For Indianapolis-based Celadon Trucking, one of the 10 largest truckload carriers in North America, employee retention is more than an HR issue–it’s a business issue that impacts the entire industry. “Driver turnover in the industry is around 100%,” says Whitney Boyer, vice president of marketing, at Celadon. “We worked hard to achieve a better-than-average retention rate, but a significant amount of drivers were still quitting within their first 90 days.”
Celadon was facing a driver shortage and a competitive job market where drivers get incentives to jump to another carrier. “It's becoming more difficult for us to recruit and hire professional drivers,” says Whitney. “We want to keep the ones we have.”
The company also wanted to improve its employer brand reputation to attract new talent, and market Celadon to driver candidates. To accomplish this, marketing, recruiting, and operations partnered to understand how they could most effectively recruit and retain the best talent.
Using employee feedback to improve the onboarding experience
Celadon started using SurveyMonkey Enterprise to automate feedback collection, starting on a driver’s first day of employment.
“We wanted feedback from drivers about their experience during the recruiting and orientation process,” says Whitney. “Did they get the pay they were promised? Was their truck clean and working properly? The goal is to make sure our drivers are happy."
Integrating survey results into Salesforce to improve retention
After the onboarding survey, follow up employee surveys are sent at 30, 60, and 90 day intervals to stay on top of issues after a driver is on the road. “In these surveys, we ask drivers more operational questions about dispatching and their relationship with their driver manager.”
Celadon uses Salesforce and Pardot to automate communications with drivers. “All departments at Celadon that work with drivers use Salesforce,” says Whitney. “Driver communications and activity is tracked in their account and can be accessed by the driver managers.”
The company realized that driver feedback would be more accessible–and valuable–if it could be integrated into Salesforce and routed to the right stakeholder. “We wanted the survey results in Salesforce so stakeholders had access and could take action.”
The company created a custom object in Salesforce so driver-facing departments–from managers to operations–have access to driver feedback. Celadon writes workflows in Salesforce that automatically create cases and notify the right department if a survey response requires follow up.
“We've worked hard to do a better job listening to our employees, and collecting valuable feedback through SurveyMonkey has allowed us to make significant improvements for drivers.”
Automating employee feedback to understand ongoing needs
Surveys are also sent to more experienced drivers to aid in retention. Twice a year, the company sends out a general survey asking drivers about their preferences on the road, such as the kind of transmission or truck they prefer.
“In the latest survey we asked, 'do you plan on retiring with us?’” says Whitney. “We discovered that 8 out of 10 of our drivers plan to retire with Celadon.”
The company has found creative ways to leverage these survey insights; creating graphics for the back of their trailers that promote the results. “That stat has become a really great recruiting tool that we’re able to leverage.”
"It's another great recruiting tool–that we not only collect driver feedback, but that we're actually using it to make significant changes."
Results: A boost in retention and employer brand
In 2018, the company saw a 68% improvement in driver retention from 2017. “We've worked hard to do a better job listening to our employees, and collecting valuable feedback through SurveyMonkey has allowed us to make significant improvements for drivers.”
SurveyMonkey has also helped Celadon improve their employer brand by automating the feedback loop for their social media presence.
Since automating review requests based on survey sentiment, Celadon’s ratio of positive to negative feedback improved by 27% in the past 5 months.
The next step for Celadon is to start diving deeper into survey results to uncover trends and anticipate needs. “We ask our drivers questions about what kind of trucks and features they prefer,” says Whitney. “We’re now feeding that data to our executive team to help with equipment and purchase decisions,” she says. "It's another great recruiting tool–that we not only collect driver feedback, but that we're actually using it to make significant changes."