Identity Theft Prevention at the Office

Do not share your login credentials.

Not with the public, your coworkers, or even the Service Desk. What happens while you are logged in is your responsibility.

Change default passwords.

Always change standard or factory passwords immediately. This applies to company-issued cell phones, PCs, email services, voicemail, FTP servers, members-only websites, routers, etc. Check your password strength at www.howsecureismypassword.net. Never use the same password on multiple sites.

Do not use your person email for business.

Or it may be subject to management scrutiny and public records requests. Don’t forward business emails to your personal email. Likewise, do not use your business email for personal use.

Do not use your personal business email to correspond with clients.

Instead of first.lastname@oregon.gov, use a generic email, such as info.dcbs@oregon.gov, especially if a client is belligerent. In some cases, you may want to use your first name only. Check with you manager.

Avoid putting confidential information in email chains and group emails.

“As much as necessary, as little as possible.” Best practice: truncate Social Security Numbers and medical records in your communication. Even better: Use a generic ID, such as a policy account, or case number.

Track and report incidents

“Incident” definition: Confidential information is disclosed to a person not authorized to see it, or used for an unauthorized purpose. Internal and external reporting may be required, e.g., to the client, your manager, administrator, CIO, Attorney General’s office, or credit reporting agencies.

If you telecommute, don’t use personally-owned devices for business.

E.g., PCs, fax, printer, cell phone, text messaging. This opens up your devices to public records requests and searches by management, even if you have a BYOD agreement. If prosecution ensues, your device could be seized as evidence. Talk to your manager if you don’t have the tools you need. Is your family home? Remember, they’re not authorized to see or overhear confidential information.

Keep confidential information safe during transport

Confidential information transported in vehicles by employees should be logged, inventoried, kept locked and out of-sight when the employee is not in the vehicle. Use point-to-point receipt for mailing if necessary (UPS, FedEx). Use tamper-proof packaging. Always ship password separately from encrypted media.

Let clients know what the agency will and won’t do with their data.

“Privacy involves each individual’s right to decide when and whether to share personal information, how much information to share, and the particular circumstances under which that information can be shared. Privacy is more than security, however, and includes the principles of transparency, notice, and choice.”

Meet with clients in transparent settings.

Don’t let conversations be overheard by fellow clients, coworkers, etc. Stay within view of others. Be aware of appearances. Be safe.

Become a Great Communicator

Every living being communicates. Dogs bark, birds sing, and primates use hand gestures and noises akin to speech. Effective communication is needed in all areas of life. Paul Meyer describes communication best when he says, “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal career success.” While basic communication skills are inherent, advanced skills that lead one to becoming a great communicator takes practice.

Effective communication begins with listening. Too many times, people are either thinking about their responses or about something else entirely, and they fail to completely listen to the other person. By doing this, you lose focus on the conversation and may find out, in embarrassment, that your response is completely off base. When you are not listening, you are creating a one-sided conversation that shows others that you really do not care about what they have to say. Showing a genuine interest in learning what others think and feel about any matter they find worth discussing will place you in a position to be the one they go to for encouragement and to brainstorm solutions to difficult problems – because what you say in response will all of a sudden matter, too.

Focusing on your interactions shows respect. Checking emails, texting, or engaging in social media while in a conversation is rude. Great communicators respect those they are with by putting away or turning off their electronic devices when engaged in conversation. One-on-one conversations are becoming a lost art because of the ease of technology. Eliminate the distractions and hone in your listening skills.

When communicating to anyone be specific. Make your message clear. Doing so ensures that you are heard and understood in the way you intended. If giving instructions, provide details in order to avoid confusion and ensure better outcomes. When setting up appointments, be specific about your availability and give details about the time, location, who else will be in attendance. Frustration occurs when specific details are not shared and people have to go back and do something that could have easily been done correctly the first time.

While being specific is very important, it is also important to simplify your message. Make certain that what you are communicating is understandable. If the thought is confused in your mind, it will most certainly be confusing to the person you are communicating with. Take the time to think through what you need to convey. Pauses should not be feared, especially if that pause helps you communicate your point clearly and more effectively.

Finally, ask questions. Great communicators ask questions and they are not afraid to get specific. Taking a genuine interest in learning more about people and what they think, feel, and experience helps keep the conversation going and shows that you are engaged. People appreciate it when someone wants to get to know them better and the knowledge gained through great interactions can help you further yourself both personally and professionally.

