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Turning garbage into a gold mine

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

It’s hard enough motivating a white-collar workforce. Imagine trying to motivate garbage collectors.

As Kevin Atkinson knows, working on a garbage truck is a tough, smelly job. He owns Texas Pride Disposal, a waste management firm with 54 employees.

To spur excellence, Atkinson showers his team with recognition and praise. They rarely receive positive feedback from customers, so he looks for ways to make them feel special.

It starts with careful hiring. During job interviews, Atkinson emphasizes the downsides of trash pickup: fending off bites from spider ants, withstanding the stench of rotting refuse, the nonstop physical exertion.

By noting how applicants respond, he discovers what drives them. The ones who seem ready to endure the difficulties of the job tend to shine.

To win them over once they’re hired, Atkinson devotes at least one day a month to jumping on the back of the truck and joining them on their rounds. He’ll get dirty and haul the garbage alongside them.

“I have a massive ant bite on my arm right now,” he says. “But that shows the crews I’d never ask them to do anything I won’t do myself.”

His willingness to do the heavy lifting with his crew delivers an added bonus. He can lead by example, training them to replace the lids on cans after dumping the trash and follow safety procedures.

Better yet, his forays on the truck help him manage employees’ requests. Because he has firsthand experience with the challenges they face, he can respond more reasonably to their ideas and concerns.

— Adapted from “How a CEO Motivates Employees in a Dirty, Sweaty Industry,” www.inc.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

majahonkhe Bhila July 22, 2017 at 5:44 am

how to lead a successful work team

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majahonkhe Bhila July 22, 2017 at 5:41 am

thak you I want to learn how to build successful work team

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