Dispatchers are caught between drivers, customers, and fleet managers. As the person linking everyone together, they have an important job–and one that can cause high driver turnover if they’re doing it badly (link to #1 cause of turnover)
Here are five ways to improve the relationship between your dispatchers and your drivers:
- Make sure dispatchers aren’t using overly simple equations to plan trips. Some dispatchers will determine trip time by dividing the total number of miles by the fastest speed the truck could possibly drive that route. Doing so will result in an inaccurate and unrealistic trip time estimate, as the overall average top mileage for a particular truck driver can be much less than the top maximum speed of the truck.
- Emphasize the importance of scheduling parking time in trip planning. Drivers need to plan when and where to park. It is also important to consider all the factors drivers may face, such if they are in a major city, or the time of day.
- Strengthen the connection between your dispatchers and drivers. If possible, have your dispatchers spend time with the drivers so they consider them human beings with feelings and lives. If all else fails, consider discussing the importance of empathy with dispatchers, or asking them to take training to help them learn how to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
- Set realistic expectations. Driver job satisfaction, not just moving the load, should be the priority when planning trips. Prioritizing realistic expectations based on drivers’ actual skills and priorities will ensure happier, more reliable drivers, and low turnover. What’s more, realistic expectations of drivers will reduce the potential for mistakes.
- Understand liability and legality. To keep job satisfaction high, it is essential to make it clear that you do not expect drivers to drive more hours than they are legally allowed to log. And more seriously, in Canada under Bill C-45, anyone directing work at a company is responsible for maintaining safety regulations. This means a dispatcher could be found criminally responsible if a driver is injured or worse on the job.
Dispatchers’ jobs are easier when they have reliable technology. The best way do all of the above–planning trips, building relationships between drivers and dispatchers, as well as setting realistic expectations–is to use FleetRover. Contact us today for a demo.