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.

Planning and Projecting to Manage the Workforce

Planning and Projecting to Manage the Workforce

Faron Belone

During my time as Field Ops Manager, I have seen substantial growth in how we manage our field workforce. Being able to identify peaks and valleys in the workforce needs on job sites is vital to the stability of our company. Knowing our boundaries and working together as a team to navigate through this dynamic industry has helped K2 Electric grow consistently over the years.

We pride ourselves on being able to meet our customer’s schedules while strategically chasing upcoming projects and opportunities for our team. Below are some of the key tools we have in place to help manage our current workforce of 150 plus team members:

  • Labor Loader Spreadsheet (Created off historical data of past projects to allow us to project future needs)
  • Weekly Projects Meetings (Address schedule and manpower needs for each project in a team setting)
  • 3 Week Look Ahead Scheduling (Allows managers to review what foremen are planning)

Keeping an updated and transparent labor-loaded chart of ongoing and upcoming projects allows preconstruction and management to be on the same page when making future company decisions. Experienced field and management leadership coupled with established processes and procedures help make a typically demanding job an exciting one for me. We at K2 are completely prepared and well equipped to handle any project opportunity presented to us.

John Jordan Advises How to Determine an Accurate Project Budget

John Jordan Advises How to Determine an Accurate Project Budget

One of the most challenging elements of pre-construction and budgeting is working with minimal information to develop an early-stage budget that comes close to the final contract number without eroding the established profit margin goal.  Our client partners come to us with a scope description, limited drawings, and possibly specifications, to assist in developing the budgets required from their client owners. Keeping the end user and architects design ideas, expectations, and concerns at the forefront of the budget process is critical.

While general contractors often have an idea on cost, they need us to use our knowledge of similar projects to produce a price that validates the budget and identifies items that may cause budget issues as the project documents are developed.  To be exact would be nearly impossible but we know we must be within a tolerable margin over/under the final value to best serve the needs of our clients. To combat these obstacles our team has many tools in the toolbox:

  • Drawing from personal and team experience
  • Historical estimating data
  • Evaluation of market trends to avoid misses in material and labor escalation costs

Our team has done a fantastic job of documenting previous project estimates and pulled important information into an easily digestible spreadsheet to help our customers feel confident in our pricing.  Utilizing an experienced group of people that have been in the AZ construction market for many years, K2 is able to help our clients reach their end goal of a successful project that balances the design team’s intent with the owner’s budget constraints. Building confidence in our clients with persistent effort, reliable communication, and accountability is the key to creating a genuine working relationship.

IT Manager Discusses Technology in Construction

IT Manager Discusses Technology in Construction

I think that technology is underutilized in many construction organizations. There are many new software and hardware resources in the marketplace that could benefit the industry. Computer vision, deep learning, and virtual construction just to name a few.  Companies now are leading a charge toward equipping the field with a whole new suite of tools that utilize some of these newer technologies.

Here at K2 Electric, one technology that has fundamentally changed how we handle constantly evolving construction drawings and field documents is called “Plan Grid.”  It allows our field team to always have access to the latest set of documents in real time. They can get on their laptop, pull up a print, and immediately be notified if a new revision has been posted.

Through the pandemic, mobility has become the name of the game. K2 launched a full work from home fleet right as the stay-at-home order hit. We were prepared for the situation with all the right remote tools at our disposal. We even saw our best year, right through the middle of a chaotic time. I have seen massive improvements in efficiency and tooling since being at K2.  As the IT Manager I strive toward making everything as clear for the employees so they can use the tools without fighting the technology. It gets increasingly difficult as the whole landscape of technology shifts faster than things can be taught, but I remain confident that K2 will stay ahead in its plans to be the best equipped electrical contractor in Arizona.