Happy Holidays!

by Angela Bergerson on December 24, 2018

in Holidays

Aufsicht von schneebedecktem Weihnachtsgeschenk in Naturpapier und blauer Schleife, geschmückt mit Tannenzapfen

In observance of the holidays, the Cascade offices will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, and January 1.

Our resolution for 2019 is to collaborate with great employers like you to integrate benchmarks and best practices into your human resource programs.

Please accept our best wishes for this holiday season!


Cascade Team



Holiday Workplace Stress

by Bethany Wright on December 17, 2018

in Holidays

Nahaufnahme von einer Tasse Cappuccino mit Kakao in Weihnachtsbaum-Gestalt

Happy Holidays! It’s that time of the year again. Decorations, gifts, food, lots and lots of holiday treats, and of course, family. What does this mean for businesses? For some, it means stress.

The holidays come with their own set of challenges when running a business. What can you do to mitigate some of the risks associated with holiday cheer? Prepare! Don’t let this time of year turn you into a Scrooge.

Here are a few things to think about during the holiday season:

  1. Time-off requests. As a business, you need to have employees present to get the work done. However, a lot of employees like to spend the holidays with family and/or friends, out of town, or just take some time off to relax. Plan ahead for these requests and make sure you have a solid process for time off requests so that employees are aware of when they need to have their requests turned in. If at all possible, give them the time off – it will make them happy – happy workers are good workers.
  2. Gift giving. Many employees feel pressured to take part in gift giving during the holidays. This can add stress to an already stressful time of year. Rather than gift giving between employees, which can leave some feeling left out, consider inviting employees to bring their favorite holiday treat to share with the office. This allows those that do not want to participate to do just that, while still allowing others to share their holiday cheer.
  3. Office holiday parties. Most companies have some sort of holiday party, usually after business hours. After-hours parties should be voluntary. Allow employees to bring a spouse or significant other to the party, it’s much easier to get them to come if they can bring someone else; the more, the merrier, right? Provide food, drinks, and some sort of entertainment to make the event fun. If you are providing alcohol, offer a limited number of “drink tickets” to each legal adult, and consider stamping employee’s hand for each drink served. Paying for rides home through riding sharing services is also a great way to keep things safe, not just fun.

Don’t forget the most important part of the holidays, HAVE FUN!



Training, mentoring and coaching: Giống, khác nhau thế nào?

I was working with a group of new supervisors last month and reviewing this thing we call coaching. I asked them to reflect on their willingness to dig in to the coaching role. Two things became very clear in the discussion. One, there was a great deal of reluctance to take on the coaching role. Two, many held the misconception that the primary activities in coaching had something to do with hovering and directing.

Clearly, not all of us were born to coach or lead. Great coaching requires a commitment and an accountability mind-set that takes time and energy, sometimes a lot of both. And, it takes the willingness to develop and maintain relationships through all sorts of challenging, and sometimes awkward, moments. Effective coaches recognize when they have the positive relationship bank account well established so they can leverage improved employee performance, productivity, stewardship, and commitment.

The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes and Pozner) is an oldie-but-a-goodie exploration of what experiences help develop leaders and coaches. This very readable book tells stories of false starts, failures, uncertainty … all the stuff aspiring coaches in the real world experience on the way to effectiveness.

A more recent work, Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin, outlines a similar process of struggles, mistakes, and misjudgments that characterized some of our greatest national leaders before they found their true, most effective selves, even in tough times.

What we get from the stories is a nice take-away. A set of characteristics that differentiate effective coaches. It turns out that great coaches:

  • Challenge the Process
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Model the Way
  • Encourage the Heart

Simple, right? But you can certainly see the work that it might take to accomplish all of these things while getting your other stuff done. Great coaches simply make a decision to lean into all the challenges that coaching might bring and seem to act on faith that it will all be worth the effort.

How many of us now challenged with being effective workplace coaches actually wanted this role and then actually asked for it? Many of us were invited into the supervisor’s role because we were competent in some area and others thought we should be “promoted.” Next thing we knew we were dealing with human beings which can be one of the most rewarding or frustrating endeavors we will ever experience.

The reluctance we see from supervisors is usually based in concerns about awkward moments, resistance or defensiveness, being too busy, uncertainty about conveying a negative message, distaste for delivering bad news. These are not small hurdles to overcome. Most of us need some coaching ourselves to resolve some of these concerns.

You might say with all these challenges and impediments, “Why bother?” Well, all this investment happens to really pay huge dividends!! Where we see effective coaching we see much higher employee commitment scores, improved retention, and increased productivity. Leaders who are in the 90th percentile for coaching effectiveness have employee commitment scores in the 88th percentile. It doesn’t take a financial analyst to total up the kind of impact good coaching is going to have on the bottom line.

Come join us for a few hours to explore some of these themes and how you might improve your workplace coaching relationships, on February 13 in Eugene or April 3 in Portland.



JaCivas Cake

Regarded as one of the most established and distinguished Portland bakeries for over 30 years, this Cascade member infuses joy and love into every product they make. Did you know…

  1. JaCiva’s Bakery and Chocolatier first opened their doors in Portland, Oregon in 1986, producing the finest cakes, European chocolates, Swiss pastries and baked goods around.
  2. The company was founded by husband-and-wife duo, Jack and Iva Elmer. They cleverly named their bakery by combining their names.
  3. Jack and Iva perfected their chocolates and desserts by unifying their individual skills and talents: Chef Jack, with his formal Swiss pastry education and passion for baking; and Iva, with her innovative creativity and love for her community.
  4. For years, Jack and Iva worked at perfecting their products and their business. They’ve received over 50 awards and a multitude of acknowledgements in baking and chocolate making, including the Achievement of Excellence Award from the American Culinary Foundation, The Austin Business Family Award, the Master Chocolatier Award and a gold medal from the U.S. Pastry Alliance.
  5. Today, customers continue to file into JaCiva’s for an abundance of specialty baked goods and chocolates too numerous to name here. Located at 4733 SE Hawthorne Avenue, Jack and Iva continue to embody the foundation of a deep sense of community true to their roots.

Cascade is proud to feature JaCiva’s, a member aimed at maintaining family values and a small business atmosphere.

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