New Retention Research By Stay Metrics Proves It's Own Assumptions To Be Wrong

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Recent research by Stay Metrics indicates that driver turnover is 57% higher for drivers who indicated dissatisfaction with their dispatcher.

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"Dispatchers that scored highest in dissatisfaction are nearly twice as likely to cause turnover."

Recently Tim Hindes, CEO of Stay Metrics, surmised that drivers who were very satisfied with their dispatchers would be significantly less likely to leave their carrier. The Stay Metrics research team, led by University of Notre Dame Professor Timothy Judge, studied the responses of nearly two thousand drivers representing over a dozen carriers. Published on February 12, 2014, results of the study indicate that turnover is 57% higher for drivers who indicated dissatisfaction with their dispatcher, making dispatcher satisfaction a key variable in the decision to leave. In this, Hindes was right. In another way, however, he got it wrong.

Hindes further hypothesized that dispatcher satisfaction matters only when drivers really like their dispatchers. “Great dispatchers really make a difference when they make their drivers really happy,” Hindes said.

The results, however, told a different story. The dispatchers that really drive turnover were the ones who were very dissatisfying. Conversely, drivers who indicated they were “Very happy” with their dispatchers were no more likely to stay than those who were “neutral”. What the study shows is that dispatchers that scored highest in dissatisfaction are nearly twice as likely to cause turnover. Conversely, better dispatchers don’t impact retention any more than those dispatchers that are just average.

While most drivers report being neutral or satisfied toward their dispatchers, the unhappy ones are particularly likely to leave. In mulling over the results, Hindes concluded, “That’s the value of metrics. Sometimes they confirm your beliefs, and sometimes they don’t.”

Actionable data:

Hindes indicated that Stay Metrics clients would be able to use their “Satisfaction Survey” results to identify dispatchers most prone to contributing to driver churn. Stay Metrics continues to compile data from satisfaction surveys and plans to use the data to compile a profile of the type of dispatcher drivers are most satisfied with. Stay Metrics VP of Operations, Kurt LaDow, says once this is developed, it could be as easy as a carrier looking at their monthly dispatcher rankings top to bottom. The new system takes the data and gives each dispatcher a “ranking” in the community. Those on the bottom may not be suited for the position or might need training, while those with higher ranks could be encouraged to share their techniques with other dispatchers to improve quality for the carrier. The practical implications of this research are endless. All facts, data and conclusions come from the same report completed by the Stay Metrics research team, headed by University of Notre Dame professor Timothy Judge. The full report is available upon request by contacting Tim Hindes at Tim(at)StayMetrics(dot)com.

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