Driver Retention: 6 Ways GPS Fleet Management Software Can Help
Most companies spend a fortune on staff skill improvement programs and training. Still, many of them end up losing some of their best talent. The most common reason for attrition we hear about is salary. However, better working conditions, support, and training can be just as effective in driver retention as a salary boost. This is where finding the right GPS fleet management software can help.
Companies that operate large fleets are some of the most affected. And with fleet managers using everything at their disposal to ensure driver retention, many companies are still racking up losses. The inability to retain top talent affects every department.
The American Trucking Association reports that the annual commercial driver turnover rate has been over 80 percent since 2011. This means that most companies have been replacing a huge part of their driver fleet each year.
A trucking survey conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute has also singled out driver retention as one of the industry’s top 10 concerns.
Incentive programs are slowly becoming less impactful as a stand-alone strategy. As a fleet owner or manager, you now need to incorporate crucial tools into your driver retention plan in order to retain your best-performing drivers.
GPS fleet management software has become an integral part of running a well-oiled, efficient, and effective transportation system. It is also a key component in helping companies to boost their driver retention rates.
As a fleet owner, a great fleet management system can do more than just improve your day-to-day operations. It can help you retain your best talent. Think about it this way: do you want to keep the drivers who are constantly looking for better payment? Or are you looking for loyalty from motivated, dedicated individuals who care about about their career, safety, and reputation?
Let’s see how you can retain your top drivers through the right GPS fleet management software:
1. Cutting Down on Paperwork
Nobody likes paperwork. Most of us cringe whenever we are handed a form to fill out. Now, imagine how your drivers and mobile staff feel about the pile of paperwork waiting for them at the end of each day.
A good fleet management system significantly reduces the amount of paperwork a driver has to complete. This not only saves you valuable time and enhances efficiency, it also enables drivers utilize their time better.
How exactly does fleet software help?
- Electronic Forms – Digitize forms to deliver an easier user experience with smartphone access, auto-fill fields, media uploads, and one-tap form submission.
- Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) – Remove the need for paper HOS logs and provide simplified on-duty/off- duty tracking.
Seeing as important data such as mileage, and work hours are automatically collected by fleet systems, your drivers have far less paperwork to worry about. That gets them home to their families quicker and happier at the end of each shift.
2. Improving Transparency
Incorporating a system that enables drivers to perform better is crucial to your day-to-day operations. Transportation is a time-sensitive operation so it needs to be as seamless as possible. Providing your drivers with all of the necessary information before they begin their journey will increase efficiency significantly. It will also make your drivers feel confident and sure of what is expected of them.
Fleet management systems provide that kind of transparency. Fleet managers, dispatchers, and drivers can utilize dispatch tools such as:
- Dispatching – Transparent job schedules and live updates allow your drivers to study their schedules in advance. They should feel more confident in their ability to meet (or surpass) expectations.
- Routing – Route optimization tools provide data on road surface type, traffic, cargo restrictions and more. That takes some of the pressure of route-planning off of your drivers and dispatchers. It also makes the game plan clear to everyone.
3. Fleet Management Training for Drivers
Most companies do not realize the importance of onboarding their drivers to any newly implemented technologies or policies. It is crucial that your drivers fully understand how new systems such as fleet software or Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) can benefit them.
By fully understanding how GPS fleet management software can help them to perform better, drivers will feel less threatened by these changes. It can also help them to feel more valued and appreciated. Ongoing training for drivers can be a very effective way of boosting driver loyalty.
4. Better Working Conditions
Good working conditions are important for all employees. The majority of employees who switch jobs cite unfavorable working conditions. So how can fleet management software help?
Well, as a fleet owner, you can use fleet maintenance to ensure your drivers have the equipment they need in proper working condition. You’ll find maintenance features helpful in effectively scheduling regular maintenance and tracking the lifespan of your equipment so you can complete replacements before too many problems arise. With your fleet in top-notch conditions, your drivers will experience less unplanned downtime and the frustration that comes with it.
You can also support your drivers directly by selecting a fleet software provider who offers driver coaching and/or a driver app. Driver coaching can be as simple as an in-cab speed buzzer paired with a 3-strike policy that gives your drivers the opportunity to improve their driving habits before facing repercussions. Meanwhile, driver apps can offer a host of features specifically for your drivers such as route planning, live navigation, job change alerts, and live dispatch chatting.
5. More Recognition
Everyone likes to be recognized when they do a great job. When’s the last time you praised your top drivers?
GPS fleet management systems make it easy for you to identify your best drivers. Most systems offer in-depth fleet analytics and driver scoring systems that show you at a glance who your safest or most productive drivers are.
All you need to do it come up with the right incentive to make those top players feel recognized and valued. Try public praise, a bonus sum, or some cool company swag. You’ll know you’ve found the right reward when your drivers start to develop a healthy competitive spirit with each other.
6. Easier Problem Resolution
Problems are bound to happen on the road. When they do occur, GPS fleet management software can be a lifesaver. It’s incredibly helpful in increasing your ability to support your drivers in tough situations.
Use live GPS tracking to pinpoint where your vehicles are. Then, use routing tools to redirect your drivers away from problem areas such as accidents or natural disaster areas. Or use dispatch software to send your nearest vehicle to another driver’s aid in the case of a breakdown or accident.
Reducing Turnover with GPS Fleet Management Software
Driver retention is an industry-wide concern across North America and there is no perfect solution. However, fleet software can deliver some significant benefits. From helping you to improve fleet efficiency and working conditions, to delivering driver benefits, fleet management platforms go a long way towards retaining your top drivers.
What initiatives have you taken towards driver retention? Share your thoughts in the comments.