We hear a lot these days about driver retention. Companies are having a hard time recruiting new drivers/workers and keeping the ones they have. The average driver is around 55 years old. These drivers will be retiring soon and there aren’t as many new people to take their place.

The current drivers are bombarded with high-tech equipment constantly in their jobs. They have very little human connection to anyone as they are in their trucks alone, away from home, most of the time.

New people who may want to enter trucking, want a reason to enter. Education is the first thing in getting new people. Let people at an early age know the career exists. Let them know what it entails and how to do it. The public still has a perception that trucking is a career where there is very little money in it, you are away from home all the time, and you are uneducated or lazy. Of course, this isn’t true. Let’s change that perception.

The issue with driver retention is the human touch factor. Make the driver feel as though they are a valuable part of your team, not just another employee. Uplift them to their highest potential. Being a professional driver is a very challenging lifestyle. It’s not just a career, but a complete lifestyle where the driver and their families are all involved in it, 7 days a week.

The technology that we have today gives us an amazing ability to globally communicate faster than ever before. Sending out messages at a blink of an eye, knowing what’s happening in the world within seconds of it happening. However, it also creates a mindless culture of robotic people in our society. Everything is routine, people become complacent, and accidents happen. This also leads to boredom and mental health issues. Because if someone doing a job is bored, then they are unhappy, unhappiness leads to quitting, sick leave, and/or low productive employees. This leads to unsafe practices costing in big way. Stop this before it happens to you.

Drivers will often say “There is no communication around here”, or “This place is so disorganized”, or “No one cares what I do”. What they are really saying is that they are frustrated, and no one is listening to them. They aren’t being heard, valued, or respected. Everyone wants to feel significant no matter who they are and what they do. This happens in all workplaces, not just trucking.

It amazes me how disconnected we are as humans. Years ago, people communicated through talking to one another face to face. Now, they typically send an email or text. This may be faster and easier, but extremely harmful to the human connection that we all desperately need today. This is why the mental health crisis is happening. Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and chronic pain/sickness are the number one source of issues. This is a huge problem. People are overworked, stressed out, and having anxiety/depression at an alarming rate. Why? It all boils down to human connection. That’s it!

What if companies treated their workforce like their customers? How would things be different?

Until next time.

Dana G. Smith, CC

Dana G Smith CC is a Certified Professional Development Coach/Consultant and co-creator of The Mindful Trucker, helping companies and professional drivers have more connection, communication, and overall job satisfaction.