Truck News

Feature

Publisher’s Comment: Respect and Courtesy Go a Long Way Toward a Successful Operation

We all know driver retention is one of the biggest problems facing fleet owners today.Now, more then ever, moving from company to company seems to be the norm. Why is that?Is it because Joe Blow's Tra...



We all know driver retention is one of the biggest problems facing fleet owners today.

Now, more then ever, moving from company to company seems to be the norm. Why is that?

Is it because Joe Blow’s Transport down the street is paying more or offers a better benefit package? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it.

I’m guessing that it’s not a case of what they’re offering, but instead, it’s a case of what they’re not.

Wages and benefits do matter, make no mistake.

But as the saying goes, money isn’t everything and in my mind, a good working environment is just as important.

Here at Truck News, many of today’s staff were hired 23 years ago by Brian Light, the publication’s original founder. How’s that for employee retention!

What’s the secret? Do we offer wages that are billions of dollars more than the competition? Believe me, not a chance (AND I MEAN, NOT A CHANCE!) Oops, did I say that out loud – back to my point.

Brian, his brother Ted (my predecessor) and now yours truly, recognize that the success of Truck News and Truck West has been achieved as a team, not by any one person.

We respect each other and the contribution each and every one of us makes.

No employee’s job is more important than another’s and egos are checked at the door.

Respect and courtesy go a long way in keeping an employee happy.

At the same time, recognize that not all employees or co-workers will be on the same page.

Let’s face it, there are people who feel the world owes them a living. These situations must be dealt with immediately.

Many a good employee has been lost because they see a co-worker continue to be employed despite poor work habits – especially if their wages are the same.

It’s also the small things that can make a difference.

If you have a driver’s room, I trust the coffee is free.

How about that water cooler in the summer? It’s dirt-cheap and a cold drink on a hot summer’s day will go a long way.

Maybe a weekly driver barbecue with the boss flipping burgers would be appreciated.

Recognize birthdays and important anniversaries. Keep an open door policy (I have no choice since I don’t have one) and listen to your drivers’ concerns.

Compare your wages to your competition’s.

Chances are they’ll be close if not the same.

It’s often the little things that can make the difference.

Look after your drivers and they’ll look after you!

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News. He can be reached at 416-442-2097.


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