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Tailored Training Programs

We continuously strive to empower our employees to deliver excellent and safe service to our customers and the communities in which we work. We provide job-specific training, in applicable lines of business, focused on how to safely operate and maintain our key equipment, along with the behaviors expected to increase overall performance as employees and managers. With the belief that environmental excellence and compliance are hallmarks of sustainability and Waste Management’s core values, compliance with applicable regulatory standards and internal policies and procedures is part of our training philosophy.

Collections and Fleet Operations

Employees in our Collections and Fleet operations are provided with opportunities to train on the following:

  • Collection Operations Onboarding. Training designed to familiarize collection operations managers new to their roles with the required programs and processes necessary for them to be successful. This onboarding program is designed in a two-phased approach. Phase one training is delivered via web-based training and live on-the-job training (OJT) activities. Phase two is delivered in person (classroom environment) for one week.
  • Collection Driver Onboarding Program. A two-week program delivered at one of Waste Management’s two training centers in Fort Myers, Florida, or Glendale, Arizona. Week one is in the classroom where students learn all the requirements of their roles. Week two is focused on the practical application of what they have learned on one of our trucks in a controlled course environment. The program continues with the driver’s manager conducting observations and a designated driver conducting a series of planned on-the-job training requirements when the drivers return to their sites. This training process begins on the driver’s first day up to their 90th day of employment.
  • Fleet Manager Onboarding Program. An intensive, nine-week program with an assigned mentor designed for new fleet leaders to learn the skills, processes and programs necessary to be successful in their first six to nine months of employment.
  • Fleet Technician Onboarding Program. A two-week program conducted at one of Waste Management’s Training Centers designed to familiarize new technicians with our technical fleet processes and skills necessary for them to be successful in their first 90 days of employment to perform maintenance on our trucks. The two week-program continues with the technician’s manager conducting observations specifically on our preventive maintenance inspection program.
  • Hazardous Energy Control Program. Designed to familiarize employees across the entire organization with the different types of hazardous energy and the processes used to control that energy, including lockout and tagout of hazardous energy sources. Three courses are offered to train the different levels of required employee awareness. Authorized employees must complete a set of demo-backs for all procedures requiring the application of lockout and tagout.
  • Driver, Technician and Route Manager Safety Training. A series of written guides and animated videos supporting critical aspects of pre- and post-trip inspections, air brakes, tire and wheel inspection and maintenance that can be used either in the classroom or for individual training. In addition, weekly safety meetings include a review of a safety-related topic.
  • Technician Technical Training. Dozens of manufacturer-created technician training programs consisting of hundreds of individual courses that reside in the Talent Central Learning Portal to support technicians in the maintenance and repair of the wide variety of equipment used at Waste Management.

Fixed Facility Training

Employees in our post collection operations are provided the following training opportunities:

  • Disposal Operations Management Trainee Program. This 18-month training program provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of the technical and leadership aspects of successfully operating a landfill.
  • Environmental Protection Learning Series. The environmental protection training series consists of monthly web-based modules focused on the environment. Topics include Customer-Generated Waste, Managing Asbestos and Air Regulations.
  • Environmental Compliance Awareness Program. This training is delivered monthly to hourly employees, featuring different topics relating to the environment. Topics include stormwater, oil spill prevention, recognizing and reporting environmental issues and more.
  • Landfill Gas Technician Training. This training combines classroom and hands-on demonstration activities at a closed landfill site in Cincinnati, specifically engineered for landfill gas systems.
  • Low Voltage Electrical Safety. This training teaches employees safety procedures for working around electricity, including checking voltage, resetting breakers and more.
  • Heavy Equipment Operator Training Series. This blended learning training program covers key heavy equipment at our landfills, including articulated dump trucks, wheel loaders, compactors, dozers, excavators and motor graders.
  • MRF Maintenance and Operations Programs. The training is designed for our recycling employees who manage and maintain our recycling operations. The training includes a certification on specific equipment used at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program. Covers all protective equipment including clothing, shields and barriers for eyes, face, head and extremities.

