The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently announced the top contenders for the Company Driver and Independent Contractor of 2012.
Albert Carter Melton Truck Lines
Daniel Poorman Gordon Trucking, Inc.
Danny Smith Big G Express
Bradley Chapdelaine Dart Transit Co.
Jimmy McSwain Sunco Carriers, Inc.
Robert Stewart Interstate Distributor Co.
The six companies have something in common. All six are “Learning Organizations” and are dedicated to continuous improvement. They are “admired” citizens of the industry. Four of them are currently our clients and two of them we have worked with in the past.
It is not a coincidence that the top professional drivers work with the top companies. In a study presented at the Annual TCA Convention in 2012, Strategic Programs, Inc. reported on the characteristics of champion drivers:
Champion drivers have high energy levels and can do their jobs with minimal energy drain. In terms of satisfaction, the champions had either High Satisfaction (41%) or Low Satisfaction (41%). Very few had Average Satisfaction. The quickest way to de-motivate a champion is to subject them to unjustified, erratic pressure or confrontation.
Champions believe they are treated fairly at their company (otherwise they would leave). They also believe that their company is committed to their success. They plan to stay with the company for at least another year. Champions also recommend their company to friends or relatives as a good place to work. Their driver manager or terminal manager treats them with respect. Finally, 94% are proud to be associated with their company.
So, how do you attract champion drivers? Here is why they picked their company (in order of frequency of response):
- Recommended by someone they respect
- Seemed like a good challenge
- Good Pay
- Quality of Equipment
What can you do to keep your champions? Here is why they stay (in order of frequency of response):
- Fair pay
- Feeling that I matter
- The people
- Steady work
What keeps champions functioning at a champion level (in order of frequency of response)?
- Good Attitude
- Wanting to be the best
- Work ethic
- Support from the company
- Being careful
- Loving the work
Finally, what keeps champions motivated (in order of frequency of response)?
- Family responsibility
- Wanting to do my best
- Loving the work
- Completing jobs
Champion Drivers are highly likely to drive for high performing companies. High performing companies are most likely to treat drivers fairly and with respect. When they do so, they are likely to be recommended to other champion drivers, and so on. It’s a “chicken and egg” story. But whichever one comes first, we find that winners associate with winners.
Rim Yurkus is CEO of Strategic Programs, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in workforce engagement along the entire lifecycle of the employee-employer relationship. The truckload industry is a special area of focus for Strategic Programs. Their database contains interviews from over 60,000 truck drivers. Learn more about how we can help you recruit and retain champion drivers by visiting us at www.StrategicProgramsInc.com, or emailing us or calling 800-800-5476.