How FreightWorks uses Workhound to connect with drivers - A case study

Oct 19, 2021

Many companies find their way to WorkHound when they’re seeking a program to help them overhaul their company culture. For FreightWorks Transportation & Logistics, that initial connection was a little different. 

FreightWorks, a 100-plus truck transportation company based in the foothills of North Carolina, prides itself on a strong company culture. What they needed a little help with was reconnecting their management team with those on the frontlines. 

While many trucking companies grappled with challenges in 2020, FreightWorks found itself on fairly solid footing, largely because of its industry footprint in hazmat, high-security, and temperature-controlled freight, which are all considered essentials. Even so, the company was looking for a resource to help amplify its driver-retention efforts. 

“When you lose touch with your drivers, you really lose something as a company,” says Joyce Siqueira, VP of Operations for FreightWorks. “I wanted to be able to have access to the drivers, their feedback, their input, and what was going on in their lives without it being filtered through anyone else. WorkHound fit that need perfectly.”

DISCOVERING THE WORKHOUND DIFFERENCE

 As Siqueira began looking into WorkHound as a feedback mechanism, she uncovered what she describes as its best asset: its anonymity. 

“Because it’s anonymous, drivers don’t have to know me and trust me to give feedback,” Siqueira says. “Most people have to trust the person they’re talking to before they’re candid. Making it anonymous removes that distancing and allows someone to be honest, real, and just blunt. That gives me a real feel for the boots on the ground. How are we really doing? What are the problems we need to work on? What are we good at?”

That’s a key difference between WorkHound and many other feedback programs on the market. Most surveys, for example, rely on trite questions that elicit narrow answers and simply don’t get to the depth of information companies need.

“Surveys give very canned questions,” Siqueira says. “I really want to know how our drivers are doing — the good, bad, and ugly. Having candid, unfiltered feedback from the drivers is what we needed. It reconnected the top level of management to our people on the road.”

For Butch Maltby, who heads up communications efforts at FreightWorks, there’s an added benefit to WorkHound.

“WorkHound is basically a digital, 24/7 focus group,” Maltby says. “Your finger’s on the pulse of what’s happening. It’s done in such a way that you’re getting real-time feedback that provides you with so many different things that are needed to manage the enterprise. It’s a mirror to tell us: ‘Are we, in fact, who we say we are?’”

PUTTING FEEDBACK INTO ACTION

By reconnecting those in management with those on the frontlines, WorkHound has also helpedFreightWorks identify and implement impactful change.

“About 80 percent of what I focus on — with operations, especially — is driven by WorkHound feedback,” Siqueira says. “We get quick feed back from the drivers, so we can take quick action. I actually make it a point of emphasis to take action on the comments before replying to the drivers.That way, it’s not just ‘I will address’ your concern; it’s ‘I’ve already addressed it.’”

For any company, part of promoting driver satisfaction and improving retention lies in overcoming drivers’ perceptions, which are often shaped by years of negative experiences in the industry while working with other companies. WorkHound was an essential part of helping FreightWorks move past those barriers.

“Any company inherits some of all the experiences that a driver has,” Maltby says. “Many come out of an environment where they’ve not been able to speak to what’s on their heart and on their mind, what their experiences are. When they’re given the opportunity to do so with WorkHound, they really get behind that experience.”

That, in turn, is a key part of making changes that drive retention and keep drivers loyal to FreightWorks.

“For a company to be able to pivot and adapt and change — it’s all about listening to what drivers are saying and then adapting,” Maltby says.“They’re on the frontlines and in a position to know what’s working and what’s not. The functionality of WorkHound allows for the capture of not just exceptions or problems, but also ideas for how things can be done better.”

SHIFTING FEEDBACK UP THE LADDER

A year into partnering with WorkHound, there have been many positives — nearly 70 percent of drivers have provided feedback, and the company maintains a satisfaction score of 7.79, above the industry average of 7.09.

Nearly 70% of drivers have provided feedback

“The biggest benefit is that the drivers have access to upper management instantly,” Siqueira says.“Their feedback doesn’t get lost in the busy-ness of someone who’s in the mud every day trying to solve a hundred other problems. Feedback lands where it can actually be addressed.”

That helps overcome a problem that’s persistent in the trucking industry at large: Feedback doesn’t always end up where it’s most useful.

“It’s not that most companies don’t want to hear their drivers or that they don’t care, but the fact that the driver managers are often trying to work with too many drivers,” Siqueira says. “They get lost in the craziness of every day. Being able to skip the middle level and go straight to the top means that changes can happen from the top down.”

So, what’s the secret to FreightWorks’ success withWorkHound? Gaining buy-in from the top level of the company is a key component, but the most important part is in the work they put into the tool.

“I own WorkHound,” Siqueira says. “Every problem that comes in through WorkHound, it’s my problem until it’s solved. This tool works best when someone is dedicated to the results you get out of it. You get out of it what you put into it.”