Greater Phoenix Chamber 2022 IMPACT Awards

Greater Phoenix Chamber 2022 IMPACT Awards

K2 Electric recently took part in the 35th annual Greater Phoenix Chamber 2022 IMPACT Awards program, and was recognized as one of three finalists in the Mid-size business category. K2 Electric was joined by Dircks Moving & Logistics and Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC as the Mid-size category finalists.

The IMPACT Awards luncheon occurred on May 13 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. At the event, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon was named the Mid-size Business of the Year, with Concord General Contracting, Inc. winning Small Business of the Year and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona taking home Large Business of the Year honors.

For K2 Electric, taking part in the IMPACT Awards process was a valuable lesson. To develop a successful submission, the K2 team had to examine its efforts both in the industry and in the community and evaluate the impact those efforts can have. Then, after being selected as a finalist, K2 leadership took part in interviews with the IMPACT team and were able to share their story with the committee.

“Throughout the entire process, we had to evaluate what is it that we do that has an impact that really matters and that other people recognize,” said K2 Electric President Jared Kredit. “It was humbling and fulfilling to be among the nine finalist companies across the Arizona business community. We came away with strong connections in the community and better insight into how we as a company can continue to make an impact.”

The Greater Phoenix Chamber’s IMPACT Awards began in 1987 and have grown into one of the most sought-after awards programs in the Arizona business world. The goal of the IMPACT Awards is to honor the accomplishments of businesses and the impact they’ve made on the Greater Phoenix business community. The Chamber highlights companies with a strong footprint in the Valley that are deserving of special recognition.

“This award wasn’t just within our industry, which is different for us,” added Kredit. “We’re being recognized across all industries. I think sometimes we set our sights on what other people are doing and how we can do things better than the next competitor. This is just how we compare to all types of companies, so it is unique and humbling to have that element to it.

“The value for us isn’t just limited to external marketing messaging or messaging to potential employees or even our current team. The value is really knowing what people outside of our organization see as having an impact and bringing value to our company and the community.”

Anticipated Southern Arizona Growth Despite the Nationwide Challenges

Anticipated Southern Arizona Growth Despite the Nationwide Challenges

Southern Arizona is a unique marketplace for the commercial construction industry. In Tucson, Arizona, K2 Electric’s branch manager, Sean Salveson, has quickly understood the challenges and opportunities in this market after moving here from California in 2020.

In 2021, southern Arizona maintained a strong non-residential market and anticipates to continue to see this success throughout 2022 and 2023. However, according to Salveson, this success does not come without obstacles. In this area of Arizona, there is a labor shortage of workers at all experience levels. Although Arizona is on track to reach the anticipated population growth goals, Salveson says Tucson isn’t on par with other areas of the state. “A less dynamic economy makes it more difficult to find quality help in a booming construction market.” Salveson believes the best way to overcome the labor shortage challenges is to continue the longstanding K2 Electric value of putting people first. “No company accomplishes greatness without a great team,” according to Salveson. “The goal is to build the company from within, help our employees grow, and put them first because clients will reap the benefits of strong company culture.”

A shortage of workers comes with a lack of supplies. Like many industries, the commercial construction industry is still seeing the repercussions of the Covid pandemic and faces a problematic supply chain shortage that has continued to worsen from 2020 to 2021. Although, Salveson is hopeful for the anticipated reprieve that local experts believe will come in the fourth quarter of 2022. Until then, K2 Electric continues to overcome the hurdles of supply chain shortages by building solid relationships with other industry leaders. K2’s reputation has allowed it to service its customers timely and efficiently.

Despite these challenges, Salveson is excited about the years ahead and anticipates seeing the growth of the K2 Electric team in southern Arizona. He is not only looking forward to the development of the company, but also hopes to continue to foster a relationship with the community and industry leaders in southern Arizona. “Tucson is a great community; it welcomed my family with open arms, and we will continue to give back through community involvement, both personally and professionally.”

LDF Recap

LDF recap from NDK

2021 was a very busy and rewarding year thanks in large part to graduating from the Leadership Development Forum (LDF) program hosted annually by the Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA).   

