The gig economy continues to grow, with 59 million Americans now participating either full-time or part-time. And with companies aware of the burgeoning demand for independent contractors, platforms are popping up at an incredible rate, each trying to stand out from the field and attract workers to their platform.
The on-demand delivery driver role remains a popular option for those wanting to break away from the traditional working format. This means that established courier platforms like Gopuff and Stuart find themselves in an increasingly saturated market competing with new start-ups, each with the same goal in mind—to keep couriers on their platform for as long as possible.
If you’re wondering how to keep couriers engaged and active on your delivery platform and beat the competition, keep reading to find out.
How to Keep Couriers Active on Your Delivery Platform
1. Strengthen Onboarding
Onboarding is often the first interaction couriers have with your company and how you carry it out informs your worker of what they can expect in the future. It’s not an easy thing to get right, and 88% of new hires believe their employer did a poor job during the onboarding process. This has consequences—20% of dissatisfied new hires will leave within the first 45 days. But when onboarding is a success, new hire retention rates improve by up to 82%.
With the benefits highlighted, you’ll now want to know how to strengthen your onboarding process.
New hires need to feel supported and put in a position to succeed from day one. With the abundance of platforms available to them and the unlimited flexibility of the gig economy, workers have the freedom to drop your platform if they’re not immediately convinced that they’ll find success there. Make sure you provide everything they could possibly need to get started. This includes adequate training, information on whom to contact when problems arise, and guidance on how to maximize their shift earnings.
Next, be sure to communicate the value of being on your platform. Most on-demand services lack a human connection, so this is a chance for you to separate yourself from the pack by creating a real connection. Leverage technology and create welcome videos that help employees put a face to the name. Having prominent company figures—like your CEO—appear at the onboarding stage and outline what makes your platform different from the others can go a long way toward fostering a feeling of community in an industry that’s often lacking one.
All of this should be rolled out in the most seamless way possible, preventing the formation of any early hurdles. We recommend embedding your onboarding within the app itself, taking away the need to download another app and adding an unnecessary step that could hinder your employee retention.
2. Make Sure your Platform is User-Friendly
On-demand workers are made up of a diverse demographic, and not all are guaranteed to be tech-savvy. You need to account for this and make sure their interaction with your platform is as seamless as possible and minimizes friction at all times. If couriers find your platform difficult to navigate, the chances of them moving to another platform increase significantly.
If you’re wondering just how user-friendly your platform needs to be, we recommend assuming that nothing is too obvious and beyond explaining. This includes something as simple as how to download the app, how to register, and details about receiving payment. In fact, it’s recommended to make the money-earning process as quick and easy as possible. This doesn’t mean scaling back on security and due diligence for the sake of speed but reducing the time from sign-up to first payment will help you keep couriers on your platform.
As your app is updated and fine-tuned, be sure to consider the impact this has on your couriers. To make sure your app is user-friendly throughout its life span and not just when someone first signs up, provide ongoing training and refresher courses on how to use your app. Even the slightest change can prove daunting for some users—consider this when making big updates and introducing new features.
Here's an example eduMe lesson which aims to familiarize new starters with a delivery app:
3. Leverage Incentives and Benefits
With the absence of career progression and workplace culture to appeal to their loyalty, incentives and benefits (along with pay) are the best ways to retain your couriers. What can you offer that makes you different from the rest?
The world of on-demand is often characterized as unstable and uncertain— work isn’t always guaranteed, sick pay doesn’t exist, and healthcare is not that common for independent contractors. The benefits you offer can provide couriers with the type of stability and certainty that will keep them on your platform. But what to offer?
There’s a growing discourse surrounding gig workers and the benefits available to them. Many would like health insurance, breakdown cover, and sick pay. Those opposed to providing independent contractors such benefits argue that this would require them to take away the flexibility that defines gig work while also increasing service prices and limiting access to platforms. You need to evaluate what your platform can offer in return for their service.
If you’re unable to offer health insurance, this doesn’t mean neglecting health. Discounted gym memberships and mental health services appeal to many employees and show that your company values health. And if you’re struggling to provide benefits and insurance cover altogether, there are platforms like Collective which can simplify the process for you.
Supplement your benefits package with incentives that foster both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Money is a natural motivator and some courier platforms already offer bonuses for the number of orders completed. Uber has an Uber Pro program where drivers earn points and unlock different levels to get rewards, an example of gamifying your platform to motivate and reward couriers.
4. Seek Feedback
Without a community to support them, on-demand workers often feel isolated. Gig workers are almost twice as likely to report experiencing feelings of loneliness. Of course, one appeal for on-demand couriers is that you get to be your own boss but working alone doesn’t require you to feel alone.
Courier platforms are often a one-way stream of communication, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Keep couriers on your platform by giving them a voice in the form of feedback. Pulse surveys are an effective way for couriers to feed back to you on a regular basis, and also provide you with useful ways to improve the platform. Employees that feel listened to are more likely to remain with the company, and a compassionate approach like the one above is highly valued—96% said an employer showing empathy would maintain their loyalty.
5. Offer Upskilling Opportunities
Just like traditional workers, on-demand employees value learning and are included in the 86% of employees who believe it’s important for employers to provide learning opportunities. Additionally, 94% of employees would stay longer if their company invested in their learning, clearly demonstrating that upskilling is no longer optional for companies looking to retain employees.
Show couriers you’re invested in their development by offering them digital training via the app and within the flow of work. This style of training is desired by on-demand workers, with 67% confirming they would like to be regularly offered digital training to improve their skills on the job.
Utilize the power of microlearning and provide upskilling in bite-sized chunks that take only a few minutes to complete. Not only is this proven to improve retention and engagement, but it also empowers couriers to take control of their own training.
Investing in workers’ skills brings about mutual benefit—when workers are given the skills to succeed, they can earn more and are increasingly likely to remain on the platform.
eduMe is a mobile-learning platform that’s tailored to meet the needs of on-demand companies. Using microlearning to improve performance, and with our ability to seamlessly integrate into existing workplace tools, eduMe has strengthened the onboarding programs of established on-demand companies including Uber, Via and Gopuff, resulting in greater driver retention rates.
Get in touch with us now to find out how eduMe can help your on-demand platform 👇