In journalism, it’s conventional to tell readers the who, what, where, how and why of a story, and that’s what we’ve done in interpreting the survey results from the 2004 PROFILE OF THE ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.
New opportunities for ECs continue to emerge in the government market Opportunities abound in the government sector for the knowledgeable and persistent contractor. Most contractors avoid bidding on government projects because they are often complicated and laden with paperwork and procedures.
Independent contract hires can create tricky situations There was a time when you joined a company for life. Times have changed. Now we are looking for guarantees. If you do not negotiate for your employment, you are lost. There are basic terms and conditions for an employee or a contract hire.
Handing over the family business is never easy Electrical contracting firms are mostly small family businesses and are going through a generation transition in the United States. It is predicted by the year 2013, nearly $4 trillion in assets will be transferred to the next generation.
Drug testing is more prevalent than it was just 10 years ago It’s not a popular subject for most electrical contractors. In fact, it tends to make employers and their electricians downright uncomfortable.
Many overloaded contractors have uttered something along these lines at one point or another: “I wish I could find someone that’s as smart as I think I am to share some of the load.” But if that load is to support the estimating needs of the company, maybe what they are really looking for is someone
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.
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.
Thousands of accidents occur in the electrical construction industry each year. Accidents are defined as “an unplanned event that results in personal injury or property damage.” Their severity ranges from minor injury and minimal property damage to million-dollar losses and fatalities.
How does a family business exist? In this world of business conglomerates with clearly defined structures, and multicultural specialty workforces, how can family business survive? In the United States there are 22.4 million businesses and 90 percent are family owned and/or managed.
Could the shortage of skilled workers in electrical construction, voice/data/video (VDV) and integrated building systems (IBS) hit sooner than you think? As reported in the June and August issues of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, a shortage seems virtually certain for 2008-2010.
The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveals that, in 2001, 27 people involved in electrical construction were killed by falls while performing their jobs. This places falls as the second leading cause of fatalities in our industry.
Scapegoating is a hostile social behavior by which people move blame and responsibility away from themselves and toward a target person or group. The target feels wrongly persecuted and receives misplaced vilification, blame and criticism.
There’s going to be a skilled worker shortage later in this decade. If the economy continues to rebound, shortages might well become severe. What is being done? What might be done? If there are solutions, when will they kick in? This is the second-part of a series looking at the projected problem.
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.
Help employees before it hurts your business Discussion of drug and alcohol policy can yield a number of responses. For the non-drinker or someone who has lost a loved one due to another’s abuse, the topic commands respect.
Company tailors service model for each customer Creating a company culture where the mantra is “Nothing’s Impossible” takes the buy-in of every worker, top-to-bottom. That’s what Shepherd Electric Supply, with two branches in the Washington, D.C.