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

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
March 2017
In the original “Jurassic Park” movie, mathematician Ian Malcolm warns the creator of the park that control is an illusion. Regardless of how many electric fences, backup systems and contingency plans are in place, there is ultimately no guarantee of safety in the park. “Life finds a way,” the chaos theoretician observes. READ MORE
February 2017
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued an amended executive order that, within four years, required tradeswomen to perform at least 6.9 percent of the labor hours on construction projects. Contractors on federal projects are still expected to make a “good faith effort” to hire tradeswomen, but, after nearly 40 years, women still perform only 2–3 percent of construction work. 
January 2017
Despite political and social controversy surrounding the 2016 election, there are reasons for electrical contractors to be optimistic about the next four years. One potential benefit of electing a business executive is the expectation of economically minded policies and regulations.