One of the most important aspects to develop and include in your business is a way to effectively and accurately evaluate how good your drivers are compared to an objective standard.
This is essential not only to help you with making decisions about which drivers to retain or which ones you have to let go but also to allow you to focus in on the professional behavior and expectations that you have. When drivers have the ability to renew the trucker report or evaluation forms you will use it helps them to keep in mind the aspects of the profession that they need to focus on.
Developing a trucker evaluation form is also a good way to ensure that all truckers from employees to contractors are being evaluated and assessed the same way. For equal treatment of employees and to avoid costly litigation for wrongful dismissal or unfair treatment this consistent evaluation is an effective tool.
Write A Job Description
Before you can decide what you are going to evaluate or rate your employee or contract drivers on you have to set up a comprehensive job description. It would be unfair to rate drivers on tasks that they did not realize was part of their required activities.
The job description for the truckers should be very specific. It should include everything from the pre-trip inspection to getting on the road, picking up the load, driving the route, unloading and returning the truck in clean, appropriate condition. The more details that you put in the job description, which can be in point form, the easier it will be for everyone to understand what is expected.
One of the cleanest ways to rate drivers is using a simple scale. Under each element of the job description you can use a series of letters or numbers and simply circle the one that matches your rating on that particular item. Many companies use the letters E for exceeds expectations, M for meets expectations, S for substandard, which is sometimes also indicated as a U for unsatisfactory. In this system drivers could be allowed a maximum number of U or S scores which, once reached, would be grounds for review, coaching or firing.
You can also use a rating scale from 1 to 3 or one to 5 with 1 being unsatisfactory and 5 (or 3) being exceptional. The trucker would then get a number for each part of the job description with a set minimum total score required to pass the evaluation.
Ideally drivers would not be getting any U or S or 1 scores, these issues would be addressed when they were noticed and the driver would be assisted in addressing these deficits or issues prior to a formal evaluation.
Many companies encourage the manager or supervisor to complete the evaluation and the employee driver or contract driver to also do a self-evaluation. The two can then compare their ratings and talk about the areas where there may be a difference. Most people are more critical of their own performance so it gives the manager or supervisor and the driver a chance to focus on positives and great work behavior.
Factors To Consider
While the driver’s trucking record and driving record will definitely be an important part of the evaluation, other factors also need to be considered. These can include issues such as maintaining paperwork or e-logs correctly, attending required trainings and professional development opportunities or how they work with others on the team.
Many companies also evaluate drivers in their ability to work with customers. This could include discussing any complaints about the driver from clients or other staff but also highlighting any compliments or positives that the employee receives from those inside and outside of the company.
Depending on your company and the roles that your driver’s play in the business there may be other topics or issues to discuss. The key is to ensuring that all drivers are evaluated against the same criteria and that the truckers are aware of the criteria prior to the evaluation.
While initially formal driver evaluations may be a bit unusual for drivers to complete and participate in, they will quickly become a part of the culture of the company. They are an ideal opportunity to talk to each driver individually and privately and highlight areas that they are doing well and areas that you see the need for focus.
Regular evaluations are a way to strengthen your company and create an environment where everyone is on the same page in developing the professional image that you want. While this may not be a common aspect in many companies, it is a page out of corporate America that will help everyone in the company and help you in growing your trucking business.
If you are interested in a truck driving career please visit http://www.truck-school.com/