3 Ways To Support Your Drivers Mental Health

26th May 2023

How often do you ask your drivers how they are?

This is just one of the ways you can open up conversations with your team to check in and see how they are doing. We now know that one in four HGV drivers will suffer from a mental health issue within a year and whilst talking about it is still very much a taboo - it’s not something to be ignored, especially now with the cost of living crisis looming over us. It may be bringing extra expense to the business but also to your team members and their families.

The sobering facts…

The charity MIND released statistics that revealed 30% of self-reported work-related illness in the transport and logistics industry is due to stress, depression, and anxiety.

The statistics also brought to light that of the 22% of employees that’ve been formally diagnosed with a mental illness - only half have them have informed their employer!

Statistics like these are alarming for many business owners - there could be many people losing jobs due to underperformance with their employers blind to the reality of their suffering.

So, what can you do to support your staff and drivers with managing their mental health and reducing the risk of becoming stressed, leading to depression and long-term mental illness?

3 ways to help your team

In the world of transport, you don’t always see staff on a regular basis, due to the nature of the business, however, there are 3 ways you can support your staff.

  1. Communication is key - open up conversations and ask your drivers how they are. Be mindful not to rush away so that the driver or office staff feel you are not listening to their concern or joy of the day and remember to keep the conversation going with regular check-ins.
  2. Share celebrations “wins” within the business to everyone, with personal messages to all staff. Helping to build the mental resilience and cohesion of your team.
  3. Help your staff feel valued by putting in place regular, relevant training to help them to “feel supported” and appreciated.

Ongoing training helps support your staff mentally and professionally, helping them do their job to the best of their ability at any given time, helping them to grow in providing a professional service to your clients, and because it’s key that your team looks after all other road users in a professional and considerate way too.

Online training is a quick, cost-effective, and relevant way to help drivers and fleet staff to understand and become more professional at their job. There are a number of online training providers, such as Road Skills Online, who can help. But drivers also need a realistic delivery schedule that does not give them the impossible choice of missing a delivery to maintain drivers’ hours compliance or breaking drivers’ hours to make the delivery. Descartes can help with optimising deliveries to ensure the schedule is realistic and achievable to minimise driver stress. Whilst Descartes SmartAnalysis saves a busy transport manager time, money and potential headaches in ensuring the transport operation comply with drivers’ hours and tachograph requirements.

Sources | MIND