June 19, 2019

WorkHound brings innovative solution to truck driver retention

By helping drivers feel heard, WorkHound reduces turnover and saves carriers money — from their office in the Innovation District of Chattanooga.

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WorkHound has been in the Innovation District since the Fall of 2017, and we’ve had a front row seat to witness the growth of our immediate community, with Mad Priest and London Calling opening near our office, and Miller Park reopening just down the street. The last year and a half have also been a time of tremendous growth for our company, and we just announced that we’ve raised $1.5 million to keep expanding.

Although we’re grateful to be one of many successful technology companies in the Innovation District, the heart of what we’re doing isn’t innovative. At least it doesn’t feel like it.

Our team communicates. “Be transparent” is one of our company values. We often throw around a quote from Aaron Sorkin in West Wing: “Information breeds confidence. Silence breeds fear.” And while communication on the surface doesn’t feel innovative for us, in the industries we serve, it is.

WorkHound was created because of a need to identify why turnover is so incredibly high in trucking. Across the trucking industry, turnover is roughly 95 to 120 percent on average. That means on some routes, trucking companies are rehiring more than once a year.

This is a problem for multiple reasons, but the most convincing is that it’s very expensive. The cost to fill just one empty seat in a truck is about $3,000 to $5,000. And when it comes to freight, we like to say, “If I bought it, a truck brought it.” This expense affects all of us.

For WorkHound as a team, this high turnover is also personal. We all have friends or relatives in frontline work that are affected by the communication struggle that exists in a dispersed workforce. And we’ve also witnessed what happens when a worker speaks up and experiences repercussions for their honesty.

Here’s where the technology innovation comes in: Workers on the WorkHound dashboard receive a weekly text message empowering them to raise praises and concerns to their company with the added boost that their feedback will be kept completely anonymous. Our goal is to bridge the gap between company leadership and frontline workers by building confidence through communication.

Over the last four years while working with over 30,000 workers across the United States, we know that, typically, a worker’s concerns are shared among other team members. We also know that an open door policy is easy to say and much harder to do, especially when you’re driving a truck and you’re 1,000 miles away from the open door.

Because WorkHound allows companies to communicate with workers where they are, we’re raising the concerns that might not otherwise be heard to make a difference on the workers’ behalf.

Ultimately, this is making a positive impact on the worker retention rates for WorkHound customers. To date, we’ve worked with companies to retain 90 percent of at-risk workers for an additional 30 days when addressing issues through the platform.

This is exciting because the thing we set out to do is working, but also, the problem WorkHound set out to solve is attracting some of the brightest talent to our team, from within Chattanooga to as far away as California. And as we’re growing as a company, we’re witnessing the growth of the Innovation District around us.

Not only are there attractive new restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, but the diversity of businesses within the Innovation District has given our team the ability to grow professional skills with the help of mentors within walking distance.

The location of our office is allowing us to do the work we want to do while growing together professionally, without the distractions of long commute times and easier access to life outside of work. It’s really been a win-win-win.

We count ourselves fortunate to do work and life in Chattanooga, because it truly has allowed our team the ability to achieve the mythical work/life balance every company hopes to offer in 2019. But we’re also grateful to do work we actually care about, while advocating for a better quality of life for America’s backbone workers.

*Katie Love is a recent Chattanooga transplant with a heart for employee advocacy and cares for this work through marketing and outreach. In a previous career life, she was a publicist and marketer in Indianapolis sports. Katie, her husband Nick, and their dog Willow balance work and life by exploring the beautiful southeastern rock climbing, seeking out local music, and learning about their new home city.

About​ WorkHound: WorkHound was started with the mission of helping people love the work they do. Our platform is built specifically for the frontline workforce. We’ve given thousands of employees a voice with our real-time, anonymous feedback platform. With our insightful analytics that hone in on business issues, we’ve helped companies of all sizes retain frontline workers, boost profitability, and save money. Our company started in the trucking industry where average driver turnover rates are 95%. We have expanded our platform to support real-time feedback for all frontline workers.*