My Week: Jason Mohr of AnyJunk.co.uk

The waste disposal entrepreneur on finding better ways to connect with his staff.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

My week begins with a Monday morning ‘standing’ meeting for senior managers, which lasts about 15 minutes. This meeting is really just a way of briefly updating everybody on what happened last week in terms of sales and then what’s planned for the coming week – if we have any contracts with new clients starting, a depot opening or a new recruit joining, that sort of thing. The attendees will then go and feed the relevant information back to their teams. As we’ve grown, we’ve found it is increasingly challenging to ensure we maintain high levels of communication. So our Monday morning meeting sets the communication benchmark for the rest of the week.

I enjoy having these conversations at the beginning of the week as it gives me a real sense of what’s going on in the business. I actually became quite removed because I wanted to explore the strategic side of the business and had to take a step back from the day-to-day running of it all. But what I found was that while I enjoyed myself quite a lot, I became a bit disconnected from everybody else. The mission for me this year is communicating with the staff and getting them to really buy in to the ethos of the company. I want to create a culture of attracting and retaining great people. I guess historically we’ve always been about growth and getting our profits up, but now we’re a bit bigger and a bit more stable, I want to make sure everybody here has got their own personal development plan and feels like they’re going somewhere.

I don’t usually get into the office before about 8-8.30 except every other Wednesday when I have to be in the office – rather depressingly for me – by 7 for a meeting with the truck reps. Recently, we did an online employee survey to try and flesh out what issues all the employees had and how we could improve the way we worked to make them happier, which had some surprising results – it wasn’t just things like ‘pay us lots more money’ or ‘give us cigars at the end of every day’. By me engaging directly with them, they feel that their issues are being taken more seriously. Before it was just the ops guy and the team leaders attending the meetings, and while a lot of stuff got talked about in the meetings, a lot of the drivers felt nothing seemed to happen.

While I have definitely adopted a more hands-on approach to the business and the employees, I do enjoy a more balanced approach to work now compared to when I was a banker. I used to work all the hours God sent and then some. Nowadays I won’t work weekends and I find it easy to switch off once I’m out of the office. It’s all about striking up a work/life balance.

Jason Mohr is the founder and MD of www.anyjunk.co.uk, a nationwide rubbish clearance company with an emphasis on ethical disposal. 

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