• Safety Tips to Keep in Mind While in the Field – Besides Wearing Your Hard Hat!

    When working on a construction site, you have to remain vigilant at all times. Construction work is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous occupations since you are often dealing with heights, large and heavy equipment, deep holes, unstable stairs, hard edges, and falling objects on a daily basis. A lot can go wrong if you are not paying attention, so follow these tips provided by the experts at George Rullo and Associates to help keep you safe in the field.

    Wear the proper apparel

    First thing’s first, don’t step out onto the field until you are properly attired. Hard hats and protective eyewear are a must, obviously, but you should also have:

    • Ear plugs or muffs for noisy areas
    • Protective gloves when dealing with toxic chemicals
    • Anti-slip footwear
    • Full harnesses when you are working at heights
    • Highly visible clothing
    • Climate protective gear

    Know the location of the first aid kit

    While your goal every day should be to work safely and avoid accidents, you should always know where the first aid supplies are just in case. Your job site should have basic supplies for cuts, minor burns, and falls. Not only will this help give you peace of mind should something happen, but allow you to address minor situations and return to work as soon as possible. If you do not know the location of the first aid kit, speak with a supervisor immediately.

    Double check your work areas

    Scaffolds and ladders are common pieces of equipment that often lead to a high number of workplace injuries. For starters, never work on an incomplete scaffold or one that has not been inspected by a professional. Check all ladders thoroughly before use to ensure that it is of proper strength and height. Preferably, the ladder should be fastened or secured, but if not, then have someone manually hold it to prevent a fall. Also watch out for:

    • Places without fencing or with broken or damaged fencing
    • Evidence of water near electrical equipment
    • Work spaces directly underneath heavy suspended loads
    • Chemicals or combustible materials

    Be diligent when working with heavy equipment

    Working with heavy equipment always presents unique challenges on the job site, so take the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself and nearby coworkers.

    • Follow all safety precautions listed for the equipment.
    • Since climbing on and getting off of machines causes more injuries than any other activity on a construction site, make sure to examine your boots and gloves, secure a stable handhold, and watch out for slippery surfaces before proceeding.
    • Before backing up, climb out of the machine and check the area behind you.
    • If you cannot see clearly, ask someone to guide you.
    • Make sure the machine is at zero-point energy before unloading or loading.
    • Always stay centered on ramps.

    If you would like to hear more tips for staying safe on the job site, call 732-580-8668 today!

  • Commercial Construction is Very Different from Residential. Here’s How!

    In the world of construction, there is a big difference between residential and commercial projects. You would no sooner hire a commercial contractor to update the kitchen in your home than you would work with a residential contractor on your commercial office space renovation. But what makes these two branches of construction so different? Construction is construction, right?

    Not really.

    Both residential and commercial contractors construct buildings, but there the similarities end. Here is a little more information about residential and commercial construction and why they are not one in the same.

    What is residential construction?

    Residential construction refers to working on building projects that are designed for the sole purpose of people living within the walls once the project is complete. Large residential projects may include condos, apartments, singly-family homes, multi-family homes, and cooperative societies. On a smaller scale, residential construction can also refer to simple home additions, kitchen renovations, and bathroom remodels. These projects usually require a single contractor and their team, or they may subcontract out to another individual, but still get the work done under their own company name. If certain skills are needed such as masonry or heavy equipment, residential contractors may hire other contractors to help complete the job.

    What is commercial construction?

    Commercial construction refers to working on building projects that earn for the owner. In other words, they are designed to house businesses, offices, retail stores, and for-profit companies. Large commercial projects may include factories, malls, office structures, restaurants, grocery stores, oil refineries, and car dealerships. On a smaller scale, commercial construction projects may include office renovations. Commercial contractors have to adhere to strict safety standards that address handicap accessibility, egress requirements, fire and burglar alarms, and complex mechanical systems

    Some notable differences

    • Most commercial construction is steel and concrete structure where residential is wood framed.
    • Most commercial roofs are bitumen or TPO where residential roofs are shingle.
    • Code requirements are much stricter for commercial buildings than residential buildings.
    • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are much more complex in commercial buildings due to the size of the building and the occupancy levels.
    • Most commercial buildings require sprinklers and fireproofing, which residential buildings normally don’t have.
    • Commercial construction often requires much larger and more expensive equipment (like cranes) and have greater infrastructure needs (elevators, bathrooms on each floor, and parking lots/garages).
    • Residential buildings are much smaller and less expensive when it comes to materials, labor, and consultation costs.
    • Commercial and residential construction projects require different permits.

