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PREVENTING FRAUDYou can prevent fraud and mistakes by going digital.   

By John Kennedy and Richard Bergfeld 

Every construction site is busy. Suppliers deliver shipments. Subcontractors complete tasks. An architect may consult with a foreman. Invoices, receipts, planning documents, blueprints and more move from person to person. At the heart of it all is a construction trailer where workers, supervisors and vendors come and go, leaving and taking paperwork as they handle their tasks. It’s an exercise in controlled chaos, and the resulting mix can become a recipe for costly mistakes or even purposeful fraud. 

HULCEYou can leverage shared values to attract and retain top construction talent.   

By Sharon K. Hulce

As leaders within construction, how many of you have hired someone – you know, that guy or gal we “knew” would be amazing – and they ended up not working out at all? The people side of our industry is the toughest task we undertake. It’s easier to manage a bid, a project or a subcontractor to success than it is to get our own team right. Why is that?

HENMANSuccessful construction leaders need to make tough calls.   

By Dr. Linda Henman

Most people agree about what it takes to move up the ladder in an average construction company: hard work, loyalty, technical knowledge and people skills.  These form the foundation for success and explain why some people receive promotions and others don’t. But then both the game and rules change.

SAFETY
What impact does a company's size and leadership style have on safety?

By Joshua Estrin

While the construction industry is comprised of companies of all sizes, big companies often have large marketing budgets allowing for maximum industry exposure. Yet, while small construction firms (between one to 50 employees) comprise a large portion of the industry, little is heard from them. This begs the question: does the size of a company impact job site safety?

Before this question can be answered, one must also recognize that the leadership styles of those charged with worker safety are an integral part of understanding the obstacles that continue to face the industry. There are three general leadership styles that have been recognized across the continuum of all areas of occupational safety and health but have rarely been clearly articulated by the construction industry: autocratic, participatory and free rein.

OP RESIDENTIALBy Brenna Hill and Michael Harvey 

In June, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a dramatic departure from its informal guidelines on classification of independent contractors and joint employers. These guidelines, issued during the Obama administration, were not legally binding, but served as a blueprint for how the DOL enforced federal laws. They also presented persuasive authority to courts. 

Although the Trump administration has not yet issued new guidelines, the DOL’s departure from the previous guidelines indicates that it may be easier for employers to classify individuals as independent contractors and that it will be more difficult to hold one business liable for the employment law violations of another company. 

OP INSITUTIONALBy Matt Worth

Schools, libraries and museums house the best and brightest of our society. However, the buildings that contain these institutions could afford to be quite a bit smarter.

The commercial building infrastructure in America is aging, with as many as 72 percent of U.S. buildings being more than 20 years old. Although the idea of "smart buildings" is gaining traction, out-of-date HVAC and building controls equipment are still the norm. Now is the time for an HVAC/controls retrofit.

OP COMMERCIAL

By Guy Worley

Designing the perfect workspace isn’t just a matter of efficiency and ergonomics; it’s a moving target that changes with generational shifts in the workforce. Each successive generation brings a unique set of needs and preferences that have been shaped by culture and their experiences. In turn, those needs and preferences shape the definition of an optimized office.

Last year, the millennial generation officially bypassed baby boomers to take the lead as the largest population group in the United States. The shifting demographic balance of working-age individuals toward millennials brings progressive changes in office space. Case in point: more than 70 percent of U.S. workspaces are moving to an open layout.

Office space has and always will play a vital role in talent attraction. As the millennial generation begins to dominate the workforce, needs and expectations for office environments are shifting rapidly. Closed-off offices and cubicles have now been replaced with open office concepts and communal workspaces, and millennials are driving this change.

OP CIVIL

By Montserrat Miller

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is ramping up immigration enforcement nationwide, which will soon include increased worksite enforcement. This means American businesses must adapt to new operating conditions. As with any new norm, smart leaders must know how the federal government’s actions will affect their workforce, and ultimately, their bottom line.

Over the years worksite enforcement has taken different forms. What remains to be seen is whether the Trump administration will define enforcement like President Bush, with large worksite raids; or like the Obama administration, which engaged mostly in “paper investigations” when it came to worksite enforcement.

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