Trucks at Work
Tie truck drivers more tightly to the company team

Tie truck drivers more tightly to the company team

There’s an awful lot of talk in trucking these days not only about ways to recruit younger workers but how to keep the ones the industry already employs – both in the driver’s seat and in other motor carrier disciplines, especially in maintenance, where technicians are in ever-shorter supply.

When it comes to truck drivers, pay is of course the main issue, followed by home time, health benefits and other perks.

But here’s another twist to add to the list: connecting the jobs of drivers and other trucking workers to overall company performance.

It may sound rudimentary, but there seems to be a growing dearth of such “connections” across the business spectrum – at least according to a new survey conducted by consulting firm Robert Half Management Resources.

Robert Half polled 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older, and while they were primarily employed in office environments, the majority – especially among younger age cohorts – desired more insight into how their work affected their company’s fiscal performance.

For example, when asked “Do you wish you had more insight into the effects of your contributions on your company's bottom line,” here were the responses:

 

 

All workers

18-34 years old

35-54 years old

55+ years old

Yes

53%

64%

51%

46%

No

47%

36%

49%

54%

 

100%

100%

100%

100%

 

"Employees who see the direct correlation between their contributions and company performance are more engaged, make better spending decisions, and can identify new ways to increase productivity and growth," noted Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, in a statement.

"It is concerning that so many workers who are 35 to 54 – a group that often serves as managers and top executives – lack a complete understanding of how their responsibilities help their organization's bottom line," he pointed out

Hird stressed that Generation Y and Generation Z professionals prioritize feedback and connecting their roles to a larger purpose.

"Millennials commonly crave insights on their performance and how it impacts the firm,” he added. “Managers who do not have regular conversations with staff about how their work affects the company are missing a major opportunity to develop ideas for improving the business."

Of course, Robert Half offers some tips on how to correct such oversights, in order to companies find ways to better connect individual roles to the corporate bottom line, some of which I would think can be deployed among truck drivers:

  • Don't stop at the top. Discussions about company performance and goals should happen with staff members at all levels. Understanding how their role contributes to the organization can help employees boost their own performance.
  • Make the discussions ongoing. Managers should look for opportunities such as staff meetings, performance reviews and regular check-ins to communicate how individuals' contributions benefit the business.
  • Tap external perspectives. Check with network contacts and consultants for their insights on how the company is faring and to learn best practices from other firms.

One thing is for certain: this industry is going to need many more truck drivers, despite all the ongoing hoopla regarding autonomous vehicles (and there’s already some pushback developing against this push for self-driving vehicles.)

Thus considering all the angles – even ones as simple as developing more interconnected “teams” of workers who all understand how what they do impacts the company’s bottom line – is a good way to get started.

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