Sleep well, little friend!

At Cascade Employers Association we don’t sell mattresses, but we make the same promise of a better night’s sleep. Feedback from our members (executives, supervisors and HR professionals) tells us that they simply sleep better than non-members.

The reason? Peace of mind.

Whether it is because they have improved employee communication, clarified harassment and respect policies, developed their leaders, reviewed their compensation strategy, or gotten valuable information from an employee survey, managers know they can relax with the knowledge that they have done the right thing for their workforce.

Managing people is hard work, work we are sometimes not fully prepared for. There are challenges for motivating employees. There are policy and communication issues. There are sticky, icky and gnarly personnel situations. Laws change. Generations disagree on appropriate use of cell phones. Stuff happens.

Isn’t it nice to know you can phone a friend or get expert guidance? Doesn’t it help to know that, through training and skill building, you have given your supervisors and managers the skills they need to improve employee engagement? Isn’t it great to know that your compensation programs are properly aligned with the market? Is there not comfort in knowing that your 401K plan is providing solid options for your workers? Don’t you feel just a bit more settled knowing that a hiring or termination was compliant with the law?

Why be a member anywhere else?

Sleep well.

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I'm not Qualified for this Job

A job description is a document that some employers dread creating, and don’t think are all that important. However, I am here to tell you, those employers are wrong! Job descriptions are essential to build a foundation for many HR programs that can help drive your business forward.

A well-written job description can help employers in a multitude of areas, including, the following:

Recruitment: A well-written job description helps hiring managers sift through applicants to locate those with the appropriate minimum qualifications. A comprehensive job description should also provide applicants with information on what skills, knowledge and abilities they must possess to be considered for the position, as well as specific details on what they can expect as their job duties if hired.

Compensation and Pay Equity: Job descriptions are useful tools when developing a compensation structure and salary ranges for each position. In addition, up-to-date job descriptions can help when conducting a pay equity analysis to keep in compliance with Oregon’s Equal Pay Law.

Performance Optimization: An up-to-date job description makes clear to the employee what is expected of them and what they will be held accountable for. Goals can be set up based on those duties listed on the job description and their performance can be evaluated based on whether or not they are meeting those specific goals.

When an employee is not performing at the level expected, a well-drafted job description can be used to clarify expectations, provide them with a reminder as to their job duties, and reaffirm current goals.

Career Development: Job descriptions are a good tool to utilize when discussing future career goals with your employees. Sitting down with an employee to discuss their current job requirements, and how they could advance to a higher level position, or possibly advance the position itself, is a great way to keep employees interested in their current job, as well as look to how they can move forward with the company.

Compliance: Detailed and up-to-date job descriptions are critical for compliance with EEOC guidelines, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example, if an employee asks for a reasonable accommodation, the job description helps determine which functions are essential to the position and whether or not there is a reasonable accommodation available. In addition, an up-to-date job description helps to determine whether or not an employee may be exempt under the FLSA and can help protect you from overtime claims.

Because of the variety of functions job descriptions take on, it is crucial to keep them up-to-date. Annually reviewing each job description when discussing new goals with the employee for the coming year is an ideal time to make those updates. Job descriptions should also be evaluated each time you recruit for a particular position, to ensure the job description still supports what the hiring manager is looking for.

If you don’t currently have job descriptions for all of your positions, or if it has been some time since you updated your job descriptions, give us a call. Cascade routinely assists with job description projects and can help take the burden off of your already hectic HR department.

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IMG_1760

“After all this time as a manager you would think I would be better at managing transition. After all, I have been through about a million changes.”

This is the way a conversation started with a manager I was coaching through some workplace transitions. Even at our best, as managers we may find that we struggle with finding the most effective approach to bring about successful movement through a workplace transition of any size. Transitions test all our skills: Communication, relationship-building, strategic thinking, listening, time and energy management.

