Peeking Through

Might be the best three clicks you’ll make in 2020

If you have anything to do with your organization’s training and professional development, here’s some stuff to make your new year go a whole lot smoother.

Our January 30 ½-day leadership session Designing an Engaging Employee Development Plan is specifically tailored for those charged with developing, administering, promoting and coordinating your organization’s employee development and continuing education. You will work with a roomful of professionals to grow your 2020 training plan. We will outline best practices for assessing needs, targeting resources, promoting employee development, and evaluating programs. And, best of all, this is free to members. The usual training fee of $125 will be waived for one participant from each member – just enter discount code PDPROMO at checkout!

This January 30 training will be in Salem. We also offer this topic in April (Portland) and in July (Eugene).

If you want a glimpse at what our Leadership and Professional Development looks like, please take a minute to check out these “sneak peeks.”

Designing an Engaging Professional Development Plan – (Complimentary Registration for Members)

Over the years, our training department has been called upon to help members with the challenges of maintaining effective workplace learning programs. All employers want to provide opportunities for ongoing development. You don’t have to be a researcher to know that ongoing education helps with attracting and retaining employees along with improving engagement and morale. Please come join the conversation. Take a look.

Train the Trainer – Best Practice for Knowledge Transfer

The train the trainer sessions dig in on adult learning theory, maximizing learning, best practices for delivery and content development. In this 8 minute sample we review the Transfer Matrix that reveals who the key players are in making our learning stick. Take a look.

Emotional Intelligence – 5 Key Components

Research continues to show that Emotional Intelligence skills are more important even than technical knowledge when it comes to maintaining employee engagement. Here we outline the skill set that takes good leaders into the great zone. Take a look.

Getting Things Done – Finding (and Promoting) the “Why” Behind Your Project

While our full-day Project Management training gives participants an opportunity to outline in detail all the core components of an effective project, this video spotlight takes us into the crucial factor for developing and selling your project to the team—the “Why” behind the work. Take a look.

Strengths Based Leadership – Working in the ZONE

Many of our leadership offerings bring focus to the business case for helping all employees to spend more time Doing What They Do Best. Great leaders follow the clues to their own and their coworkers Strength Zone. Tools, including ©The Predictive Index are reviewed. Take a look.

Creative Problem Solving

A glimpse at the process for breaking down creativity and promoting positive problem solving with our teams. Take a look.

Keys to Successful Change Management

In our Change Management trainings (part of Leadership Engagement Essentials, Basics of Supervision, Change Management, and Personal Strategies for Managing Change) we review useful models for navigating workplace transitions. This is a quick breakdown of the 6 keys to successful transition. Take a look.

Breaking Down Best Teams

Borrowed from the Table Group, this is a picture of the key characteristics of the most effective work teams. We explore these models in our Leadership offerings including Basics of Supervision, Foundations of Leadership, and Accountability and Delegation. Take a look.



Gilbert House Children's Museum cover image

This nonprofit’s mission is to inspire children to learn through creative play. Did you know…

  1. The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) children’s museum connected to downtown Salem’s Riverfront Park. Founded in 1989, Gilbert House Children’s Museum provides innovative and stimulating educational experiences which spark children’s natural curiosity. The museum is designed for children ages 2 to 10, but all exhibits have been designed for children and their grown-ups to play and learn together.
  2. The Museum is named after Salem native, A.C. Gilbert, an extraordinary scholar, inventor, Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneur and magician. An advocate of learning through play, Gilbert was the proud inventor of the Erector Set, the inspiration for the Museum’s giant outdoor Erector Set, the highlight of their 20,000 ft² Outdoor Discovery Area.
  3. In 1918, during World War I, Gilbert testified before the U.S. Council of Defense on behalf of the toy industry after Congress declared a moratorium on the manufacturing of toys. He told Congress that not only were toys valuable learning tools, but they showed the long-term effectiveness of fostering inventiveness, creativity, ingenuity and problem-solving abilities. His philosophy is the inspiration for the Museum’s mission.
  4. The Museum has 16 hands-on exhibits, an Outdoor Discovery Area, camps, field trips, membership opportunities, and educational programs in the sciences, arts and humanities. It’s composed of three historic houses: the Rockenfield House, Gilbert House and Parrish House.
  5. Coming in 2020 is the groundbreaking of the first phase of an innovative nature-based playscape to transform the Museum’s outdoor space. Included in the build is a much-anticipated bubble exhibit, Bill’s Bubble Factory, and additional play opportunities that introduce early learning concepts in physics, chemistry, and the natural sciences. These initiatives are made possible through funding from grants, donors, and business sponsorships.

