November 12, 2018 | White Papers
SHUNT DRIVER ENGAGEMENT: THE MISSING LINK IN YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN
November 12, 2018 | White Papers
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement describes the degree to which an employee’s personal values and goals are aligned with their company’s mission, vision, and values. Engaged employees are always looking to innovate and improve rather than simply maintaining the status quo, which fosters efficiency and high performance. Employees who are engaged report markedly higher job satisfaction and are much more likely to stick around rather than go hunting for greener pastures.
In physically demanding industries like logistics, employee engagement is a key factor in workplace safety. And as a whole, the logistics industry is trending in the wrong direction. According to a 2018 study, only 68% of logistics professionals demonstrate a high level of engagement, compared with an average of 74% across all industries. Engaged shunt drivers (who know what to do and have the desire to do it) are invaluable when it comes to increasing operational efficiency, preventing incidents, and fulfilling obligations to our customers.
How National Shunt creates engagement for shunt drivers
Part of the NSSL Family
Our drivers are our eyes and ears on the ground of every site we serve. Their input is vital to giving our field operations managers visibility into what is working well and what needs to be improved. By encouraging our drivers to give their feedback, we drive engagement through empowerment and ensure every person’s voice is heard and valued.
In addition to empowering employees at all levels of the organization, job security is another key step in creating employee engagement. At National Shunt, our drivers are celebrated and recognized just as much as our executive team, because we understand that their performance is fundamental to our business.
Employees who are engaged also demonstrate a larger degree of loyalty and dedication to their organizations. For shunt drivers in more transient positions, regular hours and even regular pay are not guaranteed. If employees can’t trust their employer to deliver on their promises when it comes to the most fundamental items (like their paycheck), they don’t feel valued. Secondly, this lack of regular hours and pay can add up to become a major source of stress for the employee, and also distract them from the job at hand. According to a recent study, compensation was cited as the top reason employees choose to stay with or leave an organization.
Finally, employees are most efficient and effective when their natural skill sets and career goals are aligned with the demands of their position. National Shunt takes a relatively uncommon approach in recruitment, because we hire drivers who have chosen to make shunting their career. Because our drivers make this commitment to shunting, we make our commitment to them by investing in ways that help them develop their skills.
Ongoing Training & Advancement Opportunities
Talented and dedicated employees take pride in their work and value learning new skills, in addition to continuing their education to advance in their careers – this is especially important to workers in the millennial generation. In fact, according to a recent Gallup study, 87% of millennials say that “professional or career growth and development opportunities” are important to them in choosing a job or choosing to stay with a company.
Regardless of how older generations may feel about millennials’ increased expectations that their employers provide these opportunities, there’s no question that training and advancement help employees see a future with the companies they work for and contribute to their willingness to stay long term. In a job market where the power of choice now rests with employees rather than employers, it’s now the employers’ job to sell themselves to talent, rather than the other way around.
Training and development for our shunt drivers starts every day with our field supervisors, who conduct frequent “tailgate meetings” where the team gets a chance to communicate about the day’s objectives. Our field supervisors and lead drivers are also constantly performing shoulder-to-shoulder coaching with our shunting teams.
At National Shunt, we pride ourselves on providing career development opportunities to employees across all levels of our organization. The only things that limit an NSSL team member are their dedication, passion, and vision for the future. Some of our employees who started with us as shunt drivers have become operations and field managers, and we’re proud to see and help them grow. Our “roll up your sleeves” culture shows our employees that everyone works together as a team, and we’re all dedicated to accomplishing common goals. This helps unite our workforce around our mission to deliver operational excellence, every day.
Why Shunt Driver Engagement Matters
Engaged employees (who know what to do, how to do it, and who want to do it) are more dedicated to “doing things right” than their less engaged counterparts. This is especially crucial when it comes to safety.
Incidents in the yard can be incredibly costly to retailers and can derail your whole operation, slowing down the function of your supply chain, which costs you time and money. The situation becomes even more serious and complex if employee injuries are a factor. Shunt drivers who are engaged have a greater awareness of their surroundings and are more likely to adhere to safety procedures, down to the letter.
It’s right under our name because we know it’s true: in the yard, every move counts. Experienced, career shunt drivers have greater analytical skills and can think strategically about how to reduce the number of moves required in the yard. This saves time and money, both of which help improve the overall efficiency of your supply chain.
It may sound simple, but having drivers show up on time, every time, is something that any experienced logistics professional knows you can’t take for granted. Because we show our drivers that we’re committed to them and helping them succeed, they show their commitment to us and our customers through reliability and consistency.
For any organization, growth and strategic advancement toward its vision start with employee engagement. Shunt drivers at NSSL are the heartbeat of our entire operation, which is why we value them so much and want to ensure they feel fulfilled. If your yard could use the help of these dedicated professionals, then let’s start a conversation. Call NSSL today.