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 ddjohnson0336@sbcglobal.net.

Articles by Denise Norberg-Johnson

January 2004
Anger and violence in the workplace are definitely increasing, and one in six workers has been angry enough at work to want to punch a coworker. Understanding how to prevent anger from erupting into violence is imperative. Anger is a strong feeling of antagonism associated with extreme displeasure. As anger escalates, the quality of judgment decreases, and logic evaporates. READ MORE
January 2004
People are your most important asset, and also the hardest to manage. Employees talk back, loyalty seems to have disappeared and the traditional work ethic appears to be eroding. You are probably experiencing the confusion inherent in managing employees of different generations. Workplace diversity is no longer limited to ethnicity or gender. READ MORE
November 2003
Information is power, within reason, so today’s business environment puts a premium on such. We’re told that computers reduce paperwork; more often they increase it. And one of the biggest workplace complaints is the inability to catch up on business reading. How do you reconcile these conflicting ideas? For each company, the solutions will be different. READ MORE
September 2003
Are you running a sprint or a marathon on the technology track? Do you feel like a hamster on a wheel, trying to evaluate new gadgets and systems? Even electrical contractors aren’t immune to technology headaches, especially when you’re spending all of your time just serving your customers. READ MORE
August 2003
Remember the “good old days” of construction? The electrical contractor scribbled an estimate on the back of an envelope, shook hands with the general contractor, and they danced into the sunset sharing a reasonable profit, to the delight of the project owner. Labor was cheap, benefits were minimal and regulation was manageable. READ MORE
July 2003
Customers are placing a higher priority on time than money, and it seems that nearly all projects are now “fast track.” Managing money is easier than managing time, and every electrical contracting company struggles with waste, inaccurate records, or even time theft. You can tolerate lost time—or look for ways to decrease the waste. Start with the source documents in your accounting system. READ MORE
May 2003
Growth during a recession is not an absurd idea Electrical contractors are a debt-resistant group. Past and future company leaders often clash over whether to assume debt. The former is proud of having no debt, the latter knows that it’s a tool for growth. Who is right? They both are. Only a few decades ago, houses were bought without mortgages and credit cards didn’t exist. READ MORE
March 2003
The 2002 Financial Performance Report (FPR), compiled by NECA from financial data reported by electrical contractors for the 2001 year, is a valuable business tool. The ratios used to analyze the data provide a true peer-group comparison for professional electrical contractors, as well as a ready-made system for benchmarking your financial trends. READ MORE
February 2003
Your work force is becoming more diverse, and perhaps you’re a little confused about how to recruit and retain these new workers, especially the women. So what do you do? First, leave your paranoia behind. Most women in the workplace don’t plan to sue the company. READ MORE

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