Making a driver feel valued and appreciated is one of the biggest factors that can determine whether he or she works for your company for years or is out the door two months after being hired. As we’ve written about before, the factors that cause drivers to leave a company are often complex and layered, and feeling like their work is valued is a huge part of long-term satisfaction, even as other variables like routes, bonuses, and even pay change over time.
Implementing a rewards program at your carrier can be a cost-effective and high-impact way of engaging drivers while encouraging the behaviors you want from them. But carriers that try to use a traditional rewards program often see poor engagement rates and find that it rarely moves the needle on drivers. A rewards program should make a noticeable impact on drivers, and putting a system in place shouldn’t add more complexity to your day or take time from all your other priorities. Busy carriers need a systematic way to thank drivers that won’t slow them down.
Tenstreet’s new Rewards program addresses the challenges of busy carriers by offering an efficient way to thank your drivers, all through a platform your fleet is already using. Carriers can send rewards points right to their drivers’ phones. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards from several popular retailers, giving drivers a reward they’ll actually be excited about. After just a few clicks, your drivers will feel appreciated in a way that impacts their quality of life on the road or back home.
Starting a rewards program has never been easier, and the impact you’ll see on your fleet’s morale and retention rates make showing gratitude to drivers worth the investment.
How Rewards Works
Rewarding drivers happens in the app they already have on their phones and engage with constantly – Driver Pulse. More than 300,000 drivers have used Pulse in the last month, and 85% of all active drivers have Pulse on their phones, so it’s a natural place to engage your fleet without additional tools or effort from you.
Drivers can earn points from their carrier or from Tenstreet, which they can then redeem for electronic gift cards to driver-preferred vendors such as Amazon, Bass Pro Shop, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Doordash, Grubhub, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Petco, Olive Garden, and more.
Rewards gives carriers flexibility in budgeting however much makes sense for their businesses and also offers easy-to-use reporting that helps you track spend on rewards points over time. This report lets you track money invested in your rewards program (and money that’s still available to disperse to drivers) alongside an itemized list of all the rewards you’ve given and a summary total of all the points each of your drivers has received.
Once a driver activates their Wallet in Driver Pulse, they’ll be eligible to receive points in three different ways.
1. Applause Rewards
Applause Rewards lets carriers spontaneously award drivers points for one-off positive behaviors. Customer compliments, helping another driver on the road, or going above and beyond are great reasons to thank your driver with a reward to make your top performers feel seen and appreciated, and being able to award these points whenever you want to means you can respond quickly to feedback and make it clear how the driver has excelled.
2. Rewards with Automation
Automated points rewards let you set and forget points dispersals for birthdays or work anniversaries so you can effortlessly recognize these milestones. Just set the number of points you want to award and the driver will receive them on the correct date with no effort from you. These automations are also budget-friendly because you can calculate exactly how much you’ll spend in a year on these rewards, keeping your CFO happy.
3. Pulse Sweepstakes
Pulse Sweepstakes helps you maximize the fun per dollar; isn’t it more fun to have a chance to win 10,000 points instead of everyone getting 10 points? Pulse Sweepstakes lets you run giveaways and incentivize certain behaviors by letting drivers earn sweepstakes entries in ways you choose. Tenstreet handles the logistics of the sweepstakes by randomizing and notifying winners and entrants.
Ideas for Rewarding Drivers
Awarding drivers points for behaviors you want to encourage provides you with a low-effort way to promote consistency and get things done. By making it easier to say thank you, you’re driving an even deeper connection between your company and your drivers while encouraging behaviors you want to see.
Points can be rewarded at any point in the driver lifecycle. Below are some examples of activities drivers could complete for points rewards – but the reasons for showing appreciation are unlimited:
- Referring new hires
- Finishing an application
- Scheduling orientation
- Passing CSA inspections
- Attending safety meetings
- Submitting updated documents
- Completing training classes
- Receiving positive feedback from a terminal
- Improving fuel efficiency
- Filling out an exit survey
One point is equal to one penny. If a driver gets 500 points, those points are worth $5 in gift cards.
In his Pulse Wallet, a driver can select the number of points he wants to convert and turn those points into a gift card that can be used for shopping online and in supported businesses. Drivers can print these gift cards, save them to a virtual wallet, or give them to someone else as a gift.
Companies can set limits on how many points per day or per month individual users can reward to drivers so you can keep your budget in check.
If a driver has the Pulse app and has her Wallet activated, she is sent a push notification on her mobile device that points were awarded to her.
If a driver receives points but doesn’t have the Pulse app downloaded, she will receive an email saying she has rewards points waiting in the app with instructions on how to download it to redeem those points.
Once drivers get points from you, they keep them in their Pulse Wallet even if they leave a particular carrier. Points stay with the driver, not the company.
As long as a driver logs into their Pulse account every 24 months, their points stay active. Drivers will receive Pulse notifications to remind them about their existing point balance before it expires.
While we can’t provide you with tax advice and we recommend that you talk with your accountant about specific details, our understanding is that if you are providing a nominal amount of reward money, or if the rewards are given for safety reasons, there are no tax obligations.
However, for other rewards that are material, you will need to report the rewards as wages on the employee’s payroll or as a 1099. We offer a report in your Rewards tool which includes the necessary information for tax purposes.
Here are some links for information available from the IRS:
The Rewards that you are providing to a Driver under this Rewards Program are awarded in points, which themselves do not have a cash value. However, points can be redeemed for gift cards and each point is worth 1 cent in the driver’s Wallet.
Getting Started with Rewards
If you’re ready to see increased engagement from drivers and longer retention rates for your fleet, sign up to learn more about our rewards solutions below!