Larry Brady started Brady Trucking in 1980. One truck. One owner. However, things did not stay that way.
In the ‘90s, Brady focused on purchasing more trucks, bringing on more drivers and building the business. Things really shifted into high gear when Brady partnered with future Chuck Johnson, president and CEO, to form partnerships with some of the largest oil field service companies in the world. Over the next three years, Brady Trucking doubled in size twice.
This growth continues to this day. The Vernal, Utah-based carrier now employs about 350 drivers, with plans to become a 500-truck company by 2020.
A leader in retention
To meet this ambitious goal, driver retention is at the top of Brady Trucking’s 2019 key executive initiatives. It is impossible to grow a fleet when recruiters are too busy replacing drivers that leave.
Brady Trucking faces a unique challenge too because it primarily works in oil and gas. Drivers spend long periods waiting and then have periods of high-intensity activity that is both physically and mentally demanding. They need to go from 0 to 100 and back to 0 many times a day.
Despite this difficulty, Brady Trucking is committed to becoming a leader in retention. That’s why Brady Trucking hired Jason Crowell as recruiting and retention manager.
Addressing early turnover
One of the tools Brady used to craft its solution was the onboarding surveys from Stay Metrics, South Bend, Ind. These surveys check in with drivers at key points after their hire dates to see what their expectations of the company are, and later on, if those expectations are being met.
Brady Trucking is growing fast and set to accelerate even faster in the coming years. Addressing driver turnover, especially early driver turnover, is a key objective to making this happen. Brady wants to be known as a leader in retention.
Stay Metrics’ onboarding surveys have helped Brady Trucking achieve the following:
• Driver turnover has dropped by 31% in one year, with a goal of an additional 20% reduction this year.
• Stay Metrics Surveys identified pay expectation gap; the team addressed this concern.
• Applause awards are used extensively, and will be shared with the entire team this year.
Brady Trucking is well on its way to meeting its goal of running 500 trucks by the end of 2020. And, Stay Metrics is proud to be a partner on this journey.
After starting with Stay Metrics in January 2018, Crowell and Johnson learned from their initial reports that drivers’ expectations on compensation were not being set appropriately. What Crowell found was that recruiters were not being dishonest about how much a driver could make, but that they just were not explaining the ramp-up to that level new drivers should expect. Drivers were coming in expecting the pay they could receive once they were fully oriented and trained.
The solution was a driver expectations worksheet that each new hire fills out. This worksheet specifically asks drivers to list their expectations for compensation. Then they receive a response that lets them know exactly what will be required to reach that level. This process takes the guesswork out of drivers’ expected pay, and reassures potentially unsatisfied drivers that their expectations will be met soon.
This new system has worked. A reduction in early turnover has helped Brady reduce its overall turnover by 31% in just one year, with the goal to reduce it by an additional 20% in 2019.
Rewards and applause awards
Another key aspect of Brady’s retention solution is the Stay Metrics rewards program.
Drivers have the opportunity to log in and redeem points earned for completing training, attending safety meetings or meeting other objectives. Crowell notes that the leaderboard, which shows how many points each driver has earned in the current month, keeps competitive drivers logging in frequently.
Applause awards have been the most exciting part of the rewards program. These awards allow any manager to award drivers when they notice them doing something well or going above and beyond. Each award also includes a message from the manager, letting the driver know exactly what they did right.
These awards have been so successful for Brady that a new initiative for 2019 is to share applause awards and messages with the entire company, so drivers know who was recognized and for what.