My Heart is in that Junk Truck

image credit: Life.com

What do you want to be when you grow up? A junk hauler? That’s a great choice! Here’s proof:

Research by an academic and former waste business official shows that truck drivers in the solid waste industry are largely very happy with the work they do. That might be surprising to people outside the industry, but people in the business know better.

The reason is partly factors inherent in the job, but a lot of it is the bigger picture of how the drivers are treated as employees. That was the biggest point to come from the research by Kenneth Baylor, who used to be vice president of employee and labor relations at Republic Services Inc.

Create an atmosphere where the worker feels he or she is contributing. Where they are valued and treated with respect. Those factors are more important than money or just having a job, Baylor’s research concluded.

It’s not rocket science. Treat workers well and you’ll likely have a contented, engaged and loyal workforce. And that’s beneficial to the company: Workers make more of a contribution, they do their job better; employers avoid the high cost of replacing workers.

Andrew Sander (2nd from the right)

The point that [junk] truck drivers are generally happy means that waste companies are doing a lot of the right things to create a positive atmosphere. That’s important with any organization in any walk of life but perhaps more so in the waste industry, where the perception can often be that the work […] is less than glamorous.

-Allan Gerlat, Editor of Waste & Recycling News

This makes complete sense to the General Manager of our Fort Worth, Texas franchise, Andrew Sander.  Andrew never expected to be so happy managing a junk hauling franchise.  “I actually have two degrees. I once thought I wanted to climb the ol’ corporate ladder,” Andrew explains, “but after school, once I entered the corporate world, I realized that everything I had worked for in my life was in vain, I hated the office life.”

Then Andrew found junk! As the GM of a junk hauling franchise, Andrew lives every day with a smile on his face.  He loves that he gets to pass on what he knows to the young guys working for him. “It’s not as if I’m not learning, in fact it’s the opposite. I am getting a PhD in running a successful business.  I love it, this is my focus. My heart is in that junk truck.”

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