PolyClean is special because it can solve plastic problems far from our headquarters in Charleston, S.C. Anywhere that we can put our trucks, we can sort, separate, screen, and dry plastics. While that is great for our clients, it presents some internal challenges.
The problem with being mobile
On any given day, we have trucks dispatched all over the United States, processing plastic resins and saving our clients’ money. Unlike most traditional companies which have offices located in each of the cities where they do business, our employees are posted wherever they are needed, only to be moved to the next client in a few days.
Our team is spread thin, with technicians throughout the U.S. Each works with minimal supervision. As such, it can make managing our employees difficult. Fortunately, we have developed a way to ensure that everyone is held accountable.
The two-step solution
Here at PolyClean, we value our employees, but we also value our customers. It is important that we know our technicians represent us fairly and treat our customers well. In order to do that, we take a two-pronged approach to employee management.
The most important decision that a manager ever makes regarding an employee is the first one. Who we hire has an enormous impact on our future customer relationships and the effectiveness of our services.
Every employee at PolyClean is judged first on his or her character. Our hiring process emphasizes the value of a good attitude and personal ethics. Without those two things we know that our reputation could be thrown into jeopardy. Since our technicians will be out on their own, it is vital that they are hardworking and trustworthy. Otherwise, they don’t make the cut.
The daily call
Once hired, we are sure to maintain constant contact with our traveling employees. That’s why we have a standing phone conference every morning at 8:30AM EST. Right as the evening shift ends and the morning shift begins, our traveling employees – no matter where they are – dial in.
Some of the discussion is purely logistical. Among other things, they will report:
- Hours worked
- Production per shift
- Processing issues
- Security concerns
In addition to accumulating necessary data, these daily calls serve two major purposes. The first is that they allow our employees to continue learning. They are encouraged to share their obstacles, hangups, and questions. The daily call is more than a timecard. It’s a classroom. Often, technicians bounce around ideas and possible solutions until an answer is found.
The second benefit of the daily call is that it provides a sense of camaraderie. For the traveling employees, ours is not a typical workplace. There is little opportunity to chat with co-workers over the water cooler even to see each other face-to-face. The daily call reminds us all that we are a team, interconnected and depending upon one another. It keeps all of us focused.
Why our mobile platform works
Any company that sends its employees off to work without supervision takes risks. Will they knock off work? Will they reflect poorly on the company? At PolyClean, we don’t mind the risk because we know the answers. From day one, we know their character, and every day after that we let them reaffirm it.
We place a lot of trust in our traveling employees. We trust them to work hard, to treat our customers well, and to represent our company with dignity. And they don’t disappoint.