Steven Boyack knows all about keeping employees happy and productive. As the Human Resources Business Partner for the Mountain West Area, he oversees all employee activity over their Ogden location, as well as the one in Seattle. After almost six years in the job, he knows the keys to good productivity and growth are committed, happy workers.


“We’re a food distribution company that supplies food to restaurants, hospitals and care centers. Anywhere that food is prepared, we’d like to provide the food to them, Boyack said. “We have a large sales force out selling our products that serves that same area, so then it’s up to us to make sure we get the product in to ship to our customers.” The Ogden location delivers food to Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and even California.


But working in Logistics presents several challenges, and perhaps the biggest hurdle facing every company in this industry is a shortage of truck drivers—U.S. Foods is no exception.


“The biggest issue for us is just getting drivers to deliver the product. There’s a shortage, so making sure we have enough people to get the product out is one of our highest priorities,” Boyack said.


So U.S. Foods is doing their best to make the drivers happy. “We do very well retaining drivers; once they get here, they tend to stay. We do this by making sure they’re paid appropriately and have a good schedule.” In fact, some drivers (depending on seniority) can actually request specific daily destinations based on preference.


And while most people believe truck driving is all long-haul, where the driver is gone for days or weeks at a time, U.S. Foods drivers get to be home every night (or day, depending on their shift). “Out of 100 drivers at this location, only about two are long-haul drivers who go down to Vegas and California to get various products, but most of our drivers get to be home,” Boyack said.


While long-haul truckers drive for a long time and just drop off or pick up trailers, drivers for U.S. Foods have some physical labor in the job. “Our drivers start at 3 or 4 a.m. and deliver to 12 to 20 customers, unloading the product and all. So it’s a physically demanding position, but it is a little different from most trucking and logistics companies,” he said.


As for the warehouse employees at the Ogden location, they also have opportunities to earn more from the company. “We have an incentive pay program for our warehouse staff. If they work and pull product quickly with few or no errors, they can earn more money.”