Fleet Pivots to Feedback-Based Driver Training​
From Fleet Owner, April 19, 2021

The average person’s attention span is around 8.5 seconds, according to Gina Anderson, who has been studying the science of learning for decades. While the average learner needs to see something repeated at least seven to eight times before it goes into their working memory, she said.

Anderson is the CEO and co-founder of Luma Brighter Learning, an instructional design and learning company focused on developing teaching strategies for the trucking and transportation industry.

“What we have found from feedback with drivers is, No. 1, there is some disconnect between how they’re being trained and their preferences for learning,” Anderson explained during an April 13 webinar focused on driver training and retention. “Not only are drivers providing feedback where the training isn’t authentic or meaningful, the trainers are burnt out a lot of times. They are in a classroom—whether it’s a physical classroom or synchronous online classroom—and they are not sure if drivers are learning. The driver trainers are frustrated because they’re dealing with all this paperwork, it takes so much time, and there is just a lot going on that they have to manage.”

Retention a concern
A big concern for trainers is whether drivers are actually retaining the content they receive during classroom-based orientation or annual training meetings.

“Drivers want better training on the service their companies provide, like how to handle a bill of lading, or technology like Qualcomm,” said Max Farrell, CEO and co-founder of WorkHound. “And they want it to be a proactive experience, not as a result of an infraction. We also see that drivers are very honest about how engaging their training programs are. From what we see in the driver feedback, the relationship between drivers and trainers can be strained.”

By working with Luma and gathering feedback from WorkHound, Dart Transit, which provides freight transportation, warehousing, and logistics services throughout the U.S. and Canada, has found that driver training must be interesting, but not cumbersome. Training should also be relevant and custom-designed for a particular fleet.

According to Gary Falldin, Dart vice president of safety and driver onboarding and security, the carrier’s goal is to make sure new drivers coming into orientation are getting started off on the right foot and that ongoing training remains interesting for their existing drivers.
“You want to make sure that everything is going well in orientation, that they understand the job, and that the training is not too cumbersome,” Falldin said. “We like to get them in and out of orientation very quickly, but then also make it meaningful so that when they do hit the road, they understand their job and they’re feeling comfortable. If they don’t, they’re going to feel frustrated.”

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