Investing in an effective driver wellness program is a great way to attract new talent, retain current employees and reverse the negative stigma that trucking causes poor health. And as covered in our last post, it’s a strategy that can help address the driver shortage facing the trucking industry.
To be sure your company’s wellness program is as effective and successful as possible, make sure it aligns with your employees’ needs. Start by asking drivers what’s important to them when it comes to health and wellness. What are the challenges they are struggling with? How do they want to be communicated with?
While each fleet’s wellness program will vary and should be catered to the employees who will benefit from them, there are four key elements that will set up your wellness program for success.
Educate drivers about the potential health risks associated with trucking
Before offering tips for living a healthy lifestyle, educate drivers – both new and veterans – about the potential health risks commonly associated with trucking. This will help prevent some the most common risks and will emphasize the importance of participating in a driver wellness program. Preventative screenings help identify early signs of health risks in each driver so they can better understand their own health and help you personalize the wellness program to their unique health needs.
Outsource professionals to create and execute your driver wellness program
A robust driver wellness programs requires a range of skills and expertise most organizations don’t have in-house, such as dieticians, fitness trainers and medical professionals. For many companies, identifying and working with consultants in these areas is far simpler and cost-effective than hiring a professional full-time.
Create and practice an effective communications strategy
Create a plan to effectively communicate employee benefits and resources to drivers. When they’re on the road for days or even weeks at a time, it can be tough to communicate effectively. And during time off, studying their employer’s latest health initiatives is likely the last thing they want to do. Create content that caters to drivers, like a podcast or daily tips that are delivered through text. Also, don’t forget to engage family members, spouses and significant others who can help reinforce healthy habits at home.
Remember two-way communication is key
Collecting information about employees and what they want in a wellness program should be an ongoing process. Create a platform and environment that allows employees to communicate feedback, questions, concerns and any additional needs they feel are important.
Drivers are the backbone of the trucking industry and supporting their health, happiness and overall wellbeing is a great way to encourage retention and even attract new hires. If you have any questions about driver wellness or the industry, don’t hesitate to contact us.