CAN SOCIAL MEDIA REALLY INCREASE DRIVER RETENTION?
Today, we want to get into a critical tool to add, or sharpen, in your recruiting and retention arsenal: social media. More specifically, how engagement functions as a tool for driver retention.
Employee engagement is a big part of recruiting and retention. However, this is especially challenging for truckers. Being on the road for most of the job means that they don’t get to participate in activities that other employees might take for granted. Cookouts, birthday parties, even employee meetings are all times when staff members have face-to-face conversations. When you’re on a haul, you miss a lot of that.
Drivers, especially younger generations, still want to be a part of the team from the road. In fact, it’s something that they feel particularly strongly about. Time and again, we hear in our work that truckers want to feel connected to the company and culture they are a part of. They don’t want to be viewed as “a number” or thought of as expendable.
Social media can go a long way in fostering that level of connectedness. Having a Facebook page or even a private group helps a company to keep in touch with drivers on the road. Truckers can stay up to date on the goings on at headquarters, and in turn, this helps them feel valued and cared about. They can also provide feedback, ask questions and get responses and mentorship in real-time. All of which are important if your goal is to reduce turnover at your firm.
Another perk is that drivers can use company social media to stay in touch with each other. As one of the hosts on Sirius XM Road Dog Trucking, The National Transportation Institute President Leah Shaver gets drivers who call in regularly to talk to…other drivers! It’s heartening to see the level of goodwill and camaraderie exhibited from the road. They also engage regularly, while she’s on air and off, via Facebook and Instagram (@leahshaversiriusxm). Creating designated channels or pages for drivers to connect to each other can cultivate a sense of togetherness among your drivers.
It’s our experience that the payoff for social media offerings always exceeds the effort required to create and maintain accounts.
How To Use Social Media To Connect, Engage and Retain Drivers
There’s a few ways to introduce or broaden your company’s social media offerings.
- Private Facebook Group Page
One is to have a designated Private Facebook Group Page specifically for drivers. Engage drivers to talk about life on the road, share recipes, and truck favorite truck gadgets. Offer support, contests, driver polls and tips to make their lives on the road more fun and aligned with your company’s core values and theirs.
- Public Company Pages
Another is to share stories about your drivers and employees on your Public Company pages such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts to engage share the personalities behind the wheel with the world and humanize your brand. Younger generations of drivers appreciate feeling respected, acknowledged and heard, and you can check all those boxes by putting the spotlight on them
- Embrace New Social Channels
The social media landscape is changing rapidly, and it’s even more important today than ever to start showing up where younger generations of drivers are viewing social. That means starting to expand your social media strategy to newer social channels like Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok.
Utilizing social media can be a lot of fun for your truckers, but it also sends a message to prospects about who you are as a company. It tells people – especially younger people- that you are up to date with technology and care about making them part of the company culture. Leah often refers to this as “recruiting from the inside, out.”
Folks of every generation enjoy using social media. By now, we’re guessing that even your most stalwart relatives have a Facebook page. But it will be particularly helpful as a recruiting tool for Millennials and Gen Z prospects. They are on social media a lot and value feeling connected to a team, so if you want to attract and retain drivers at your company, showing up in their social media feeds is the best place to start!