We lowered our turnover rate by 60 percent in just two years!
Almost every trucking company around tries to say it’s the best in the business to work for. I’m sure you’ve been lured in by promises of big paydays that fell short. Or maybe a job description was sugarcoated, and after a few weeks you realized it was nothing like your hiring manager said it would be. The next thing you knew it had been a rocky few months, and you were looking for yet another job.
When someone leaves a truck-driving job, they’re typically quitting on a company and its people. It might sting to read this, but if you’re in management at a trucking company, drivers are probably quitting you. Think about it. After they quit, they usually stay in the industry and jump ship to another trucking company.
We know that truck driving is a profession with one of the highest rates of turnover — 80 percent in 2016 according to the American Trucking Association. And because our rates were high, too, we wanted to do something about it within our own company.
In order to find out why people leave, we knew we needed to determine the reasons why people stay. What we found, overwhelmingly, was that people were looking for an intrinsic value like a sense of belonging and loyalty. They wanted to feel needed, respected, and cared for.
During that process, we came up with a company vision statement, and it’s a concise, accurate phrase that sums up our exact purpose: “To be committed to our people in order to build a lasting home for the ITS community.”
I know what you’re probably thinking – “Sure, that’s what they all say.” But ITS isn’t the kind of company that simply talks a big game. We actually do what we say we’re going to.
In 2014, before we began our quest for better employee retention, our turnover rate was 100 percent, like most trucking companies at that time. But by 2015 it had lowered to 56 percent, and in 2016 it had dropped to an unheard of in the industry — just 40 percent!
On the introduction page of our employee handbook, we let our new hires know that we hire and promote from within the company, so working at ITS is a great fit if you’re a career-driven individual looking to climb the ladder. But instead of just saying that, we have the proof to back it up.
Of our eight key managers, half started out in the industry as truck drivers, and two more began as dispatchers. Together we have nearly 140 years of dedication to ITS, and that’s not by accident. We’ve all worked hard to get where we are, always focusing on a people-first attitude and dedication to service.
I began my career as a driver and worked my way through the ranks of materials handling, warehouse management, load planning and logistics, supply chain management, and customer service. I am now the ITS National Account Manager, and I’ve been with the company for 28 years.
And you know what? ITS is definitely the best career choice I could have made. I’ve shown my loyalty to the company by putting service ahead of myself, fully honoring commitments, and always being willing to help. In turn, the company has rewarded me with amazing career opportunities and advancement. I couldn’t ask for a better place to spend my days.
As our managers worked to develop their own personal value statements – the things they believe to be true about being successful at ITS – there seemed to be a recurring theme. Phrases like “people are valuable,” “independence ensures success,” and “have mutual respect” kept coming up. The words “loyalty,” “honesty,” and “commitment” appeared over and over.
Phil Stephenson, our Vice President of Transportation, got his start in materials handling. His personal vision statement is to mentor people so they can experience accomplishment. Phil is a great example of how ITS employees work together with mutual respect for one another.
“At ITS it’s important to care enough about your coworkers, customers, and job that you take responsibility for your own actions and strive to be great,” said Phil. “But it’s also a very important part of working for this company that everyone shows they care. When we all do what we agree to, when we all follow through with the goals we set out to accomplish – and we get that done at ITS all the time – that’s when we know we’re part of a great company.”
CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR TEAM