Women In Trucking Blog

Did You Ride the Mechanical Bull?

Did you attend the WIT Accelerate! Conference this year? I was a first-time attendee, thrilled for the opportunity to speak at one of your breakout sessions. I arrived early enough to attend the first night’s networking party—the State Fair Bash. There’s nothing like walking into a huge conference center ballroom, brightly decorated with State Fair themed balloon art, and a thousand people in attendance. Bright lights, vendor booths, corn dogs and cocktails. And tucked between the popcorn stand and one of the open bars was a mechanical bull. Yes, a bull—as in John Travolta in the movie Urban Cowboy for those of you who remember the 80s.  

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Human Resources and Talent Management- Mental Health and Wellbeing Perspectives

Few people in the transportation industry would argue with the statement that professional driving can be a very unhealthy occupation.  Physically, the long hours sitting behind the wheel, lack of exercise (or for many OTR drivers little physical movement at all) and easy access to unhealthy food and drinks all take their toll on driver health.  

However, what often goes unnoticed is the condition of professional driver mental health. The professional driver lifestyle – social isolation, the cumulative stress associated with safely handling an 80,000 pound vehicle through traffic, separation from family and the related issues that extended family separation creates - can lead to serious mental health conditions. The severity of those mental health conditions is obvious in data like this:

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Is It Time to Self-Insure Your Health Plan?

Self-insured health plans traditionally have been more popular with larger companies, with 250 or more employees.  With rising healthcare costs and ACA fees for fully insured plans, self-insured (a.k.a. self-funded, and or partially self-funded) plans are gaining popularity among small and medium-sized businesses.

What many employers like about self-insuring (and related alternative funding options) is access to knowing how the plan is spending. Accessibility to trends, usage, and limited analytical data are also helpful. In addition a self-insured plan is governed by ERISA (Federal laws) as opposed to your state’s laws, offering flexibility in designing your plan, with a uniformity of plan design should you have out-of-state locations.

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Looking for a Good Truck Driving School?

Looking for a Good Truck Driving School?

Check out the rest, and go with the Best!
Things to look for when choosing a Truck Driving School:

By Fran Bernard, International Trucking School of Michigan


Different Types of Truck Driving Schools


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Health and Benefits Options For Members: What This Means for Member Companies

Recently the Women In Trucking (WIT) Association President & CEO, Ellen Voie, was asked about WIT providing health insurance and employee benefits options for members. With insurance and benefits being such a big part of employee retention and attraction today, does it work for WIT Member Companies? To help explain this landscape, Ellen sat down with industry experts, Joe Simon of AON, and Cheryl Blake of OneDigital Health and Benefits to provide some thoughtful context. 

Joe Simon: “Employee benefits and the betterment of employees was not taken lightly by WIT, so we researched ways to assist member companies with affordable options provided by quality carriers. After about three years of studying the options presented here made sense.”

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WIT Honors Driver at the Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show

For 24 years, the Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show has been a highlight for the residents of St. Ignace, Michigan. This year’s event took place September 15. Hundreds of trucks crossed the Mackinac Bridge with their horns blaring and lights blazing as they made their way over the five-mile bridge. Fran (Crane) Bernard and her brother, Rick Crane, have been the driving force behind this annual event which honors their father, Richard Crane, a former driver, truck owner and founder of the American Truck Driving Schools. 

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Avoiding Turnover in High-Performing Salespeople

The average annual turnover rate for salespeople is 20%. Many factors account for that number, but a sizeable amount of voluntary turnover occurs from burnout and lack of motivation. To combat turnover, it’s crucial to put added resources behind your onboarding and development process to ensure your hires maintain the engagement, mental toughness, and willingness to tap into the personality traits that contribute to success in the role. We’ve previously discussed what the different sales jobs entail and which personality traits are best suited to those jobs, but how do you nurture your employees so that they maintain their performance and resist leaving?

Avoiding a Bad Hire

Just because a candidate exhibits the right personality traits doesn’t mean they will perfectly adapt to the role without additional coaching and development. Unproductive workers reduce revenue potential by 40%, and another 36% of your team can also experience negative performance trends when affected by negativity from a low-performing or unhappy co-worker. As we’ve previously outlined, it doesn’t always come down to experience. Look for candidates who are adept at navigating the modern sales force.

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My Year as the Influential Woman in Trucking

Ask Angela: How was your year as the Influential Woman In Trucking?

This opportunity allowed me to meet many amazing people. I was able to travel and speak at conferences - helping promote diversity in the industry. I met people who have dedicated their lives to trucking and those just thinking about starting a career. It's an exciting time to join a fleet, purchase your first rig or venture off - starting a trucking or 3PL company of your own. The opportunities are out there and associations like WIT are here to answer questions and provide support and connections.

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Six Components of Self-Management

The office environment can be a challenging place. You have to deal with all kinds of personalities at any given time, you see things that are broken but lack the resources or influence to fix them, and, often, people who don’t understand your work are there to tell you how to do it. But, we all just want to produce good results and receive acknowledgment for our effort. In an ideal world, you are in a role that plays to your strengths and motivations and limits exposure to your weaknesses, and you are partnered with a manager who serves as your advocate. In reality, you’re likely motivated by some aspects of your job and not always by others, and your manager has many other responsibilities that prevent them from being the best coach they can be to their team. In this scenario, the best you can do is do your best. And achieving your best requires a measure of self-management.

