Our solution to the HGV crisis

15 Sep 2021

The challenge: Get the wheels of the logistics sector turning again

The UK’s shortage of HGV drivers has created widespread disruption throughout our supply chains. The current estimate of unfilled driving roles sits at 90,000. As consumers, we’re all seeing the impact on our shopping experience – from reduced product availability to longer lead times. More recent consequences include the suspension of many garden waste collections and delays to flu vaccine deliveries. The need to get things moving again is intensifying.

For the many businesses urgently trying to fill HGV driver vacancies, some good news: throwing more money at the problem isn’t necessarily the answer. By thinking differently about how to attract and support new recruits, we are supporting some of our customers with effective, affordable ways to get more drivers back on the roads.

The solution: Creative reward programmes that jumpstart driver recruitment

Cash might seem like the most compelling incentive, but the money often gets absorbed into everyday expenses. The consequence? Any real sense of value is lost, along with the resulting loyalty to the business paying for it.

By contrast, gift cards – whether physical or digital – allow you to ringfence the amount in question, increasing the chance of it being spent more mindfully. If you want your recipients to feel meaningfully rewarded, you need them to be able to identify the moment they experienced the benefit. Put another way: if they don’t remember it happening, it’s unlikely to have much impact.

So, how could you use gift cards to tackle to the HGV driver shortage, specifically?

The quick win

THE IDEA : Inspired by ‘refer a friend’ schemes, we have helped some companies to launch ‘refer a driver’ programmes that offer a reward to both the referrer and the person recruited.

WHY IT WORKS : The prospect of earning, say, £200 is attractive enough to motivate people. As a cost to the business, however, that’s relatively low compared to most recruitment processes or the wider cost of operating at reduced capacity due to a lack of drivers.

More ideas

Other ways you can manage training and recruitment costs by getting creative with gift card reward programmes:

  • THE IDEA : Capitalise on your existing talent pool by incentivising your warehouse staff to complete HGV training, offering a bonus that’s paid when they’ve passed their test. Running this as an internal recruitment stream alongside a ‘refer a driver’ scheme focused on external recruits will protect your overall headcount.

    WHY IT WORKS : Driver vacancies are filled by people the business already knows and trusts. The company can make informed decisions about whether someone is likely to be a good fit for the new role. Those making the switch from warehouse work to HGV work feel valued and invested in by their employer. They also have existing relationships across support functions like HR, allowing for a smooth transition.

  • THE IDEA : Invest in covering, or part-covering, the cost of new driver training and tests. Offer a small initial incentive, followed by subsequent rewards over the following months.

    WHY IT WORKS : With the cost of the training and the HGV test being a barrier for many would-be drivers, contributing to these costs as an employer can be a fruitful investment. A potential recruit can commit to spending the money knowing they’ll get rewards to offset the cost further down the line. Meanwhile, the business gets the immediate benefit of newly trained drivers without having to pay out big lump sums. Issuing smaller rewards over time is more affordable and only happens in exchange for a reasonable length of service.

Our most popular multi-retailer card, One4all, can be loaded with up to £5000, making it just as suited to large incentives as for small, frequent recognition payments.

The result: Building a loyal driver workforce

Businesses running a ‘refer a driver’ scheme are welcoming qualified drivers to their team while avoiding a drawn-out recruitment process. These schemes are quick to set up, simple to run and cost-effective.

Those converting some of their warehouse resource to HGV drivers are upskilling trusted employees to create a valuable internal recruitment stream.

Companies offsetting training and licence costs are spreading the cost of expanding their pool of drivers, while protecting themselves against the risk of paying everything upfront.

All of these innovative reward and incentive schemes share two common outcomes:

  1. Businesses can get more drivers on the road without having to find large sums of money
  2. Issuing rewards as gift cards generates more loyalty to the organisation responsible for them

In fact, research suggests a gift card is a more effective reward than cash, even when the amount gifted is significantly less. For many businesses, increased morale, motivation and loyalty are all up for grabs by switching the rewards to a different format. However you decide to structure your incentive scheme, issuing rewards as physical or digital gift cards will give you the best return on your investment.

Looking to recruit HGV drivers? Get in touch to find out how we can help you use rewards and incentives to get the wheels turning again.

Ready to talk? Call today on 020 4517 5862.

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