As described on ABA’s website, “ABA’s Leadership Development Forum (LDF) is a year-long intensive management education program that requires significant commitment on behalf of each candidate and employer. The program is limited to 30 students. It has sold out annually since being introduced in 1993. The annual, in-depth course focuses on management skills, leadership, and public speaking. The program has received both state and national awards and has graduated more than 800 constructors over the past 25 years.” 

The program covers a range of topics from “Finance in Construction” and “Work/Life Balance” to “Public Speaking.” One of the best parts of this program is the incredible instructors that are brought in to teach the classes. An example of one we’ve had was Dr. Tom Schleifer, ASU professor and author of “Construction Contractors’ Survival Guide,” who taught what he learned from failed contractors. Other speakers included John Murdough, CPA with Henry Horne, who is one of the original founders of this class, and they taught us about construction in finance in a way that is easy to understand. Danielle Feroleto, Owner and President of Small Giants as well as a case study judge for the program, showed us the art of how to tell a story while presenting. 

To qualify for this prestigious program, the following criteria must be met: 

  • Must have a minimum of eight years of construction experience or have participated in the Emerging Leaders Forum program with at least six years of construction experience   
  • Submit the application 
  • Produce a two-minute video explaining why you should be selected for the program   
  • Be nominated by your company’s C-level management (with the time commitment, it is imperative that your company understands and supports you during this program. I am very thankful that K2 and my fellow coworkers gave me the opportunity to take the time needed). 
  • Be willing to attend 100% of the LDF meetings once a month 
  • Actively participate in the group’s community service project  

By having this stringent application process, the Arizona Builders Alliance is ensuring a strong group of leaders from the Arizona job market and the same level of dedication among peers, which facilitates a successful and unified experience.  

One rewarding aspect of the commitment to the program is the community service project built together over the course of the year. Our class selected Advocacy, Support & Assistance (ASA) Now, which is an organization located in East Mesa, AZ that helps foster kids and families. Our group was able to build a horse arena with a tack shed, so they can bring in horses for equine therapy; construct a raised garden bed, run power and lighting to the basketball courts; and we will soon be constructing a new pergola shade structure with outdoor seating.   

There were many parts of this class that helped me grow tremendously, but the most impactful part was presenting our LDF case study portion. We were split into teams of six and given a case study to roleplay as employees seeking to buy out the original owner.  

The presentation needed to include: 

  • A financial plan 
  • Explanation of our culture  
  • What we believed to be the best solution for the owner 

The comradery of my teammates and the class in general made this program successful and rewarding. We stepped out of our comfort zones and were able to grow professionally. I am thankful for my hours spent in the LDF program. My relationships with others in the industry have been strengthened, my leadership skills have been sharpened, and I have learned a tremendous amount from my peers and all the wonderful experts that shared their knowledge with us. I highly recommend anyone starting in their career to join the association and become involved!  

K2 Electric Volunteers in Mexico with 1Mission

K2 Electric Volunteers in Mexico with 1Mission

Serving others is a tremendous gift, but not just for the people receiving the help. That lesson was learned first-hand by 12 employees from K2 Electric who volunteered to help build a home for a family in Mexico. In November, these K2 Electric employees joined forces with 1Mission to complete the first phase of a home build.

1Mission is an organization that aims to provide housing for people living without safe and secure shelter by offering rewarding short-term mission trip experiences that honor the local leaders and provide positive, healthy outcomes for the communities in which they serve.

“I gained some good reminders by going – to really understand how much of a need there is for service and hospitality in all corners of our world, the importance of gratitude and thanksgiving for all that I’ve been blessed with, and a re-focus on how I might be able to serve my neighbor in a kind way,” said K2 HR Director Josh Carmichael, who took part in the mission trip. “It was definitely what I expected – hard work, fun, building relationships with the K2 and 1Mission team, and great Mexican food.”

The families selected for this opportunity have dedicated their lives to serving their communities and have positively impacted their neighbors. This gift allows these families to continue their impact without having to worry about shelter.

The K2 Electric team achieved its goal of completing Phase 1 of a home build during their 3 day trip, where they were able to use their building knowledge and talent. The team was able to bond in an impactful way and particularly enjoyed interacting with the local foreman. Members of the K2 Electric party shared that the hardest part of the project was the concrete work to form the outer walls of the home.

