Why Trucking Needs to Get Social
By: Ben Schill, PTI Director of Operations
I’ve always considered myself relatively technologically savvy. After all, I grew up during the monumental shift from business applications performed with typewriters to computers. In college, e-mail was gaining speed. By my senior year, no more snail-mail letters were sent home and communication with friends across the country without racking up huge phone bills was big. Savvy, right? Then came social media.
Perhaps it was turning 40 this year that I realized I am now a generation removed from many of those with whom I work and I am equally separated by the use of social media as a means of connecting in the workplace. After witnessing so many of those around me (of all ages) actively socializing on-line and keeping up with their personal and professional community, I dusted off a dormant Facebook page. Things had changed dramatically since I last logged on and it became immediately clear that opening up the social media options to a work force can be an integral tool in engaging with employees.
In the trucking industry, one of the largest voids in the trucking lifestyle is the daily socialization that many take for granted (such as chatting with your coworkers). Many companies fail to engage their drivers outside the barriers of their email servers and their physical walls, which leave their most valuable employees, professional drivers, feeling devalued. Social media can help fill this void, create transparency, and assist in creating a consistent culture from office to office, truck to truck, and office to truck. Whether on Facebook or creating mobile applications, we’re learning how to engage with our drivers wherever they are and based on their response, we’re watching it evolve into something even greater.
Regardless of your personality type, we all have a need for socialization. For those of us who have a remote workforce, embracing social media, such as Facebook, and internal communication apps that reach every employee can be the best step you can take to improve morale and strengthen your culture.