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Why All Trucking Companies Need an Employee Value Proposition

Written by: Rick Acosta

What’s the value of working for your company? Pay, home time, benefits? Truth is, if you want drivers to flock to work for YOU, you’ll need a better proposition than that.

Truck drivers and employers have a unique dynamic. In other industries, job applicants compete for the attention of the company. In the trucking industry, drivers have the power to choose, and many companies chase and settle for whoever they can get to orientation and into a truck. In an industry with a “driver shortage”, many companies consider themselves lucky just to get applications, let alone have their pick of the best applicants.

However, this very dynamic is one that can be shifted… How can you transform your company from just another name on a job board into one that drivers flock to? Part of the answer lies in having a strong employee value proposition.

What is an employee value proposition?

An employee value proposition (EVP) is your unique sales proposition to your employees. It encompasses the benefits that an employee will get when choosing to work with your company.

Creating a compelling EVP isn’t just about summing up the essence of your company in a paragraph or two.

It is an idea that you arrive at after careful thought and research - an idea that highlights the main reason that people are proud to work for your company.

This reason is unique to each company and will vary depending on your own strengths. However, it is of utmost importance to make sure your EVP is unique, relevant, and truthful. Creating an EVP that sounds generic, vague, or too similar to another company’s offering defeats the purpose entirely.

A strong EVP should then be integrated into all aspects of your business, and be used to guide all of your decisions and communications. By adhering to your value proposition, you’ll be better at attracting and retaining the best employees.

Of course, an EVP needs to exist in a form that can be easily communicated and understood as well. In the case of a written EVP, you need to answer the question: Why would drivers choose us, give us their all, and stick around over choosing a competing company?

Creating an EVP

Below, I’ll go over how you can begin constructing a solid EVP to boost the overall success of your company. If you follow the steps outlined below in the prescribed order, you’ll be setting yourself up for a bright future - not just as a trucking company, but one that drivers truly want to work for.

Understand existing perceptions about your company

Before you can begin drafting an effective EVP, you must understand what your current employees think. To get a solid understanding of what makes your company unique, you need to ask the and answer the following questions:

  • Why do existing employees think your company is unique? - Try to get an understanding of what sets your company apart from the perspective of your drivers and employees & their unique experiences working at other companies.
  • What do they value most about working at your company? - To develop an understanding of why you’re unique, make sure to pinpoint the concrete values that your employees appreciate. Maybe it’s the relationships they build, their flexibility, or something else… find out for sure.
  • Why do they stay? - If you get many positive insights into the questions above, this answer should be fairly self-explanatory. However, it’s always worth answering and reiterating the point to get as much valuable information from your employees as possible.
  • Why do they leave? - Don’t forget to extract as much valuable information from the employees that choose to leave. Their perspectives and insights are unique and essential if you wish to construct a company that combats turnover and boosts retention.

You can gather the answers to the questions above by simply talking to your employees, or conducting employee surveys if your company is larger. You can arrange focus groups, and even conduct exit interviews with drivers that decide to leave to determine their motivations. When onboarding drivers, always seek to create a dialogue throughout the hiring process to get relevant feedback from job applicants as well as the employees conducting the training.

With an understanding of the above, you’ll get a clearer picture of why future potential employees would be attracted to your company. Regardless of what the answers are, and even if they seem underwhelming in your eyes, remember that anything is better than simply relying on your pay, home time and benefits to bring in the drivers.

Determine your biggest selling points

Once you’ve understood the perceptions of your people, you can start constructing a solid EVP within your business. Your value proposition needs to pierce all aspects of your business, so it is important that it aligns neatly with your employer brand, and vice versa.

Many companies undervalue their employer brand because they believe that employment in their industry doesn’t have to follow the rules of other industries. That’s simply not true, and effort must be taken to construct a solid brand with real values if you want to truly elevate your company, and consequently your recruiting results.

When you’ve put together your EVP, ask yourself the following questions to ensure it is relevant and airtight.

  • Does this EVP align with what you wish to achieve in the future? - Your EVP should be something you live by, but also act as a benchmark and standard for where you want to go.
  • Is it unique enough to stand out from the competition? - Take a look at your competition. Too many trucking companies default to cliche selling points such as “safe driving” and the like. While safety is nothing to scoff at, just make sure your message sticks out from the noise.
  • Is it realistic? Can you live up to the proposition? - Make sure that you can follow up on your promises, otherwise you’ll be in a worse position than where you started.
  • Is it simple but broad enough to appeal to a wide range of people? - You don’t want your EVP to be exclusive to one type of applicant. Drivers are a diverse group of people, and you need to make sure you’re not excluding potentially great drivers from applying to your job.

If you answered yes to the questions above, your EVP is probably pretty solid.

Communicate the message

As I mentioned earlier, communicating your EVP isn’t just about crafting a paragraph to sum it up. It’s something you need to communicate everywhere, and in many different ways. Luckily, that’s not as monumental a task as it may sound. A little bit, in this case, goes a long way.

Look to other companies for inspiration, but don’t get hung up on details if you feel like you don’t want to do it the way everyone else is doing it.

Your value proposition doesn’t need to look or sound like something by Apple or Starbucks. Find your own voice.

Here’s some inspiration to show you where you can feature your EVP:

  • Talk about it in interviews
  • Encourage your employees to talk about it
  • Make sure your company website features it
  • Make sure your careers page features your EVP
  • Reflect it in all outbound advertising
  • Make sure it’s clear on all your social media pages and in your social media posts
  • Keep it part of the onboarding and orientation process

Communicating your EVP everywhere is a key part of keeping it relevant and strong.

Keep it up!

Now that your future self has constructed a unique and inspiring employee value proposition, it’s time to think about what you can do to keep it up. Putting all that thought and effort into your EVP will amount to nothing if the whole thing sorta… fizzles out.

Make sure you don’t forget about your values, and make sure your employees don’t forget either. At this point, you need to make sure every aspect of your company: your employees, your processes, etc. are adhering to what you put in place.

This is so important for one big reason, and that reason is:

Drivers referrals and communication between drivers is your most powerful source of advertising, and plays a key role in helping you attract future talent.

If your drivers are happy with your company values, how they’re treated, and what they get back from you, they’ll spread the word! In order to make your drivers your finest advertisers, they must see a consistency between your actual values and the image you “sell” externally.

Incorporate your EVP into your internal communications, policies, business plans - make sure everything about it is reflected in your daily operations.

With an effective EVP in place, you will have drivers flocking to work with YOUR company, and you will suddenly have your pick of the finest drivers… not the other way around.

Conclusion

I want to close this off with a somewhat cautionary statement.

Not living up to your EVP could be disastrous.

The truth is, you have nowhere to hide in today’s world of internet communication, social media, and online reviews. Drivers will be honest about what they think of your company - you already know that. They will spread their honesty on forums, on social media, and in their conversations with other drivers. You need to ask yourself the question about which kind of company you want to run or be a part of. Will it be a company that scrapes by? Or will it be one that drivers are proud to call their home?

The path to building the ultimate company isn’t just as simple as having an employee value proposition, but it’s a good place to start. I hope you got some good value out of this post, and as always, happy hiring.

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