Companies are always on the lookout for employees who will stay long-term and are committed to growing and improving. Likewise, employees want to work for companies that will provide them with opportunities to develop their skills.

Mentorships are a great way to help employees, both new and experienced, expand their knowledge and personal development. They focus on positive workplace behavior and performance, providing employees with the training needed to be successful.

Traditionally, mentoring relationships have involved senior employees guiding their younger colleagues, but hierarchy and age aren’t necessarily important in modern workforces. As long as mentors have experience that can help others learn, this is all that matters. For instance, younger employees can teach older employees about ever-changing technology in the workplace.

Successful mentoring relationships can also naturally create a rich multigeneration office culture by combining the top qualities of each participant. Senior employees traditionally have a great work ethic, loyalty and dedication. Whereas, younger employees may come to work with new ideas and passion. Together, they can make for a positive and effective team.

Research has shown that workers who have a mentor enjoy greater job satisfaction, and mentors learn from those they are guiding. But, mentoring in the workplace not only benefits the mentors and mentored, it also benefits companies with increased employee retention and knowledge sharing. On top of that, mentoring programs have shown to increase company diversity, with participation expanding minority representation in management-level positions.

Top Benefits of Mentorship in the Workplace

Mentors
Mentored
Company
  • Better Job Satisfaction
  • Better Job Satisfaction
  • Better Employee Satisfaction
  • Increased Pride
  • Increased Self-confidence
  • Higher Employee Retention
  • Improved Communication Skills
  • Desire to Achieve Goals
  • Diversity of Leadership
  • Improved Knowledge Sharing
  • Skill Development
  • Increased Knowledge Sharing
  • Experience for Leadership Roles
  • Greater Probability of Promotion
  • Improved Company Culture

Something important to note is that mentoring relationships should never be forced. This can cause employees to resent the idea as an obligatory task. Instead, sharing the positive benefits with employees and offering to help connect them with a mentor, when and if they are ready, is most effective. To be prepared, companies should gather information about employee skills, communication styles and career goals. A major key to successful mentorship relationships is connecting employees who communicate well together, can connect on a personal level and are working toward attaining similar goals.

In the end, mentors need to feel that their time is valued in order to achieve a successful mentorship relationship. Those who are mentored must think of the experience as an investment in their growth, rather than a sure path to promotion.

Apprenticeships prepare workers for highly skilled construction jobs. Employers invest time and money in hands-on training, often along with regular classes. The model provides valuable real-world experience and educational instruction for workers who would like to break into an industry that is new to them. The end goal of an apprenticeship is attaining national skills standards and becoming licensed in a particular skilled trade.

There are many benefits to apprenticeship. However, many people often overlook apprenticeships, instead opting to attend college or beginning their career with an entry-level position.

Here are the top three reasons to consider an apprenticeship:

  1. Learning While Earning
    Going off to college or a trade school can be a great educational experience, but it can cost a lot of money that many simply do not have. On top of that, it can be challenging to hold a full-time job in order to pay for expenses while in school.

    Apprentices are paid a basic living wage (the national average is $15/hour) to start while also learning and gaining experience every day. As an apprentice’s skills grow, wage increases and promotions often follow.
  1. Access to Ongoing Mentoring
    Apprentices are usually assigned a mentor who is an experienced construction professional. The mentor’s role is to help plan and guide an apprentice’s learning along the way. They provide valuable feedback and support to improve an apprentice’s skills and are always available to answer questions.
  2. Increased Future Opportunities
    Being involved with the day-to-day operations of a business during an apprenticeship, which usually takes two to four years to complete, allows apprentices to make connections with many important people within the industry.

    Future employers will also see the hard work that was required to complete the apprenticeship and will surely value that education and work ethic when considering hiring an individual.

    In addition, apprentices have the potential to earn college credit toward a degree through their apprenticeship program, should they decide to work towards gaining an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree at a later date.

The apprenticeship model prepares workers to compete in today’s economy. The hands-on training keeps apprentices current with innovations and technology. Moreover, the majority of apprentices stay on as full-time employees upon completion of an apprenticeship, allowing for a successful long-term career with a competitive salary without college debt.

