Our goal at 123JUNK is to be more than the top junk removal company—it’s to be the preeminent service organization in our region. Our first company value – “culture of excellence” – drives us to becoming the quality-of-service standard to which other businesses aspire. To get there, we believe in providing our team members with personal and professional growth opportunities.
We train our team to look beyond comparing our performance to other junk hauling companies. Our customers are comparing us to every other service provider that comes into their homes—plumbers, electricians, and more. Homeowners make judgments every day about how they are treated by a service organization. They know what they expect, and they can be delighted or disappointed by either the service or the service technician—or both!
We’ve earned all our five-star reviews and loyal referral partners because we’ve helped our team think beyond the task—to be more conscious of how we are presenting ourselves and to constantly improve.
Our Most Important Customer: Our Employees
We are so grateful for all the loyal customers we have serviced throughout the years, and for all our referral partners who know our quality and refer us without hesitation. We understand that to achieve this level of success, we need a happy, loyal, and talented workforce. This why Mallard Owen, Chief Operating Office, often states that “123JUNK’s most important customers are its employees.” And this is where we try to excel by investing in the growth of our team members. We take time when we hire, as we look for enthusiasm, drive, and, most importantly, a desire to learn and grow. Even interviews for our fleet team include “auditions”—working interviews where candidates can experience first-hand the quality we strive to achieve in all our jobs.
“Our culture is one of a learning organization. We want to give our team members something beyond the technical training aspect of their work; something that would help them become better contributors no matter where they work,” said Owen. It’s why he started the company’s “JUNK-U,” the internal brand under which employee training and development programs fall.
PG101: Professional Growth
The first formal program that Owen developed for JUNK-U was a course called Professional Growth 101 (PG101). In this program, employees go on a journey of self-discovery and focused improvement. They learn more about who they are, their strengths, and personal accountability. From these insights, they explore ways to perform better, strengthen their personal brand, and bring even better value to any employer.
PG101 is voluntary and runs once per week for 12 sessions. To ensure the full and focused commitment of participants, enrollment begins with three documents: 1) a syllabus and overview of the course goals and participant expectations, 2) a code of conduct—how participants are expected to engage and interact within the program, and 3) a review and acknowledgement of key components to being a trusted employee.
“We pay attention to our team members, give them insights on how to reflect on their work, and provide them with a broader perspective on how people view them in terms of their brand/performance,” Owen said. “After one team member took our PG101 course, he realized how much he didn’t think about how his performance could affect or influence others, or how his behavior might cause a certain reaction in someone else.”
The group is small, with usually fewer than 6 team members. Participants are encouraged to grow by looking at their current performance/behaviors, and then deciding what they need to adjust to get to the next level. Between each session, they commit to working on a specific growth area, and then report back to the group on their progress. They learn to open up about what they are working on, not only with fellow PG101 participants, but also with other colleagues with whom they work on a daily basis, recruiting them to help assist with their improvement. They learn from and support each other, and listen to concerns or stories an individual might have. The learnings come as much from their stories and feedback from other participants as it is about “book learning.”
“When you realize that what you do will have an impact on and potentially change the mindset and behaviors of people around you, you can have a major impact on their lives and the success of the company,” Owen described. “How do you make that sustainable within the company? You just continue to develop the team. Their new and improved behaviors will take hold and spread within the organization—and more good things will happen.”
“What surprised me were the ripple effects of the program. The content is so valuable that it has impacted the lives of employees outside of the workplace. In addition, we’ve brought elements of the PG101 curriculum into other aspects of our organization, like our interview process, employee onboarding, and corporate retreats. It helps reinforce the lessons learned.”
The collaboration among the team members has also grown since the program’s inception, with everyone jumping in to help others with their work and their attitude. This raises the whole team, and impacts how we can accommodate our clients and provide exceptional service. “We have a great brand, and we try to reinforce the concept that when you are conscientious about helping others, they’re appreciative—whether it’s another team member where you jumped in to help, or a client struggling with disposal of a loved one’s estate,” Owen said.
Experience the 123JUNK Difference Yourself
123JUNK is on the path to becoming the leading junk removal company in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC because of our commitment to personal and professional growth. We’re a local company that is investing in its team and its community so that you can count on a wonderful experience, from your first phone call with a live representative to a friendly and responsible junk pickup. (Read Our Story.)