Systems Training

We engage employees throughout the organization with our Service Delivery Optimization (SDO) program. Our first application was in collection operations where SDO provided strong benefits in terms of team collaboration, coaching and progress on performance and safety. We took this template and moved to our fleet operations. Maintenance SDO (MSDO) has been launched across our collection sites for district and fleet managers, helping them engage with their technicians by asking open-ended questions and listening. The comprehensive MSDO program is a 16-week process involving eight weeks with corporate coaches and another eight weeks in a second location, using a “train the trainer” model. As of early 2020, 175 sites are MSDO-certified, with an additional 74 sites ready for certification and 14 sites in deployment. Nearly 50 percent of Waste Management routes are now fully MSDO-certified.

SDO begins with individual development plans (IDP) customized for every sales employee. The plans are tailored to each individual’s growth needs and identifies areas of strengths and skill gaps. IDPs facilitate the kinds of interactive and positive coaching sessions that are the backbone of the SDO platform. Every sales representative is paired with a peer mentor to help them acclimate to their roles. There are weekly role-play sessions, and each month the teams compete using video technology to help them hone their skills.

We work hard to build understanding of field operations among employees in the corporate office. Driver ride-alongs and visits to recycling facilities, landfills and other Waste Management assets are common, ranging from new hire orientation to refresher experiences for our most senior management. Employees have access to both instructor-led and self-study courses from our online library and in-person training at corporate offices on our scope of services, sales process, pipeline management, negotiation, time management and more.

Ongoing training is tailored based on the employee’s IDP and future growth plan. The sales department has found that this intense training effort pays off in retention when other Fortune 250 companies target our sales employees for recruitment. We try to tie our internal development program to broader engagement with the academic community, taking on projects such as volunteering time to build sales curriculum at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, Arizona, offering ASU business students real-world leadership development programs and mentorships, and participating in sales forums at National Collegiate Sales Competitions.

Managers and corporate staff can sometimes struggle to find time to hone their skills and work toward new opportunities in the company. We offer consistent training for our leaders and managers that supports the skills and behaviors we expect, as well as accelerated learning programs designed for high potentials moving to front-line, mid-level and executive leadership roles. A new Business and Professional Training Library was launched in early 2018 that includes 800 online courses. As part of our I Learn campaign to emphasize individual growth, employees can access these modules when they want, as often as they want. Even a 10-minute video learning session can break the usual routine and enhance knowledge. Particular focuses are business analysis, project management, communication skills, software skills and customer service.

We continually look for ways to provide fresh, profession-specific training. For example, to address workforce shortages in technical fields, our Technician Apprentice Program (TAP) matches talented technicians with long-term careers that can include web-based and augmented reality applications. The TAP program offers part-time apprenticeship opportunities to students enrolled in approved technical training schools. As the program grows across North America, we hope that apprentices will seek long-term careers with Waste Management in essential technical positions.

Training Specifics
Course Audience Total Trained
Course: Safety Training — Driver and Technician Huddles (Daily) Audience: All drivers and technicians Total Trained: 20,500
Course: 2019–2020 Code of Conduct Training Audience: All Waste Management employees Total Trained: 35,739
Course: 2019 Break Time Is Your Time for Hourly Employees Audience: Waste Management hourly employees in U.S. Total Trained: 30,460
Course: 2019 Managing the Hourly Employee Meal Break Policy Audience: Managers of hourly employees in U.S. Total Trained: 3,258
Course: Security Awareness Training 2019 Audience: All personnel who use company and computer network Total Trained: 23,320
  1. 1. Preventing Discrimination & Harassment (U.S. Employees — Required for Maine, Delaware, New York City and State)
  2. 2. Preventing Discrimination & Harassment (California Employees)
  3. 3. Preventing Discrimination & Harassment — Manager Refresher (All U.S., except California and Connecticut Managers and all Canada)
  4. 4. Preventing Discrimination & Harassment (California and Connecticut Managers)
Audience: Waste Management Employees with EEOC: A-Executive/Senior Level Officials B-First/Mid-Level Officials Total Trained:
  1. 1. 1,746
  2. 2. 3,763
  3. 3. 3,430
  4. 4. 496
  5. Total – 9,435
Course: Professional Training Audience: All employees Total Trained: 37,342