7 ways to manage a delivery team
Managing a delivery team could make anyone go grey. The number of variables increases as the team scales, and one bad hire could make the entire team go rotten. We're going to look into some of the best practices we've seen firsthand and ones we've been told about from Forbes 1000 logistics teams.
7 Quick Tips
- When hiring, don't paint a pretty picture. Share the reality of the work, and make sure to share the difficult stuff. Near the end, talk about the good which will leave the meeting with a positive feeling. You want workers who will be around for the long haul.
- Over Communicate. This doesn't mean micro-manage, it simply means conveying objectives on delivery day and making sure any issues are addressed (or given space to be addressed). When people don't feel heard or attention their work typically starts to reflect that.
- Zero company frustration. No employee should have to feel like they don't have the right tools to operate. These tools aren't expensive! Routing software for example should cost under $60/driver and solves most if not all issues. Any frustration should be tracked back to the drivers' mistakes and not the company. Make sure you are not at fault.
- Company Culture. Over 85% of female drivers leave their delivery job because they found a company with a "better" culture (joint study by the University of Arizona and UPS- 2019). A "better" culture is described as less frustration when completing routes, a supportive management team, training opportunities, and predictable hours.
- Day-to-Day. The driver is only responsible for the loading of their truck and making the deliveries. Everything else is taken care of or automated. For example, proof of delivery, contacting the customer, checking in with how to deliver to any specific client, etc.
- Stand-Ups. Having a weekly meeting for 15-20 minutes each week to let drivers address any issues. This will be a heavy load for the first 3-5 weeks, as drivers may have a lot of pent-up anger, but the agenda will slowly come to a near flat line. One great way to respond to a request you can't solve is "let me look into this and get back to you next week", and get back to them next week. Taking a week to look into an issue will give the drivers confidence that you are taking concerns seriously even if you answer that problem can't be fixed or only have a partial solution.
- Ask your best drivers for referrals. When hiring- hire people you know. Any driver that recommends a friend will have that extra stake in the new hire. They will check in and make sure that the driver isn't doing poorly because that reflects on them.