Can you meet their needs?

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Sometimes the most pleasant of surprises come during the most dire of circumstances. When we wrote last year that human resource management in 2010 would not be for the faint of heart, we were in the midst of the worst recession of the post-War era. We knew that all the nasty things that come with recessions – slumping revenues that necessitate cutbacks and make decent wage increases impossible, layoffs, relying on older equipment, changes in management, etc. – make for uncertainty and job stress that wreak havoc on employee morale.

Heading into this year’s Driver Satisfaction Survey, our fifth annual attempt to get inside the heads of the men and women behind the wheel of our nation’s fleets, we were, frankly, bracing for the worst, but hoping for the best. Trucking was bruised and battered by this recession like never before and many tough choices had to be made. And these choices were often made against a background of already slumping job satisfaction.

Yet, as you will read over the next few pages of highlights from our fifth annual Driver Satisfaction Survey, conducted in partnership with Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council, we were pleasantly surprised.

How did our driver relations endure the hardships of cutbacks, wage freezes and layoffs? Are our drivers still feeling engaged and enthused to tackle the distinct challenges of a career behind the wheel? As managers, do we know how to attract them, motivate them and retain them? We want to play an important role in helping you find answers to those questions. For the fifth straight year, our research arm, Transportation Media Research, spent several months surveying company drivers and owner/operators across the country – through e-mail and at industry shows.  We wanted to know how satisfied they are in their jobs, which parts of their job provide them with the most satisfaction and which the least? We wanted to get to the heart of critical questions such as which parts of their job drivers most strongly feel should be recognized and rewarded, which areas they want to receive more training, and the relative importance they attach to having a say in a range of management decisions. Our research also looked at what would make them choose one employer over another when looking for
a new job.

Research of this scope and breadth is a considerable annual undertaking and would not have been possible without the help and support of our founding sponsor, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. and our supporting partner, the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC). It speaks to their commitment to this industry that they have chosen to support such research year after year.

Our greatest thanks go out to the company drivers and owner/operators across the country who took time out of their very busy schedules to respond to our questionnaire. Thank you for making our research project a success yet again.
We hope the results of our survey are considered by both fleet managers and the drivers they employ in the spirit in which our research was intended and conducted: as a good starting point towards better understanding the driver-fleet manager relationship and what is required to make it most effective. We also believe that good research is meant to evolve over time and so we ask for your feedback on our effort and any changes or additions you would like to see made in future years.

Lou Smyrlis
Editorial Director

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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

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