Load One, Taylor, Mich., is said to be one of the largest carriers in the expedite transportation market. In 2012, John Elliott, chief executive officer, made a decision to invest in driver retention to sustain growth into the future.

“It just seemed like money better spent and more logical in the long run to retain what you have and grow that way vs. constantly pushing to recruit what you don’t know,” Elliot says.

That’s why Load One began using the annual Driver Survey from Stay Metrics, South Bend, Ind., to gather driver feedback and opinions. It also focused on the experiences of newer drivers using the orientation survey, typically given after a week on the job and between 6-8 weeks after orientation.

The data-driven surveys led Load One to make numerous changes that ultimately resulted in a decrease of early-stage (first 90 days) turnover from 51.3% to 39.4% in the first year of the program.

“In many instances, the reasons why drivers leave are based on simple misunderstandings,” Elliott says. “Our experiences show that drivers will open up to surveys administered by a neutral party. We have been able to identify problems early on and improve driver retention. Showing the driver they have a voice and that a company listens is what drivers want.”

Load One also launched an online Gold Rewards program using a platform from Stay Metrics that allows drivers to earn and redeem points from a myriad of categories, including job performance and tenure. The rewards website also serves as a hub for Load One to share company news and for drivers to access training resources.

Early driver turnover for Load One continued to improve, reaching 36.4% in the fifth year of the partnership. In 2017, Load One further improved the work experience of drivers with Drive First, a complete onboarding platform from Stay Metrics with digital employment forms, driver training modules and assessments.

Between September 2016 and September 2018, the company’s 12-month annual turnover dropped to 25.8% from 74.3%. In contrast, the average annualized turnover of large carriers reported by the American Trucking Associations, Arlington, Va., increased to 98% in Q2 2018.

“Retaining drivers in the expedite market is an especially formidable challenge due to unpredictable schedules and other factors,” says Tim Hindes, co-founder and CEO of Stay Metrics. “We commend Load One for its ongoing commitment and success at delivering an industry-leading work experience for drivers.”