Being a long-haul trucker can be a tough career. Driving for two to four weeks at a time, with two to four-day breaks in between, can put as many miles on the individual as it does on the road. It’s hard for most people to maintain a family life with that kind of work schedule, so it takes a special kind of person to stay with it as an occupation—let alone love doing what they do. In fact, many new drivers don’t last for more than a year, mainly due the work schedule. Yet, for others, they wouldn’t think of looking elsewhere for a career.
The fact that truckers are on the road day after day creates a dilemma for trucking companies trying to hire and retain good drivers in a very competitive industry. Margins are tight, and it is difficult to compete for drivers when other trucking companies are paying similar compensation.
How do you attract and retain employees when pay, benefits, work schedule, and job conditions are virtually the same at every company?
Pride Transport, a Utah-based trucking company, has found one way to use employee engagement as a competitive advantage to keep good drivers. Their corporate culture is simple: treat employees fairly, be honest, and show that you care. This includes not only competitively paying drivers, but making accommodations for them to meet family needs as well.
Debbie Mair, HR manager at Pride Transport, says: “Some drivers leave to take jobs at other trucking companies because they have been offered better pay, benefits, or work schedules. They quickly find that these offers are not any better after all and they miss the culture here at Pride Transport. Drivers tell us that they feel like they are better cared for here, and we always welcome them back.”
Our research finds that when employees have a strong connection with their place of work, they are more engaged in their work. We connect with our organizations through the people with whom we work, the mission and values of the organization, and the work that we perform. Our work and our company are a part of who we are.
The job, then, becomes more than just a set of tasks we perform. When employees find connection, they work as a team, generate ideas, solve problems, take care of customers, and act with the organization’s best interests in mind. They’re proud of where they work and what they do, and they’re quick to tell others about it. They are fully invested. Employees become ambassadors for the organization—they see themselves as part of the organization, and others see the organization through these employees. Leaders understand that employees aren’t just part of the company—they are the brand.
Creating connection involves building trust with employees and showing that the company cares about their success and well-being. In a very competitive trucking industry, Pride Transport builds connection and employee engagement by being authentic and treating their drivers as keys to their success.