Like any other product, the trust factor keeps people and your staff coming back for more. But what happens when that trust is broken?By Dana Smith
What is trust? It’s a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust is something that has to be earned, not given. There are many different ideas of what trust is. Why is it important?
In trucking, trust is a very powerful thing. It starts with a good company culture, good leadership, corporate image, and follows right down to the front lines of your business, which includes all levels of management. You may think to yourself, why do I care about this? I sell a product or service that my customers need and I am the solution. You should care, because your product or service isn’t important without the trust factor behind it.
Imagine that you go into a grocery store and want to purchase a product off the shelf. Let’s say it’s a carton of milk. There are many different brands and types of milk there. What makes you want to buy a certain one? Is it the pretty colours of the packaging? The price? Because you have always bought that brand? Whatever the case is, you trust that the milk you buy will taste like it always has, look like it always does, and has the quality that you have come to expect from that brand. Your purchase is actually built on the trust that the company will provide what they say they will provide. If the milk doesn’t do all of these things or there is something wrong with it, chances are you will not buy it the next time. The trust has now been broken and you will most likely move on to another brand.
When this happens, it is very hard to regain that trust back. In trucking, it works the same way. Recruiting new drivers is one such area of your business that requires that very same trust factor. There is an old saying, “say what you mean, mean what you say.” As we look harder and harder to find new drivers, it becomes more and more important to be honest and upfront with new hires. This will build that trust and retain your drivers longer.
Imagine answering an ad for a driving job, talking to the recruiter and he/she tells you that you can run as many miles as you want, you can be home whenever you like, and pick from the lanes you want. You can make “X” amount of money, which is usually inflated to look better, and they will give you a brand new truck to drive. Sounds like a pretty good job doesn’t it?
You get to the interview only to find out that the job isn’t what they told you. A big disappointment for sure. Not only will that driver go and tell 10 other people about the experience; maybe even tell their buddies not to go to your company, but it will erode the trust they may have had with your company. Also, the positive feelings they have, or had about recruiters being up front, are gone. This will carry forward to the next company. There is nothing worse than someone telling you what you want to hear or something that isn’t true.
In the trucking industry, everyone talks to each other. People from different companies know each other, and are often great friends throughout their career. Some even move around to different companies over the years. It doesn’t take very long for a company’s reputation and culture to be tainted by non-trust issues with drivers or other employees. Recruiting is just one area, but you can see how things can take a turn for the worse very quickly.
Corporate image with the public is another example of building trust in general. It’s your name on the side of every truck and trailer you own. Every time your equipment leaves the yard, there is a potential for negative or positive trust issues depending on how your team operates the equipment.
Professional operators will have a positive impact on how the public views your company. If they are non-professional operators, the potential for something unsafe to happen is a lot higher. Therefore the general public loses trust in the safety around your company. You never know who is in the car beside you. They could be a present or potential customer.
How do you build trust with potential new hires and people outside your company?
- Be consistent
- Be upfront & honest from the start.
- Keep your word
- Communicate effectively
- Be professional
- Value your team
- Live your culture
Doing these few things will help you build trust with all your potential employees. When a driver trusts you to lead and value them, they will go above and beyond and be your company’s best advocate. They will promote your company to their friends, family, and total strangers. This includes other drivers.
Whether you’re a large or small transportation business, and are looking for help connecting to your driving force to build trust, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you.