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With some of the lowest unemployment rates in history, the job market is a highly competitive one. This competitive market can increase confidence among workers about changing jobs. With wages continuously increasing due to the tight labor market, it is imperative to ensure that companies are paying market competitively to retain and attract top talent.

Unsure what the current labor market looks like for your roles? Our professional compensation staff can help review data from multiple market survey data sources to ensure that your company is staying competitive. Cascade offers a wide range of Compensation Services that will help you stay competitive including a market competitive salary structure.

Recruiting, engaging, rewarding, and retaining the right employees are key compensation program goals for most organizations and Cascade can help!

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Making Her Point

You don’t have to read this blog post to know that diversity and inclusion is becoming more and more of a focus in the business community and an increasingly common topic on many executive agendas, board meetings and employee performance and accountability documents.

Why should companies be working to create more diversity within and outside of their organization? Not only because it’s the right thing to do; it also makes business sense and creates a competitive advantage. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity outperform their competitors by 15%, and those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 35%. If you want to create a diverse strategy that results in a diverse solution or product, you need a diverse team and diverse leadership.

So, how can you reach those targets, create more diverse products and outperform your competitors?

Executive Buy-In

Executive buy-in is a necessity. A shift in outcomes cannot reach fruition without leadership at the top levels. Executive buy-in should focus on highlighting the business benefits of having diverse teams and inclusive environments.

When employees “think their organization is committed to and supportive of diversity, and they feel included,” their ability to innovate increases by 83%. As a leader, your role should be focused on running your organization at the highest level possible; that can only be done with empowered employees. Beyond signing off on the work, executive leaders must engage in and experience the process as well.

Addressing the Culture

Executive leadership is the first step, but it is not the only step. In addition to leadership buy-in, companies must create a culture where employees can bring their whole selves to work and employees can excel internally. Doing so will increase retention and employee buy-in.

The culture must support and assess a sense of belonging. Industry leaders focused on developing organizations that are able to create work cultures where people of all races, genders, sexuality, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. can thrive and realistically see themselves as leaders within the field are positioning their organizations for increased success. To foster this culture, companies need to nurture ally-ship at every level in the organization.

Cascade is currently expanding our diversity and inclusion catalog of services and trainings. Our trainings are backed by research and best practices. Regardless of where you are at in your diversity and inclusion journey, we can offer on-site training, strategic planning and document review. Stay tuned for our public training offerings.

To learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion and ally-ship, reach out to our Director of Training and Organization Development, Alexis James.

Footnotes:
Deloitte, 2013. Waiter, is that inclusion in my soup? A new recipe to improve business performance, pg4.

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Pen and paper

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

My favorite answer to that question is, “only if there is documented proof!

Proper documentation can establish a pattern of performance problems that has led to a termination, or verify reasons one employee received a promotion over others who applied.

Establishing a consistent approach to documentation gives employees an opportunity to improve their performance by informing them where they are not meeting expectations, as well as advising them what they can do to correct the issues. Consistent and good documentation demonstrates that you are treating similarly situated employees similarly and will help support your employment decisions (i.e. termination) if someone files a discrimination claim against your business.

And when I say good documentation, it’s because I’ve seen a lot of bad documentation, both formal and informal (texts, IMs, etc.). For example, the manager who thought they were texting another manager about how “lazy” this person was and how he thought the employee was setting them up for a claim, only to quickly find out he was texting the employee at issue. Unfortunately, the employee had the same first name as a manager in the company.

The first step to ensuring your business is properly documenting incidents and disciplinary discussions is to develop an employee conduct policy. This policy should establish when and how you might discipline employees for performance or behavioral issues, but also give the business some flexibility on whether or not they follow the disciplinary process as stated, or skip some steps if warranted by the seriousness of the situation.

Next, create a standard form or format to document the performance or behavioral issue. These types of formal documents should include the name of the employee and the date the document is being presented, as well as the following:

  1. A factual statement of the incident or conversation.
  2. Statement of the impact of the problem identified.
  3. Any prior discussions on the same subject, with dates.
  4. A statement of expectations, including relevant policies or goals.
  5. A statement of the corrective action or steps for resolution, such as a training.
  6. Any consequences that may occur if there is not immediate and sustained improvement.
  7. A statement that the employee may not necessarily agree with what was said, but that they were presented with the information and understand it.
  8. Signature lines for the employee and their supervisor or HR, or whomever is responsible for performance improvement at your business.

Once your formal policy and process is in place, train your supervisory and management staff on how to consistently document and address employee issues when they come up.

Cascade Employers Association has a great onsite training developed specifically to address appropriate documentation. When it comes to managing risk, this training is a great way to get your staff on the right path.

Remember, if you don’t document, it’s like it never happened.

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Willamette Humane Society

Whoever coined the phrase “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” obviously knew something about the power of human determination, and perhaps knew the “founding mothers” of Willamette Humane Society. Did you know…

  1. Willamette Humane Society (WHS) was founded in 1965 by Jessie Mickelson, Eleanor Gordon-Thompson and Jeanne Beardsley. These local civic leaders drew inspiration from the rundown, undersized and outdated shelter facility which was the Marion County Dog Pound at the time. They had the heart and the will to organize a group in Salem for the purpose of protecting and promoting the welfare of animals.
  2. After extensive fundraising efforts, the fledgling organization finally raised enough funds in 1969 to begin construction of a modest facility containing only 20 dog, and 25 cat kennels. The shelter was open for business less than five months after purchasing the grounds.
  3. Every month within the first year of operation, the facility took in an average of 1,500 animals. In July of 1972, phase two of the construction began, doubling the capacity and adding dog runs as well as separate puppy and kitten rooms. And still, need outpaced capacity. In 1995, the current building opened, housing 65 dog and 142 cat kennels, and adding more inviting public areas for adoptions and pet meets.
  4. Fast forward to 2010 when the dream of opening a state-of-the art low cost, high volume spay/neuter clinic came true. Finally able to effectively address pet overpopulation in the community, WHS now provides free surgeries for unowned community cats in Marion and Polk counties, in addition to spay and neuter services for companion cats and dogs. This year, the clinic will perform its 50,000th surgery!
  5. Today’s Humane Society is a far cry from its 60’s era counterpart. Because of community support, the staff and volunteers are now able to treat, rehabilitate, and rehome over 96% of the pets who arrive needing help. Animals with special needs stay as long as necessary while being treated for medical and behavioral conditions, and this means the shelter is again beginning to push the limits of its capacity for care and in the near future will be exploring remodeling to modernize operations.
  6. In the nearly 50 years since the original idea for a shelter for Willamette Valley’s pets in need was born, one thing has remained the same: heart. And as long as the heart beats strong for their animals, WHS will be here protecting and promoting their welfare.

Cascade is proud to feature WHS, an organization dedicated to establishing, maintaining and enhancing the bond between companion animals and the people of Marion and Polk counties.

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