Establishing a great company culture is challenging — there’s no way around it. That being said, creating an environment where everyone takes preventative maintenance, compliance and safety seriously is critical to the success of your fleet.
Putting in the time and effort to open up clear lines of communication and ensure employees feel valued will not only create the buy-in you need, but it’ll pay off in the long run. Building a sustained culture of safety and compliance will help you attract and keep good drivers, increase fleet efficiency and maximize revenue.
What does culture mean?
Culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, processes and behaviors that characterize a company — in this case, a group that operates a fleet. It encompasses everything from the way people communicate and interact with each other to the way they approach problem-solving and decision-making.
A strong company culture is one in which everyone feels connected to a larger purpose, and is committed to working together to achieve common goals. It requires ongoing effort and attention to maintain, but can lead to increased employee satisfaction and productivity, as well as improved business outcomes.
But if there exists an unspoken pressure to cut corners or race through tasks, your actual culture will not reflect your vision. If you’re not intentional about the culture you’re creating, you may end up with a culture you don’t want.
Consequences of a negative culture
A negative culture can lead to higher turnover rates, increased accidents, and decreased productivity. When employees are not committed to safety and compliance, they may take shortcuts that compromise the quality of their work or put themselves and others in danger.
This can lead to costly repairs, fines, and increased insurance rates. Additionally, a negative culture can make it difficult to attract and retain top talent, as employees are less likely to want to work for a company that disregards safety and compliance. It’s important to prioritize culture and take steps to address issues as they arise to ensure the long-term success of your fleet.
In addition, struggling to maintain a good culture can harm relationships with customers and partners — damaging your company’s reputation and potentially resulting in a loss of trust and business opportunities. This might create a negative feedback loop, as a damaged reputation can make it harder to attract new business or talented employees, which can further harm your culture and bottom line.
To avoid these consequences, it’s important to regularly assess your company culture and take proactive steps to reinforce positive behaviors.
Create a game-changing company culture
Discussions about retaining employees often focus on compensation. And while being competitive in your pay is critical, it might not be the linchpin you think it is. Creating a comfortable, respectful, conflict-free workplace can set your company apart.
Some areas to focus on include:
Many other work environments offer soft benefits like lunches, snacks, paid volunteer time, gym memberships, and even co-worker relationships. Finding ways to bring those benefits to your drivers can have a huge impact.
Open lines of communication
A positive work environment requires synergy between employees and leadership. This harmony is a lot harder to create when people don’t get a chance to interact regularly with one another. Finding ways to encourage regular interaction between roles can actually make work-related interactions (including conflicts) easier to navigate.
Be mindful of drivers’ work-life balance
Being away from home for long periods can wear on drivers in ways they didn’t anticipate. It impacts family dynamics and can make drivers feel alienated from others. Set days off or accrued time off can help, but be open to direction from your drivers. Bringing them into this discussion can make them feel like their well-being is a genuine concern.
Put safety first
The FMCSA has strict rules intended to keep the roads safe. Some of these rules can feel like unnecessary red tape, and your drivers may complain about having to follow them. You might think that allowing them to cut corners or even mirroring their negativity builds camaraderie.
The fact is that most employees grumble about the repeated tasks they have to do, and your responsibility is to keep their eye on the big picture. By doing so, you’re not just enforcing government oversight but also reinforcing your commitment to keeping them safe from injury and from the psychological damage of injuring others.
Attracting talent amid the driver shortage
All over the world, delivery and transportation services in a variety of industries have been struggling to retain drivers. As quality drivers depart from their posts, they’re not being replaced fast enough to support the industries that rely on them.
To attract and retain good drivers during the ongoing driver shortage, it’s important to establish a strong culture of safety and compliance. Drivers want to work for companies that prioritize their wellbeing and provide them with the necessary resources and training to do their jobs well. By prioritizing safety and compliance and fostering a positive work environment, you can create a culture that attracts and retains top talent.
In addition, by investing in technology and tools like Whip Around that increase driver efficiency and satisfaction, you can further improve your company’s reputation and bottom line. Continued efforts to strengthen your culture and support your drivers will pay off in the long run.
Resources to help you succeed
With this in mind, Whip Around recently released a free ebook: How to Survive the Driver Shortage: Identifying, Recruiting, and Retaining Excellent Drivers. Check it out to learn more about the cost of hiring new drivers, specific strategies for recruiting and retention, and tools that can help boost your efforts.
Whip Around is the perfect tool to help your company create a work culture that prioritizes safety, increases productivity and boosts communication. Book a demo or start a free trial today to make life better for you and your team.