At Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA), we work with over 3,600 transportation clients on their employee health and benefits strategies and are continuously learning about the industry and receiving feedback. From our conversations with trucking companies, the main focuses currently include recruitment and retention efforts, the COVID vaccine mandate and compensation.
For many years there’s been a lack of new drivers entering the trucking business. The U.S. is currently reporting a shortage of about 60,000 truck drivers. COVID has negatively impacted new drivers even more, preventing them from obtaining their CDL licenses because of the closing of many schools across the country. The pandemic has clearly made recruitment and retention the greatest challenge for trucking companies.
Benefits play a large part in affecting turnover for truck drivers. With transportation companies experiencing high turnover rates, they are looking at their offerings to prevent drivers from bouncing around. Drivers have recognized that affordable healthcare, paid time off, and at-home time are just as important as their paycheck. The multi-generational workforce has also created different needs, wants and values across the employee population. Employers who recognize that the current one-size-fits-all approach to benefits and perks no longer works in this industry will have the most success recruiting and retaining drivers.
Compensation has also challenged drivers to question if they want to stay in the industry. The traditional compensation models tend to be confusing and unattractive to new and tenured drivers, which is forcing many to find other jobs. While the cost of living has increased, the low paychecks for drivers has encouraged many to look at other opportunities. The low pay offered has kept individuals from joining the industry because they feel underappreciated with the amount of time spent on the road. It’s important for a company to communicate with their employees and continuously evaluate their pay options to ensure drivers are making a substantial amount to keep the job.
Over time, we’ve found that providing a platform for drivers and employees to share their feedback allows for companies to understand what’s important. This guides employers to continuously build their cultural foundation. Due to the complexity in evaluating compensation and benefits, it’s important to consider your strategic partners to ensure they have the key expertise and tools needed to help execute successful benefit plans within your organization. Some of the key strategies include using a consulting practice dedicated to turning employee feedback into actionable results, real time data analytics to continuously monitor success, and providing educational tools and resources. These resources are designed to help communicate enterprise initiatives and value propositions to employees to build a strong foundation within the trucking industry.
To learn how we can help your transportation company attract and retain drivers, contact a MMA advisor.