With more than 375 participants, the Oregon Regional Pay Survey is a vital tool for managers, HR professionals, and business owners. Reflecting pay data for more than 300 jobs, the survey report provides exclusive wage and salary data for a variety of non-exempt, exempt, and executive level positions throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Survey Highlights

The average percentage increase in base pay from Spring 2017 to Spring 2018 for all jobs is 3.86%. This average increase trends slightly above the projected increase percentage in pay forecasted by 81 executives on the 2017/18 Salary Budget Survey last fall at 3.44%.

ORPS 2018 Illustration

Visit SalaryTrends® to learn more about the 2018 Oregon Regional Pay Survey, or to purchase the full report.

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Vacation in my backyard

Now that vacation season is just around the corner, I thought I would revisit a past blog article and repost it as the reminder is likely needed!

According to the annual 2017 Alamo Family Vacation Survey, nearly half of American workers feel guilty when planning or taking a vacation, with an equivalent amount not using the vacation time they are given. Respondents claim they feel “shamed” by other co-workers who make them feel guilty for taking time off.

When I originally wrote this article, I reported about a ski vacation I was on with my family when my son broke his arm. Thankfully I don’t have quite as gruesome of a tale, yet interestingly the following year on another ski vacation, my other son lost control and ran into a tree, hurt his arm (not broke) and was transported by ski patrol to the med station. Yikes! Not sure skiing is the best vacation destination for my family. Maybe next year we can go somewhere sunny and tropical, like Cascade’s very own Jenna Reed who is currently ON vacation in sunny Hawaii spending well deserved time off with her family! Aloha Jenna!

Now . . . back to work!

Interestingly the study conducted by Alamo reports that “vacation shaming” is more prevalent among millennials. Findings report that these feelings of guilt for planning and taking a vacation is up nearly 10% (68 % vs. 59% percent in the 2016 study), with 40% (up from 17% in 2016) reporting that the shaming would keep them from actually planning or going on vacation. However, millennials also report that they are more likely than other generations to shame their own co-workers, up nearly 20% from the 2016 study. The study also indicates that only 1 in 5 employees will actually use their vacation time to get away for vacation as opposed to staying home and running errands, etc. (AKA the “staycation”).

Findings in a related article, “The State of American Vacation: How Vacation Became a Casualty of our Work Culture” conducted by Project: Time Off, which is an organization that studies American vacation trends, report that simply planning for a vacation increases vacation time used, significantly improving relationships at home and lowering stress. The study also reports that those who plan for vacation and decide ahead of time how “connected” they choose to be will have a much more successful vacation aimed at doing what it is intended to do: regroup, refresh and relax!

I understand the premise for sure, but because of where I work, I never feel guilty about taking a day off, or feel “shamed” in any way. In fact, I work with an amazingly supportive team who are always willing to help and pick up the slack when/if needed. That being said, we are provided with many flexible arrangements to either flex our schedules, work from home or coffeehouse (if that’s what we prefer). Because of this flexibility, I don’t feel guilty about working some while on vacation. I am extremely engaged and love my job, so to me, this doesn’t feel like work. Don’t get me wrong, I plan to take full advantage of the vacation time I have this summer, yet during times like Spring Break, because of the flexibility I have during my normal schedule, I still get the “recharge” I need, while catching up on a few things and staying in the loop.

Since my original article, I do believe that my co-workers (and myself for that matter) have taken to truly disconnecting while on vacation. We have all gotten pretty creative with our out-of-office messages letting those we work with know what we are doing, and that we are doing our best to take some time away!

Be mindful of that fact that we all benefit from fully taking advantage of the time off we are provided and disconnect as much as possible, not only for ourselves but for the benefit of our organization as well.

Let me sign off with one of my favorite out-of-office messages from Cascade’s very own Angela Bergerson:

“Hey, fellow Cascadian! I’m currently out of the office for Portland WizardWorld ComicCon! I’ll reappear back in the office Tuesday with what my hairdresser describes as ‘peacock’ colored hair and (hopefully) Jason Momoa’s autograph.”

Happy Vacationing!