    Choose your contractor wisely

    No matter what kind of building project you are planning, make sure that you are working with a contractor who knows the difference between residential and commercial construction. At George Rullo and Associates , we are experts in the field of commercial construction consulting and construction management. With over 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skills to make your next commercial project a complete success!

    To find out more information about our commercial construction consulting firm, call 732-580-8668!

  • 5 Ways to Approach Management About Internal Issues

    Sometimes the hardest part of your job has nothing to do with your work, especially when the people you work with are prone to creating conflict. You have tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, brushing off their comments or overlooking their poor job performance because you don’t want to get caught up in the backlash, but your work is starting to suffer. Interpersonal conflict is not something that just disappears over time; in fact, it will continue to fester until someone steps forward.

    If simply talking to your co-worker has not produced satisfactory results, then you need to take things to the next level. Here are 5 important steps you should take to effectively approach management about internal issues.

    Make a 30-minute appointment with your boss

    Just dropping in on your manager to deliver bad news is never a good idea. Your spur-of-the-minute conference could potentially disrupt important business or be cut short due to a previous engagement. Either way, you may not be able to adequately address the situation or reach a suitable conclusion. By making an appointment, you can catch your boss at a less hectic time and show them the respect they deserve. You also give yourself some time to let the dust settle and avoid speaking to your manager when you are angry or hurt.

    Plan what you are going to say

    Put some thought into how you want to address the issue and what you are going to say.

    • DO NOT just go in and wing it.
    • DO talk your concern over with a mentor and seek advice, if necessary.
    • DO NOT discuss the issue with your coworkers, your manager’s manager, or HR unless it’s a serious violation.
    • DO decide how to present the issue in a constructive, assertive, factual, and specific way.

    Describe the problem

    In your meeting, describe the issue you are having in a calm and collected manner. Discuss the specific behavior (not the possible intentions) and how it affects you, your work performance, or your company’s goals. Be specific.

    Provide a possible solution

    You should never bring a problem to management unless you have a proposed solution on how to fix it. Start off by explaining the steps you have already taken to try and solve the problem and what you have learned from these attempts. Recommend a number of specific solutions, addressing the pros and cons of each, why you think they will help, and how they will positively benefit the company. Potential solutions could include anything from sensitivity training to process improvement workshops to face-to-face meetings. Discuss with your manager and, together, determine the best course of action.

    Take responsibility and take action

    It’s one thing to simply suggest solutions and another to help set them in motion. Demonstrate your commitment to ensuring success by taking the necessary steps to get the ball rolling. Also, discuss additional steps you may take if things do not go according to plan. It might be a good idea to schedule a follow-up meeting in the near future to check-in. Thank your manager for their time and willingness to discuss the issue.

    By bringing issues to light in the right manner, you can help create a more positive and productive work environment. For more tips on dealing with internal issues in the workplace, contact the expert commercial consultants at George Rullo and Associates today!

    Need some advice about dealing with workplace issues? Call 732-580-8668!

  • How to Stay on Top of Your Most Important and Timely Tasks

    Whether you are running your own business or managing a large project, it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen in order to meet certain deadlines. Usually, there is no playbook that gives you day-to-day directions on how to reach your goals, so many people end up creating massive To Do lists that are intimidating, distracting, and ineffective – the very opposite of their initial intent. When used correctly, To Do lists can help you organize and focus on what is most important.

    To maximize your productivity and ensure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner, take a look at these helpful tips provided by the expert consultants at George Rullo and Associates !

    Keep it simple

    The objective of a productive To Do list should not be to cross off as many items as possible by the end of the day. People with long To Do lists often focus on the easiest items first just to feel good about themselves. After all, the more items checked off means the more productive you were right?

    Not necessarily.

    Spending an inordinate amount of time completing inane tasks means you did not spend enough time on the ones that really mattered. That’s why a productive To Do list should have no more than three items on it at a time. By prioritizing your tasks, you ensure that the most important things get done first.

    Plan ahead

    At the start of each day, you expend a good amount of time planning what needs to get done in the next 8 (or so) hours. A coffee break here and a few phone calls there and already half of your day has flown by with nothing of value to show for it. When you finally do get down to business, you realize that the most important task you needed to accomplish will take more time than you have left in your work day.

    To avoid this daily routine of inefficiency, write out your To Do list the night before. That way, you will start out each day with clarity, knowing exactly what needs to be done so you have all day to work on it. Just a few minutes of planning ahead can save you a lot of overtime!

