Commitment to change for an organization is no small feat when taking on turnover. It starts with the leaders acknowledging that the issue is the company’s doing and agreeing to change the way things are currently being done. Blaming outside forces is very dangerous because it does not allow for ownership of the issue – it can always be someone or somethings fault, or its an external problem. Owning the situation within the company, when it comes to turnover, is where it must begin. Usually, when I have almost finished the one-day workshop that begins the project plan at a management team meeting there is a complete dedication to the effort, everyone is bobbing his or her head in unison to the new strategy. Thing is I can read the room fairly quickly, and although there are always a number of the folks in attendance that are entirely committed to change, there are usually one or two other folks (let’s call them Bobs). Why? Because they are bobbing their heads in agreement, but they are not what they seem.
I’m not quite sure where I tend to lose these Bobs when I discuss the new TCA Retention Project Plan. Maybe it’s when I tell them that if turnover is upwards of 60% at your company then the majority of their employees and Owner Operators do not believe a word they say. That might turn them off. Maybe it’s when I explain the program I offer and tell them that although it takes additional effort up front, in the end, they will save time. Maybe it’s when I explain that they are going to do the same thing in the program as they have always done, but that they will do it a little differently? Could be it’s when I discuss my real-life experience of my management team taking our trucking company turnover from 120% to 20% over two years and along the way doubling our operating ratio and transitioning from a poor insurance risk to winning TCA national fleet safety awards. I’m not sure. The sad thing is that some of these Bobs have influence, usually through tenure with the company or family ties and they can tend to slow an excellent effort to a crawl. These folks have what I call “Loyalty to the past.”
Goes like this: “we have always done it this way, and we got this far so why should we change now?” Of course, this is a rhetorical statement and it is also the root of why the company’s turnover has escalated. Times have changed. The labor pool your draw from has changed in a variety of ways: age dynamic; X’s Y’s Millennials; we are sexually and ethnically much more diverse and so on. Your company has not adjusted to these real-time influences. You’re doing the same things you have always done them, and now you are struggling with high-turnover trucks against the fence, etcetera.
These companies are also usually under an autocratic type management style where creative thinking is not only discouraged but it is stifled as soon as it is found out. Unfortunately, one of the offshoots of this style is that it tends to repel young talent. Millennials don’t buy into this style at all. In fact, once recognized, they bolt from it – both drivers and managers. These folks are into collaboration and creative problem-solving. The good news, of course, is that in this case if ownership is willing to accept this reality, they can use this as a paradigm shift to springboard a new initiative. Like the TCA TPP Retention Plan: to plan for success or to call it a bell weather moment.
Taking on any significant project plan within a company is of course challenging and at times may seem daunting. Add to the mix that to be successful you will likely need to change your companies’ culture. Now you have folks scared. The nice thing is that the process that is offered by TCA is a stepped process that you can move along at your own pace: do step one and then move on to step two once you have the essence of that step mastered and understood. Now do it 44 more times in sequence. It’s like painting by numbers. Easy? NO, but it is much more straightforward than starting from scratch and hoping that you succeed. The program has a successful track record, and it is growing weekly. Got any issues that you would like to discuss? All my contact information is below. Let’s have a chat and see if this new offering is a good fit for your company.
Safe Trucking and Merry Christmas,
TCA Retention Coach