Evaluating the exit interview process

This Week’s Topic from Fleetmentor
Evaluating the exit interview process

Driver churn — a term used to describe regular driver turnover — results in motor carriers needing to constantly replenish their roster with new — and in many cases lesser qualified — drivers. If your company is having trouble keeping drivers around, it might be time to look internally at the issue, and exit interviews can be an effective means of doing just that.

How exit interviews help

The goal of an exit interview is to determine why an employee has chosen to leave your company. It also gives you a chance to see if the departures are a sign of a systemic problem. For example, if 75 percent of your drivers tell the interviewer that their reason for leaving is to be home more often, a company may be able to use that data to make operation changes.

Interview advice

Consider these actions when conducting exit interviews:

  • Use a neutral party inside your company, such as someone in recruiting, safety, or human resources (HR). An interview that doesn’t include an employee’s supervisor has a better chance of producing meaningful information about why an employee is leaving, especially if the supervisor is part of the reason.
  • Make sure the interviewer understands the purpose of the meeting is not to change the employee’s mind about leaving or to discuss past employment performance.
  • Allow the interview to be a casual conversation to get more honest results. Discuss all the issues that affect drivers, like maintenance, miles, equipment, operations, and dispatchers. Other topics to ask about include your company’s selection and hiring process, compensation and benefits, policies and procedures, management and supervision, and training.
  • Write down the reasons for the driver leaving and look for any trends that emerge over multiple interviews. Be sure you keep your notes as part of the employee file for record retention purposes.
  • Share relevant results with all your supervisors. The more that supervisors know about potential problems, the better chance they can learn from them and improve conditions to make employees want to stay. The organization need not respond to every comment made during exit interviews, however. Some comments may be subjective and may not represent an actual problem.

Keeping the best

A shortage of drivers in the trucking industry makes it more essential than ever that motor carriers take measures to keep their best drivers. The New York Times reported in July that the industry needs 50,000 drivers to meet current needs, according to the American Trucking Associations. With such a strong demand for drivers, the competition to keep the best in the fold can be fierce. Knowing why your drivers are fleeing and taking the steps to keep them at your company can only improve a motor carrier’s efficiency and bottom—line results.



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