As an honoree of the Best Fleet to Drive For list for the 10th consecutive year, Grand Island Express must be doing something right when it comes to driver retention.
The number one thing that keeps drivers wanting to work at Grand Island Express, according to GIX Director of Operations Deen Albert, is that the company has created an open line of communication between drivers and fleet leaders.
At GIX, drivers come back to the home base in Nebraska about once a week. When they’re back at the facility, they’re encouraged to walk in the office door of any safety director or fleet leader's office and give them feedback on the prior week.
In addition to that, drivers have “direct access” to their fleet managers when they have questions or concerns. This has created a culture where drivers feel comfortable giving feedback, and where they feel that feedback is taken seriously, Albert said.
“We have a more collaborative approach to understanding the driver experience and acting on driver feedback,” Albert said.
Each week, GIX's senior management discusses all driver feedback that was brought to their attention. They also discuss feedback submitted anonymously through a suggestion box, which is there if drivers don’t feel comfortable sharing feedback directly. Although, Albert finds that the majority of feedback is given directly.
“What I’ve noticed is drivers coming in from the rest of the industry, many times feel hesitant to give feedback to the company for fear of some kind of retribution,” Albert said. “So, I’m very direct about that in orientation. I say, ‘We know we’re not perfect. We know that there are areas that we always need to improve on. And if you see those areas, I don’t want you to hesitate to tell us. We need to fix those issues where they are.”
For fleets curious about how to develop a culture like this one, Albert adds: “I would say be very, very welcoming, and request that feedback so that they don’t feel like there’s anything impeding them from sharing.”
GIX is one of 20 carriers named to the CarriersEdge and Truckload Carriers Association 2021 Best Fleets to Drive For list. Best Fleets to Drive For is an annual survey and contest that identifies the for-hire carriers providing the best workplace for their drivers, according to the website.
This story is part of a series covering best practices for carriers to make their operation one driver's want to work for.