Effective onboarding of new drivers
For parcel and courier services, the onboarding of new drivers has been one of the biggest challenges in recent years. And this at a time when such companies are facing major staff shortages. Together, these two issues negatively impact road safety. In 2017, Albert Heijn Delivery asked us to investigate critical success factors in the onboarding of new drivers and how these could be used to help improve road safety and contribute to employee retention.
Learning to drive safely takes time
From our previous research, we knew that novice drivers need quite a long time to learn how to drive safely – possibly the entire duration of their employment contract. In other words, drivers leave a company just as they have mastered safe driving. This is especially the case in organisations with young or inexperienced drivers and where staff turnover is usually high. As most traffic incidents occur at the start of an employment contract, staff turnover has a direct impact on road safety.
Based on an average of 3 surveys per employee in 2018/2019
Research for Albert Heijn Delivery
With this in mind, we set out to see how we could help Albert Heijn Delivery improve driver retention and how learning safe and professional driving behaviour could be accelerated. We have carried out almost a thousand analyses on risk behaviour. What did we learn? Reducing staff turnover comes down to two factors: job satisfaction and safety perception – key issues that are often insufficiently addressed in basic onboarding. Although it can be time consuming, both factors are relatively easy to address.
‘Red flag zone’
Our analysis quite accurately predicted which new recruits would leave Albert Heijn Delivery within a few weeks. The ‘red flag zone’ we identified was crucial for retaining drivers. When a staff member was in danger of entering this zone and became a drop-out risk, the team lead was able to engage in timely discussions with the employee. This is a very important success factor, as there are usually few contact moments between drivers and team leads. A short online training course by Remco Claassen showed team leads how to make employees feel heard and supported. This proved to be the decisive factor for driver retention.
Minimum time loss, maximum retention
Because parcel and courier services can also benefit from the solution we discovered for Albert Heijn Delivery, a New Employee Onboarding module was developed, which ensures employees receive support from their team lead at the right time with a minimum loss of working hours. Thanks to the quick levelling up of both risk awareness and key safety skills, combined with a periodic analysis lasting about 45 seconds, staff turnover reduces significantly and safety increases. For even more impact, it is possible to extend New Employee Onboarding with telematics.
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