Ready or not, the holidays are here! Now you as the fleet manager probably have some thinking to do, as you realize your drivers and other employees will expect you to recognize this time of year on their behalf. And rightly so, since these are the people who get the job done for you 12 months of the year…
So the usual questions are, what to get them and how to celebrate? Obviously, everyone likes a little extra cash as a holiday bonus, and that’s always appreciated, so definitely keep that on your list. But consider some other ways to bring holiday cheer to your crew this year, ways that might show a little more appreciation without costing any more cash.
Skip the holiday party and create a holiday atmosphere instead
A holiday party doesn’t work if some drivers are on the road and not able to attend, so consider other ways to celebrate without having to exclude some employees. If you can all be together for a holiday celebration, that’s great. But if not, maybe have a tree and simple gifts for each employee under the tree, along with cookies or other treats that are available for a few days so that everyone gets a chance at them. You can have a holiday atmosphere at your facility for a few days, with decorations and music to set the mood. It’s not a party, but everyone will feel like they got to have a part in the celebration.
Give as a group
This holiday season, make a donation on the part of your drivers, getting their input into what they want that giving to be. Consider having a giving tree in your facility that drivers can participate in (or not) or adopt a family on behalf of your drivers and provide food and gifts for that family. Don’t ask your drivers to chip in for it, but do make it something everyone can be involved in either by voting on what it is, helping to do the shopping, wrapping the gifts, or some other way. Giving in this way, as a group, can be very inspiring and morale building!
Give them something useful
Forget trinkets and tchotchkes. Give them something that makes their time on the road easier, such as a high quality water bottle, a nice cooler full of healthy snacks, shoes to wear only in the cab (to help keep cabs clean), thick socks (for cold weather) or even pre-stamped cards and envelopes for sending notes to the family at home. Better yet, ask your drivers what they’d like and decide that way!
Forget the baseball cap and skip the t-shirts. Chances are your drivers already have a few of those. Instead get them clothing that’s appropriate for what they do: work a little then sit a lot. Consider comfort but also consider something nice looking that will give your drivers a morale boost and your company a brand boost.
Get their vehicles detailed!
If you really want to show your drivers some appreciation this holiday season, get their trucks and cabs detailed and extra clean. Everyone likes to start out the New Year with a fresh start…and a fresh, clean truck cab will help your drivers do just that.
Whatever you decide to do to show your appreciation, the most important thing is that you show it…in a sincere way. Truck driver retention is a serious issue, with no end in sight to the shortages. Making sure your drivers know they matter during the holidays—and the whole year through—will help you keep those drivers driving for you.
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