Drivers, technicians and office workers in the trucking industry are more likely to be satisfied at small- or medium-sized companies, according to WorkHound’s mid-year report.
WorkHound’s mid-year report results, presented during a Truckload Carriers Association webinar on Aug. 31, outlines the trends in driver feedback so far in 2021. The feedback were gathered weekly through anonymous submissions from over 10,000 drivers, technicians and office staff from 77 trucking companies.
The report revealed that drivers tend to prefer smaller companies (under 500 workers), where drivers, techs and office workers reported more positive comments, more praise, and reported a higher satisfaction with their career
Praise was one of the top themes recorded in feedback by small, medium and large companies. However, workers at large companies are less likely to share feedback that includes praise for their company and coworkers. Small companies received 50% more praise than large companies.
“Praise is a culture indicator,” said Max Farrell, CEO and co-founder of WorkHound, during the TCA webinar. “The substantial lack of praise at large companies is possibly a symptom of communication.”
At small companies, workers are accustomed to more frequent and personal communication, which suggests that workers at companies of all sizes may benefit from being contacted more frequently, Farrell said.
“When you’re trying to scale an operation, oftentimes what would be consider the ‘personal touch’ — the ability of people reaching out to other people — I think that gets diminished as you attempt to scale up,” explained Kim Daigel, vice president of human resources at P&S Logistics. “Oftentimes, [scaling up] means automating things, and creating systems in order to solve problems, instead of having that people aspect of solving problems. I think the people side of larger business gets lost beneath all that automation.”
How Can Large Fleets Maintain a “Small Village” Culture?
At P&S Logistics, Daigel says as they’ve grown into a large company they’ve been trying to maintain aspects of the culture that made them successful as a smaller business.
To do so, Daigel says P&S Logistics empowers driver managers to solve driver problems and make decisions, as well as aims to keep the number of drivers per driver manager lower.
“In some larger companies they get into a rut of not thinking of the driver, but thinking of the truck,” explains Daigle. “They almost make the person into a piece of equipment. I think that they do that so they can put more drivers with fewer office folks. It’s a point of growth difficulty, in that you have to keep adding more people as you’re adding more drivers. But by trying to solve that by increasing the number of drivers you have on a driver manager, is really where you end up losing that personal touch.”