If you work in the trucking industry, driver turnover is probably one of your chief concerns. Trucking companies experienced an alarming 97% driver turnover rate in 2013. In some years, turnover’s exceeded 100%. High turnover is so common that carriers consider it a normal state of affairs, even though it costs them plenty: The average cost to replace a driver is $12,000.
Implementing a wellness program is one way companies can help convince drivers to stick around. They can help address a major cause of driver turnover: not feeling valued.
Surveys have found that not feeling respected and supported and not trusting top management are two major reasons truckers leave their employers. A wellness program is one way to show your drivers that you do value their well-being. It sends the message that you want them to be healthier, live longer, feel better in body and mind and develop habits that will benefit them even when they’re off the road.
An overwhelming 80% of employees who participate in wellness programs say their employers care about their health and well-being. And feeling cared about can translate to greater loyalty, engagement and commitment. Forty-five percent of employees say their companies’ wellness programs are a key reason they stay with their employers.
It’s not only traditional service-sector businesses that experience greater employee loyalty when they establish wellness programs. Trucking companies do, too. Trucks, Inc, and J.B. Hunt report that their wellness programs helped them lower turnover. Schneider credits its sleep apnea program with contributing to its 55% driver retention rate.
Some turnover can’t be prevented. Driving a big rig is challenging, and many new drivers decided it isn’t for them. And when the economy’s tight, carriers may not be able to retain drivers who want higher salaries. But drivers not feeling valued is a problem you can do something about. Wellness programs are a cost-effective way to do so.