Transport and logistics face major staff shortages and high work pressure, which results in high absenteeism and reduced job satisfaction. High work pressure often leads to stress, which has a negative impact on motivation, satisfaction and atmosphere. No less than 26% of employees in this sector indicate that they have missed work or stopped altogether due to stress, according to research by the Dutch Transport and Logistics Sector Institute.
Work-related stress doesn’t just result in high costs; it also leads to lower productivity, reduced service quality and a higher risk of damage and accidents. In 2016 there were 70 fatal accidents in distribution centres – a 14% increase on the previous year. The economic upturn is one possible cause: it means that warehouse workers must work faster to meet their targets, inexperienced temporary workers are hired and they’re not given sufficient instruction.
In addition to economic growth, the main causes of staff shortages are low numbers of school-leavers joining the industry and the ageing population. The latter factor in particular will mean an increase in vacancies in the coming years. More than a third of truck drivers – the profession with the greatest shortages in the sector – are over 55, and for bus and tram drivers the figure is almost half.
Teamshape is a suite of advanced self-learning digital solutions centred on the Synergy Dialogue, a conversation that connects employee and team leader. It gives team leaders new tools to support employees’ development, which they in turn take ownership of. The results are tangible and measurable: greater job satisfaction, better employability and less absenteeism. It is proven to reduce staff turnover. Find out more about Teamshape and the Synergy Dialogue
KLM is one of the companies that has adopted Teamshape. Earlier improvement programmes had not solved the towing service’s safety issues – the number of incidents was unchanged and it was too high. Our research showed that the incident level was due to time pressure and interpersonal relationships. We initiated forward-looking dialogues between team leaders and employees, founded on connection and trust. These dialogues profoundly changed employees’ behaviour for the better.
Our method also worked for coach company Pouw Vervoer. All 150 employees took part in the Synergy Dialogue, which enabled managers to make targeted improvements to working conditions. Job satisfaction increased significantly and absenteeism fell by 38% in just a short time.
At public transport company Connexxion, we looked at the communication between drivers and their team leaders. Our online programme gave drivers training to help them lower accident rates and helped managers to improve their communication. We also streamlined all procedures and systems. Our method saved Connexxion more than €3 million in vehicle damage over two years, which represents a 20% reduction.
TNO’s cost-benefit tool shows the productivity gains of improving long-term employability. It turns out that improving the team leader’s role and the quality of the dialogue can already mean a €257,000 productivity increase per 1,000 employees. All of the organisations that adopted the Teamshape programme’s guidelines in 2019 more than succeeded in achieving this.
Indicate that the dialogue has increased their motivation
Are more inspired to work on employability
Indicate that their relationship with the team leader has improved
Of the dialogues lead to increased motivation
Of employees want to develop their skills and be supported in doing so
Want to make an effort to improve working conditions