The RK Apprenticeship Program helps provide skills for a much needed construction workforce. If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship in construction, click here to learn more about what our program offers.

 

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was anything but predictable or normal. Predictions for 2021 are cautiously optimistic with a combination of positive and some negative growth for the construction industry, arguably one of the largest sectors worldwide. Although large hotel and higher education projects have declined recently, others have increased, such as healthcare facilities and warehouse construction to meet current needs.

Because of measurements put in place to keep everyone safe, businesses have had to change how they function and communicate both internally and externally, limiting in-person interactions. This has also caused delays in some projects. The need to know what is happening on a job site has become greater than ever. As a result, even in an industry that is otherwise resistant to embracing new technology, construction has seen an increase in adoption of construction-specific technology, from BIM to 3D-printing, facilitating a more versatile way of working.

Without further ado, here are the top eight construction trends predicted for 2021.

  1. Keeping focused on safety with continued social distancing, protective gear and enhanced protocols for cleanliness
  2. Increased hiring for seamless execution of current and unexpected future projects
  3. Implementation of construction-specific equipment and technology to supplement a declining workforce
  4. Expanded distribution and manufacturing facilities to meet current e-commerce demands
  5. More complex urban development and infrastructure projects
  6. Renewed focus on sustainability and renewable energy
  7. Expanded use of modular construction, increasing quality while also reducing costs and project timelines
  8. Increased construction cost and pressure on the bottom line, as net profits remain slim

Construction companies must prepare themselves for the uncertain future. Luckily, with many recent innovations already in place, the construction industry has begun to optimize processes in all phases of construction.

Key developments in the construction industry will likely continue to grow and change as we progress through 2021, and we look forward to it.

 

Digital Builder, 2021 Construction Trends: 20 Insights from Experts, 12.17.20
Construction Dive, 2021 Outlook: 6 Trends that Will Influence Construction this Year, 1.04.21
Chad Fisher Construction, Commercial Construction Trends For 2021, 12.07.20
Method:CRM, Key trends in the construction industry for 2021, accessed 1.19.21
Let’s Build, 5 construction trends you want to look out for in 2021, accessed 1.19.21

Recently, companies have been more concerned about the health and safety of their buildings due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Not only are they worried about keeping current employees and customers safe and happy, they also want to attract new talent and tenants. It is important to address the virus-related concerns since many people are now thinking about the air quality of the buildings they will be spending their days in. So, what can companies do to improve the overall health of their buildings?

Expand on Current Inspections
In most buildings, facility managers have already upgraded their building to include health conscious features like indoor plants, water bottle filling stations and natural lighting fixtures, along with regular inspections of HVAC and other systems. As we continue to live through the pandemic, companies need to look beyond just operating efficiently to help people feel safe.

In addition to regular inspections for wear and tear, businesses should examine unseen systems, such as ventilation and cleaning protocols, which could be just as vital for safety as a leaking ceiling or a crack in a sidewalk.

Keep Fresh Air Flowing
Recycling air from one room to another can increase the risk of airborne viruses also transferring. With growing concern of viruses spreading among people in close quarters, improvements to existing ventilation systems are needed. Increasing the amount of outdoor fresh air, along with purifying existing air in the building through bi-polar ionization can go a long way. While opening windows can be a quick fix, most buildings don’t have that option.

Reducing Transmission through Touchpoints
Install equipment such as toilet sensors, touchless soap dispensers and faucets, foot door pulls, and sensory lighting to minimize touchpoint transmission. For surfaces that must be used communally, consider an antimicrobial coating system to reduce the likelihood of transmission.

Encourage and Enforce CDC Recommendations
If there are areas of your building where restrooms aren’t nearby, consider installing hand sanitation stations to encourage regular hand washing.
Be sure all employees and guests are wearing masks or face coverings and wearing them properly, covering both their mouth and nose. Also, remind them to safely social distance when interacting with one another.

Evaluating your building’s current systems and equipment can help to identify ways to improve air quality, boost equipment performance and often leads to discovering new ways to increase energy savings.

RK Service’s expertly trained team of technicians can evaluate your facility, provide recommendations and build a custom products package to fit your needs. Call 877.576.9696 or email service@rkservice.com to schedule an appointment. For more information about our commercial HVAC/R systems evaluations and upgrades, click here.

