The pursuit of zero accidents and injuries is a never-ending road. During the past few years, Waste Pro has searched for technologies we could integrate into our safety program to improve results. One of the company’s founding principles is investing in our employees by providing them with consistent training, coaching, and feedback. We identified two systems that have worked well for us and believe these will aid in achieving our long-term goals.
Our preferred method of identifying coaching and training opportunities is by riding with our employees and interacting with them to find out what they struggle with or don’t understand about the job. We recently automated our observation process. Intelivert designed a system that has enabled our supervisors to take an iPad out in the field to document their observations. These observations include everything from defensive driving to employee satisfaction.
The moment an observation is submitted, an email providing a brief synopsis of good performance skills, skills that required coaching, and follow-up actions that are required, is sent to division and regional management teams. These observations are reviewed each week by division management to ensure that employee concerns are being addressed and that training and coaching are being provided.
AWTI 3rd Eye camera systems were installed on all Waste Pro vehicles, including supervisor pickups. These are multi-camera systems that at a minimum show front, rear, and in-cab views. Some trucks in the fleet have side view cameras as well.
Although our primary use of the system is as a coaching and training tool, we have found other uses for the system. We use the system to verify that our customers have been serviced and we recently provided video captured by one of our trucks to the police to aid in their investigation of a criminal matter. The videos usually make it easy to determine the cause of an accident. This has proven valuable when liability is alleged or disputed. Our drivers know the system “has their back” and will exonerate them when these types of situations occur.
Employee behaviors are identified by 3rd Eye’s reviewers and by our management teams. This allows us to provide the appropriate coaching and feedback to help our valuable employees improve performance and avoid an accident or injury. As our video library has grown, we have identified new training opportunities, and it has also helped us improve our existing training materials and programs.
The system includes a coaching tracker. This permanent coaching record allows us to track performance by behavior categories and monitor for improvement. Route managers have the most difficult job in the industry. They are heavily tasked, so any tools we can provide them with to better manage their time are important. Last year we added the live stream service, which gives them the ability to see live video from any truck. On busy days, this allows them to easily monitor the employees they are currently coaching, versus finding them in the field, to make sure each employee is working on improving their safe driving and working skills. They can then provide feedback to the employee at the end of the shift.
3rd Eye also allows us to monitor the coaching effectiveness of our management teams. This is proving to be an invaluable tool that is helping us to develop better training for our field management teams. It has also helped us to identify individual managers that needed more personal one-on-one coaching to develop the skills that will allow them to better serve their employees.
Intelivert observation data and 3rd Eye data are collected, collated, and placed in the employee file.
Waste Pro is also opening two Driver Training Centers this summer—one in Sanford, FL, and the second in Atlanta, GA. These centers demonstrate our commitment to providing our new drivers with the tools to become the best Waste Pros in the industry. New drivers will spend an entire week at the center which includes classroom training, skills courses, and line-of-business training.
Prior to graduating from the Driver Training Center, all trainees are Smith System Certified. Trainees also get the opportunity to drive in a simulator. This gives them additional time to develop their commentary driving skills which are an important part of our observation process.
After graduation, drivers return to their home divisions where they will continue their training with a professional waste industry mentor.
One of the many ways we reward our employees for great performance is our $10k and $5k safety award programs. Drivers that operate safely for three years with no accidents, injuries, or safety write-ups earn a $10,000 bonus award. Helpers that work three years and meet the same criteria earn a $5,000 bonus award.
Waste Pro is extremely proud of the training we provide, and we are even more proud of our employees. As they continue to grow, we get closer to our goal of “Zero.” Employee retention continues to improve and our customer service keeps getting better.