The team was moved by the emotional response of all the volunteers during their trip, especially after seeing existing living conditions. K2 walked away with immense gratitude for the experience and plans to attend another trip with 1Mission this spring.

“I was reminded how fortunate I am to have a nice, climate-controlled place to lay my head every night,” said Faron Balone, a Field Operations Manager for K2. “The experience was not what I expected at all. Seeing families happy and content with so little in life made me realize how caught up I am in consumerism. Believe me when I say that changes will be made in my lifestyle.”

The 1Mission experience was exceptional and K2 extends their continued support to this great organization and to the staff that made this trip so enjoyable.

“(1Mission is) very organized in what they are doing – from having a foreman ready to support each crew, to having a schedule of events for teams supporting their work there,” said Carmichael.

For more information on how to support 1Mission please visit https://www.1mission.org//

Developing Team Members in a Competitive Market

Developing Team Members in a Competitive Market

Josh Carmichael, Director of Human Resources, breaks down the importance of employee professional development.

 

If you were to research, “Common reasons employees leave their jobs”, you will find the following two reasons on every list:

  • Lack of professional development
  • Lack of job growth/career advancement

And that’s just from the employee’s perspective. On the other side of the coin – the employer side – those who fail to create a culture of learning, development, job growth, and career advancement tend to struggle with employee retention, employee engagement, talent acquisition, and market competitiveness.

With competition at an all-time high, employers cannot afford to skip focus on building a culture around professional development when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent and obtaining new work.

K2 has put an emphasis on developing its people since it was founded in 2003; but the company realizes the constant need to be transformational and ensure employees are kept on par with the evolving times and changing dynamics of the electrical contracting industry. K2 understands that if focus is lost on employee professional development, employees will leave for employers who do invest the time and money into developing them in accordance with their goals.

Employers must remain focused on this to stay relevant in the market and industry.

A few of the programs K2 has developed are as follows:

  • Effective Personal Productivity (EPP) Program – All K2 professional staff and newly promoted foreman attend this program which focuses on personal productivity and staying organized through planning and goal setting/achievement.
  • Effective Leadership Development (ELD) Program – For K2 leadership roles, staff in this program focus on the art of delegation, understanding motivation, and effective communication to help mentor the next generation of K2 leaders.
  • Field Leadership Development Program (FLDP) – This is a program dedicated to focusing on “growing our own” talent in-house specifically designed for up-and-coming electricians which helps prepare them for field leadership as a foreman.
  • Apprenticeship Program – K2 partners with IECA and WECA to put employees through electrical trade school while paying for their tuition.

K2 Electric will continue moving forward by living out one of our main core values, Advancing Our Team, so that our employees gain confidence, both personally and professionally, and remain well-equipped to serve the needs of our clients and customers.

HR Manager, David Blake Featured on “Happiest Places to Work” Podcast

HR Manager, David Blake Featured on "Happiest Places to Work" Podcast

K2 Featured on Podcast

On this Happiest Places to Work podcast host Amy Dix, encourages company leadership to share their journeys and expertise and discuss the power of corporate wellness.

She covers topics like company culture, value employees, the well-being of employees, mental health, emotional health, and happiness in the workplace.

K2’s very own HR Manager, David Blake, was featured on the seventh episode “The Importance of Open and Honest Communication.” Listen in below!

Senior Project Manager Discusses Quality Performance

Senior Project Manager Discusses Quality Performance

In the many years that I have been in the Phoenix Metro construction market, the one thing that has never changed is the level of competition that exists for awarded contracts. This market has always been in flux with an ever-changing cast of competitors. When the competition is close, one of the deciding factors is performance. That is one of the reasons our #2 core value is “Perform to be Preferred.”

Our development of construction installation standards and QA/QC processes help to ensure that we are consistently delivering the best product we can.  We are continuously analyzing our performance in all facets of our operation, looking for methods and materials that will help us stand apart from our competition. Our primary goals for the completion of every project are to finish on schedule and to have a zero-item punch list.

“Zero Defect” has become our mantra and describes a fundamental thought process for success in every task we do. We continually work on processes and installation methods to support our zero-defect goals.  At the end of the day, if quality performance is the difference, then we want to be the outstanding choice.