Jetco Delivery CEO Brian Fielkow joined DriverReach founder and CEO Jeremy Reymer on this week’s episode of Taking the Hire Road to discuss how a culture of safety plays a critical role in recruiting and retention strategies, Fielkow’s work as an author and speaker, and his new workshop Making Safety Happen.
“Safety is the linchpin and yet so many people still think of safety in terms of a department or as a safety director, as opposed to it being a way of life ingrained in every decision that we make in our company,” Fielkow said, adding that safety is the cornerstone of employee engagement, morale and customer satisfaction, as well as operational excellence and profitability.
“There’s no load more important than our loved ones getting home every day to their families,” Fielkow said.
Under Fielkow’s leadership, Jetco Delivery earned a place among 2021’s Best Fleets to Drive For by Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge. He’s proud of the Houston-based carrier’s continued discipline in the types of drivers that it hires. Even in times when drivers are hard to come by, he said Jetco doesn’t compromise on its unwavering commitment to safety in order to grow its fleet.
In terms of recruiting, what sets Jetco apart from the competition, Fielkow said, is that several eyes review every candidate before a driver joins the fold.
“I like to be sure that a new candidate gets to meet with an existing driver, because quite frankly, somebody who drives professionally is going to have a much better set of eyes and be able to ask much better questions, and sort of pick up on some of the unspoken language and measures for behaviors,” Fielkow said.
He further reasoned that recruits don’t know how to drive the Jetco way, nor do they know what their expectations are of their drivers. Fielkow states that it takes six to 12 months to integrate a new employee into your culture.
He describes Jetco’s levels-of-progression training process as incremental, explaining how it gradually trains drivers to haul increasingly complicated loads over time. A neat aspect of the program is that many of its experienced heavy-haul drivers who themselves went through the ranks are taking up training duties, further upholding the carrier’s safety expectations.
“During the recruiting process, it’s really tempting to sell a Porsche and deliver a Buick; that creates untold frustration among drivers,” Fielkow said. “We never want to overpromise and underdeliver; we [don’t want to] get somebody in, but they’re gone a month later.”
Fielkow has authored two books on company culture: “Driving to Perfection: Achieving Business Excellence by Creating a Vibrant Culture” and “Leading People to Safety: How to Win on the Business Battlefield.”
The motivation behind his writing was the shortcomings he noted of other self-help books, which he said came up short on implementing the tactics.
“What I try and do is give people practical, hands-on ideas — easy, high-value, low-cost ideas — that they can adapt to, bringing their company and their safety cultures to a whole new level,” Fielkow said.
In addition to books and seminars, Fielkow recently launched his Making Safety Happen training program for organizations to create world-class safety cultures.
He explains that attendees access the online training at their leisure to participate in six monthly workshops. Each workshop is tied to a module, which afterward concludes with instructive conversations among peer groups.
“Safety is at the foundation of all excellent operations of profitable businesses operating in high-consequence industries,” Fielkow said. “People think safety is expensive — consider the opposite; consider the cost of accidents.”
To learn more about Fielkow’s Making Safety Happen program, visit brianfielkow.com/makingsafetyhappen
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