 

What Makes an Office Building “Healthy”,  April 29, 2020, Harvard Business Review
Retro-Commissioning: Significant Savings at Minimal Cost, March 5, 2013, Building Efficiency Initiative
How COVID-19 has Increased Interest in Air Quality Testing, September 22, 2020, JLL

The refrigerant R-22, also known as chlorodifluoromethane, was banned earlier this year and is currently illegal to make or bring to the United States. It contains HCFCs, or greenhouse gases, that cause damage to the ozone layer when released into the atmosphere. In order to slow the environmental damage that has already occurred, governments have worked together to limit the number of ozone-depleting substances that can be used.

For years, R-22 refrigerant has been in the process of being phased out. Systems that run on it have likely reached their lifespan and are no longer effective. So, if an older R-22 system springs a leak, a tough decision has to be made. Facility managers can either retrofit the system for a replacement refrigerant, or replace the system entirely. Upgrading and retrofitting old R-22 infrastructure to work with a replacement refrigerant can save equipment, energy, money and the environment.

ALTERNATIVE REFRIGERANTS

RK Service’s expertly trained team of technicians can evaluate the refrigerant in your commercial system, recommend the right replacement option and execute the required retrofit or replacement. Call 877.576.9696 or email service@rkservice.com to schedule an appointment with one of RK Service’s expert technicians today.

COVID-19 has created significant business disruptions worldwide, and has owners and operators wondering what steps to take to ensure occupant safety going forward. Beyond just cleaning out HVAC/R systems, advanced bi-polar ionization surface and air purification systems are the modern technology facilities should consider installing to ensure their building provides a healthy environment.

Research proves that surface and air purification technology implemented directly into a building’s HVAC system can significantly reduce harmful bacteria and viruses in the air.

TOP SIX BENEFITS OF BI-POLAR IONIZATION SYSTEMS:

  1. Significantly reduces dangerous bacteria and virus including human coronavirus, norovirus, staph, MRSA, E.Coli, clostridium difficile (C.DIFF), tuberculosis (TB), airborne mold spores and legionella pneumophilia.
  2. Does not produce detectable Ozone*, or volitile organic chemicals (VOCs). There is no catalytic process. *UL 2998 recommends Ozone levels of less than .005 PPM. Insure all air-cleansing technologies carry the UL label. 
  3. No replacements parts and minimal maintenance. Self-cleaning systems are an option.
  4. System lifespan is up to 20 years with continual use and includes a 1-year warranty period.
  5. Universal voltage applicable to all systems.
  6. Tackles odors, particulates and static electricity in living spaces.

It is not a matter of if this technology will become a building code requirement, but when. Stay ahead of future interruptions to your business by installing a trusted purification system now.

RK Service highly recommends a bi-polar purification system install in all facilities. Our evaluation and three-step systems approach gives owners and operators the confidence they need to welcome occupants back into their buildings. Contact us to learn more.

There is a facility management staffing shortage happening now. Although the number of available positions in the industry is growing, there is serious concern about finding skilled labor to fill the roles. Not only do employers need to attract new staff to meet the expanding demand, but they also need to think about the all of the vacancies that occur as older workers enter retirement. The average age of facility management workers is 51 years old.

The labor shortage is not just happening in the United States, but worldwide. The pool of workers is down due to younger workers pursuing careers that they perceive as higher status with lower unemployment rates and competition. According to a recent survey by the Manpower Group, 45 percent of all employers say they can’t find the skilled workers they need, and skilled trades ranks as the hardest to find skill set of all.

Unfortunately, this skilled labor shortage has led to many companies putting off regular facility system maintenance. These delays can cause many issues, including:

Although it is easy to overlook when understaffed, regular maintenance of facility systems not only saves money but also ensures safety.

So, what should facility managers do if they aren’t able to hire the skilled talent that they need? The best options involve working with skilled talent from a third party. Whether this means having someone brought in to train your existing internal team, or collaborating with them to handle specific things such as preventative maintenance, both can bring great benefits. RK Service offers both of these options and is happy to work with companies to figure out the right combination of training and maintenance to fit their needs.

