November 15, 2018
Can We Talk? Communication with Your Driver-Manager
In the trucking industry, communication between truck drivers and driver-managers is crucial to a company’s success. Unfortunately, in some cases, it can be a difficult task. When things don’t go as expected, some drivers think driver-managers don’t care about their personal lives or their paychecks.
On the other hand, some driver-managers think drivers don’t take their work seriously or that they are always ready to move on to the next company. In truth, most people know that there are a few bad apples in every profession, but sometimes it’s important to look at things from another person’s shoes.
When Straight Talk Goes Off the Rails
The trucking industry isn’t really known for standing on a great deal of formality. People speak their minds and most of us like it that way. But, sometimes “blunt” goes a little too far. Communication issues between truck drivers and driver-managers are more likely to occur when somebody is having a bad day or week. Perhaps a few choice words spill out on impulse and then it’s tough to get back on track. Suddenly, things escalate.
When relations between a driver and a driver-manager get turbulent, we find that some dedicated communication effort can usually relieve the tension. These bumps in the road are not worth throwing in the towel. As we often tell drivers, it’s not the mistakes you made yesterday that we’re concerned about, it’s what you are going to do today and tomorrow that matters.
Part of the reason we say this is because, yes, we’re nice guys, we care about our employees and their happiness with this company but, on the other hand, this is business. It costs trucking companies a lot of money, time and effort to recruit, train and onboard drivers. Truck drivers are at the center of everything we do. We don’t want to lose a good driver over a misunderstanding that could be cleared up with some straight talk.
Working It Out
At CRST, we understand that life sometimes gets in the way of the job. No one can predict when an accident or a sick child will make a scheduled run suddenly impossible. And we know that driver-managers have a lot on their plates as well. If you’re having multiple problems with your driver-manager, it may be in everyone’s best interest to have a meeting to clear the air.
It’s best to take some time before the meeting and really think about what you want to say and the outcome you are looking for – not just for that day, but for how you want your working relationship to improve going forward. Before the meeting, write down in advance what you want to accomplish during your meeting such as:
- Examples of problems you have encountered
- How you would like to work together to solve problems like this in the future
- Ask for your manager’s input and feedback to see how these things can be resolved so that everyone (driver, manager and company) benefits
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Once the air has been cleared, and you’ve had a chance to talk through your problems, it’s time to wipe the slate clean. If you hold onto your negative feelings, you will be creating a negative work atmosphere for all involved — including the company as a whole. And no one wants to work surrounded by negativity, so move on, start fresh and get back on the road.
All in all, just remember, if you’re interested in making an investment in your trucking future, we are too and we want to work with you through all the ups and downs. If this sounds like your kind of trucking company and you are interested in joining, contact one of our recruiters at 1-866-325-2778.
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