    First thing’s first

    The first item on your To Do list should be the most important, the one essential task that needs to get done to move your business forward. Tackle this item first thing in the morning when you are fresh and make sure it is completed to your satisfaction before moving on to anything else. That means before checking your email, returning phone calls, or fulfilling any other requests. Technology will always be there to distract, so set boundaries and make your biggest task your main priority.

    Would you like some more tips on task prioritization? Give us a call at 732-580-8668!

  • Tips for Encouraging Clear and Concise Communication Among Team Members

    Clear and concise communication is the key to ensuring efficient and cohesive working relationships, especially when all of your team members are spread throughout various locations. Whereas erratic communication leads to misunderstandings, frustration, and conflict among team members, effective communication helps build trust and creates an environment that welcomes ideas and problem-solving strategies. In this age of real-time data, information can be sent through various means including text messages, emails, and even social media, providing your team with all of the tools they need to stay on top of their portion of the project at every turn.

    Here are some helpful tips for optimizing communication among your team members and encouraging an efficient and collaborative unit.

    Hone your listening skills

    In order to create an environment where your team feels valued and inspired to freely share ideas, you need to truly listen to what they have to say. They may not always agree with you or with each other, but giving them a safe forum in which to express their ideas and resolve issues in a creative way will save a lot of frustration in the long run.

    • Do not interrupt team members when they are speaking
    • Focus on what is being said, not how you are going to respond
    • Put the smartphone or tablet aside and fully focus on the person speaking

    Optimize emails

    Though email is often the most common form of communication among team members, it is also the area where a lot of things can go wrong. To avoid miscommunications, train your team members on how to respond to emails in a clear and concise manner. All emails should:

    • Have a clear purpose, message, or goal
    • Be easy to understand
    • Stick to the point
    • Not be overly long

    Remove communication barriers

    Team members work best when they can get to know each other and build up a modicum of trust. Seeing how their efforts play into the grand scheme of things and working with other members of the team to reach common goals is also important. By removing communication barriers, the team can solve problems and discuss creative solutions in real time without requiring a project manager to relay information. Encourage your team members to:

    • Discuss ideas amongst themselves and collaborate with each other through instant messaging
    • Hold meetings via video or voice calls to discuss weekly goals or team objectives
    • Call you directly if an urgent matter needs to be discussed so as not to disrupt workflow

    Effective communication can help set the stage for a profitable and enjoyable working environment, especially when messages are clear, concise, and to the point. Not only will your team feel more comfortable working together, but projects will go a lot smoother and potential issues will work themselves out before effecting your deadline. At George Rullo and Associates , we take a great deal of pride in our ability to work as an effective team and our dedication to keeping you updated on your project every step of the way.

    For more information on our commercial construction consulting services, just give us a call at 732-580-8668 today!

  • Project Management is Not a One-Man Show. Here’s Why You Should Hire Our Commercial Contracting Team.

    When you visit a commercial construction site, you expect to see a lot of people working together to complete the project to the client’s specifications. From site supervisors and engineers to carpenters and electricians, everyone contributes their own unique set of skills to fulfill the project goals. If one member of the team fails to complete their task, the entire project comes to a standstill.

    The same can be said for project management. While there may be one person at the head of the show, projects cannot be completed in a timely manner without every member of the team pulling together. Here are some reasons why project management is not a one-man show and how an efficient project management team is the key to a successful construction project.

    Project managers cannot be in multiple places at once.

    Effective project management is all about gathering information, staying on top of what needs to be done, and passing along critical information to the right parties. If a single person was responsible for being present at every site to mitigate issues, tracking down supervisors for status updates, and making sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing, then many things would fall by the wayside and a lot of people would be standing around waiting for direction.

    But when a project manager works with an efficient and dependable team where everyone provides input into what’s happening on the job site, what things may affect the schedule, and what issues need immediate action, then they can focus their time on what’s best for the project as a whole and not micromanaging every department.

    Project managers do not have time to inspect every aspect of construction.

    Successful project managers know how to apply best practices and use the right tools and techniques to ensure a professional quality construction project. However, they do not have the time to go over every board, stone, or shingle to make sure that everyone upheld the company standards. That’s where the commercial contracting team comes in. Each member of the team supplies real-time updates on the project. An exceptional team, like the one at George Rullo and Associates, really pays attention to the accuracy of information provided and the quality of work completed, voicing any concerns that may delay the project at the earliest possible opportunity so the project manager has time to resolve the issue.

    Collaboration always produces the best results.