Cascade is proud to feature Gilbert House Children’s Museum, a leader in providing high quality, hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in science and the arts for children that ignite their imagination and provide essential building blocks for life-long learning.



Cascade Staff 2019

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

Our resolution for 2020 is to help great employers like you sleep better at night, knowing that you have a great team of HR experts ready to assist in mitigating your risk.

Please accept our best wishes for this holiday season!


Cascade Team



image of two business persons gesturing at a piece of paper

2020 is right around the corner: see what executives predict for the 2020 year and plan smart!

The Employer Associations of America’s 2020 National Business Trends Survey shares information on what executives are doing to address the changing business climate, and executives surveyed this year indicate that they are feeling a little less optimistic. The majority of respondents (52 percent) felt the economy in the next 12 months would stay the same, with only 12 percent feeling the economy would improve, and 36 percent feeling that the economy will decline. Oregon executives reflect similar trends, with 50 percent predicting the economy will stay the same, 41 percent feeling that the economy will decline, and only 9 percent expecting the economy to improve.

“Given the feelings about the economy in the next 12 months, it seems that organizations are taking a more cautious approach to 2020,” said EAA Board of Directors Chair Mary E. Corrado. “Despite reduced confidence in the economy, 49 percent of organizations surveyed still expect a slight increase in revenue for the coming year. The talent shortage will remain a key factor in 2020. Employers will need to implement innovative talent acquisition and retention strategies to meet their business results.”

When asked on the survey what are the top challenges to their business in 2020, executives indicated:

  • Talent acquisition
  • Talent retention
  • Ability to pay competitive wages/salaries
  • Competition in general
  • Ability to pay for benefit costs

A number of the Business Trends survey questions focused on hiring and staffing practices. The amount of permanent staff planned to be hired in 2020 is down slightly to 45 percent as compared to 2019, in which 50 percent planned to hire permanent employees. Oregon Respondents did indicate 65 percent were hiring in part due to newly created jobs. The majority (87 percent) seem to be replacing employees due in part to voluntary turnover. The increase in voluntary turnover makes talent acquisition more difficult and employers will need to offer more competitive wages and be more strategic when marketing for positions.

In moving forward with their hiring practices, organizations said the top five most important factors prospective employees are looking for are fairly similar to last year’s results:

  1. Competitive Pay (80%)
  2. Good Work/Life Balance (61%)
  3. Flexibility in Work Hours (53%)
  4. Opportunities for Advancement (52%)
  5. Competitive Health Benefits (47%)

The top three reasons why it has become more difficult to hire employees in their industries are:

  1. Lack of qualified candidates (59%)
  2. Market competition/high demand (56%)
  3. Candidates want more pay than we can/will offer (44%)

With the national spotlight on pay equity, a few additional responses were added to the question, “How is your organization minimizing risk and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local laws?” The top three responses include:

  1. Conducting internal pay audits: 49%
  2. Establishing/updating a formal compensation structure: 45%
  3. Having a formal pay equity analysis conducted: 35%

The National Business Trends Survey provides a unique insight into executives’ predictions for 2020, allowing organizations the opportunity to develop and enact business plans and actionable steps to address these predictions in the coming year. “At Cascade Employers Association, we understand the complex business environment and how that can impact your strategies and tactics in the workplace, especially when it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining top talent,” reports Jenna Reed, Vice President of HR Services and General Counsel. “Whether your organization needs support developing its compensation philosophy and structure, assessing employee engagement or consulting on your approach to talent acquisition, our exceptional team of HR professionals is here to help you.”

The EAA is a not-for-profit national association that provides this annual survey to business executives offering insights and trends for business outlooks, business investment plans, staffing levels, hiring plans, job creations, pay strategies and business challenges. The 2020 survey included 1,093 participating organizations throughout the U.S. For a copy of the full report, contact McKenna Arnold, Cascade Employers Association,

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About Employer Associations of America (EAA)
EAA consists of 32 regional employer associations serving 35,000 companies and more than six million employees. Regional employer associations are dedicated to serving their members as trusted partners that help members maximize the performance of their employees and their organization through business expertise in compliance, recruitment, retention, surveys, safety, training, and organization development. EAA’s mission is to advance a national presence and to promote local success among members through unparalleled collaboration, excellence, and efficiency. To learn more about the EAA, visit

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