Communicating with truckers is no exception. By communicating effectively, employees know what is expected of them, company moral is enhanced and people feel more connected to their place of employment.
According to a communication study conducted by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, “companies with highly effective communication had 47 percent higher total returns to shareholders” when compared to companies with “less effective” communication. Dale Carnegie Training found that companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by 202 percent.
But trucking companies have people scattered all over the area, the state, and the country. Due to the nature of the business, thorough and effective communication with your truckers can be difficult to achieve.
There are ways, fortunately, that you can increase communication among your team. Some are business-culture adjustments, some rely on modern technology and some require an enthusiastic commitment from company leaders.
All, however, will improve your business as a whole.
What words and language are you using when you communicate with your truckers and other employees? The words you use may be ideal for conversations with your banker, but are they the right words for your team of over-the-road truckers? It’s not about oversimplification. It’s about communicating in a way that delivers your message in the most effective way possible.
Make sure everyone on your team understands the importance of communication. Emphasize that clear, consistent communication is essential, not just to the short-term completion of routes, but to the long-term success of the business. Let everyone know that good communication is required in face-to-face contact, meetings, emails, CB radios, and anywhere else your team is interacting with each other.
If one of your initiatives for 2021 is investing in a new CB radio, here is a list of the 7 best CB radios of 2020.
Now that they understand the importance of communication, you need to give them modern tools to make it happen.
The real challenge here is selecting which communication management software you should use. There is a wide variety of options available, and you’ll find software that can help you track the progress of transportation, engage with drivers, and allow your team to communicate in real-time. Face-to-face communication should remain the foundation of your trucking company, but these tools will certainly help. See our post on other helpful apps if you’re considering other ways to increase efficiency.
When your over-the-road truckers are out on the highway, face-to-face communication is obviously impossible. The next best thing, then, is video conferencing. There are now many options for conferencing, including Skype, Google Hangouts, and Cisco WebEx. Many are free to begin but charge a small fee for upgraded business services. Skype, for example, is free for one-on-one video chats but charges a small subscription fee for services like group video meetings for up to 250 people.
Even in the digital age of communication management systems and video conferencing, there’s still power in a checklist. Create a printable communication checklist for your team that reminds them to check in with the company at specific points. The points may vary, but they could include rest stops, drop-offs, pick-ups or the end of the day.
For the last two points, we’re going to get personal. We’re going to look inward at what you, the team leader and company owner, can do to enhance the communication of your trucking company.
The first step, therefore, is to improve your communication skills. Start by making sure all communication that comes from your office is clear, concise and effective. When writing emails, for example, don’t ramble on and don’t try to get overly descriptive. Get to the point, emphasize the point, and get out. If you bury the most important part with unnecessary details or long-winded sentences, the message will be lost. Don’t write emotional or angry messages and always check your facts before pressing send.
When communicating in person, the same rules apply. Be clear and concise with your team, speak to them frankly, and, of course, never lie or intentionally mislead your team. When you communicate effectively, your team will respect you more and they’ll be more likely to communicate properly themselves.
Do you want your team to listen to you? Do you want them to respect what you have to say? Then listen to them and respect what they have to say. Take their input seriously and use their feedback to improve your business. By showing that what they say matters, it will reinforce their commitment to the company, make them more engaged, and help improve communication at your trucking company.
TCI Business Capital is an invoice factoring company serving businesses across the United States. For more information on factoring, call (800) 707-4845 for a free, no-obligation consultation and quote.