One of the most challenging aspects of setting up a rewards program at any carrier is funding it. Where does the money to invest in one of these programs come from? Let’s say you’ve read our case for a rewards program, and you are convinced. How do you find the funding in your business to make it happen?
The answer I give carriers I speak with might surprise you: You likely already have it.
After years working at a motor carrier and speaking with many others across North America, I have identified three potential sources of funding for a rewards program that already exist. In some cases, carriers have so many of these sources already in place that adding rewards from Stay Metrics (recently acquired by Tenstreet) is not a new expense but an amplification of the ROI of expenses which have already been budgeted.
A very common practice I have seen at motor carriers and at many employers in all industries is giving gifts to mark special milestones. This might be a gift given to celebrate 5, 10, 25, or more years with a company. It could also be a gift given to all drivers during National Driver Appreciation Week each September.
If your carrier provides drivers with any of these kinds of gifts, then you already know what I am going to say next. It is difficult to shop for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
The problem I have seen most often with this very well-intentioned practice is that the gift selected was not something the driver wanted. This is very understandable because everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Perhaps not every driver wanted the $150-$200 grill or television they received.
To solve this problem, consider shifting the expenses that would go into these driver gifts into a rewards program. The driver still gets a tangible gift from the carrier when they redeem their points, but they have tens of thousands of different options to choose from. It is far more likely that drivers will get exactly what they want, and then they will have an even more positive opinion of their carrier as a result.
Funding from Increased Compliance
Keeping track of drivers’ CDL and medical card renewals is one of the most difficult regulatory challenges carriers face. How much time would you say your carrier spends tracking drivers down to ensure they complete these important tasks on-time?
What if, instead, drivers were incentivized to renew early? How much time would this give back to your office staff? The adage “Time is Money” holds true in this case, as if your team has more time to focus on other areas, you have also saved money.
Many carriers that work with Stay Metrics award drivers points for renewing medical cards and CDLs early. This drives up the rate of early renewals across the company and avoids the cost of their staff’s time tracking down drivers individually.
Shifting Sign-On Bonuses
While I do not propose eliminating sign-on bonuses, I do think shifting how they work with some help of a rewards program can help promote long-term retention.
This is easiest to understand with an example. Say your carrier awards a $3000 sign-on bonus that pays out in 2 years. What if this was shifted to where $1000 were paid to the driver within the first 7-10 days so that the driver could have some income replacement during their transition to a new carrier. Then, instead of paying out the rest in a lump sum, the carrier awarded $250-$500 in rewards points every 6 months the driver stayed on.
Keeping the incentive to stay on another 6 months to get those points can help promote longevity. Using the Stay Metrics platform, these awards are completely automated, so your HR/Settlements team gains some time as well.
I think most carriers will find that much, if not all, of the funding they need to implement a driver rewards program with Stay Metrics can be found by looking into these three areas.
You do not really lose anything by reallocating budgets from these sources. Their purposes are still served and amplified with the addition of a rewards program. Driver gifts will be supercharged with the addition of choice. Compliance will be streamlined. Sign-on bonuses will help bring in and keep drivers.
If you are ready to increase the ROI of your dollars spent on these three categories, feel free to contact us for an initial consultative conversation.