Have you ever wondered why managers often have so much trouble understanding their subordinates? Or why some people are fantastic at a specific job but just can't seem to manage others doing the exact same job?
The fact of the matter is, different job functions require different personality types. The top graph represents a typical manager in today's corporate America. Companies look to fill their teams with highly assertive, extroverted executives who work at a fast pace and deal with details only when needed. It's a great recipe for success in growing sales or driving a team towards the company's goals. Now take a look at what makes a good, safe driver… the complete opposite! Safe drivers are typically those who thrive in an unhurried environment, where they have clearly established processes and procedures. This divergent approach may explain why so many driver managers have difficulty communicating with and coaching their direct reports effectively.
Only through self awareness and strategic coaching will a carrier be able to move the needle on driver retention. How many times have you heard, “Drivers don't leave their carrier, they leave their driver manager.” Only through training and coaching on how to better relate to different personality types can managers become more effective at motivating and engaging their drivers. This approach will ensure your drivers' needs are being met, leading to greater productivity and reduced turnover. It should also ensure that you receive the bottom line results you desire.
The Predictive Index study for the Safe Driver Profile determined that to maximize their effectiveness, productivity and job satisfaction, consider providing them with the following:
- A stable, familiar, supportive work environment and organization.
- The opportunity to develop expertise, skill and experience in their area of responsibility and the opportunity to apply that expertise, skill and experience on a daily basis.
- A consistent and clearly defined process to follow that ensures repeated successes. NOTE: With an appropriate background, the employee should take part in creating this process.
- Thorough training in all aspects of their job, except where experience already covers it.
- The opportunity to interact within a supportive team environment.
- The opportunity to build stable relationships with management, their driver manager, and other co-workers.
Given the varying personality types of drivers, management strategies will need to be adapted accordingly. Using a validated behavioral assessment that provides this type of feedback can greatly increase a driver manager's ability to effectively communicate with their drivers. By creating the best environment for each driver, a carrier will gradually begin moving the needle on reducing turnover and building a team of engaged, safe and reliable drivers.
Look for my blog entry next month where I will detail several other driver personality types and the strategies to best manage them for optimal productivity and long term retention.