How to Improve Employee Retention, Loyalty, & Happiness

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, hiring, training, and retaining high-quality employees is becoming harder to do.

A survey revealed that nearly 45% of employers say their biggest challenge is finding and keeping a high-quality candidate. A separate report claims 69% of companies are experiencing a record-high talent shortage.

The hiring process is a complicated and long challenge. It’s expensive to find top talent to begin with, and when they leave, it just presents more hassle that interferes with higher-priority business ventures. 

You don’t want to lose your veteran and expert employees by overlooking the strategies to keep them. Get back to your higher-priority business initiatives by improving employee loyalty, happiness, and in turn, retention. In this article, we’ll cover some basic strategies on how to improve these efforts in order to strengthen the lifeline of your fleet

Why It’s Important to Retain Your Employees and Keep Them Happy

How to improve employee retention/loyalty/happiness
Keeping your team members happy and retaining them are symbiotic. They should be valued and assessed together. When done right, your business stands to gain many benefits. The most important, however, is this: 

The less you have to worry about minimizing employee turnover, the more time and resources you can devote to improving operations that positively impact your bottom line.

Here are just a few other reasons why employee happiness and retention are essential to the vitality of your business: 

  • Veteran employees save you time, money, and stress. Veteran employees know what they’re doing and are comfortable with the job and the equipment. You don’t have to deal with the repetitive stress of training and re-training (and re-training) new employees. You don’t have to shovel money into more recruiting efforts that simply eat up the budget. (In fact, it’s reported that companies spend an average of $4,219 per new hire.) 
  • High turnover isn’t the best look for employee morale or company image. Some prospective workers may be less inclined to join your fleet if they detect low employee morale or a high turnover rate. 77% of people look at a company’s culture before ever submitting a job application. That includes evaluating your turnover rate. They’ll be wondering why employees keep leaving, and this concern may turn away potential top recruits.
  • Happy employees are more productive. The University of Oxford did a study in 2019 and found that happy employees work faster and are 13% more productive. This is an impressive statistic that should encourage all fleet managers to strive for. When your employees are happy, they’re encouraged to work harder, complete more jobs, and optimize their resources.
  • High stress levels can result in more accidents, injuries, and resulting healthcare costs. Healthcare expenditures are up to double the cost for workers who report high stress levels. Keeping their spirits high and their stress levels down will lessen their chance of making an avoidable error while on the job. The less stressed out your workers are, the less likely they will make errors that cost you. And the less stressed out your workers are, the less likely they’ll be a job-hopper, too.

Consider this: When you do lose valued employees, do an exit interview to find out why.

How to Improve Employee Retention and Happiness

Did you know that up to 47% of workers would quit their full-time jobs right now? Of that group, it was revealed that 25% would leave to find higher pay and 17% would leave because of an unhappy work environment.

Workers who are happy and excited to show up every day will not only work harder for you, but they will also continue to work for you longer. Teamwork and a cooperative, friendly atmosphere build and fortify loyalty.

The question is, how?

How do you make sure your workers are happy, loyal, and satisfied enough to never want to find a new job? Here are seven employee retention strategies to help foster excellent company culture and keep your workers healthy, happy, and here for the long haul.

  1. Offer Competitive Pay
  2. Focus on Safety and Ergonomics
  3. Equip Them with Excellent Gear
  4. Encourage Open Communication
  5. Provide Comprehensive Training
  6. Listen to Their Wants and Needs
  7. Incentivize

1. Offer Competitive Pay

To keep retention rates high, offer regular raises on top of an annual salary your drivers can use to build a comfortable life. One survey found that up to 69% of polled employees planned on finding a new job when their request for higher pay was denied.

Keep their wages in line with their quality, and as an added perk, give them the very best of tools and gear like DECKED (but more on that later). Essentially, you want to make it extremely hard for your top employees to want to leave and turn their backs on everything you’re offering them.

2. Focus on Safety and Ergonomics

Prove to your workers that you care about their wellness and safety by educating them on healthy habits and providing ergonomic support. Advise healthy practices, accommodate their special ergonomic requests, and consider implementing an employee safety program. All of these things will ultimately keep injury and additional healthcare costs at bay, too. (According to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, workplace injuries and workers compensation amounted to approximately $60 billion a week in the US alone. You can avoid becoming a part of this statistic by focusing on safe and ergonomic solutions such as DECKED.)

Investing in your employees’ health will pay for itself when they take fewer sick days because they are physically and mentally healthy. They’ll avoid the risk of injury and accidents, and in the end, stay on your team much longer because they physically can and feel well taken care of. 

3. Equip Them with Excellent Gear

Fleet employee ergonomic benefits

What’s the best way to braid your employees’ ergonomic needs with their happiness? DECKED.

Upfit their vehicle or truck with gear that will protect them and make their jobs easier. Provide them with equipment and tools they want to show off and enjoy using! Believe it or not, top-shelf gear is a perk.

