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Building driver loyalty and engagement — Taking the Hire Road

With the logistics industry still seeing a driver shortage and low retention rates, driver satisfaction is more important than ever. Providing a top-of-the-line employee experience has become many companies’ newest priority. This can come in many forms, and some companies have turned to employee engagement, creating departments to improve company culture and ensure their employees are satisfied.

“Engagement is critical because most of us know what it’s like to hire — hiring is tough and it will continue to be tough. Working on engagement and retention can be a big shift, but it’s important,” said Amanda Schuier, director of employee engagement at Jetco Delivery, on a recent episode of FreightWaves’ Taking the Hire Road. “We can serve as the sounding board for our employees.”

With a background in event planning and marketing, Schuier is also active in organizations such as the American Trucking Associations, Women in Trucking and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). 

“One of the things that ATRI does is their annual industry issues list. They publish that list from driver responses and carrier responses,” said Schuier. “For me, as a fleet executive, I think that is one of our starting places in discussing engagement. If those lists don’t match, one can assume drivers aren’t being heard — which can open up opportunities for companies to make improvements.”

She believes that industry involvement plays a critical role in employee engagement and satisfaction — something Jetco is actively pursuing. 

Jetco is a midsize carrier dedicated to delivering cargo safely and on time through proactive safety and compliance measures and innovative technologies. 

“A director of employee engagement works with employees on things like career progression, involvement, satisfaction, and working together and celebrating the work-life balance,” said Schuier. “My job allows me to sit down with employees, hear their concerns and do my best to meet their needs.”

A few things Jetco does to ensure its drivers feel included is giving all drivers their own company email and including driver managers in interviewing processes.

“This helps us break down the silos. I’ve always had frustrations regarding the miscommunications that occur between handoffs from recruiting to operations. Managing those expectations by getting managers involved from the beginning has been helpful to combat those issues,” Schuier said.

Jetco also recently implemented a new learning management system after multiple drivers requested remote training.

Schuier believes that it doesn’t have to require hundreds of thousands of dollars to retain drivers. Rather, it takes time and small steps toward a positive culture — actively listening and understanding drivers and their needs.

“We had an employee recently get offered a new job, but he ultimately decided to stay with Jetco because of the culture,” she said. “That’s a win.”

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Click for more FreightWaves content by Britni Chisenall.

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Britni Chisenall

Britni Chisenall is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves. She lives in Ooltewah, TN with her husband, Garrett and her cat, Lily. Britni is a graduate of Dalton State College.