What Skills Aren’t in the Training Manual for A/E/P and Environmental Firm Staff?

Oct 13, 2011

ZweigWhite knows… and can help you learn them. Architecture, engineering, planning and environmental firms often lament the amount of money spent on training. According to the ZweigWhite 2011 Proceedures, Policies and Benefits Survey, employee training is the second greatest Human Resource related expense, accounting for 22.5 percent of total HR spending. Mark Zweig, management expert and student of the industry for the past 31 years, believes this money is usually well spent, but there are still some major skills professionals in the industry need but aren’t learning: 1) Basic business software – Your people may know Revit, AutoCAD, BIM, and Deltek Vision, but are they using the full capabilities of Word, Excel and Powerpoint? The last time a new version of Word came out, it took Zweig 10 minutes with the help of an office mate to figure out where the spell-check button was. This wastes time and money, not to mention you aren’t making the most of resources. 2) Writing skills – Do you have people working for you that can organize a report people will say “wow” to? A good proposal can make the difference between getting or losing the sale. 3) Public speaking skills – There are so many meetings and presentations where people need to speak. Are they representing your firm in the best way possible? 4) How to eat – Yes, we’re serious. Ever had a lunch meeting where the guy across the table couldn’t even hold his spoon properly? It’s distracting to say the least! 5) How to dress – If someone’s mom or dad didn’t show them the way, it might be time someone else did. A too-short tie is bad, but what’s really bad is showing up to a meeting showing off your latest tattoo when everyone else is wearing a jacket, or donning a suit when everyone else is casual. 6) How to act – Knowing how to act in all situations is key to success. Everything from conversation topics to who to give free work to. 7) The business of business – An engineering professional may know nothing about the billing/collection process, how the company makes a profit, or stock ownership, but he/she is contributing directly to these processes. Everyone should understand how things work. For helpful tips like these and many more, check out Mark Zweig’s editorial in every issue of ZweigWhite’s weekly management publication, The Zweig Letter. These helpful and entertaining articles have been compiled into one publication, Management From A to Zweig. This extensive compilation of over 840 pages, covers every topic possible in the A/E/P and environmental industry – from strategic business planning to turnarounds, partner separation, organizational restructuring, cash flow crises, ownership transition and so much more. ZweigWhite also offers a long list of conferences, seminars webinars and other tools to help improve virtually every area of your business. For more information on these publications and services, visit www.zweigwhite.com/p-545-management-from-a-to-zweig-revised-edition.aspx

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.