The DECKED Drawer System, outfitted with D-Boxes, Crossboxes, Drawerganizers, and dividers, can keep all their equipment and supplies handy and easily accessible. Our modular solutions mean all workers can save time on any job. In addition to looking great, DECKED drawers also cut down on physical wear and tear—no climbing in and out of a van or truck, no bending over to root in a tool box. The DECKED Drawer System is about waist-height and brings all tools and equipment to you.

With DECKED, there is no need for overexertion. (Overexertion ranks first among the leading causes of injuries.)

Want to take it a step further and make your employees even happier? 

Pair the Drawer System with our Tool Box. The DECKED Tool Box makes it easy to access tools and prevents the risk of injury. With its telescopic ladder, workers no longer have to lunge over the side of the truck to grab tools. Simply pull out the ladder and reach all gear in seconds. 

Your employees will also get peace of mind knowing their cargo is safe anywhere. Their gear, which is also your gear, is safe from thieves and fully weatherproof inside the DECKED Drawer System and Tool Box. You’re not going to find a better storage system for your fleet of trucks or cargo vans.

DECKED systems offer security, accessibility, and make your employees happy. When equipped with excellent gear such as DECKED, it’ll be even harder for your employees to want to turn away.

4. Provide Comprehensive Training

Workers without a thorough understanding of their job and equipment are quick to become frustrated, less productive, and may even abandon your fleet. Make sure to update all training and provide a thorough program that alleviates this stress. As a matter of fact, 68% of employees say that direct and clear training is one of the most important components of an organization. 

Build them up with a complete understanding of their job and how to use all their equipment effectively at the outset. Make it a part of their onboarding. The more competent they are to begin with, the more confident and self-sufficient. This frees up your time and resources to dedicate back to higher-priority tasks and initiatives.

5. Encourage Open Communication

Letting your employees know that they can come to you makes a huge difference in your staff’s overall comfort and happiness.

Open communication and regular performance reviews will boost the morale of your workers and give them a reason to do an excellent job. Making them feel valued will make them want to work harder for a company they love working for and are appreciated at. 

In fact, up to 69% of employees claim they would work harder if they were better appreciated. This can come in the form of positive feedback and healthy dialogue with their fleet manager. Companies that provide regular feedback have a lower turnover rate and statistically have higher longevity with their employees.

6. Listen to Their Wants and Needs

Allow your employees to help make executive decisions around their truck upfit to make their jobs easier. If they ask for running boards or steps to help save wear and tear on their knees, seriously consider it as it’s much cheaper than having them out for a couple of months with knee surgery. If they ask for a tool box that keeps their tools organized, safe, and dry, equip them right away with the DECKED Tool Box.

When it comes to their truck and equipment, user experience takes priority. It’s important to listen to their opinions and needs regarding comfort, safety, and streamlining. They work with the equipment daily and can spot the issues that may otherwise go unnoticed until it’s too late. 

What else might make them happy and improve employee engagement? 

  • A telematics software with optimized routes. Consider Fleetio or ClearPathGPS to help them complete their jobs better and faster.
  • DECKED’s D-Box for compartmental organization and modular storage.
  • DECKED’s Crossbox for even more organization and modular storage.
  • DECKED’s Drawerganizer for all their compartmentalized bits and pieces.
  • DECKED’s dividers for everything in between.

7. Incentivize

Finally, make it all worth their while. Offer incentives for hitting performance metrics, achievements, or productivity levels. Employees respond well to positive reinforcement. As a matter of fact, employees increase their productivity and performance by 27% when they have an incentive.

 

Professional development is another effective incentive to consider. This may come in the form of advancement opportunities, tuition reimbursements, or stipends based on new knowledge or added responsibilities. Job satisfaction will rise when drivers know there’s a better future ahead—this study found that up to 20% of employees would stay on if they felt their career was advancing or on the right path. 

Start Improving Your Fleet Employee Retention 

We’ve talked about how to keep your people healthy, happy, safe, and proudly sporting your company logo for a long time. Here’s a quick breakdown of important points:

 

How You Should Do It

  • Offer a competitive salary and regular raises when possible. (Up to 69% of polled employees planned to find a new job when their request for higher pay was denied.)
  • Prioritize their safety by focusing on their health and ergonomics. (Liberty Mutual estimated $60 billion a week for workplace injuries and workmen’s comp.)
  • Accommodate their special safety/ergonomic needs.
  • Provide them thorough training and onboarding that makes them feel fully supported. (68% of employees say thorough and clear training is one of the most important components of an organization.)
  • Keep communication open: have regular check-ins and provide positive feedback. (69% of employees claim they’d work harder if they were better appreciated.)
  • Give them a truck, equipment, and tools they can be proud of and enjoy being in. Consider the DECKED Drawer System or Tool Box
  • Give them high-quality resources and streamline their setup with any DECKED accessory.
  • Involve them in making executive decisions regarding their truck and desires.
  • Provide a telematics software.
  • Incentivize with professional development and career advancement opportunities. (27% of workers increase their productivity when there’s an incentive.)