The biggest savings for trucking companies begin with Safety and Compliance and Risk Management. And, better drivers depend on better training. Earlier this month we posted a blog to help you save time and money on your whole onboarding process. Today we’re going to focus on orientation itself. What’s the difference between onboarding and orientation? And why is it so important to target your savings here?
Onboarding vs. orientation
We’ll roll out the numbers in a second. But first, let’s say a word about the difference between onboarding and orientation. Some may use the terms interchangeably, and that’s OK—as long as you understand orientation as a key part of the onboarding process, setting you up for success or failure in retaining and training the right people.
Be strategic about how they work together: success in one affects success in the other.
Orientation is a subset of onboarding.
The entire onboarding process, from job posting to the last day of training, is one, long two-way interview. Drivers are assessing you; you’re assessing them. Looking at onboarding overall, your main area of savings is going to be in finding and hiring the right people. It can cost $1,000 or more to hire someone hastily, only to fire or lose them.
Orientation is one big piece of this puzzle. A sorry orientation is not going to impress new drivers or ensure safety, professionalism, or longevity with your company.
Onboarding starts the moment you post a job.
By the time employee orientation happens, a good onboarding process has already set it up for success. Job postings, website, pre-interview questionnaires, and communications have left in your applicant pool the people you want to invest in so you’re not wasting time and money.
Times are tough for finding drivers. But the costs are much higher for not hiring the right ones. Before orientation begins, you need to have determined, to the best of your ability, that these selected drivers are qualified, understand the job they’re being hired for, and understand the kind of company you are.
Orientation is the heart and soul of onboarding, and thus the heart and soul of your initial investment in employees. It’s where:
- Drivers are equipped to get safely on the road.
- Onboarding is most critical and most concentrated.
- Your company culture (healthy? people-oriented?) is on display.
- New employees taste the unique “flavor” of your brand.
- Your expectations are made crystal clear.
- You’ve got to get it right.
Locating your savings target
A typical orientation period lasts from 2-4 days. With online training tools at your fingertips, this is no longer necessary. Online orientation tools revolutionize savings potential without reducing effectiveness and cut orientation by days at a time. It does this by operating in three key savings areas: efficiency, consistency, and branding.
This is your savings target, with a giant bulls-eye. Your budget for every orientation day includes:
- Staff hours (prep and day-of)
- Other meeting costs
The biggest money drain of all? Keeping drivers off the road. Your trucks generate a certain amount of revenue per day per truck. Whatever that amount is, that’s what you’re losing per day by keeping drivers in a room going through in-person orientation they could have done online. Let’s say you orient 200 drivers annually. If online orientation can cut one day out of your in-person orientation, that’s 200 days of revenue being generated because the driver is on the road and not in an orientation class.
That doesn’t factor in the thousands of dollars in risk you take when a driver isn’t trained effectively in driving regulations, safety measures, legal protection, or company policy.
Now here’s how online training keeps orientation effective:
Drivers don’t come into the office to deal with every segment of orientation. Operations, maintenance, HR, and finance will thank you. Save their time and yours and put these trainings online. An online system allows drivers to complete these materials off-site before in person orientation begins. An online system also captures, dates, and archives all orientation materials so there’s no confusion, dropped communication, or paper shuffling.
One of the most challenging aspects of training truckers—whether orientation or ongoing training—is consistency. When can I get all my drivers here? Will Rob be teaching them this time, or Angela? Which drivers are doing the alternate orientation day? Who’s keeping track of the paperwork? Every inconsistency in orientation gives you room for costly slippage. Using an online training and orientation tool commits you to a single template and method for training. This ensures all your drivers are getting the same training, same quality of training, and identical information, every time.
You may not think drivers notice or care about the brand, but they do. Uniformity in branding supports familiarity with your company values and, if your company practices live up to the brand you display, it encourages driver loyalty, too. It also affects the kind of new employees you attract. Your brand stands for something. Online training is a great way to keep it coherent, synchronizing your messaging and technology.
Go ahead and start training modules off-site. Inifinit-I 5-7 minute training videos give complete, concise information and cover over 850+ topics related to the trucking industry. Materials can be repeated as many times as necessary, and the short bursts of information have been proven to help with retention and driver performance.
What about in-person training?
An online system doesn’t eliminate in-person training. It never will. What it does is open up time and energy to make in-depth, in-person training efficient and excellent. Save time for what matters. And save money in the process.
Infinit-I’s online training system can be used to save up to $1,000 per new driver hired. Join us at our next Safety Boot Camp to learn more about how Infinit-I can save you time and money when it comes to training.