In a business built around trucks and trailers, it’s the people who keep things rolling – and Trucking HR Canada is celebrating those who embrace the best workplace practices.
The organization held its 10th annual Top Fleet Employers gala in Toronto on Oct. 12, building on a national program that certifies fleets which meet established benchmarks in human resources. Ninety-three fleets of every size were recognized for reaching those thresholds.
“Ten years ago, we launched this program as a means of recognizing the positives, and all the good approaches and practices of transportation employers,” said Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada.
The Top Fleet Employers program gives good employers an opportunity to showcase their workplaces, helps enhance the industry’s image, and brings leaders together to share ideas, she added, referring to initiatives like a related annual report on best HR practices.
Erb’s Dietrich named HR Leader of the Year
David Dietrich, vice-president of people and culture at Erb Transport, secured the event’s top award as HR Leader of the Year, recognizing his commitments to innovative HR practices, dedication to health and wellness, and commitment to sustainability.
Stepping to the podium, he spent his time thanking others, including Trucking HR Canada for establishing the Top Fleet Employers program. “I want to acknowledge our HR team,” he stressed. “A leader is nowhere without his team.”
Top large, medium and small fleet honors went to Ontario-headquartered Challenger Motor Freight, XTL Transport, and Trans4 Group, respectively, while Walmart Fleets ranked at the top of the Top Private Fleet/Fleet Services category.
Workplace culture, mental health, and training
Manitoba-headquartered Steve’s Livestock was recognized with the Workplace Culture Excellence Award for the way it actively engages employees through surveys, focus groups, mentorship programs, and regular communication from leaders. Corporate values are incorporated into performance evaluations, and discussions relating to values and culture play a role in every management and executive meeting. Judges also noted the fleet had a particularly impressive employee handbook.
Alberta-based fleets secured two honors – with Whitecourt Transport recognized for its focus on mental health and wellbeing, and Trimac honored for training and skills development.
Whitecourt employees can access Telus health wellness assessments every year, while support ranges from a financial advisor to weekly in-office yoga classes. Its tutorial videos help drivers with healthy meal prep, while food warmers in the trucks support healthy diets on the road. Fitness support includes training events, fitness challenges, and healthy breaks, among other topics.
At Trimac, management supports learning through mentorship opportunities, formal coaching, leadership training, internal job locations and committee participation to develop leaders. Its library of 53 optional courses covers everything from personal to professional growth. Diversity and inclusion are prioritized, too.
Women in the workplace, HR innovation
Manitoba-headquartered Bison Transport secured the Women in Workplace honor with initiatives including female-centric driving programs, and a significant increase in female drivers and organizational leaders in 2022. Its related support includes assertiveness skills training for women and post-learning mentorship groups.
Caron Transport secured the HR Leadership Award through commitments to the Top Fleet Employers program’s core principles that emphasize diversity, inclusion, equal opportunities, and employee wellbeing. It sets the standard for exceptional HR practices by prioritizing training, skill development, compliance and transparent HR processes, Trucking HR Canada adds.
In Ontario, One for Freight was honored as an HR innovator. That fleet is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to streamline office communication, while also embracing opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.
Polaris Transport, meanwhile, was recognized for employee engagement. It demonstrates a commitment to translating HR policies into action, ensuring they align with corporate values, Trucking HR Canada says. A Top Fleet Employers employee survey also reflected a workplace where team members are fulfilled.
Further east, New Brunswick’s Midland Transportation secured the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Award. Its gender dashboard tracks gender representation, hiring rates, promotions and exits to better identify areas to improve. Maternity leave is topped up to 16 weeks at full salary, and the head office includes gender-neutral washrooms. A three-year diversity and inclusion strategy also aligns with company values.
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