Operations Supervisor, Craig Gould has achieved immense career growth at Veolia.
Now, he’s helping his team do the same
When Craig Gould moved from our liquid / hazardous division to our industrial services unit in 2018, he embraced the chance to establish a new depot in Toowoomba. The team has now outgrown the facility, so Craig is relocating operations. All along the way, he’s led a hard-working and connected team that is growing stronger by the day. How? He says it’s down to the trust and support he’s had - to embrace challenges and empower his team to rise to the occasion.
Craig Gould is disarming with his modesty and down to earth sense of humour. As someone that's been around the block a few times, he exudes an energetic warmth and passion. As Operations Supervisor for Toowoomba and Darling Downs, Craig leads a close-knit team of four, overseeing the maintenance and use of equipment used in processing solid and liquid waste.
Like many of us at Veolia, Craig didn’t have extensive experience in waste or industrial processes before joining us. In fact, he entered the workforce as a PE teacher, before embarking on a 18-year long career in hospitality, retail management and warehousing, working his way up to the national level. Ready for a change, he entered the waste sector in 2009, before joining Veolia as our Brisbane Liquid Coordinator in 2013.
Four years later, an opportunity arose to establish our new depot at Toowoomba. Craig grabbed the challenge with both hands. Key to the success and growth of the depot, Craig shares, has been the trust the executive team has placed in him.
“It was an exciting challenge to establish the Toowoomba site. In the early days, it was just me and one driver. Now, we’ve tripled in size and have outgrown the property. I’ve been given the room to grow; management genuinely supports us. They know that if we set up a larger depot and introduce equipment, we’ll be able to expand. They really trust us and understand what we need, to achieve our vision. So the best part of my role is having that freedom.”
Team works here: connection and room to grow
Among his coworkers, Craig is seen as a bit of a ‘cool uncle’: he’s clear about expectations, he’s genuinely interested in his team, and he’s committed to upskilling them. The result? The depot delivers exceptional service for our clients and provides a hands-on learning environment for the team.
“The first thing I tell a new team member is ‘What you see is what you get. I won’t smile all the time. I’ll be myself, and I’ll set expectations. But I will recognise good work, and say ‘Thank you.’ If you make a mistake, we’ll have a conversation about it. We all make mistakes and we learn from them. Every question is a good question.’”
Craig’s words may come across as direct - that’s who he is. But he delivers them with a warm energy and a broad smile. It’s easy to see why he’s an influential leader who’s earned the respect of his hard-working staff. Key to bringing the best out of his team, Craig shares, is constantly identifying opportunities for them to learn new skills.
“We’re a small team. Working on a 24/7 schedule, we need to be adaptable and ensure everyone can jump on any piece of equipment. As soon as someone starts with us, they’ll be practicing a new skill so that they can eventually earn their tickets. Training is good for our team and it’s good for business.”
The efforts of staff under Craig’s leadership are clearly paying off. As they move into a larger facility, the team is more connected than ever.
“My wife and I recently invited everyone over for a feast by the campfire. We had six kids in the pool. My wife cooked a banquet of pulled pork, Japanese beef, marinated sausages, cabana and chicken... One of the boys asked me the other day, ‘When’s the next one?!’ It was our way of thanking everyone, and to just enjoy each other’s company. They’re a great bunch. Just before COVID-19, one of our customers was planning to refurbish a koala rehabilitation centre. Everyone put their hand up to volunteer on the weekend. Unfortunately it didn’t go ahead for obvious reasons, but this shows their mateship.”
Before letting Craig get back to the workshop, we asked him about the qualities he looks for when it comes to growing the team.
“I look for someone who is open, honest and owns their mistakes. They need to have the key skill requirements, but they should also be ambitious and eager to expand their skill set. Above all, I look for someone who is willing to be themselves and show the world who they are."
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