Uber Trying to Win Back Their Most Valued Resource: Drivers

July 1, 2016 - 2 minutes read
Amid driver lawsuits, Uber strives to improve relations and boost earnings.

Amid driver lawsuits, Uber strives to improve relations and boost earnings.

Uber, like any sharing-economy mobile app developer, has two main resources: workers and customers. This may sound simplistic, but it’s actually a tricky and unique balance in the on-demand startup industry, compared with worker and consumer relations in more traditional companies. When a mobile app becomes the interface between employer and employee, efficiency increases — but so does the potential for dissatisfaction.

Uber has to-date done an excellent job of appealing to the customer side but failed at appealing to drivers — with most drivers using the service as a last resort in today’s rocky job market rather than a first, second, or even third choice day job. Amid negative publicity as the company faces lawsuits from drivers in some areas, Uber is now actively working to improve driver relations with a series of improvements and changes designed to give employees more perks and control.

The biggest change come in the form of more control over ride destinations via the ability to “pause” ride requests.

Uber’s mobile app developers have also made it possible for drivers to get paid when customers make them wait for longer than two minutes on arrival — a pain point for Uber drivers who have to make every second count in the race to earn more than they spend as an independent operator.

Drivers also finally started receiving employee discounts on rides, allowing them to use Uber themselves as a customer for a reduced price.

While these small concessions are unlikely to change the negative public sentiment quickly, they’re sure to make life a little easier for current drivers. Chicago Mobile app developers stand to learn a valuable lesson from Uber’s growing pains and the often-overlooked value of positive employee relations in the on-demand sharing economy.

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