By Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director for Talent in Logistics explains.
According to recent research by Talent in Logistics and Pertemps Driving Division, just 30% of LGV drivers in the UK feel valued and less than half of drivers feel motivated to work hard for their employers. Following recent months of uncertainty, it’s arguably more important than ever for drivers to feel secure and happy in their role and with their employer. So, what action can Local Authorities take to help boost LGV driver morale?
It starts with engagement
Employee engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and connection employees have with their organisation. Highly engaged employees tend to be loyal, committed and highly productive. On the flip side, there are actively disengaged employees, who can be toxic to your organisation. But which is which? The only way to really know is to ask. This is where employee engagement surveys come to the fore.
Surveys are great for getting feedback, but time has to be spent understanding why you are doing them and what you want to achieve. Consideration needs to be applied when designing the questions and you need to make sure they are followed up, or there is no point doing them!
Employee engagement is mostly driven by leaders and managers. So as a leader, you should demonstrate active listening, responsiveness and decisive action taking and ensure your people know what your company objectives are and how they can contribute towards them. A culture of transparency can help build trust and engagement and is very important – 52% of respondents stated that they’d rather have a trustworthy manager than a 5% pay rise. Yet our research highlighted that just 35% of drivers felt their leaders were open and honest.
The cost of morale
Money isn’t the only thing keeps people working hard, motivated, and happy in their job, but it is a factor. Our survey showed that 44% of drivers believed that a more attractive pay package would attract new drivers into the profession, yet only 33% feel they are paid well for the job that they do.
If drivers are doing a good job, they deserve to be rewarded for it. A higher salary tends to lead to a culture of high performance and productivity and drivers don’t tend to have unreasonable salary demands. They just want to be paid fairly for the job they do.
Rather than a pay rise, perhaps promotion to a different role or extra responsibilities would demonstrate you value a driver? Only 29% of the drivers we polled felt that career opportunities were clearly communicated so investing in an individual’s career shows that you recognise their value and is vital for morale.
Recognise a job well done
Recognition helps create happier, more motivated, and more loyal staff. However, things that have been considered perks in years gone by are now an expectation, so, you may need to think differently about your recognition initiatives.
Something as simple as introducing an ‘employee of the month’ can make a big difference to morale. Or why not implement a “thank you” board or jar where peers and managers can recognise a job well done? There is also various HR software where this can be done digitally. Some even enable employees to accrue ‘points’ which can later be exchanged for a tangible reward.
However, often the simplest way to demonstrate recognition and boost morale is to say thank you! People want to work for managers who appreciate them so make saying “thank you” part of your culture and, where it warrants it, put it in writing.
Similarly, showing that you care is key, so get your corporate and social responsibility (CSR) strategy right. Show you care about others and give back to your local community and support charities, have clear environmental and sustainability strategies, and have good policies in place around employee wellbeing.
Balance and wellbeing
Our recent research found that providing flexible working arrangements would make a driving career a more attractive option, and 73% said they would like the option to work more flexibly. Yet, only a third of drivers in our survey said that their companies support balance between personal life and work, and more than half said they had been stressed at work in the past 12 months.
Just 32% of drivers surveyed felt that their employer cares about their mental health and our survey showed that 4 in 10 drivers would not trust their manager if they spoke to them about a mental health concern. This highlights a growing need for the provision of mental health first aiders within the workplace. These individuals, who may be well placed as peers rather than managers, can be trained to help alleviate stress and anxiety and in turn increase positivity, confidence, and morale.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Our survey showed that drivers love their profession for many reasons, like meeting new people, independence, freedom and seeing the open road. Although driver engagement and morale are ongoing challenges, they also present a great opportunity to celebrate talented drivers and build a motivated workforce for the future.
To download the ‘Driving Engagement in Logistics whitepaper’, visit www.talentinlogistics.co.uk/download/whitepaper-driving-engagement-in-logistics
More information: www.talentinlogistics.co.uk