Effective communication is a great skill for everyone to have. It is also a necessary skill in order to get along successfully in the world around you. It is a lost art by many that can be easily revived by practicing your listening skills, being specific, and asking questions.

Dallas School District is Seeking Public Input on the Naming of Two Facilities

Oakdale Heights Multi-Purpose Room

Name after: Ian Tawney

Ian Tawney grew up in Dallas and attended Oakdale, and graduated from DHS in 2003. He enlisted in the Marines, and served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan until his death in combat on October 16, 2010.

Community member Request: Our kids deserve heroes. I believe it would be most fitting to provide present and future Oakdale students with the chance to become better acquainted with Ian. They need to learn about people who spend their life giving more than they take. People that make themselves better by lifting up the people around them. They need to understand that true courage is not the lack of fear, but in doing what must be done even when you are afraid.

Please send your input by March 29th to michelle.johnstone@dsd2.org

 

Dallas High School Track

Name after: Paul and Judee Ward

Community member request: The Ward’s have made a noteworthiness and significant contribution to DHS athletics. Paul has been a two-time DHS Head track and field coach and long-time assistant coach whose career spanned nearly sixty years. Paul’s dedication to Dallas High School athletics is legendary with his influence going beyond just coaching. It includes imparting his knowledge on to several other coaches over the years, and keeping kids involved no matter what their particular life situations happen to be. Paul was a major advocate for student athletes going through difficult life changes and seeing to it that they had the same opportunity to participate as others. Both the Wards have made tremendous impact on all athletic programs by donating funding, building materials, equipment, and literally thousands of hours toward facility improvements at time when the district lacked the funding and personnel to put toward maintaining aging facilities. Paul and Judee Ward have held a high level dedication for the track program year in and out for several decades.

Please send your input by March 29th to Tim.Larson@dsd2.or

8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Chamber of Commerce Membership

There are many reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce. Some of the obvious ones are networking opportunities, community involvement, political advocacy, and the trust that Chamber affiliation builds with your customers. Of course, there are many more benefits you receive from becoming a Chamber member, but many people don’t fully enjoy them. They wrongly assume that by simply paying their annual membership dues lots of new business and friends will automatically show up. Without understanding how to make their Chamber experience work for them they give up on the Chamber in frustration.

If all you do is pay your membership fee you will get a welcome letter and a nice sticker to put on your front door. However, if you invest in building trusting, professional relationships with others through the Chamber the rewards in leads, sales, and friendships are potentially game changing for your business. Here are several ways to get more out of the Chamber by investing in other members.

  1. Sign up for their newsletters or updates.
    A great way to learn more about your peers at the Chamber and how you can support their business is to sign up for their company newsletter, directory, or weekly email.
  2. Support them online.
    Support other Chamber members through any of the social media outlets they use and tell your network about them as well. Have you experienced their service or product first hand? Show your support by writing positive product reviews online. 
  3. Submit their news to other groups you are part of.
    Be sure to share your Chamber peers’ news with other groups you may be part of. Think about professional, LinkedIn, or civic groups for example. 
  4. Invite them to be part of your seminars.
    Invite fellow Chamber members to come speak at your company functions or the business seminars you are hosting. They will appreciate the opportunity to showcase their area of expertise and you will enhance your event with guest speakers. 
  5. Share or trade skills and expertise.
    We are all experts at something. What is your “something”? Share that something with someone else at the Chamber. If you are good at writing ad copy and someone else is good at printing sales flyers then offer to share skills. You will probably help each attract more business this way. 
  6. Introduce them to your friends.
    Be the first person to approach new Chamber members when they arrive. Be friendly and introduce them to others in the group. Your gesture will be remembered and appreciated forever. 
  7. Bring them to other functions.
    Perhaps you are member of other organizations in addition to the Chamber. Invite one or two of your Chamber peers to attend other functions with you as your guest. Introduce them to your other associates. This will increase their circle of connections and you will look like a master networker. 
  8. Use their business first.
    Support your fellow Chamber members by giving them preference when you shop. For example, if you need replacement windows for your home and one of the window companies is a Chamber member, give that company your business. Even if they cost a little more, the goodwill your business generates can be invaluable.

Performance Evaluations Done Right

Performance reviews usually leave the employee feeling one of two ways: completely exhilarated or completely defeated. These feelings have little to do with monetary gain, but rather revolve primarily around the regularity of the feedback provided and the conversation that occurs during the review.

