Voice of the Delivery Man: what regional listening meetings are like

iFood's logistics coordinator explains how it is possible to create a constructive dialogue to propose improvements in day-to-day work by listening to the Delivery Man's voice

In 2022, iFood will hold regional meetings in 20 cities in different parts of the country to hear from delivery partners what changes and improvements can be made to day-to-day work, according to the reality of each location.

The first events of active listening were carried out in the cities of Recife (FOOT), Strength (CE), Ribeirão Preto (SP), Sorocaba (SP), Salvador (BA) and Florianópolis (SC) — between April and the beginning of June.

Want to know what these conversations are like? Juliana Carmo, logistics coordinator at iFood, led these meetings and tells the iFood News How is this experience?

iFN – What is the delivery drivers’ active listening meeting like?

Juliana – First, we communicate that the event will take place and the delivery drivers sign up to participate. When they arrive at the space, they can see that we designed this listening experience to be welcoming from the moment they are welcomed, with parking for their motorcycle, breakfast and gifts such as an iFood Card with credit to use on the app and one voucher of fuel to supply to the Shell network.

Before starting, the iFood people are already there and strike up a conversation with the delivery people, to break the ice. The topics start impersonally, and they start to talk about their problems, their pain, their experience on the platform, because they realize that someone from iFood is paying attention.

Then we go to the living room and always sit in a circle. There we make it clear that iFood is there to listen, that it is a space in which everyone can be very sincere and say what they really feel and experience. We know that in front of us they may feel inhibited to express their opinions, but we always make a point of reinforcing that it is a safe environment and that we are there to understand how we can be the best partners for the delivery drivers. Therefore, all participation is welcome, whether it is criticism, praise or a suggestion. 

iFN – And what are the conversations like?

Juliana – The delivery drivers sit in groups, talk about their pain and, with the help of an independent consultancy specializing in mediation, they express their problems and work out what they would do if they were iFood. Thus, solutions begin to be seen from the delivery drivers’ point of view. 

We receive ideas and feedbacks very important. No matter how much pain, problems, or even the initial feeling may be of distrust, the moment the delivery drivers start talking, the conversation is always about building, asking questions, encouraging friends to share their stories. 

“No matter how much we are talking about very delicate topics, the conversation is always in a constructive tone — which is an opportunity for us to join forces.”

iFN – How do you create this climate of construction rather than confrontation?

Juliana – What contributes to this is the experience of welcoming, of listening, from the moment the person arrives in the space. When we begin the work sitting in a circle, we make it clear that it is a conversation circle where everyone's speech has space and the same importance.

When we explain that we are thinking about creating a space for listening and clarify what this dynamic will be like, in a transparent and open way, we show that there is no trick, that iFood was not there to talk, but, in fact, to listen . 

We also make it clear that they can be very sincere and that it is a safe space. They sit in groups to talk and raise these topics among themselves in a legitimate and mutually agreed manner. Then, they classify what is a priority, what are the most important pain points. The entire dynamic was designed for this, to promote construction, not clash.

Many say that they had never felt heard, and that they feel important because iFood is taking into account what its delivery partners are saying. Even the shyest people have the opportunity to speak. The eye-to-eye movement is a movement of empathy. 

In the end, when we talk about iFood's initiatives in education, insurance and support, we again asked for their opinion on this and also on the topics we are studying, such as social security for those who work on platforms.

iFN – How important is it to listen to delivery drivers about this future scenario?

Juliana – iFood is studying how include platform workers in the social security system and wants to invite delivery partners to dialogue. As a Brazilian company and the largest FoodTech in Latin America, it is important to have a position on this topic.

The Public Policy team, which is designing this proposal, is present at all events and explains what social security is and why it is important to think about it from now on, always with the delivery drivers. We are calling partners for dialogue. It's not something that iFood will do without listening to the delivery drivers. The idea is to make improvements to our proposal based on their vision.

iFN – What will iFood do after hearing these demands from regional meetings?

Juliana – At the same time as we hold regional meetings, we have already forwarded the pain reported by delivery drivers to the responsible areas, providing details of what they told us. 

So, let's analyze these topics more calmly and understand where iFood can improve even further, thinking about the delivery person's performance on the platform. We are already holding internal meetings to address these concerns and suggestions and think about these improvements. 

iFN – Are you optimistic about the result so far?

Juliana – For sure! We all left the meetings very optimistic because we were opening another channel of dialogue with our delivery partners. By the end of this first round of meetings, we should hear from more than 500 delivery partners. The idea is to reach more people and consolidate this movement together, listening to partners in different ways, listening more closely and promoting this construction together.

“It is important that delivery partners know that here at iFood there are not only algorithms, there are also people who are committed to working every day to further improve their daily lives. This strengthens our relationship.”

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