Stay Metrics Research Projects

Project 1

Is There a “Stay” Driver and a “Safe” Driver Profile?

Abstract: Though carriers face recruitment and retention strategies that often lead to hiring nearly every qualified driver, some mistakes are going to be made. The Stay Metrics research team is working on a driver profile that will provide carriers with a risk assessment for potential drivers. Preliminary analyses suggest that the profile for a safe driver (one who has a clean safety record) is different from a profile for a “stay” driver (one who stays on the job for more than six months). The practical benefit of the project is to inform carriers about high-risk drivers. Even in a “fill the seat” mentality, mistakes are made, and the goal of this project is to help carriers avoid the clear misses even with the driver shortage imperative.

Project 2

Does Communication Between Drivers and Dispatchers Influence Driver Safety?

Abstract: Virtually every predictive model we run shows that dispatchers play a key role in driver satisfaction and driver retention. What is less understood, however, is what makes the dispatcher role so important. While there are various qualities to good dispatcher, in one of our projects, we focus on dispatcher-driver communication. Relying on carrier data, we analyzed thousands of inbound & outbound messages from the driver-dispatcher communication system. We relied on text analysis of the messages, searching for particular key words that reflect emotions (anger, frustration, appreciation) and communication modes (including the 58 swear terms in the English language). Preliminary analyses suggested that not only does the words dispatchers use matter, how the driver responds to those messages himself (or herself) matter.

Project 3

Is There Really a Millennial Effect to Driver Retention?

Abstract: One of the more popular topics in the business press (and the trucking industry is no exception) is the degree to which managing millennials poses to the industry. Millennials are thought to be motivated by different things than employees of other generations, are thought to have less attachment to employers, and are believed to communicate differently. If true, all of these make satisfying and retaining Millennial drivers more challenging. In this study, we analyze this issue and try to separate out two confounding effects (the degree to which younger drivers may be different than older drivers, and the degree to which this generation of young drivers is different from previous generations of young drivers). Our results will either confirm (Millennials are different) or refute (Millennials aren’t that different) the conventional wisdom and, in so doing, suggest practical ways carriers can better manage the next generation of drivers.

Project 4

What Is Engagement, Really?

Abstract: Analyses of our own data suggest that driver engagement, no matter how it is measured, is a key aspect of driver retention. While this is important, it rather begs of question: “Who is an engaged driver anyway?” Most of the methods of assessing driver engagement across various industries and with consulting firms, rely on self-report measures of engagement. These have merit but we are also interested in going beyond self-reported engagement measures. By linking self-reported driver engagement to “hard” metrics of engagement (such as activity with our or their careers’ website, information from carriers’ analytic data), we plan to shed light on ways in which carriers can keep drivers engaged. The bottom line is that engagement is an attitude, but it’s also an action.