61% of employees admitted that new job responsibilities differ from the expectations presented to them during the interview process.1 How can you, an HR Ninja, prevent this from happening with your own new hires?

Here are a few ideas that really start before the hire:

  • Make sure your job descriptions are up-to-date and provided to candidates during the interview process.
  • Consider including people that are currently in the position (if more than one) on a panel interview. They should be able to explain the job in detail and answer questions from the candidates.
  • As part of the interviewing process, tour the facilities and let candidates see the job in action.
  • Consider a job shadow. Just be careful the candidates are observing and not performing any work that needs to be compensated.
  • Once hired, frequent check-ins can be very helpful to make sure their expectations are being met, along with yours. Consider scheduling check-ins on your calendar so you do not forget about them when things get busy.

If you do not know where to start, or feel like you want experienced assistance, we are just a phone call away.

1 Workplace transparency stats:



The Next Door

Happily celebrating four and a half decades of opening doors to new possibilities in the Columbia Gorge, this nonprofit member has provided an ever-lasting positive impact on tens of thousands of children, teens and families. Did you know…

  1. In 1971 a big old farmhouse on the corner of May and 11th Street in Hood River, Oregon, was rented to house teenage foster children, both girls and boys. They called themselves The Next Door, and served at-risk youth within the community. With just a few staff, this group home helped dozens of youth living in the house as they attended public schools in town.
  2. Fast-forward 45 years and The Next Door now has about 90 employees, over half of them full-time, housed in two offices and working in seven counties throughout the Gorge, both in Oregon and Washington. Foster homes have replaced the group home, and The Klahre House, a day-treatment center and year round alternative high school bears the name of one of the original founders.
  3. The Next Door is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Most of their programs are funded through competitive grants from private foundations and individual donors. The Klahre house does receive some state contract funding, but that is an exception to most of their programs.
  4. Working with community partners, The Next Door provides over 25 programs, including: mentoring programs for youth 6-21, support for teens transitioning out of foster care, new parent support and parenting education classes, health promotion services, and economic development support for Latino community members. The primary goal is programs that help children and families build skills for healthy relationships and to strengthen our communities.
  5. The Next Door faces a shortage of male mentors who spend just a few hours a month guiding boys down the right path, providing encouragement and access to outdoor activities that they may not otherwise have. 70% of the kids referred are boys, while only 30% of new mentors are men.

Cascade is pleased to feature The Next Door, where one of the best benefits of working there (in addition to their great people) is the breathtaking views of the Columbia River, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams – all without any rush-hour traffic.



Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey - 3D Icons

With the 2016 presidential race heating up, employees may be more likely to engage in political conversations at work. Politics is a topic that people have very strong and divided feelings about and have great potential to offend and divide the workplace. While such talk is not illegal per se, many political topics involve protected class issues such as race, age, gender, and religion which do create legal implications.

A good rule of thumb: keep it out of the workplace.

Political talk can also impact productivity as employees may find themselves debating over their views. To minimize your legal and productivity impact, be sure your company has well drafted and communicated anti-harassment and standards of communication policies. With the current political climate, some companies are addressing the issue head-on at staff meetings, reminding employees that all communications need to be respectful.

All that said, it’s probably difficult and not completely reasonable to ban all political talk in the workplace.

A few helpful reminders for employees:

  1. Keep conversations about politics light and friendly. Don’t get into debates or arguments with each other.
  2. If someone disagrees with you or doesn’t want to talk about an issue; respect that. Don’t become confrontational or try to “convert” them.
  3. Avoid conversations that involve any protected class issues such as race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
  4. If you’re a supervisor, avoid political conversations with the people you supervise all together.

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There are five primary approaches to dealing with conflict: 1) Authority, 2) Compromise, 3) Avoidance, 4) Accommodation, and 5) Collaboration. Many people are comfortable with a few of these approaches but not with all five.

If you misuse, overuse or under-use any of the five, you take a risk the conflict will become worse. Review the five situations below and decide which method of conflict resolution you would apply in each context, realizing there may be more than one good answer.

  • You are having an argument with your boss.
  • The other shift leaves a mess for your team to clean up.
  • A customer is harassing your receptionist.
  • You need to settle a dispute fast between two coworkers who report to you.
  • You see one coworker calling out his teammate for missing a deadline.

Argument with your boss: Disagreements are healthy and some supervisors value an employee who thinks and shares their views openly. Conflict can be a sign of trust and caring. However, you need to know when to stop and defer to your supervisor’s experience.

   Likely best choice: Accommodation

Other shift leaves you a mess: In surveys, inter-departmental conflict is usually one of the lowest rated areas for management. Problems persist, complaints recur and frustration mounts. Jumping to conclusions about how irresponsible or disrespectful others are may aggravate the situation. Instead, listen actively to how they want your relationship to work. Show appreciation for what they are doing right. Ask their help in first understanding and then addressing the problem. Thank them when progress is made.

   Likely best choice: Collaboration (win-win)

Customer Harassing Receptionist: While you want to treat outsiders with respect, you must not compromise principles or ignore the law. Managers need to be alert to harassment and to take immediate corrective action. If you are in the best position to stand up for the employee to the customer, be objective and clear about what is okay and not okay. Document the situation for your manager and Human Resources. Stay informed.

   Likely best choice: Authority

Settling a Minor Dispute Fast: When there is time, collaboration to find a win-win solution is ideal. But sometimes a job needs to be done promptly and exploring alternatives will take much too long. If a dispute isn’t important to the parties involved or your organization, the wisest course may be finding a middle ground where neither party has a clear win or loss.

   Likely best choice: Compromise

Coworker v. Coworker: As with most judgment calls, it depends on the context. However, if the coworker that is being criticized is receptive to his colleague’s feedback there is no need to intercede. Holding teammates accountable is the hallmark of a healthy team. As long they are respectful, such interactions may create trust.

   Likely best choice: Avoidance

Being a Leader doesn’t mean you do what is comfortable for you. A Leader needs to do what is best in the Big Picture. Learning when and how to use each of the five conflict management approaches is critical is earning credibility and making your team succeed.

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