Motivation is often a set factor. In other words, you can’t choose what motivates you at work any more than you can choose your height or your family members. You can’t make yourself be outgoing if you’re shy, and you can’t spark competition if trophies don’t interest you. And the external factors that can stand between you and your goals—economic upheaval, competitive threats, disruptive changes, and mergers and acquisitions—aren’t something we can always plan for. You can, however, choose how you conduct yourself.

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Who’s in Your Tribe?

Legend tells us that before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, the Amazon princess. She lived on an island paradise, and raised by a community of women—her tribe. They believed in her, guided her, and honored her. While Wonder Woman was gifted with many superhuman powers, I believe the support of these women was one of her greatest sources of strength. 

You don’t have to be an Amazon to tap into the power of your own tribe. The people you surround yourself with can be incredible sources of strength. It’s been said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Are you using your time wisely? 

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National Transportation Institute Day of Service Inspires Girl Scouts to Learn About Trucking

On Monday, August 5, 2019, the National Transportation Institute (NTI) served as the host to a group of Girl Scouts for an education event called Trucks ARE for Girls! that took place in New Ulm, Minnesota, which is located about 100 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. The Girl Scouts, who ranged in age from six to ten years old, enjoyed a full day of activities that included learning about trucking’s role in the supply chain and the industry’s focus on safety.

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VOTE NOW: "Top Companies for Women to Work For in Transportation"

What makes a company desirable for women to work? Many say it comes from such reasons as a corporate culture that’s supportive of gender diversity, flexibility in hours and work requirements to accommodate family and life balance, competitive compensation and benefits, training and continued professional development, and career advancement opportunities.

If your organization is one that features these benefits (or more!), then it could be an ideal nominee for “Top Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation.” This is the second year this program will be featured in Redefining the Road, the official magazine of the Women In Trucking Association, with the goal to highlight companies in the industry that are friendly for women in BOTH driver and professional capacities.

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Combating Negative Stereotypes

Ask Angela: How do I combat the negative stereotypes?

I deal with many surprised reactions when I meet with rooms full of men to pitch my 3PL business. They typically don’t expect to see a woman professionally dressed, in heels, ready to negotiate logistics contracts.  

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6 Personality Traits That Make an Impact on Top Performing Teams

Building mentally tough teams requires mentally tough employees. In our latest whitepaper,our research team defines the psychological advantage of six essential personality traits that make up mental toughness. And while some people are more naturally inclined to possess these traits, mental toughness is also a skill that can be developed by honing in on these key characteristics and building upon them over time.

Sharpening your team’s skill sets can improve their performance and outcomes in the workplace, so let’s dig into the six personality traits associated with mental toughness. We’ll use our research to show you how to spot mental toughness in your employees and how to further develop these traits on your team.

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What Would Wonder Woman Do?

When you think of a strong, smart, powerful woman, who comes to mind?

For me, the answer is simple: Wonder Woman. 

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Call for Nominations: 2019 Top Companies for Women to Work For

What makes a company desirable for women to work? 
Many say it comes from such primary reasons as a corporate culture that’s supportive of gender diversity, flexibility in hours and work requirements to accommodate family and life balance, competitive compensation and benefits, training and continued professional development, and career advancement opportunities. 

If your organization is one that features these benefits (or more), then it could be an ideal nominee for “Top Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation.” This is the second year this program will be featured in Redefining the Road, the official magazine of the Women In Trucking Association, with the goal to highlight companies in the industry that are friendly for women in BOTH driver and professional capacities. 

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July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month

Ask Angela: What are your views on cell phone usage by commercial drivers? 

This is a very important question. Different states have different laws for non-commercial drivers, so following the law isn't a satisfactory answer. As the number of distracted driving accidents and casualties grow so does the list of states that prohibit texting and hand-held device usage for all drivers.

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The Wrong Employee… or the Wrong Role?

Every office, warehouse, and production facility has one employee who takes up an inequitable portion of their supervisor’s time and effort. This employee may bring valuable knowledge and experience to the role, but they also cause frustration for management, and other team members, because they “just don’t get it.”

What “it” is, varies from job to job, but the scenario plays out in a similar way. First, there’s the initial period while you wait for things to click. This is followed by the constructive coaching effort. Then, finally, the escalation to performance management, which is a coded way of saying warnings and performance improvement plans.

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How Important is Experience When Searching for Jobs in Trucking and Logistics?

Ask Angela: How important is experience when searching for jobs in trucking and logistics? Can I switch from an unrelated industry into transportation?  

Absolutely! The opportunities for employment in trucking and logistics are great right now. Having experience is a definite bonus and will enable you to negotiate if you have a clean driving record and strong references.  
 
If you don’t have much experience, don’t let that dissuade you. If you want to be a driver make sure you get the necessary licenses - and then apply and negotiate. In my world of logistics, the number of qualified applicants is much lower than it used to be because the need is so great. Because of this AGT Global Logistics has started an internship and onboarding program. Interns are given a comprehensive core training that exposes them to multiple areas within our business. They shadow members of our team and learn the AGT way. 

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Why Women are the (Right) Answer to the Trucking Industry’s Driver Shortage

By Lauren Domnick, Chief Data Scientist, Omnitracs

As the trucking industry struggles with how to solve the increasing driver shortage, many companies are taking a different approach to recruiting. The demographic pool is widening as organizations focus efforts on hiring veterans and recruiting young talent out of school, but there is one key demographic the industry is ignoring. According to data from Omnitracs, women account for only nine percent of drivers. The opportunities are endless when it comes to recruiting women truck drivers, but it doesn’t stop at just filling the driver’s seat. When you do the analysis, women are a proven asset to organizations, as female drivers have lower turnover rates, fewer accidents and more miles logged.  

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