As employers look to align their HR approaches with overall business goals, the HR function itself may be streamlined. And please, do not confuse streamlining with elimination. The focus should be on balancing effectiveness and efficiency, particularly as new technologies help HR professionals do an even better job of measuring their return on investment.

As the year moves on, remember that HR plans aren’t set in stone. Make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your plan stays aligned with your business goals.

And, as the year moves on, this column will delve deeper into each of the topics I mention.


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. Learn more at or follow them @TruckingHR.

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