At FCICA’s Mid-Year Meeting last week in Hershey, Pa., one of the main draws of the event was a full-day of educational content. Presentations included employee recruitment and retainment; an overview of the ASTM standard for rigid polymeric core flooring; business succession planning from a legal standpoint; and effective communication between the field and office.

Nelson White of Spartan Services presented “Recruit, Motivate and Retain Top Talent,” explaining how to manage a multi-generational workforce that includes Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials.

“We have four generations of workers today—and when times are stressful, communication can break down between the generations,” he said. “We need to understand and overcome generational differences to become successful in our businesses.”

While all the generations have different expectations and preferences, White stated that the most important skill for maintaining leadership is consistency. “The biggest killer in business is a lack of consistency in leadership. Managers manage things; leaders lead people.”

Roppe Holding Co.’s Brent Fike gave an overview of ASTM F3261, which covers rigid polymeric core flooring. This includes wood plastic composite (WPC) and stone plastic composite (SPC) products.

“WPC is usually a combination of PVC and wood fibers,” Fike explained. “SPC is a combination of limestone and PVC. In other words, it’s similar to an LVT or solid vinyl tile.”

Fike added that since the rigid polymeric core category is relatively new to the flooring industry, be sure the product conforms to ASTM F3261. “If it doesn’t reference the ASTM standard, you should question why.”

Taxation and patent attorney Clifton Guise, representing Federated Insurance, discussed Business Succession Planning. He explained the importance of creating a will and having a buy-sell agreement, which he called “the will for your business.”

He said people who have not created a will already have one—it just might not be in their best interests. “Your state already gives you a will, and it may not be what you want.”

Guise recommended the following preparations: “Along with a will, you’ll need a power of attorney, HIPPA release, beneficiary designations and a trust that will protect your assets from long-term care expenses.”

The day of education wrapped up with ”Communicating from the Field to the Office,” presented by Mike Newberry, Inside Edge; and Gerry Swift, Lotus Building Services.

Swift said he swears by cloud-based storage with sharing capabilities, such as Dropbox. “Good record-keeping is essential, and Dropbox is basically my hard drive. I have folders for every project, along with proposals, specifications and everything else. I can send a file or a whole folder, and give people partial or full access. I can also access everything from my phone.”

Discussing change orders, Newberry said to establish a few parameters before jumping on it. “Find out who the change request came from. Was it from the general contractor or someone else? Is it in reaction to something another trade did? Knowing the answer may change your urgency on gathering information.”

FCICA will host its next convention March 26- 28, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz.

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