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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How To Combat Burnout

Even if you love your job, it’s common to feel burnt out from time to time. Perhaps you just wrapped up a big project and are having trouble mustering motivation for the next one. It could be that your home life is taking up more of your energy than usual. Or maybe, you’re just bored.

Burnout – the mental and physical exhaustion you experience when the demands of your work consistently exceed the amount of energy you have available – has been called the epidemic of the modern workplace. So you need to find ways to “put gas back in your tank.” Here are some ideas for how to do that:

  1. Take breaks during the workday. Take a walk or go for a run. Have lunch away from your desk. But take your breaks at the right time. When our energy is highest – often in the morning – you should focus on work and maximize your productivity. Tackle your toughest challenges at those times, then step away for a rest.
  2. Put away your digital devices. Place your smartphone in a basket or drawer when you arrive home so you’re not tempted to pick it up and check your email; or you might devise a rule for yourself about turning it off past 8 pm.
  3. Do something interesting. Instead of concentrating on limiting or avoiding work in your off-hours, do an activity you find interesting. Even if that activity is taxing, like a sport, it is better for you than simply relaxing.
  4. Take long weekends. The break does not need to be a two-week vacation, it could be as simple as a three, or four day weekend. While you’re away, though, don’t call the office, or check your email.
  5. Focus on meaning. If your job responsibilities preclude immediate time off try focusing on why the work matters to you. Connecting your current assignment to a larger personal goal will help you fight the temptation to slack off. However, this may provide only temporary relief.

Make sure it’s really burnout. If none of these strategies work, you could be dealing with something more serious. If you’re listless and fatigued but still feel effective on the whole, then it’s probably just burnout. However, if you feel as though you’re not making progress and that the work you do doesn’t seem to matter, it’s a different problem

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Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystems In Oregon

Monday, February 25, 2019
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Northwest Community Credit Union
Community Room
545 E. 8th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401

REGISTER HERE (https://oeda.biz/event/entrepreneurship-innovation-ecosystems-in-oregon/)
*REGISTRATION INCLUDES CLASS MATERIALS, BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND COFFEE/BEVERAGE SERVICE.  STUDENTS WILL HAVE ONLINE ACCESS TO ALL CLASS MATERIALS FOR A PERIOD OF TIME FOLLOWING THE CLASS.

Join us for the next course in the Oregon Economic Development Certification Program to learn about essential features and tools for economic development in Oregon.

Participation in this training session also counts towards the Oregon Certified Economic Developer Program.

Course Information
Entrepreneurship and innovation are growing components of successful economies. As an Oregon Economic Development Professional, it’s important to understand the role entrepreneurs play in your community and how to build supportive ecosystems.

This interactive 8-credit training covers in depth information on the importance of entrepreneurial ecosystems, tools and resources to implement and measure ecosystems in your community, and state-wide collaboration tools.

You’ll leave this interactive training with an understanding of:

  • Overview of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Oregon (Startups, Oregon’s entrepreneurial landscape, Oregon’s advantages)
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation Basics (Startup Life Cycle, Accelerators & Incubators, Investing, Other Funding Mechanisms, Mentoring, Tech Transfer)
  • Supporting Entrepreneurs in Your Community (Creating Community Specific Programs, Ingredients for Success, Do’s and Dont’s with Entrepreneurs)
  • Putting Learning and Resources into Practices (Actionable ways to use the information provided)

Rural Scholarships Available

OEDA is pleased to offer professional development scholarships to rural communities, in partnership with Business Oregon and the Ford Family Foundation. Scholarships are approved on a rolling basis and according to availability of funds.  Individuals that meet the criteria will be notified with an approval email and coupon code. Please await code before registering. Priority is given to applicants that best meet the criteria and that will benefit most from professional development opportunities. View Rural Scholarship Application: 2018 OEDA Professional Development Rural Scholarships

 

Questions? Email Annie Gorski (AGorski@cityofsalem.net) or AJ Foscoli (aj.foscoli@dallasor.gov), our Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs.

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Oregon State Credit Union 2018 Philanthropy

Oregon State Credit Union’s 2018 philanthropic effort will exceed $217,000 in donations and sponsorships as well as more than 7,900 hours of volunteerism conducted by the current staff of 248.

The team performed 87 percent of the hours on their own time including 27 employees who dedicated a late October Saturday to assist in the set-up of the traditional Pastega Lights display enjoyed by tens of thousands during the Holidays at the Benton County Fairgrounds. The credit union also conducted its three annual community shred days in Albany, Corvallis and Keizer taking in 25 tons of sensitive documents from 1,727 motorists who also donated dollars and food to the local area food shares.

The credit union has dedicated dollars to the local Children’s Miracle Network facilities at Doernbecher in Portland and Peace Health in Eugene for seven straight years. With the 2018 check of $32,000, that total now stands at $163,000.

Approximately 180 schools and nonprofits located within the credit union’s 24-county field of membership in Oregon benefited from the credit union’s 2018 philanthropic effort. The total also included capital project gifts to the Corvallis Boys and Girls Club, ABC House, Linn Benton Community College and multi-year annual commitments to the Oregon State University College of Business.

The credit union supports scholarships established at the universities and community colleges in our counties with branch presence including OSU, Western Oregon University, Linn-Benton, Oregon Coast and Chemeketa community colleges. In addition, the credit union has a long established Tomorrow’s Leaders Today scholarship program that is now in its 20th year and has awarded 191 scholarships to high school seniors on their way to a college or university in the state of Oregon. That program currently selects ten recipients for scholarships of $2,000 each. Education grants awarded to schools through teacher online requests totaled $15,000 benefitting 6,906 students in our field of membership.

Oregon State Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative serving 24 western and central Oregon counties. Additional credit union information including detail of this philanthropy and volunteerism is available at oregonstatecu.com.

 

https://www.oregonstatecu.com/dallas-oregon-branch

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Dallas School District #2

Dear Dallas Community,

The Oregon School Boards Association has set aside the month of January to honor the unpaid elected volunteers who serve on Oregon’s 197 local school boards, our 19 education service district boards, and our 17 community college boards. These dedicated local leaders give their personal time and energy to handling the critical tasks of budgeting and overseeing the management of Oregon’s public education structure.

For Dallas School District we have five directors who lead our district and bring collectively 44 years of experience! Please join us in recognizing and celebrating the Dallas Board of Directors; Michael Blanchard, Michael Bollman, Dave Hunt, Matt Posey, and Jon Woods. We greatly appreciate their leadership, time, expertise, and always asking the question; “Is it good for kids?” Thank you Dallas community for selecting great leaders!

Michelle Johnstone

Superintendent

To all those that serve on the school boards, thank you from the Dallas community and parents. It is thanks to your hard work, and generosity that Dallas schools are committed to high levels of learning for all students. You work hard to partner with our community to provide social, academic, and health and safety need of our students. We are proud to support education and our youth.

https://www.dallas.k12.or.us/

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