3 Reasons Why Your Dispatcher is Your Best Teammate
The Life of a truck driver is often described as one of rugged independence – just the driver, his or her rig, and the open road. The reality, as usual, is slightly more complex than the myth; in most cases, truck transport requires a team of individuals working together to keep the logistical dance in-step. At the heart of the planning and execution, though, there is one core relationship upon which the whole project depends: the relationship between dispatcher and driver.
Research confirms what many drivers have known all along: that the relationship between a driver and dispatcher is a huge factor in productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention – and poor relationships are a big source of unhappiness at work, for everyone. If your relationship with your dispatcher isn’t what it could be, here are 3 reasons why it would be worth investing some time and working to improve it:
- Being Heard
Did you know that load planning and dispatching are not always the same person’s responsibilities? By getting to know the chain of command with your company, you can figure out the best way to voice your concerns in order for them to be addressed promptly and effectively. Your dispatcher should always be your first point-of-contact within the company, but knowing that certain changes or requests require authorization from someone above your dispatcher, for example, makes it easier to be patient if getting a response takes longer than you expect. It also makes it easier to be fair and understanding when something is out of your dispatcher’s control. Trust your dispatcher to take your feedback up the chain of command and to do what he/she can to help when you run into difficulty (but feel free to follow-up, if need be).
- Flexibility & Reciprocity
Effective communication makes it easier to get what you need or want. Tell your dispatcher if you have somewhere that you need to be, or a certain time you need to be back at home. If they are able, they will likely do everything within their power to get you back in time – but they can’t help you if they don’t know that you need their help. This is especially true if you have a reputation as a hard worker; people do their best to accommodate those who work hard.
- Job Satisfaction
Studies have shown a direct link between the dispatcher’s role and driver satisfaction or turnover in a company; since your dispatcher is your first point-of-contact with the trucking company, a good driver-dispatcher relation is at the heart of your overall job satisfaction, so it makes sense to nurture it!
Issues between drivers and dispatchers often have a lot to do with the fact that neither fully understands the particular challenges and difficulties of the other person’s job. If something isn’t working for you, or if you encounter an unexpected delay, tell your dispatcher. Clear communication with your dispatcher makes it easier for them to understand what you need so they can help you keep running smoothly. At the end of the day, the relationship between a driver and a dispatcher is a partnership – you each need the other to get the job done – so why not do everything you can to make yours a win-win?
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