Fear not, there is help. Some traditional training approaches include a short list of Six Key Components for successful change. I have found this list invaluable in establishing the proper foundations for any transition. If we have all six, we are in good shape. If we are lacking in one of them, we may have some struggle getting through.

Here are the Six Key Components for Successful Transition:

  1. Clear and compelling case for change
  2. Demonstrated leadership commitment
  3. Clear “What’s in it for me” for all
  4. Concrete implementation plan
  5. Skills, knowledge, tools in place
  6. Reinforcement

The next time you are approaching a transition, try this: Rank your team on a 1-10 scale (10 is strong-1 is weak) on each of these six components. Get others to give you their rankings. You may find an area where more attention should be given. This can be a very effective group activity. We did this with a manufacturer recently who was working on some role and responsibility changes. Their eyes lit up as they realized a couple of these areas that had not been addressed.

By the way, when checking in on #3, Clear “What’s in it for me” for all, try to avoid the common mistake of explaining or selling what is in it for them. Let them find it for themselves, even if it takes some time. This is a great time to practice your active listening skills.

Do any of these statements sound familiar? “This won’t last long.” “This is not possible.” “This is not going anywhere.” “This is not worth it.” “This is not real.” “It is not urgent.” These statements may help you diagnose where your change management strategy is lacking. They all correspond to a deficit in one of the key components.

Any of this so-called resistance may actually help you diagnose which of the six components need work. What we see as resistance to change may actually be a lack of clarity or perceived need to change, something lacking in one of these key areas.

Chances are, if you are hearing, “Hey, this is working,” you have scored well on all six. This is when you can sleep better and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the next transition.

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Tillamook County Creamery Association

For 110 years, Tillamook County’s largest employer has stood behind the honest values of their farmer-owners. It’s from them they’ve learned passion can’t be faked, hard work can’t be outsmarted and real food is worth fighting for. Did you know…

  1. It all started when European settlers arrived in Tillamook Valley around 1851, finding a silver lining to the wet, cool climate and the green grass it produced: perfect for raising dairy cows. Then in 1909, several small creameries joined forces to ensure all cheese made in the Tillamook Valley would be the same high quality. Each creamery contributed $10 to start the cooperative: Tillamook County Creamery Association.
  2. Fast Forward 110 years: Rapid national expansion and product innovation have fueled more than 60% growth over the past five years. Tillamook Creamery generated $800 million in sales in 2017, up from $477 million in 2012, when Patrick Criteser joined the cooperative as president and chief executive officer. Tillamook’s iconic products now include award-winning cheese, butter, sour cream, ice cream and yogurt. The latest new product line, Tillamook Cheeseboards, contains premium snack packs featuring a variety of cheeses, crackers and fruit spreads.
  3. Tillamook has two manufacturing facilities in Oregon – one at their flagship cheese and ice cream making plant in Tillamook on the Oregon coast and another cheese making facility in Boardman, Oregon. They welcome more than one million visitors a year at their iconic Tillamook Creamery, aka visitor center, which was rebuilt in 2018 to create a better experience for generations of fans.
  4. As a co-op, employees are a lot more like family. Tillamook relies on and embraces diverse perspectives, thoughts, backgrounds and cultures to inform their work. They’re committed to creating a climate of inclusion and conditions where all employees feel valued and a sense of belonging. At the end of 2017, 37% of their total workforce was female, 44% of their managers were female, and 26% of their workforce was racially and ethnically diverse.
  5. With people as the lighthouse of their success, Tillamook offers a generous benefits program, including paid time off and a parental leave benefit; wellness programs and fitness incentives; generous 401(k) matching and profit sharing; learning and professional development; paid community volunteer time; creamery discounts; and office snacks (specific benefits may vary depending on position and work location).

Cascade is proud to feature Tillamook County Creamery Association, an organization that knows its success is about more than an incredible loaf of cheddar, aiming to create a viable future in farming communities and an organization that is committed to creating an enriching and fulfilling culture for their employees which is grounded in purpose and shared values.

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