As we turn our calendar pages to a new year, now is a good time to reflect on your organization’s past year- reviewing the good, the bad, and the ugly from 2012 can be a great start to a prosperous 2013. While you may not have been able to control everything that happened in the industry this year (major changes to the CSA program and crippling natural disasters to name just a few), what you can control is how your company reacts to these situations.
I encourage you to take a look back at 2012 and take notes on any changes or new policies that you think are going well, anything that’s not going well or needs improvement, and any upcoming issues that need attention. Reviewing the past year can help your organization avoid repeating mistakes, learn from them, and improve moving forward. What can you learn from the past year that you can either continue to do, start to do, or stop doing?
One of the looming threats on the horizon for the transportation industry is the increasing professional driver shortage. This problem is one that your organization can directly control by attending to employee engagement and satisfaction. If you have reliable data addressing areas of driver satisfaction and dissatisfaction within your organization, as well as what keeps your good drivers engaged and motivated, you’re already ahead of the game.
Choose one or two items from your data to either start, discontinue, or improve in 2013 and create an action plan to support ongoing commitment from all necessary team members. Set goals for people that are high, but attainable and measurable throughout the year. Choosing more than just one or two items to take action on is not recommended – you risk making people feel overwhelmed, which leads to inaction.
If you don’t have data from your current and/or exited drivers showing areas of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, 2013 is a great time to start gathering that data. Knowing what is keeping your drivers engaged and happy to give you their best will be critical in arming yourself against the increasing driver shortage. Having the hard data can also help to prevent you from making changes to things that don’t need to be changed or aren’t just that important when it comes to hiring and retaining the best drivers.
Learning from the past year and making small, but impactful changes can go a long way towards a pleasant review of 2013 next year. Whatever happens this year, I wish you all health, happiness and prosperity in business and in life.