    Two (or more) heads are always better than one, especially when each member of the team is an expert in their field. At George Rullo and Associates , our commercial contracting team has decades of hands-on experience successfully navigating complex construction projects. We have the knowledge and skills to manage your project from conception to completion, delivering a stunning finished product profitably, efficiently, and in compliance with all health and safety standards.

    To schedule a consultation with our commercial contracting team, call 732-580-8668.

  • Efficient Task Management for Your Commercial Construction Project

    You are about to embark on a massive commercial construction project, and you want to do everything you can to impress your clients. Completing your project on time – or even ahead of schedule – is a great way to do just that, but following through on that goal is going to be difficult if you don’t manage your time right.

    Efficiency is key when working on a commercial construction project, so the commercial construction consultants at George Rullo and Associates have come up with a few recommendations that will help you complete your project efficiently and in a timely manner.

    Plan ahead

    Never underestimate the power of a good plan. Take the time to fully understand what needs to be done, figure out the best way to execute each task at hand, and know how to deal with unexpected situations as they arise. Planning does take a little time, but if you spend an hour or so planning your week, writing down what needs to be completed by the end of each day, and prioritizing important tasks, you will save hours during the week.

    Prioritize

    There are obviously some tasks that need to be done before others can begin – you can’t install electricity before the framing goes up, after all – so note certain tasks that are more important than others and focus on getting them done first. With the main tasks out of the way, each subsequent task will move a lot more efficiently.

    Keep an eye on deadlines

    A big part of efficient task management is establishing deadlines so that every member of your team is on the same page and no one gets too overwhelmed. For example, building a large office building may seem like a daunting task when looking at the big picture, but if you set deadlines for when the foundation should be poured, the framing should be done, the windows installed, etc. then it’s much easier to deliver the entire project on time.

    Work efficiently and safely

    Getting a project done on schedule does not necessarily mean work as fast as you can. If you are trying to speed through a task, you may miss a crucial step that leads to costly and time-consuming repairs or forget to look where you are going and end up injuring yourself on the job. Make sure to balance your pace and adhere to all safety protocols while you work so that you minimize mistakes.

    Take a break

    It may sound odd, but taking a break can sometimes be the best way to save time. You need a moment to catch your breath, discuss any issues you have come across with your supervisor, or review/modify your daily plan. Take your breaks at natural stopping points so you don’t lose momentum, and then refocus on completing your task to the best of your ability.

    Need help managing your time? Then call our consultants at 732-810-1049 today!

  • The Mental Checklist You Should Create in Your Mind in Order to Deliver High-Efficiency Projects on Time

    When it comes to commercial construction, there is nothing better than the satisfaction of completing a project on time. But there are so many components that go into each project that it’s often hard to keep things on schedule. Some companies may cut corners to speed things along, but you are dedicated to providing your clients with the absolute best results. Fortunately, the experienced commercial construction consultants at George Rullo and Associates have found ways to increase project efficiency without skimping on quality.

    Here is a mental checklist that you should keep in mind throughout the course of your project to ensure on time completion.

    Planning

    • Ask a lot of questions before getting started to ensure that you have a full understanding of your client’s goals, design preferences, budget, and timeline. This will reduce the likelihood that you will have to stop in the middle of everything and call your client for clarification.
    • Create a detailed plan – the more your contractors and subcontractors have to go on, the faster the project will go.
    • Know your limits and make sure that your team is capable of completing the project to your high standards.
    • Make a list of the tasks that need to be completed and establish deadlines so your team members can manage their time wisely.
    • Bring up any concerns immediately so you can avoid time-consuming corrections.
    • Communication is key, so make sure everyone on your team knows what is expected of them. Keep your client in the loop about any potential changes.

    During the construction phase

    • Break your project into manageable pieces and delegate, delegate, delegate.
    • Note the high-priority tasks and focus on getting them done first.
    • Put some thought into which members of your team will work on each task. The right combination of skills and experience can keep your project moving at a steady pace.
    • Measure twice, cut once – always a time saver.
    • Don’t rush. Your clients will always prefer a quality product to a quick turnaround time.
    • Pay attention to all safety regulations. It may take a few extra minutes to walk around that heavy equipment zone, but it will save you a trip to the hospital.
    • Take all deadlines seriously.
    • Keep a close eye on all current works-in-progress to make sure tasks are being completed in the correct order and to the highest of standards.
    • Maintain good communication with your team and your client all the way through.
    • Take breaks! They give your mind and body the rest they need to help you stay focused and work more efficiently.

    Working smarter, not harder, is what George Rullo and Associates is all about! If you would like some additional tips on how to increase your project efficiency, then give our commercial construction consultants a call today!

