Treating Staff Like Humans – Use the Golden Rule

5 Reasons to use the golden rule

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that certain occupations are critical to keeping essential services running during a difficult time. These jobs include grocery workers, delivery people, medical professionals, plumbers and other maintenance workers, and commercial truck drivers. 

If it wasn’t for truck drivers, we wouldn’t be able to get the food, medicine, and equipment we need to stay alive and to function as normally as possible. While truckers are finally getting some positive recognition for the work they do, they are still all too often treated like commodities by their employers.

Though truck driving isn’t necessarily a rare skill, a good driver is still invaluable to the success of a company and should be treated as such. When it comes to hiring and working with commercial drivers, the golden rule should apply; treat those as you would want to be treated. 
Here are five reasons to treat drivers and other transportation personnelle like human beings:

  • Because they are

Employees in the transport sector often report working in high pressure environments. Stress can sometimes get the best of us, and people can be quick to pass the blame. During stressful times, keep in mind that everyone is doing the best they can with what they’re given, and looking to provide for their families – truck drivers are no different. Too often, we hear stories about drivers being treated as though they are disposable objects without a valuable opinion or valid grievances. Drivers are human beings that should experience fair and respectful treatment no matter what. 

  • Because it’s part of a retention strategy

It costs significantly more to hire a new employee than it is to retain one. This is especially true in the transportation industry, as new recruits must be trained and will inevitably have more costly accidents compared to verteran drivers. By treating a driver with dignity, there’s a greater chance they will remain loyal to the company and stay on as a reliable employee and positive influence over other drivers in the long run.

  • Because customers prefer it

Over time, customers become familiar with their transportation companies of choice as well as the drivers. It is not uncommon for drivers to build rapport with a customer’s warehouse teams and other employees. This sense of routine and familiarity is critical for a successful relationship – treat your drivers like they are less than human, and you could risk damaging relationships with your customers.

  • Because of the opportunity to grow your management team

In industries across the board, good managers and executives often have personal experience working various positions at a given company. It’s obvious to point out that a manager who has experience as a truck driver will have a sound understanding of the challenges that arise in this role, and can therefore better manage trucking employees. If you treat your drivers like valuable people that matter, you may have a chance to upskill your best drivers and groom them for other positions. 

  • Because treating people well affects the bottom line.

Decency is a fundamental human value, but it also affects a company’s profitability. Treating employees, including truck drivers, like valuable assets doesn’t cost a company as much as some transport executives might believe. In fact, it’s the only logical option as recruiting and onboarding new drivers will always be more costly than retaining talent. Furthermore, problems get solved more quickly and efficiently when drivers and others feel they can speak to upper management. Not only is treating drivers like humans the right thing to do, it’s the profitable way to conduct business.

Treating truck drivers like human beings is simple: Pay them a liveable wage, have open lines of communication, listen to them like they matter, apologize when necessary, and remember the golden rule: treat them the way you would want to be treated.