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People First

Training &
Development

WM offers expansive learning and development solutions to meet the needs of our people, as well as proactively recognizing good work and supporting opportunities for growth and improvement.

Our talent management program is designed to reach employees at all levels and is an important way we maximize engagement and retention. Hiring, selecting and developing future leaders, as well as evaluating employees in alignment with our values, is standard across the enterprise.

WM’s workforce of nearly 50,000 includes a wide range of roles that require an even wider variety of skill sets, so our training programs are equally varied.

Training types fall into a few broad categories:

Compliance training—Required of all employees, such as training on WM’s Code of Conduct and Cybersecurity.

Professional development and leadership training—Often customized and conducted voluntarily as part of an individual’s development plan.

Tailored new hire trainingIncluding collection and fleet operations, post-collection operations and sales.

Safety training—Conducted upon hire and on an ongoing basis, especially geared toward drivers, fleet technicians, heavy equipment operators and sorters.

Environmental excellence and compliance training—Required of employees in specific roles.

We measure the effectiveness of training in a variety of ways, depending on the goals and type of training. For example, we might conduct evaluations to understand participants’ reactions to a course, assessments to measure the knowledge they have gained or observations to see how they apply new skills on the job.

In addition to training, we manage performance through regular check-ins, coaching and feedback, goal-setting and annual performance reviews. Annual evaluations set accountability expectations for employees with the understanding that progress is monitored throughout the year. Talent reviews and succession planning are designed to recognize and reward high-performing and hard-working employees.

How We Help Employees Learn

Our objective is to create a continuous learning culture that drives performance and supports a superior customer experience. With a vast and decentralized workforce, we take a “learner-centric” approach that allows employees to learn in the ways that are most effective and convenient for them. Our training is delivered in several modalities, including in-person at one of our two training facilities, virtual instructor-led training, online training, self-study and video modules. All required training is produced in English, Spanish and French.

Our WM Talent Central platform contains approximately 3,600 learning modules available to all employees. The content covers all aspects of the company’s operations, along with key topics that support career advancement. This learning library is always growing. In 2020, the Learning & Development team produced 530 individual deliverables through 91 initiatives, including a combination of web-based and instructor-led training, eLearning modules, videos, instructional guides and job aids. WM also partners with two third-party content providers who offer additional courses that are continually updated. As we transitioned from the office to remote work, then gradually returned to the office over the past year, we provided training to help employees manage change.

We also recognize the value of learning that occurs beyond WM. In 2021, we announced a new education benefit, Your Tomorrow. Your Tomorrow was created in partnership with Guild Education to pay 100% of benefits-eligible employees’ and dependents’ tuition for 135+ business, technology, science and mathematics bachelor’s degrees and master’s programs. WM is the first company to extend this type of benefit to family members—a clear example of our commitment to putting People First. The program is currently available to U.S.-based team members, and we are reviewing solutions for employees in Canada and India.