When managers share feedback with their team on a regular basis (i.e. weekly, monthly, quarterly, or more often as needed) they tend to have a consistently engaged team. Their staff knows where they stand at all times and are more readily able to make any corrections as needed. Frequent feedback ensures that when issues arise, they are not allowed to develop into a decrease in productivity or a depression in morale. It also reduces the element of surprise in the formal review and can be used to enhance the specificity of how the employee’s performance has increased or decreased in the short-term and long-term. This makes organizing and delivering an accurate performance review much easier and time effective for the management involved.

While it is important to share learning opportunities, celebrating successes is even more important. It is often easy to focus on the negative because this is what is most overt. However, only focusing on the negative can do more harm than good in regards to employee confidence, engagement, and morale. Accentuating the positive creates an environment of encouragement. Team members will not only feel better about their work, but will accept any constructive criticism as opportunities to be better at what they already do well. That happiness can become infectious with co-workers providing praise to each other, which will result in an increase in collaboration, team work, creativity, and overall morale in the office.

Not all negative feedback is bad; just ensure your feedback is constructive and direct. When face with a learning opportunity, focus on situations where you can coach a team member. Help the employee learn how to use the talents they already possess to master aspects of their job that do not come easily to them.

When it is time to perform a more formal performance review, follow these four steps to optimize the experience for both you and your staff.

  1. Request self-audits: Ask team members to complete a brief self-audit. This will give you, the manager, information on how the employee perceives their own performance. It will also allow the employee to prepare for the evaluation. A self-audit should not be a replacement for any managerial preparations for a proper review. It should be one step in that process.
  2. Personalize the review: Some people respond well to a more blunt approach, while others need a more tactful approach or need examples. Great managers understand the variety of personalities represented on their teams and know how to tailor their messages appropriately.
  3. Set goals: Employees are more engaged when they understand the desired end result of their efforts. Part of the preparation process should include distinct, measurable goals that have a defined timeline.
  4. Allow for feedback: performance evaluations are a great time to understand how you can better support your staff. Make sure the team member has time to provide feedback to you. This simple dialogue can help clear up any misunderstandings and increase trust between you and your team.

When managers provide feedback on a regular basis, teams feel that they are in the loop. This breeds collaboration, increased levels of productivity and engagement. While negative feedback is needed at times, this should not be the only time you share feedback with your team. Positive messages will reap huge rewards and create a happier work environment for all.

Sometimes Saying “Goodbye” is not Easy

The decision to proceed with releasing a team member should be well thought-out. Many managers avoid terminating “ok” or even “bad” employees because they are conflict-adverse, have self-doubt, or are unable to separate their concern for the person from the performance. The price of keeping these employees is high. “Ok” and “bad” employees can decrease morale within the team and organization, decrease long-term productivity, and can have negative effects on customer satisfaction and revenues. It also compromises your leadership ability.

There are four signs that it is time to say “goodbye”:

  1. There is a lack of progress or follow-through on projects.
  2. There is a disregard for organizational processes or procedures.
  3. There is a lack of trust.
  4. They have a poor attitude, especially if their attitude is spreading throughout the team.

The first step in the termination process is to create an outline of what steps the employee can take towards improvement. This should include very specific expectations, goals, and a 30-day deadline to meet expectations. Provide examples whenever possible. This outline should be shared with upper management and human resources.

The second step is to have a very honest conversation with the team member. Some organizations prefer to have a representative of upper management or human resources attend this meeting. Present the outline and answer any questions the employee may have. During this meeting allow the employee to share their thoughts on their performance. Emphasize that they have 30 days to show improvement. Also provide a copy of the outline to include any clarifications spelled out in detail to the employee and to any upper management representatives that may be present during this meeting.

During the 30-day improvement time, check in with the team member at least weekly. Also begin the hiring process for their replacement. This reduces the need to have other team members pick up the slack for an extended period of time once their colleague is gone. If after 30 days there is no measurable improvement, it is time to have one last honest conversation terminating the employee.

In the end, creating a plan of improvement will help both manager and employee remove any doubt in regards to employee performance and general fit within the company’s culture and its goals. It also allows the team member to prove themselves and receive coaching or mentoring they may require. While termination is never pleasant for either party involved, sometimes it is the best decision.

Is the Chamber a Government Entity?

A Chamber of Commerce, or a Board of Trade, is a form of business network. The Chamber of Commerce is a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors, or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board or council then hires a President, CEO, or Executive Director, plus staffing of an appropriate size to run the organization.

A Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary association of business firms belonging to different trades and industries. They serve as spokesmen and representatives of the business community. They differ from city to city, and region to region.

In many areas Chambers of Commerce are a source of private sector information. The information is usually gathered by surveying Chamber members. This can be used by official governmental departments as a guide to the performance of the economy in the Chambers area.

As a non-governmental institution, a Chamber of Commerce has no direct role in the writing and passage of laws and regulations that affect businesses. It may however, lobby in an attempt to get laws passed that are favorable to businesses.

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Itemizer-Observer

If you live in Dallas you are familiar with our trusted news source, Itemizer-Observer. They have been serving Polk County since 1875 and the Dallas Chamber is proud to have them as an Influence Member. We work hard to bring our community great events and the sponsorship and advertisement from the Itemizer-Observer greatly support our efforts. Their support of our community during their time here in Dallas cannot be missed.

Polk Itemizer Observer actively covers sports, events, and works hard to highlight what’s going on in Dallas and give its citizens a voice. The Itemizer-Observer is published on Wednesdays and its circulation as around 4,988. It is the newspaper of record for Polk County.

Emily Mentzer, editor at the Itemizer-Observer had this to say, “We have a renewed focus on serving our readers and our local businesses. We have a lot to offer both in print and online, and we’re taking full advantage of it to keep readers informed and help businesses get their message out.”

Don’t just take our word for it, Dallas Residents have this to say about Polk Itemizer Observer:

“A great way to stay informed on the happenings in and around Polk County!”

“This is a great small town newspaper. They do a really good job of staying local and reporting on the important things in the community. My kids have been featured many times with sports and different school activities. I’m very glad to have this paper in our small town. Thank you!”

“My favorite way to find out what’s going on in Dallas.”

“The local sports section is my favorite.”

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Great Employees Come From a Great Hiring Process

Candidates and employees are an organization’s best asset. They are also the primary consumers of your product with very specific expectations on the company’s brand. These expectations and their experience with the hiring process will ultimately shape their engagement and performance if hired. It is important to treat candidates with respect during the hiring process.

Talent assessments can be very beneficial when used as part of a well-defined hiring process. They can create a performance profile that includes behavioral characteristics, skills, and personal inventories. This information can then be maintained to be used not only in the hiring process, but in evaluating your current employees for opportunities that arise through the use of performance reviews and promotion assessments.

Choosing the right assessment tool can be challenging as more sophisticated tools are developed and released. It is important that the chosen tool do the following:

  • Be easy to take and be mobile optimized.
  • Ask questions that are directly related to the position.
  • Instill the organization’s values.
  • Provide the opportunity to show proof of ability to perform the job tasks.
  • Not be so long that it results in a high candidate abandon rate.

Regardless of the assessment tool employed, make sure to follow up with all candidates. Providing feedback and letting them know where they stand in the hiring process will help maintain a positive impression on the organization and its brand, whether the candidate has a future with the company, or not.

Future employees’ performance can be determined, in part, by an effective hiring process. The use of talent assessments as one part of the hiring process will help hiring managers understand more about the candidate and how well they may fit into the organization’s culture and production expectations.

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Community Awards Banquet

Save the date for Community Awards Banquet 2019! This year marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce hosting the Annual Community Awards Banquet. This event is a time for us to come together as a community to recognize, honor, and thank those individuals and businesses that have made an impact on our community!

These are individuals that have earned their recognition through volunteerism and by dedicating their lives, and businesses to the betterment of Dallas and all of its citizens. We are honored to be able to join with other citizens in our community to recognize and thank these wonderful, and special individuals.

The Ceremony will be held Friday, February 22nd at the Majestic in downtown Dallas beginning at 6 pm for a cocktail hour, sponsored by MAK Metals. We look forward to celebrating Dallas’ generosity and collaboration with you.

This Year’s Award Winners

  • Business of the Year – Grandma’s Attic
  • Young Professional of the Year – Britneigh Hammill
  • Junior First Citizen – Aubrey Miller
  • Outstanding Organization – Kindness Club
  • First Citizen – Pete McDowell
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Jim Fairchild

Purchase your tickets today, and we are look forward to seeing you there! https://dallasoregon.org/awards/

A special thank you to our sponsors:

Award Sponsors

Cocktail Hour Sponsor

Catering Sponsor

Decorating Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Sweepstakes Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor
Willamette Valley Fiber

Table Sponsor
Chemeketa Community College
The City of Dallas
Oregon State Credit Union

Music Sponsor
Grand Hotel

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