Dollars and Sense

October 22, 2019 by Angela Splinter

Everyone wants to be paid well and paid fairly. And employers want to be competitive with their compensation. It’s good business to make sure what you’re offering is up to date, on trend, and able to both meet the needs of your workers and attract your next generation of employees.

Let’s look at three things to consider:

Hourly pay

Last year the demand for freight services significantly outpaced the supply of qualified drivers, which in turn put strong pressure on wages. Our latest labour market information research shows significant changes in compensation for truck drivers in 2018, often involving double-digit percentage increases.

To attract prospective drivers, there seems to be a shift away from mileage pay toward hourly pay, especially in the long-haul segment. While this approach would require some operational changes, employers are noting that hourly pay is easier for younger workers to understand and makes it simpler to calculate overtime pay for truck drivers.

Total compensation

Total compensation refers to the overall value of what you are offering your employees in both direct and indirect benefits. Direct benefits include wages or salary, while indirect benefits include bonuses, vacation days, allowances for tuition and training, uniform allowances, and other items not reflected on a paycheque.

It’s important to identify everything you offer and to communicate them to your staff, especially your drivers. In a market where drivers frequently compare pay packages, your ability to clearly explain the total compensation you offer will help them make informed decisions before jumping ship – and to accurately explain their pay and benefits to drivers in their “grapevine.”

Our website has templates that can assist here. If you are not currently providing total rewards statements to your employees, this is something you may want to look at.

It’s important to identify everything you offer and to communicate them to your staff, especially your drivers.

Tailored benefits

There are numerous ways you can shape your benefits package to the needs of your workers. The most important step is to engage employees in this conversation so you can identify things that matter most to them and incorporate them into a tailored pay package.

One example is a focus on financial wellness. With a large percentage of the trucking workforce nearing retirement, this is a real concern for a lot of workers. A recent survey by the Canadian Payroll Association shows that 43% of workers are so financially stressed that their performance suffers.

Including financial wellness in an overall benefits plan can not only make your offering more competitive, it will genuinely help employees’ peace of mind while also improving productivity.

Communication

Your employees need to know – and understand – their compensation package. Through effective onboarding, regular staff meetings, or through the various channels you use to communicate with your employees, make sure your employees are informed.

Clearly articulating and explaining in detail the total value of employment to employees could be a deciding factor in whether they stay with you or leave. And in a labour market where employees are focused on their bottom dollar, it just makes sense that you do everything you can to make them stay.