It truly takes a special type of person to run a business — a type of person I have great admiration for. I’m not talking about the long hours or the financial risk, although those obviously should not be dismissed. No, I’m talking about signing up for a gig where virtually every day someone who works in your business is angry at you. Being in charge is not a popularity contest.

It really is inevitable when you’re the boss. An HVAC contractor needs to make some tough calls throughout the day, and not everyone in the building is going to agree with each decision. I’m fairly certain all of my employees have, at one time or another, complained to their spouses over dinner about what an idiot I am and that they could do a better job if they were in my position. That is just to be expected. It’s important to point out that I have never had those thoughts or conversations about my boss. Everything Mr. Murphy says is gold, I tell you, gold!

But, I do urge service managers, technicians, and other employees reading this to take a step back and truly evaluate how their bosses are running their businesses. That’s because it’s once again time for The NEWS’ Best Contractor to Work For contest. The NEWS has been doing this for multiple years. It’s a contest where we highlight bosses who have created great places to work. This can be showcased in many ways, from profit sharing to a high investment in training to a spectacular holiday party. It’s important to point out this is not a contest honoring the biggest businesses, but the greatest companies.

The twist: Leaders are nominated by employees. The contest grants employees a chance to recognize the outstanding administrators paving the way for their companies. It’s a great way to thank a boss for being outstanding. It’s also a great way to capture some brownie points from the guy in the corner office.

So, has your boss created a great place to work? We spend a lot of time at our jobs, and there’s nothing worse than working for a company that you don’t believe in and doesn’t treat you right.

Being a Best Contractor to Work For is also a great recruiting tool. Just think how the top students coming out of the local trade schools will react when they Google your company name and it comes up that you’re one of the best HVAC companies in the country to work for. With the lack of young talent coming into the field, it’s a real competition to get those folks to join your company. Perhaps our contractor readers want to leave this article out in the break room in case anyone is interested in reading it.

I would urge everyone who works for an outstanding boss to fill out the online form. The contest is now open, and runs through Nov. 23. The winners will be announced and featured in the Jan. 25, 2015, issue of The NEWS, which will be distributed on the floor of the 2016 AHR Expo in Orlando. Four U.S. contractors and one Canadian contractor will be chosen. We want to make sure we hear from our Canadian contractors — you guys are doing good work too. For more information, visit

Publication date: 10/12/2015

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