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Image of two planes in flight

The initials “RV” usually mean Recreational Vehicle, and while that may be an apt description of the RV line of kit aircraft, in this case they are also the initials of designer and founder of Van’s Aircraft, Richard VanGrunsven. Did you know…

  1. Usually known as Dick or “Van,” Richard VanGrunsven learned to fly in 1956 at the age of 16. After earning an engineering degree and while serving in the Air Force for a three year tour, Van purchased a 65 horsepower Stits Playboy airplane. He eventually redesigned and rebuilt the plane for better performance, renaming it the RV-1. And by 1972, Van’s Aircraft was founded in Reedville, Oregon, selling plans and build-your-own kits for the newly designed RV-3.
  2. Eventually the company grew and moved to North Plains, Oregon. But it soon exhausted available opportunities there, too. So in 2000 Van’s Aircraft moved to a new 60,000 square foot facility near the small town of Aurora, Oregon and remains based there today at the Aurora State Airport (KUAO). Now employee-owned, the company employs over 60 people (and dozens more in sub-contract roles), keeping them busy manufacturing several hundred complete aircraft kits a year.
  3. According to the company, virtually no skill is required to build an RV, as everything a builder needs to know can be learned “on the job,” by carefully studying the builder’s manual or by seeking advice from other RV builders. A more important requirement than skill is the right frame of mind. Building an airplane requires dedication, commitment, a willingness to learn and the ability to make and correct occasional mistakes.
  4. On average, it takes about 1200-1400 hours to complete a Standard Kit, typically over an 18-24 month period. Of course some kits never get finished, and that’s where dedication and commitment come into play. Van’s also sells a QuickBuild Kit that cuts the build-time by about 35%. In addition to purchasing the airframe kit, the builder must supply the engine, prop, instruments, avionics, upholstery and paint. Much of this is available through Van’s. For builders wanting to keep costs to a minimum, it’s possible to build a simple RV for around $45,000, but that’s doing some careful shopping, accepting a used engine, and painting it yourself.
  5. Van’s RVs are now flying in at least 45 different countries and kits have shipped to about 60. From a small farm in Oregon, these wonderful airplanes have achieved a global following. Not because of any superior marketing campaign, but simply because they fly so well and bring so much pleasure to their builders.

Cascade is proud to feature this member, a company that meets challenges with honesty, practicality, diligence and imagination.

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Home Office Sun Deck

Recent studies have shown that quality of life can outshine a big pay raise when it comes to job seeking. Many people are giving up extra money to work for a company that allows a flexible workweek and/or the ability to work from home.

There are many reasons for this, but one of my favorite reasons is the reduction of stress. Having a flexible schedule and the ability to work from home has exponentially reduced the amount of stress in my life. Being able to shave off that morning and evening commute, as well as not having to worry about dressing for my day at the office are also things I love about our flexible work environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being in the office with my co-workers. Our office environment is full of smiles and laughter and everyone gets along well. However, some days, it just feels nice to be able to sit quietly in my home office and work alone, in my pajamas, without make-up.

A flexible workplace can also benefit the company. One study showed that when given the opportunity to work from home, productivity of those workers went up. When asked, the employees stated that they felt they could better focus at home with a quieter environment. The same study also showed the rate of turnover for those allowed to work from home dropped significantly from the control group.

Of course, not all businesses are set up to allow this kind of a workforce. In addition, there are some positions, or departments, that need to be in the office every day. For example, a front desk receptionist wouldn’t typically be able to do their job from home. It would be challenging to meet and greet walk-in clients/members/vendors if you were not, in fact, at the front desk of the office.

What I am trying to say is, this option will not work for everyone. But why not at least take a look at the possibility? If you can find a simple, inexpensive way to help improve your employees’ work-life balance, isn’t it worth a shot?

Take a look at your workplace and see if you have some positions you could experiment with. Start small, and if things go well, slowly expand your experiment to other positions. Figure out the kind of supervision remote employees might need and set expectations for performance. Once those things are established, and you have positive results and feedback from your staff, you can keep pushing forward. Then, it could be time to think about rolling out a telecommuting policy across the board.

If you are not sure where to start, give us a call and we can help you!

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