An Angel in Rome

Perhaps you’ve never heard of the Pygmalion Effect, but you probably have seen it in action. Essentially, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby higher expectations lead to increased performance. Or perhaps we’ve seen Pygmalion’s evil twin, the Golem Effect, in action when low expectations yield diminished performance.

The Pygmalion Effect first drew large attention in the 1960s, when a Harvard psychologist named Robert Rosenthal conducted an IQ test at a South San Francisco elementary school. He identified to teachers certain students with the potential to “bloom” academically. In reality, the students were selected at random and the students themselves were not told of their assigned (and manufactured) potential. However, the children identified as having high potential experienced dramatic gains over the course of the year. The study revealed that the teachers’ expectations unconsciously affected the way they treated the children, thereby affecting the children’s performance.

The implications on leadership and management have been huge, yet few leaders seem to realize the effects their expectations have on the people with whom they work. Even those who are aware may not be sure how to leverage the Pygmalion Effect (and quiet Golem).

However, there are a few things one can do:

  1. Develop your awareness: Look at the expectations you have of the people around you at work. Identify who may be the benefactors of the Pygmalion Effect and who may be the target of the Golem Effect.
  2. Acknowledge the possibility that your expectations have consequences. Keep in mind that people pick up your expectations from nonverbal communication and your overall attitude.
  3. Challenge your negative expectations and try to focus instead on potential. Every human being has strengths. It is a leader’s job to identify and cultivate the strengths of his or her people.
  4. Observe the results of your effort and be willing to admit you may have underestimated someone. (Also, be on the lookout for Golem’s best friend, Confirmation Bias, the tendency to see new evidence as confirmation of your existing beliefs.)

While it may be startling to realize our expectations – both positive and negative – are so powerful, it’s exciting to consider that with some self-reflection and practice we can help all of our people “bloom.”



2017 Labor Law Posters

Cascade offers a wide array of services to our Members including all-in-one Employment Law posters. There were several poster updates this year at both the State and Federal level so it’s a good idea to get rid of your old posters and start fresh. We offer both heavy duty glossy and laminated depending on your needs.

Keep in mind that the Oregon Minimum Wage will increase in July. As an added benefit to ordering from Cascade we will send you an easy-to-apply sticker to reflect the change at that time. This is an easy way to get in compliance with your employment law posters.

If you use all-in-one commonly required posters, go to our website and order yours. We won’t invoice you until your order ships.

Check this off your list  




From industrial bit sharpeners to DIY drill bit and knife sharpeners, this Ashland, Oregon member exists to surprise and delight the customers who buy and use their products. Did you know…

  1. Darex began in 1973 in Beecher, Illinois. The D, A and R of Darex are the initials of three generations of the Bernard family: David, Arthur and Richard Bernard.
  2. In 1978, Darex relocated to Ashland and in 2012, Matthew Bernard became the fourth generation family owner of the company.
  3. Under the brands of Darex, Drill Doctor and Work Sharp, this company is proud to manufacture all of their tools in the USA, and source as many components from North American manufacturers as they can. They insist that any over-seas suppliers meet stringent quality control metrics and share in the practices of creating a great place to work.
  4. All designing, engineering and assembling of their sharpening machines is done under one roof. That same roof is shared by their in-house customer service, sales and admin teams.
  5. Southern Oregon is a beautiful place to live and work, and as such Darex strives to do their part in the community to reduce as much waste as possible, including the recycling of: corrugated, glass, aluminum, steel, other metals, and plastics. In addition they have a roof-top 110kW solar power system providing over half of their yearly electricity needs.

Cascade is proud to feature Darex, repeatedly voted one of the top businesses in Southern Oregon to work for. And as they say, “have fun and stay sharp!”


{ 1 comment }


Although there is a lot of uncertainty about what 2017 has in store for employers, there are a few things you should have on your new year’s checklist:

  • Review FLSA classifications and job descriptions and adjust accordingly. Even though the new FLSA regulations are under a temporary injunction, it’s still a good idea to prepare for these changes. Especially since the Bureau of Labor and Industries and Department of Labor are focusing more time and effort on employee misclassifications.
  • Develop or review formal compensation plans and structure. With the pending FLSA regulations, new minimum wage system and a myriad of other state and federal laws, there is a lot of incentive to review your compensation programs and structure.
  • Review and update your handbook.
    • Family Leave (OFLA) policy (for benefit continuation)
    • Attendance and call-in policies (to meet Oregon Sick Leave compliance)
    • Paid Sick Leave policy (for Oregon Sick Leave compliance)
    • Drug and Alcohol policy (for drug and alcohol testing post accident/incident)
    • Safety policy (for incident and injury reporting and anti-retaliation clauses)
  • Start using the new I-9 form by January 22, 2017. You can use the old form until January 21, 2017, but you can begin using the new form before then if you choose.
  • Evaluate complex employment relationships (independent contractors, staffing agency employees, temporary employees). The gig economy is growing and employers are getting more creative with how they’re structuring employment relationships. However, there are lots of pitfalls lurking. Be sure you don’t fall into one of them.
  • Get written authorizations from employees to receive their paystubs electronically by January 1, 2017, when Oregon’s new paystub notification law takes effect.
  • Update employment posters. There were several changes to both the state and federal posting requirements so make sure your posters are compliant.
  • Schedule training company-wide on harassment, retaliation and discrimination. If you haven’t done this training recently, now is a great time to remind employees about your expectations for the workplace.
  • Schedule company-wide Respect in the Workplace training. 2016 brought a lot of requests for this training. It’s always a good idea to revisit the basic expectation of respect in the workplace.
  • Federal Contractors – schedule an affirmative action audit to ensure compliance. If you’re a federal contractor or subcontractor you’ve probably had trouble keeping up with all of the new rules and regulations. Make sure you haven’t missed anything that could get flagged if you’re audited by the OFCCP.

Whew! We’re happy to help you complete your checklist or answer any questions you may have. Here’s to 2017. I have a suspicion you’ll be hearing from us a lot this year.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...