Trucks at Work

Does everyone know the goal?

Every trucking company out there, large and small alike, keeps a wide range of strategic goals in mind. Certainly how to improve Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) scores is one; another certainly is finding methods to boost fuel efficiency; and of course seeking ways to boost business from shippers remains an overarching trucking objective day in and day out.

But are the employees on the “front line” of fleet operations – the drivers, maintenance technicians, dispatchers and load planners, just to name few – fully aware of such goals? Do they make connections between “strategic” goals and their paychecks?

Well, if a recent survey conducted by Robert Half Management Resources is accurate, many may not. The human resources consulting company hired an independent research firm to poll more than 2,100 chief financial officers (CFOs) from what’s known as a “stratified random sample” of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas and found one-third of them (34%) them believe their employees are not very or at all aware of their firm's strategic objectives.

Workers at small companies may be less cognizant of their firm’s “strategic vision” than their peers at larger ones, Robert Half’s research suggests, as 35% of executives from companies with 20 to 49 employees said their teams are not aware of the firm's objectives, compared to just 9% of respondents at the biggest organizations with 1,000 or more employees.

That’s got big time implications for the industry as, according to data compiled by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), some 90.5% of U.S. motor carriers operate six trucks or fewer, while 97.2% operate 20 or fewer vehicles.

“With fewer staff and a more nimble structure, small companies, especially, have an opportunity to broadly discuss strategic business intentions and rally their teams around those targets,” said Paul McDonald (at left), senior executive director with Robert Half. “Even organizations still refining their vision should communicate to staff their initial business goals and the company's progress toward achieving them.”

He added that employees who know about their company's strategic goals are also more likely to be motivated to help the business reach them. "Managers need to go beyond simply sharing the vision, however, and show workers how their contributions support the efforts to reach organizational objectives,” McDonald pointed out.

Something for trucking to think about, at the very least.

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