The Pursuit of Excellence in the Industry

Laura Duryea
January 2024

What is excellence? All carriers strive for excellence, but what makes a company culture one in which professional drivers want to work through to retirement? Does your carrier treat its employees like individuals, or just one more cog in the machine? Does your carrier ask your opinion about ways to improve, or does it just bark orders and expect you to fall in line? The leaders of the industry are creating a culture where drivers are loyal because they feel valued. They feel like they have a stake in the success or failure of the carrier and work hard so all parties experience mutual success. 

Discovering a company culture that fits with your goals for your career and future is a tricky and daunting task for any driver. More and more, drivers are researching a new carrier on-line and making decisions based on the reviews and videos they find. This research is critical in making a decision to change companies. For carriers, making sure that their drivers are posting reviews is important and responding to those reviews is a way to demonstrate the culture of the company. 

Truth and transparency in the industry is a challenge in some areas and this has led to distrust from many drivers. Many times, a carrier’s hiring package is perceived to be just a pitch that sounds too good to be true. Too many drivers have been burned by a carrier that has mis-represented their pay, home time, equipment, etc. and led to a level of wariness that is hard to overcome. This puts the new company at a disadvantage as well because they are viewed in a negative way based on the driver’s previous experience. How can a carrier compete with a skewed perception held by a new driver? A perception that is colored by their mistreatment at a former carrier?

With consistent messaging from all departments throughout the whole process of applying, on-boarding, and post-orientation, carriers can start to show the professionalism and culture within the company. Through the delivery of continued interactions that stay true to the expectations of the driver for their new carrier; we can start to change the perception of the new associate and build the trust necessary for maintaining long-term relationships. 

Unfortunately, in some cases there has been so much trauma experienced by the drivers that no matter what is done by the new carrier, that filter of past experiences cannot be overcome. Think about that, some drivers have been treated so badly by their other carriers that they cannot trust what is said even when they are being treated well. It is our responsibility to create a supportive environment for new drivers and to show them that what has happened to them previously should be abandoned to the past and forgotten forever. 

That trust is built through subsequent positive interactions, through listening to drivers' needs and concerns, supporting them in their goals for home time and in their professional lives, and being there for them when they are having a really bad day on the road. Driving professionally can be a tough road (pun intended). Managing hours, dealing often with unsafe, untrained and unprofessional 4-wheelers, and  the stress of being on the road all can contribute to a driver having a bad day and then needing to vent to someone that cares. As carriers, we can be that person that cares. The benefit that empathy for a driver can provide will have long lasting effects and fortify the relationship that the driver has with all members of your organization. What is the cost of taking the time to listen to a driver and not trying to brush them off or get them off of the phone? It costs the carrier and the individual nothing but could have an exponential effect on retention. Take the time to get to know drivers and what their goals are in life. We have the technology to keep track of these little bits of information for the individual driver that will lead to creating a bond that could last a lifetime. 

This small act is worth the investment for any carrier. Acts of kindness for a driver make them feel as if someone in the world cares when the rest of the world is seemingly against them. This empathy and consideration for the driver is what makes carriers stand out in their pursuit of excellence.

This pursuit of excellence can be shown in the way the driver is treated and the opinion the driver has for their own company. In our current digital age, those opinions are no holds barred and must be addressed on a case-by-case basis to identify when there are potential areas for improvement in the organization. When carriers strive for excellence, we challenge other carriers to change the way we work and can push the entire industry forward. This ultimately improves the living conditions for all drivers across the country. 

At Boyle Transportation, we continually work to provide an empathic and open environment for our team drivers that allows us to show the individual that we care about them and that support is just a communication away; whether it be by email, phone call, or other means provided to the team driver. We have also created a space for the drivers to communicate with one another so they can experience peer support as well. If you would like to learn more about teaming opportunities, you can visit our website or call today at 978-670-3427.