When it comes to succeeding in any type of business, rewarding productive employees often pay off in increased efficiency, a stronger bottom line, and a happier working environment. Additionally, rewarding productive employees create an incentive for employees who are less-than productive to ‘up their game.’ Unfortunately, far too few fleet owners know exactly how to reward productive employees, or in some cases, they may find themselves too busy to focus on the task. When this occurs, productive employees may feel slighted and undervalued, leading to disgruntlement and less productivity. Once this occurs, a vicious cycle is created that can quickly spiral out of control and driver retention can be affected.
Recognize the Effort
As a fleet owner or manager, you may have a hard time identifying with the daily struggles of your drivers just as they may have a hard time identifying with your struggles, even if you come from a background of driving. Many drivers today are feeling burdened by HOS regulations, EOBR requirements, and more, all while being away from their families. This is important to remember when considering rewarding productive employees. The most productive among your drivers and staff are the ones who deal with the struggle, yet they push forward for the good of the company. These employees go above and beyond not for a paycheck, but because they believe in your company. As such, this is the lens through which you need to view rewarding such employees.
Rewards Your Employees Want
When considering rewards to offer to your employees, think about what they truly want. As mentioned, there can often be a rift in how you see things and how your employees see things, so take the time to communicate with each employee regarding what he or she would like as a reward. This will help you to develop your rewards system in the fairest and most effective manner. Additionally, consider offering drivers who have stayed with the company a loyalty bonus that increases over time. You might also offer an incentive for employees who consistently meet benchmarks over the course of a month, quarter, or year. These types of rewards will often bring out the best in all employees, creating a better reputation for your company, motivated employees, and better service to clients.
Rewards Must Be Balanced
It’s important to remember, however, that rewarding productive employees must be done in a balanced manner. Over-rewarding such employees can lead to feelings of entitlement on behalf of the rewarded driver while creating a divide for employees who do not receive the rewards. At the same time, under-rewarding productive drivers can cause morale to hit the floor, and employees who could be productive to hit the door. This then leads to driver retention issues, higher costs, and delayed freight for your company. To avoid these problems, take some time to analyze and weigh reward decisions based not solely on initial cost, but on the potential for future costs as well.
How do you reward productive employees? Do you have any innovative methods of showing appreciation?
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About the Author
Chuck Melton is a pioneer in the transportation technology field. Founder of one of the early PC-Based trucking software companies – Integrated Transportation Software in 1984, he developed one of the first links to satellite-based onboard systems including Qualcomm’s (at the time) OmniTracs system. He sold the assets to Qualcomm and has managed a successful software company for over 30 years serving trucking companies across the nation.
Chuck continues to see plenty of pioneering opportunities to create value for trucking companies. With the advent of web-based database systems, low-cost EOBRs, tablets, and smartphones, the 21st-century trucking company can become a seamless part of the supply chain… anywhere, anytime on any device! READ MORE