    Discover more useful tips for high-efficiency projects by calling 732-810-1049!

  • The Best Way to Approach Your Management Team When Expressing a Concern

    While getting ready to pour the foundation for your commercial construction project, you notice that something is off. You double check the plans and all of your prep work and determine that there is definitely a concern that needs to be brought to the attention of your management team.

    Is it time to panic?

    No way!

    Bringing bad news to the boss is never fun, but when approached correctly, it can be a great opportunity to build a trusting relationship. Whether you are bringing up a complaint about working conditions or voicing a concern over a certain aspect of your commercial construction project, here are some helpful tips that will help turn a potentially bad experience into a positive conversation.

    Timing is everything

    There is a time and a place for approaching your boss with a concern; however, blurting out your issue with the electrical wiring while the electrician is in earshot is definitely not one of them. Start off by taking a breath and thinking things through. It is a trivial matter? Is it a safety issue? How is it affecting the project as a whole? If you feel that the issue needs addressing, schedule a private meeting at a convenient time for your supervisor and describe the problem. Remember to be specific, and don’t be afraid to name names, as long as you do so respectfully.

    Leave emotion at the door

    If you are upset about an issue, the best way to get through to your management team is to stick to the facts and lose the emotion. Storming into the office will not do you any good, and will probably cause your boss to focus more on your inappropriate behavior than the issue at hand. Focus on explaining the problem in a calm, professional manner and provide solid reasons for why the problem needs to be addressed.

    Have a solution at the ready

    When approaching your boss with a problem, always have a proposed solution – or multiple solutions – in mind. Not only will this prevent you from looking like a complainer in front of your management team, but it will also give them something to work with. They will appreciate that you have thought things through and may even be impressed by your ideas and initiative.

    Request rather than demand

    Working on a commercial construction project requires a lot of teamwork and collaboration, so if you encounter a problem with a coworker or an issue about the project itself, you should always frame your concerns as a request or an inquiry and not a demand. Allow your boss to make the ultimate decision on what needs to be done, and then respect that decision. Even if you don’t get the outcome you wanted, at least your concern has been noted.

    If you are anxious about approaching your boss with a problem, then talk to the professional consultants at George Rullo and Associates . We have been providing excellent advice and quality construction consulting for over 20 years!

    For more ideas on how to approach your boss with a concern, call 732-810-1049 today!

  • How to Keep Your Team Motivated Throughout the Work Day

    As a project manager, you know how hard it is to keep your team motivated throughout the day, especially when you are in the middle of a tedious task. Teamwork is the most effective way to get the job done, so you need to inspire your team and utilize their knowledge and skills to accomplish the goals at hand. The commercial construction consultants at George Rullo and Associates want to help you bring out the best in your employees, so take a look at these powerful tips for getting your team through the work day.

    Create a pleasant, safe working environment

    If someone feels comfortable and appreciated in their work environment, then they are much more likely to produce quality work. Start off by making sure that your construction site is in compliance with all OSHA safety regulations to put their mind at ease and provide them with any protective gear or additional training so they feel confident in their work. If they come to you with a question, clarification, complaint, or suggestion, hear them out and work towards finding a suitable solution. Make sure they know that they are a valued member of your team.

    Know Your team

    Take the time to get to know your team and find out their strengths. If someone is a detail-oriented person, then set them on projects that suit their personality when available. Some people like to chatter away while they work and others like to focus in on the task at hand, so try not to pair them up too often. Knowing the skills, expertise, idiosyncrasies, and likes/dislikes of the members on your team will not only make the team more effective, but help them stay motivated.

    Set realistic goals

    New projects are exciting, but suddenly overloading your team with work is a sure-fire way to discourage even the most dedicated team member. After all, you can’t build a skyscraper in a day. So, meet with your team and listen to their input, setting realistic goals for the day, week, month, or project duration. That way, everyone knows what to expect, and no one is blindsided by impossible workloads.

    Don’t micromanage

    No one likes a boss who is constantly second-guessing everything they do. Give your team members their assignments and let them figure out the best way to accomplish them. If there are certain items on the schedule that need prioritizing, then by all means share the information, but then step back and let them run with it.

    Celebrate success

    Never underestimate the power of celebration! Whether it comes at an important milestone or at the end of a long project, simply acknowledging the accomplishments along the way makes all the sweat and hard work worthwhile. Even a small “We got so much done today!” or ordering in pizza for lunch is a great way to keep morale high.

    Find more motivational tips by calling the consulting experts at 732-810-1049!