Is Your Team too Loyal to the Past?


Alexandria, Virginia:

Commitment to change for an organization is no small feat.  It starts with the leaders acknowledging the issues within their company and agreeing to change the way things are currently being done. Owning the situation within the company, when it comes to turnover, is where the process has to begin. Blaming outside forces is very dangerous because it does not allow for ownership of the issue, it can always be someone or somethings fault, it’s an external problem. When I meet with management teams for the one-day workshop that begins the project plan there appears to be complete dedication to the effort, with everyone bobbing his or her head in unison to the new strategy.  A quick read of the room reveals that although there are always a number of folks in attendance that are entirely committed to change, there are usually one or two others who are not what they seem. Let’s call them Bobs – why? Because they are bobbing their heads in agreement but they have not fully committed to changing the way they do things.

I’m not quite sure where I tend to lose these Bobs when I discuss the new TCA Retention Project, maybe it’s when I tell them that if their turnover is upwards of 60% that the majority of their employees and owner operators do not believe a word they say. Maybe it’s when I explain the program I offer and tell them that, although it takes additional effort up front, in the end, they will save time. Maybe it’s when I explain that they are going to do the same thing in the program as they have always done, but they will need to do it a little differently? Could it be when I discuss my real-life experience of my management team reducing our turnover from 120% to 20% over two years while doubling our operating ratio and transitioning from a poor insurance risk to winning TCA Fleet Safety Awards. I’m not sure. The sad thing is that some of these Bobs have influence, usually through tenure with the company or family ties, and they can tend to slow an excellent effort to a crawl. These folks have what I call “Loyalty to the past.”

Loyalty to the past goes like this: we have always done it this way, and we got this far so why should we change now? Of course, this is a rhetorical statement and is also the root of the company’s escalating turnover. Times have changed and the labor pool your draw from has changed in a variety of ways, from the age dynamic to greater diversity in gender and ethnicity, your company must adjust to these real-time influences.

These companies are also usually under an autocratic type management style where creative thinking is not only discouraged, it is stifled as soon as it is found out. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this style is that it tends to repel young talent. Millennials don’t buy into this style at all and once they recognize it they bolt from it. These folks are into collaboration and creative problem-solving. The good news is that if ownership is willing to accept this reality they can use this as a paradigm shift to springboard a new initiative like the TCA TPP Retention Plan to plan for success.

Taking on any significant project plan within a company is challenging and at times may seem daunting. To address this, TCA offers a stepped process that you can move along at your own pace. This approach is much more straightforward than starting from scratch and hoping that you succeed. The program has a successful track record, and is growing weekly. If you have any issues you’d like to discuss, all my contact information is below let’s have a chat and see if this new offering is a good fit for your company.

Safe Trucking

Ray Haight

TCA Retention Coach