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ACCA Chair Aims to Enhance HVACR Industry Association

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I am excited to begin my tenure as ACCA Chair, and I look forward to working with staff and fellow members to continue to enhance this valuable association for the HVACR industry. 

I am ready to roll up my sleeves after our annual Conference & Expo held in April in New Orleans. What a great conference! There was a lot of discussion on meeting our workforce challenges. Our ACCA business owners were challenged to recognize that we have the ability and responsibility to create great work environments for employees. Dee Ann Turner, Ray Isaac, Bryan Dodge, and others drove home the concept that a company’s culture has to be intentionally determined and maintained by the owners and leaders of the company.   

When recruiting new talent, getting the right people in the right positions is essential. Many of the human relations problems we encounter are due to the hiring decisions that we made while hoping things would work out. Dee Ann Turner reminded contractors to ask situational questions when interviewing to determine how someone thinks and the values they possess to make sure they are compatible with the company’s values and goals.     

Dee Ann Turner presents "The Secret Sauce of a Remarkable Organizational Culture" at ACCA 2023.

Ms. Turner surmised the reason for hiring well by stating, “The difference between an amazing customer experience and a poor customer experience is simply one employee who cares about the customer.” It is also important for ACCA business owners to not only think about – but also declare publicly – why they do what they do and why a future employee should care about that. 

Young people entering the workforce today want to do something that matters. We must portray how heating and air conditioning are essential for everyone’s way of life and survival. It is also important to define why our companies exist. Our member businesses are responsible for creating a culture where people will want to work. While every employee plays a part in creating a company’s culture, the owner of the company is the single person who is responsible to make sure the culture is what it should be.  

During another conference session, Bryan Dodge listed eight things everyone wants in life: happiness, healthiness, prosperity, security, friends, peace of mind, good family relationships, and hope for the future. Many of these things can be influenced in the work environment by employers and fellow employees that share the mission to meet these needs. 

To enhance our hiring and recruitment efforts, ACCA business owners can work directly with HVACR schools and training centers to improve the pathway for new people to enter our industry. Good educators who are dedicated to meeting workforce needs will make adjustments based on honest feedback they receive from employers who have hired students. Whether students need more theory or more hands-on abilities, your feedback to the schools is the only way they will know how to meet your needs. 

These days, it is downright essential for ACCA business owners to understand the importance of being flexible, providing a pathway for their employees to advance, and making work fun. Employees have choices and will choose to work where they are appreciated, have an opportunity to advance, and don’t have to sacrifice the things in life they desire the most. Just as contractors have been creative in marketing to meet the needs of customers, we also need to be creative in how we market our industry to the needs of current and future employees.  

During the conference, Ray Isaac challenged us by defining two types of businesses: one he called Lifestyle, where the business exists for the sole benefit of the founder/owners, and the other he called an Equity Business, where the founders/owners exist for the benefit of the business. As we search for ways to attract new talent into our companies, we may need to look inward and ensure our businesses exist for the right reasons. 

Let’s all leverage the valuable lessons we learned during our annual conference to further enhance our businesses. This is going to be a terrific year to learn more about how to be the best we can be – and how our association can be the best that it can be! 

Dr. Stephen Pape, Ed.D, MBA
Dr. Stephen Pape

Posted In: ACCA Now, Hiring & Firing, Management, Print Edition

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