“Creating a corporate well-being program is a piece of cake”: said no one, ever. However, get it right and the benefits are clear – for both drivers and their employers.
So how do you go about creating a well-being program that truck drivers will actually adopt? Here are four tips to get you started.
1 Focus on communication
Maintaining effective lines of communication isn’t easy when you hardly ever see the people you are communicating with. But it certainly isn’t impossible; technology has made it much easier to get messages to drivers. From texts and emails to video messaging and apps, there are plenty of ways to reach drivers, wherever in the world they may be. Also, it’s a good idea to find a well-being advocate to make sure messages travel the distance.
2 Show top-down commitment
Paying lip service to a workplace wellness programme is not going to cut it. Managers need to be 100% committed to a healthier, happier workforce – and this means participating in the programme themselves. Those managers should also allocate company time to focus on well-being, time and resources to develop initiatives, and devise incentives. The more employees feel valued, the more engaged they will be.
3 Ask drivers for ideas and opinions
If a wellness programme is going to work, it needs input from the people it affects. Asking drivers what kind of well-being programme and information they would like to see is a good starting point. With drivers out on the road for long stretches, it’s not always easy getting face time with them. Managers need to take every opportunity to speak with drivers to find out what would best work for them.
4 Create a forum for drivers to communicate with one another
If you want a well-being strategy to be a success, drivers need to be able to share information between themselves. Creating a forum in which drivers can discuss their experiences encourages more conversations and can be an asset to any wellness programme. It also shows you care what drivers have to say. There are specific social well-being tools that provide a place to promote wellness-focused dialogue.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when creating a well-being strategy is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The ultimate goal is to change people’s behaviour – and that’s never going to be easy in the trucking industry, or any industry for that matter.
Faced with increasing driver shortages, trucking companies need to take more preventative measures to ensure their most valuable assets (and by that I mean their drivers) stay on the road. Even the most basic of wellness programmes can work to lessen staff turnover and boost the job’s image. Companies prepared to go the extra mile and adopt a holistic and structured approach to wellbeing will see real benefits.
Does your company offer any kind of well-being programme? If so, what are they getting right? And what are they getting wrong?