Denise Norberg-Johnson

Financial Columnist

Denise Norberg-Johnson is a former subcontractor and past president of two national construction associations. She may be reached at

Articles by Denise Norberg-Johnson

December 2017
The holiday giving season is here, and the news stories about pay-to-play corruption and uncertainty surrounding how tax law changes will affect business deductions have made the process an ethical slippery slope.
 Gift or bribe?
November 2017
Last month, this column provided ideas about how economic forces affect a company’s pricing decisions. I believe a business has the right to a profit that accounts for the risks of a particular project, but its reputation can suffer if pricing seems arbitrary or if there is “gouging” during emergencies or shortages.
October 2017
As I write this column, the citizens and businesses in Texas are assessing the damage from Hurricane Harvey, and Florida is cleaning up after Irma. In the wake of every natural disaster, complaints arise about price gouging and the greed of those who take advantage of shortages to squeeze higher profits from the misery of their fellow human beings. READ MORE
September 2017
Last month, I offered some ideas for making your company more ecofriendly by using the three R’s—reducing, reusing and recycling—in your daily operations. To help your company become greener, this column continues that theme with pointers for managing vehicles, meetings and events, and it presents alternatives to disposables.

August 2017
A recent World Wildlife Fund survey found that almost half of Fortune 500 companies have at least one climate or clean-energy goal. It’s good business to be eco-friendly, and the construction industry has made great strides in going green without sacrificing profits. READ MORE
July 2017
When I ran the family contracting business, we still employed some of the old guard from my father’s term as owner. It was clear that they considered their training complete when they received their journeyman credentials. Thankfully, today, employees accept the mandate to upgrade their skills, especially in a field such as electrical work. 
June 2017
Have you noticed the trend in the business press connecting employee happiness with loyalty and retention? For young workers, money is no longer the sole consideration. Now, they seek unquantifiable factors, such as enjoyment and fulfillment. The lists of “best employers” always include companies that offer unusual perks and flexible choices. Are these ideas applicable to electrical contracting?
May 2017
News coverage of the health insurance debate should serve as a reminder for electrical contractors that have not fully evaluated or updated their business insurance plan. At renewal time, it’s important to update coverage and implement a plan to meet out-of-pocket costs.
 What does this mean for ECs?
April 2017
Productivity improvement is more than reducing waste. Understanding how routines and environment affect our physical and mental states can help you and your employees get the work done more efficiently and accurately without spending a fortune or revamping your organization.
 Motivation and mental state