FALLS CHURCH, Va. - To get bottom-line results from your employees, it is best to follow this formula: inspire them to perform, and then get out of the way.

That's what speaker George Hedley emphasized in his "Profit-Driven Leadership" seminar during the Construction Contractors' Alliance (CCA) meeting in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The CCA is an enhanced service group of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association. Hedley also advised CCA members to take these steps with employees: set clear expectations; provide recognition and praise; get employees to understand the big picture; and show them you care about them.

A general contractor, Hedley also conducted a session titled "Everything Subcontractors Need to Know about General Contractors and Builders." Hedley recommended subcontractors maintain a tough stance in all stages of the contractor-subcontractor relationship. "There are complex tugs and pulls to make a successful project so that we all win," Hedley said. "Train your customers on how you want to do business."

Hedley believes communication and documentation between the parties also are important. "Do your paperwork," he said. "If it's not in writing, it didn't happen. When you don't document, you assume responsibility for everything."

Also at the meeting, company president Steve Irwin presented a "Contractor Spotlight" on Farmer & Irwin, a mechanical contracting company in Riviera Beach, Fla. Irwin, a second-generation owner, provided an inside look at the company, including its buy-sell agreement, office and field procedures, prefabrication shop, and sample construction projects.

The next CCA meeting will be Oct. 12-14, 2005, at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta.

Publication date: 03/28/2005