Making training work for your bottom line
What type of return on investment are you getting for your training dollars? For many trucking companies the answer is “I don’t know”; and it’s tempting to view training as a cost of doing business.
If you are aware of the return you’re getting on your training dollar, you have the opportunity to spend those dollars much more effectively.
There is no question that the price of the related programs can be measured in terms like trainer salaries, training material, and the fuel used for an in-cab demonstration. Every one of these figures can find a home in the cells of an accountant’s spreadsheet.
But targeted training programs would more accurately be described as an investment that can deliver real, measurable financial returns.
Tracking costs in the right ledger line
Fleet managers are often surprised by the size of the financial results that emerge once they begin to track all of the related figures. Consider the savings that can be realized by showing drivers how to properly adjust vehicle mirrors. The true cost of repairs to broken clearance lights and damaged barn doors may be hiding within larger maintenance budgets until they are tracked to measure the value of the training. And bigger financial savings may come in the form of a drop in the number of side-swiping collisions.
Even training for those who clean the floor of a service bay can help to reduce the worker’s compensation costs that are linked to slips and falls.
Improvements to recruitment costs
The financial returns do not end there. These investments play a role in reducing recruiting and retention costs, especially when the training is seen as part of a long-term strategy rather than an example of short-term discipline. Each session in a classroom can help a driver feel that they are worthy of an investment and important to the future of the company..
These are important factors when someone is trying to decide whether or not to jump from one employer to the next.
As driver shortages begin to re-emerge as an issue there is no overlooking the fact that there is a price to pay whenever a fleet needs to replace an employee. According to the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) it can cost between $6,000 and $14,000 to find, train and replace an experienced driver. Imagine the amount of training that can be delivered for this amount of money. In addition to this, fleets with access to a skilled workforce will also be in the best position to act on opportunities.
Targeted training = better returns
Meanwhile, the results can also be maximized by targeting the training to match the specific needs of individual employees, and their needs can be identified a number of ways. Carrier profiles and driver abstracts will offer information about the nature of infractions that occur on the road, and a truck’s electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) can help to spot drivers who are more aggressive with a throttle than they should be. General feedback from customers and fellow employees alike will help to identify those who show the attitudes that deliver a safer driving experience. This is all information that can be tracked as accurately as any dollar figure.
These are all steps that can contribute to a healthy business strategy. And when the targeted training initiatives are matched to financial objectives – and shared with everyone from management offices to a fleet yard — they will make a tangible difference in a company’s financial future.
These are the types of investments that will pay dividends for years to come.