Emotional well-being, the key to retaining operators

The need for this qualified personnel in the industry is increasingly pressing, so that to reverse the situation, transport companies can resort to human resource strategies that attract and retain talent through actions that do not necessarily imply an economic expense. .

The motor carrier is clear that the shortage of operators is one of its most relevant problems, and meeting this need for qualified personnel is one of its priorities. Therefore, efforts are made to place these collaborators at the center of everything, because without people taking the wheel, the vehicles remain stationary and the cash register does not work.

For this reason, transportation companies seek to generate strategies that allow them to attract new operators to their ranks and, at the same time, ensure that those who are already part of their workforce remain with the company for a long time.

And one of the elements that should be considered an attraction to attract talent is everything related to the emotional well-being of employees, highlighting the so-called emotional salary, which beyond the remuneration of a job, aims to provide a better quality of life. staff, through actions that generate an optimal balance between their work and family life.

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The emotional salary is a concept that refers to the remuneration or benefits that a worker can get from his company, not necessarily of an economic nature, and that are aimed at increasing his well-being and quality of life, as pointed out by the human resources expert Eduardo Rodriguez.

“Companies little by little begin to adopt internal mechanisms to be able to strengthen this other part in terms of quality of life, with internal measures that are not necessarily economic, but that will decisively contribute to making the collaborator feel valued, comfortable in your work, that generates this sense of belonging so that you can be productive and meet the objectives of the organization; and so that the company is aware that it is more than a number”, points out the director of the National Association for the Training of Interns (ANCABE).

It also highlights that, along with economic compensation, emotional salary is a tool that companies can use not only to improve productivity and motivation in their team, but also their degree of commitment; attract new talent and reduce their departure, since an employee who enjoys well-being in his company is less likely to change jobs.

“All industries that offer high income per employee are very focused on human resources and have a more advanced HR psychology. And it is just what is happening in the transport sector, because the turnover of personnel in such specialized industries is so difficult to replace that it is not enough, and it takes a long time to find someone to fill that vacancy”, considers Maya Dadoo, CEO of Worky, a startup focused on cloud-based human resource management.

According to research from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), led by Erika Villavicencio Ayub, from the Faculty of Psychology, transnational organizations —which have included emotional salary for more than two decades— document that they obtain better results and high rates of job satisfaction; which in Mexico could be something new, because this practice is not yet rooted in most companies.

Likewise, it points out that the low levels of employee satisfaction in some Mexican companies are reflected in low productivity; however, by implementing policies that encourage them to feel more comfortable through accompaniment at different stages and needs of their private and professional life, they could acquire greater commitment to their responsibilities.

Dadoo comments that talent management is one of the main pillars that drive competitiveness in organizations, especially in the service industry, such as transportation; and that today these elements of well-being have become a differentiator for people looking for a job, since the greatest attractions transcend the monetary aspect and seek those actions that allow them to have a balance between the personal, social and work spheres.

Read also: Balance in the emotions of operators contributes to reducing the severity of road accidents by 70%

In this sense, he points out that the emotional salary is a point to which the new generations of collaborators give an equal or even greater value than economic remuneration or benefits, since they prefer those benefits that contribute directly to their well-being and the perception of to feel appreciated by the company.

And it recommends that transport companies rethink the need to have an emotional salary strategy, not only to attract and retain their employees, but also to increase the sense of belonging.

emotional salary

Taking care of the staff does not imply spending more

Businesses often infer that providing additional attention and benefits to their payroll entails high expenses or an expense that will impact the business in one way or another; however, this is not the case, since there are actions that can be more effective than a bonus or benefits higher than those of the law.

When the emotional salary refers to non-financial incentives, it is about the aspects that make your working day more pleasant and improve your quality of life, and generally, these do not require large outlays.

How do you know what operators need? The experts Dadoo and Rodríguez agree that transport organizations must dedicate efforts to identify the needs and aspects that these collaborators value the most, and for this, they can resort to various initiatives.

For example, keeping channels open to achieve constant communication, periodic reviews of their work, providing them with a professional development plan, and conducting surveys for both new talent and those who leave the company, among others; which will allow them to have a better visibility on the aspects that they need to overcome.

“You can start with a study about the work environment, with which it is possible to have visibility on the main circumstances that surround the working conditions of the collaborator; such as what is his perception of the salary he receives, the tools he is given to carry out his work, or the leadership of his immediate boss, ”says Rodríguez.

And in this sense, according to Francisco Aguirre, Consulting Partner of AvantGarde Human Capital Consultants, generating trust and closeness with the operator helps to create that loyalty that the company so much seeks.

“Having that closeness with people and earning their trust are the most important points. If we succeed, we will increase the level of loyalty. And there are many ways to build that trust, but the easiest is interest and concern for people’s well-being.”

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How to take care of the operators?

An example that caring for the emotional well-being of employees does not necessarily imply an extra expense is provided by Édgar Martínez Chavero, General Manager of Transportes Hernie, who comments that the loyalty of its 66 operators has been achieved through actions that allow them to have greater certainty about their work and confidence in the company so as not to neglect their personal and professional duties.

The manager highlights that one of the company’s priorities is to provide each operator with the necessary elements to carry out their work, such as: providing the diesel and the money they require to make their journeys without inconveniences and focused on driving safely until their destiny, as well as providing them with a unit in the best possible conditions to safeguard their integrity; at the same time that their economic remuneration is covered weekly and they can have adequate rest to avoid work overload.

For the latter, he comments that it has a “wild card” operator scheme, that is, those who do not have an assigned unit, who cover shifts while others rest or must attend to a special situation outside of work. So for the 60 units that it currently has, it has 66 drivers, seeking that for every 10 vehicles there is one backup; relationship that it will try to maintain with the arrival of new units in 2022.

“A fundamental part of our strategy is to be close to them. When companies grow, we tend to delegate that function to another collaborator, who does not have the same relationship with them. But we, from the management, seek that approach and make them comfortable, but with a high degree of demand when it comes to providing a service, “Martínez emphasizes.

Another case is that of Alianza Trayecto, an organization that, to face the shortage of operators, has implemented various actions to ensure that its employees remain in their ranks and with the wheel in their hands. It achieves this by putting operators at the center of attention with measures that make them feel part of the organization and above all valued, not only economically, but also emotionally and personally, attending to their family needs and aspirations.

“In order to retain operators, the first question we have to ask ourselves is how faithful we are to their profession,” says Sergio Hernández, Director of Human Capital at Alianza Trayecto.

Read now: Eight actions that help take care of the health of operators

He stresses that the key to achieving optimum talent retention is to always maintain great awareness of the operators, which in the case of Alianza Trayecto, is a philosophy that comes from the general management; as well as to dignify this trade along with the other professionals that make up the company.

“You have to work hard to raise awareness that the operator is part of the gear, and propose different actions to always be creating the best environment for them and thus feel part of the organization”, he indicates.

Although he points out that it is relevant to be aware of and attend to the needs of the operators, as well as provide them with training, there are aspects of the daily operation that can be adjusted to provide them with greater certainty and control both in the work and personal aspects, such as programming of the trips.

“In the industry in general, operators receive a variable income, so we have to make sure that this income allows them to plan their time, since they have expenses like everyone else, and the more we dedicate ourselves to the programming of the trips, to be easier. It is a job carried out by the operating parties to maintain the greatest possible equity in the operator’s income, it is something fundamental”.

Hernández also mentions that recognition of the operator is part of the elements that allow creating an environment of growth, in which, in addition, the collaborators feel part of the organization and protected, and not as just another worker in the organization.

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