Increase Your School Bus Drivers' Morale With Public Recognition!

school bus driver, school bus drivers, school bus driver shortages

shutterstock_1494907403There was a recent feature on STN about Tim Cribley, a Michigan school bus driver who was declared a “Bus Guardian Hero.” Cribley got a well-deserved moment in the sun. It was a chance for the school to highlight the great work he’d done for the district. 

So, why doesn’t this happen more often?

School bus drivers are heroes of school districts every day, and many of them truly have gone above and beyond since the COVID-19 outbreak. With schools struggling more than ever to find and retain bus drivers, this sort of public recognition seems like the perfect way to keep morale high among your drivers.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make your district and your drivers look good, here are a few ideas.

5 Ways Reward Your School Bus Drivers 

1. Awards

You don’t need corporate sponsorship to give awards to excellent bus drivers. Any district could create its own “hero driver” award to honor someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty. This could even become an annual or semi-annual event, honoring drivers after each semester or school year.

2. Host a Dinner

As vaccination becomes more common and social distancing can be relaxed, public gatherings become an option again. If you feel like your entire bus driver-crew – or full transportation staff – deserve recognition, a nice hosted dinner would be the perfect way to do it.  

3. Prizes

No one ever turns down free stuff. While a prize on its own may feel a bit insubstantial, adding prizes to other activities will definitely create even more of an image boost; especially if one of the prizes is especially exciting. You could possibly turn it into a competition over the course of a year.

4. Public Announcements

When was the last time you put an article in your local newspaper or other news sources about standout drivers in your district? Public announcements are also great from a PR standpoint. They remind the district’s residents how much their bus drivers do for the community. It brings a morale boost to everyone involved.

5. Raises, Benefits Boosts

Let’s be honest: One of the reasons many districts are having trouble recruiting and retaining drivers is they aren’t offering enough incentives. After everything your drivers have gone through in the last year, maybe it’s time to find a little extra in the budget to make their jobs more attractive.

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What about you? Does your district have any good or effective ways of recognizing standout bus drivers? Share your tips in the comments!