Culture is the character of an organization. It’s the values, traditions, behaviors, interactions and attitudes displayed every day. Workplace culture is to an organization what personality is to an individual.

Positive workplace culture attracts talented people, affects happiness, engagement and satisfaction, while also improving performance. A company’s culture is influenced by everything from leadership and management to workplace policies, practices and people.

When looking to work for a company, the primary factors are often the company’s brand value and compensation to employees. While many believe these are enough to attract talent, work culture often plays an even bigger role in retaining good employees. Workplace culture makes some places great to work and other places miserable. It affects relationships between employees and leadership. This can mean the difference between working with each other for the common good of the company or arguing every step of the way.

A company’s culture is so important in bringing out the best in employees even during not-so-great times. Negativity not only crushes creativity and an employee’s will to perform but also stops the development of dedication to a company’s success.

When it comes down to it, humans are relatively simple beings. Working in a positive environment with a good culture affects the way we think and how we act with one another. So, make your workplace a positive one!

RK strives to create a rewarding workplace for employees by hosting several employee-focused events and recognition ceremonies throughout the year, check them out here.

By: RK Service

Spring cleaning for drainage systems should be an annual practice for businesses. It can identify issues before they become major problems. As the weather becomes warmer, drains, pipes and equipment should be checked to make sure they aren’t damaged and are working properly.

SPRING WEATHER REVEALS PIPE DAMAGE

Extreme winters can often lead to freezing and cracked pipes that reveal themselves in spring time. Tree roots are also known to cause damage to drainage systems in spring time and in areas with old buildings. Endless thirsty roots clog up sewer lines, often causing serious problems. Large trees need a lot of water and are drawn to any moisture they can find. If there is a pipe that is leaking or seeping water, the roots will wrap themselves around and inside of it. If there are substantial roots underground, a thorough cleaning should keep the drainage system clear for about a year.

While drain cleaning services can vary in prices, having to dig up and replace a sewer line that is beyond repair may cost up to 50 times more than maintenance. A commercial plumber can do a camera inspection of the pipes to find the exact location of the issue and alleviate the need for extensive excavation.

12 IMPORTANT TASKS TO PERFORM EACH SPRING

Perform these twelve tasks each spring to ensure that your drainage systems will remain in good working order throughout the year.

  1. Inspect pipes, faucets, drains and toilets for leaks or damage and repair as needed.
  2. Remove mineral deposits that have built up.
  3. Flush infrequently used drains, including floor drains.
  4. Snake slow-moving drains to remove clogs.
  5. Ensure that water heater temperature is no greater than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
  6. Drain several gallons of water from water heater tanks to remove corrosion-causing sediment.
  7. Replace water heater if it’s more than 15 years old.
  8. Exercise water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.
  9. Flush infrequently used drains. If the drains are slow they should be snaked.
  10. If there is a sump pump, make sure it operates properly by flushing the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off.
  11. Install a backflow valve in the floor drain in areas where sewers back up, preventing future backups.
  12. Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open and free of debris.

Enlisting a commercial plumber to perform these tasks annually is a smart idea for restaurants, apartment buildings, high rises, office buildings, hospitals, medical facilities, nursing homes and other commercial businesses.

RK Service performs a full spectrum of drain services including high-pressure water jetting and cable cleaning to remove grease and debris from pipes, line locates to pinpoint exactly where the issue is and system assessment services. All of our services can be requested on-demand with our 24-hour emergency service or can be covered under a Planned Maintenance Agreement, optimizing building efficiency and reducing the frequency of drain emergencies.

By: RK Service

In recent years, service providers have started offering facilities management partnerships—a much more comprehensive level of operations management than a variety of one-time services. This type of partnership transcends standard service agreements.

An effective facilities management partner can help you achieve long-term business goals, including:

Facilities management partnerships are affordable and improve facility functionality. They also offer an increase in the ability to utilize the latest technologies, stay fully staffed, reduce overhead and enhance every aspect of business operations, boosting the bottom line.

RK Service is the leading MEP facilities management partner in the Rocky Mountain region. We’ll partner with you to find the best solutions for your business and leave you feeling confident in your decisions.