Building a Strong FedEx Delivery Team: Tips for Addressing Problem Drivers
Like most business owners, FedEx contractors may encounter issues from time to time with employees who are not performing to the best of their ability. If those employees are your delivery drivers, poor performance could lead to missed delivery deadlines, incorrect deliveries, or even accidents on the road—all of which could be extremely detrimental to your business reputation and your bottom line.
Provided you take steps to hire qualified, competent drivers and offer incentives to reward and retain a strong team, you may never encounter the following issues. However, because the life of a delivery driver can be stressful and unpredictable at times, the following are some common issues you may encounter and simple ways to address them so that you can continue to maintain a profitable FedEx route business.
- Frequent lateness and/or sick days
Being on time for work is especially critical in the delivery business, as being even a few minutes late can impact overall route efficiency. Likewise, when a driver does not show up for a shift, operations may grind to a halt if no one is there to cover for them. While the occasional tardiness or sick day can be overlooked, chronic lateness should be addressed as soon as a pattern is identified to avoid letting tension build and reacting out of anger or frustration.
First, let your driver know that you know there is a problem. Instead of reprimanding, let them know how their tardiness is affecting everyday business operations, for example if deliveries were missed or if you had to spend time finding someone to cover their shift. Make sure they also understand how their actions impact their fellow drivers and, as a result, overall morale.
Finally, make sure they know they are a valued member of the team, and that you are committed to working to try to resolve the issue. Remember that your drivers are human beings with lives and families and everyday challenges, and often just letting them know you care is a positive step toward resolving the issue. Of course, the issue may also be one that requires a shift change or even a route change to help avoid the problem, which is why communication is so important.
- Customer complaints.
Consistently delivering to the wrong address, mishandling packages, unprofessional appearance, or even a poor attitude toward delivery recipients—all of these things can result in complaints from customers about a driver.
Because customer complaints reflect poorly on your business, especially in the age of social media when unhappy consumers are quick to voice their thoughts online, making sure your drivers understand the importance of quality work and professionalism is imperative.
In addition to providing the most up-to-date technology to ensure deliveries are made on time and to the right address, FedEx route owners may also want to consider training drivers on proper etiquette with regard to package handling and placement, as well as interacting with package recipients. This can be incorporated easily into your initial onboarding process.
- Repeated accidents.
If a driver is having repeated issues with accidents on the road, from minor fender benders to more severe damage, it may be an indication that they need a refresher course on safe driving and maneuvering. While driver training is typically part of the onboarding process for a FedEx route business, many contractors require drivers to complete training annually so it stays fresh in their mind.
If you notice several drivers having this issue, it may be a good time to reevaluate and enhance your current driver training requirements to ensure all of your delivery drivers have the knowledge and skill to operate safely and efficiently on their daily routes.
Always reward positive change.
When you notice that a driver has been working diligently to address and resolve their issues, let them know that you see their hard work and appreciate their efforts. Just a few simple words of praise can provide the encouragement needed for drivers to “keep up the good work.” You may also want to consider offering incentives (such as a free lunch, gift card, etc.) to drivers with the best attendance record, fewest number of accidents, or most customer compliments.
Follow the KR Capital blog for more tips and information about owning and operating a FedEx route business, or contact us today to take the first step toward buying FedEx routes and becoming a FedEx contractor.