The pandemic has been devastating for the transportation industry. Operations suffered the most recognizable effects. On top of that, recruitment and retaining of operators have reached a critical point.
In response to this, several CEOs and official organizations work to mitigate this problem. As a result, they have released general recommendations that have helped companies around the world. Here, you will find the most relevant ones.
How Can I Retain Operators During And After COVID-19?
First, create adequate safety and sanitation strategies for your operators. Then, restructure your finances and operations. Try not to charge in credit for your services.
Finally, it would help if you had a clear and timely communication strategy. Communication creates certainty. Nowadays, uncertainty is a key factor in operators leaving a company.
Protection Measures For Operators
In logistics, operators work under particular circumstances.
First, they get exposed to different work and resting areas. For such places, it is difficult to know if they are taking any preventive measures and which ones they are.
Then, a sick driver could cost you your operations.
To prevent this, different governments, including the USA, through the CDC, suggest that you focus on these primary objectives:
- Reduce the infection rate among workers.
- Maintain a healthy work environment.
- Implement sanitary strategies for your commercial operations.
Whether you are a CEO or a director, you can start with these three strategic areas.
Remember, it is better not to rely on other people’s common sense. When launching, consider that you might have to be extra clear and repetitive. Although inconvenient, it will beat losing your staff.
How To Reduce The Infection Rate Among My Employees?
To start, you have to plan two strategies.
First, design an isolation strategy for people who get the virus. The second one has to be a strategy to provide your operators with protection equipment.
For both, the main objective is to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic in your operations.
When you provide them with protective gear, you generate certainty and improve operations. There might be clients that require your operator to have their equipment already.
- Safety goggles
- Face shield
- Surgical mask
Also, consider every-day situations.
For example, when your operator must travel with another person in the cabin. As an option, you could install a detachable barrier between the driver and the passenger.
Advice to prevent COVID-19 infections in the workplace.
A good starting point should be following the federal and international recommendations for prevention. Among them, social distancing and hygiene stand out.
The CDC, in the USA, suggests the following:
- Promote contactless or no-signature delivery.
- Limit trips with passengers in the cabin.
- Providing hand sanitizer for your operators.
- Hand out effective disinfecting wipes.
- Preselect stops, rest stops, and hotels.
About the last recommendation, you have to go and inspect those places. Make sure that they clean and often disinfect and handle food with sanitation standards.
Recommendations For Commercial Operations During The Pandemic
Now, it is time to look at your company’s management. First, generate protocols on how to handle infection cases and reintegrate operators once they are cured.
- Select one person to be in charge of COVID-19-related issues.
- Everyone should know who this person is and how to contact them.
- Communication with your staff must be anonymous.
- Anonymity prevents discrimination in the workplace.
- Develop a strategy to generate mileage for your operators.
- Restructure your budget.
Also, develop flexible leave policies that do not cost operators that need to be isolated.
Make a plan to know how to act if someone gets sick on the road. Consider listing stops, how and where to look for treatment, and a plan to fulfill the delivery.
Last, keep in mind that your operators might be under much more stress than usual. This could affect their immune system and mental capacity. To prevent this, plan routes that will help them to get some rest and reduce their fatigue. Thus, you can avoid episodes of anxiety or accidents.
Communication And Safety In The Workplace
As a last consideration, your strategy must include effective communication. Remember, if you create certainty, you make it easier for your operators to decide to stay.
You can achieve this goal if:
- Your information sources are reliable and official.
- There is constant communication with your operators.
Pay special attention to your sources of information. Otherwise, you will be risking your driver’s health, and you could be held responsible if anything wrong happens.
For this strategy, avoid falling into speculation. Instead, focus on actions that prevent infections and improve health.
If possible, reach out to official institutions and use their communication material or staff to create awareness among your employees.
Also, make sure that all the operators are aware of the strategies you will implement. Although not everyone might agree with them, you will be generating transparent expectations. Uncertainty can only go away with clear information and expectations.
Remember, the objective is to generate certainty.
This pandemic has been hard for the industry of logistics and transportation. Although most circumstances are out of your control, there are some other ones that you can improve.
Keep in mind that taking positive action, even if late, will always be better than doing nothing.
Also, most of these measures should remain a part of your daily protocol, even when the pandemic is over.
Companies must adopt and adapt to the “new normal.” To solidify your team, it is vital to accept challenges, be dynamic, and keep your staff incentivized. Without a doubt, this will improve the commitment among your internal customers and will yield better results.