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MAY 2017


In This Issue:

Turnover: HR’s Dirty Little Word (At Least One of Them, Anyway)

By Carey Klosterman, PHR, Director, Research and Compensation Services
Cascade Employers Association

TURNOVER: the rate at which employees leave a workforce and are replaced.

Turnover is one of the most challenging issues an organization can face, as well as one of the most costly. In today’s economy, retention of quality employees has never been more important, as employees have more choices and options for employment than ever before. “Loyalty” may be a thing of the past, as employees who stayed put and were just thankful for having a job may now be at a point where years of going without choices has lead them to feel less engaged and on the lookout for something better.

With that said, an organization’s retention efforts are critical to avoid that dirty little word ... turnover. Turnover illustrates what is happening with the organization and can tell a lot about:

  • How well company policies and procedures are working ... if at all
  • How effective company leadership is, and
  • How the culture of the organization has been affected by those who have chosen to leave the organization

There are things we know to be true about turnover in general.

  • Regular evaluation and measurement of turnover is important. Turnover can be extremely costly to the organization, not only financially yet in terms of culture and perception as well. Let’s look at two different scenarios to evaluate the estimated annual financial costs associated with turnover:
    Turnover Graphic
  • Turnover is not necessarily always bad. It could be a blessing in disguise when low performers or “thorns” choose to leave the organization. This could also result in happier more engaged employees when the bad apple leaves the bunch! Turnover can also result in fresh, new, innovative ideas being brought into the organization.
  • There is no way to control turnover 100%. Being an at-will state means that our employees are free to leave when they choose. However, creating an engaged workforce and culture where employees feel heard, feel appreciated, and feel supported will get you one step closer to retaining quality employees and avoiding that dirty little word ... turnover.

We talked about what we know to be true about turnover. Now let’s talk about what you can do to either avoid it or be more strategic about it. Here are the top 6 ways to retain your most valuable talent:

  1. Pay: Make it competitive. Make it fair.
  2. Flexibility: Offer it. Employees want it. Your business will benefit from it.
  3. Autonomy: Give employees the freedom to meet goals in their own way.
  4. Respect: Need I say more?
  5. Engaging work: Make those 2080 hours count!
  6. Hire smart: Know your people. Match skills and abilities with employee passion and where they will be most successful.

Consider using a tool like © The Predictive Index that will enable you to make sound hiring decisions as well as retain some of your most valuable assets. The cost of a bad-hire can equal up to 30% of the annual salary of a position (according to the US Labor Board). Other sources quote multiples of 5X or 10X salary! An accurate analysis ensures you will select candidates who are the best fit for the role, work environment, and company culture. It allows managers to determine the best way to coach, train, and properly onboard specific employees so they will hit the ground running.

For help limiting your turnover, crafting compensation philosophy, or for more information on the Predictive Index, give us a call.


Five Things You May Not Know About JB Instant Lawn, Inc. –
Featured Member

JB Instant Lawn LogoBy Gayle Klampe, President
Cascade Employers Association

Until the 1960s, the idea of having an instant, new green lawn was still foreign in the Western states. Did you know...

  1. Paul Jensen, the founder of JB Instant Lawn, and his brother began farming a small plot of land in the early 1950’s on the rich soil just outside of Silverton, Oregon. This was the beginning of the brothers’ specialty grass seed production.
  2. Throughout the 1960’s the brothers became one of the largest Blue Grass growers in the region. Their ensuing direct involvement with sod growers outside of the region led the Jensens to become the original pioneers of the West Coast sod market beginning in 1968..
  3. Paul took the lead during those initial pioneering years and spent much of his time on the road selling, promoting and creating demand for the still-foreign sod product. Within a decade he had established a firm market not only in the Willamette Valley but as far north as the Canadian border. Thus a second sod production farm was established in Redmond, Washington.
  4. In 1998 the company expanded its Redmond farm to include wholesale nursery plants, supplying customers throughout the densely populated Seattle area.
  5. Now leading the charge at JB is Paul’s daughter Anne-Marie, and son-in-law Mark who is President and Farm Manager. And the JB fleet of trucks continues to deliver products from the California border to the Canadian border with no signs of slowing down.

Cascade is proud to feature JB Instant Lawn, a member with “grass” in their family roots and a leader in the Green Industry.


Hot Compliance Question

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

Question: Is it permissible to have a policy that states we do not hire anyone with any criminal convictions?

Answer: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided guidance to employers regarding the use of criminal conviction and arrest records in hiring. According to the EEOC guidance, blanket policies that exclude everyone with a criminal conviction may disproportionately impact certain protected classes such as race and gender, even when the policies are applied equally and consistently.

To minimize risk in this area, when considering criminal convictions employers should take into account the nature of the conviction, how recent the conviction was, frequency of convictions and how those factors affect the specific job for which the applicant is applying.

For example, if you have a position which requires the employee to enter private residences, applicants with convictions of physical violence or theft may not be considered. Based on the nature of the convictions, such an exclusion may be justified because the job puts employees in situations where they may often be alone with customers or clients and would have access to private and personal belongings and information.


Tips for HR Ninjas: Let’s Talk Reasonable Accommodations

By Bethany Wright, HR Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

Did you know that over 28,000 claims were filed under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in just 2016 alone?1. In the same year, over $131 million dollars were awarded to claimants, and that doesn’t even include money awarded for claims that went through litigation. That is a lot of money.

With so many amendments made to the definition of a disability under the ADA in 2008, it is unlikely that your business doesn’t currently employ someone who has a disability. What does this mean? Well, it means that all you Ninjas out there need to be fully versed in the “interactive process,” so you’re prepared when someone you employ requests an accommodation.

These are some steps to follow when you find yourself with an employee who may be requesting an accommodation at work:

  1. Talk to the employee to discuss their needs and establish what they are requesting as an accommodation.
  2. Have the employee complete an accommodation request form that lists out both the reason for the accommodation, as well as the type of accommodation they are requesting.
  3. Provide the employee with medical certification documents to take to his or her doctor. These documents will help determine if the employee has a disability, as defined by the ADA; as well as the physical and/or mental limitations of the employee's disability.
  4. Provide some sort of confirmation document if the accommodation they have requested is deemed reasonable; or, denial documentation if the accommodation is deemed not reasonable.
  5. Remember, keep the conversation going. Not all accommodations are quick and easy to identify. A good rule of thumb is that the first to shut down communication is the first to lose the case.

If you need help determining what sort of reasonable accommodation could be offered, is a great place to find the many different types of job accommodations available.

If you follow the above steps any time this situation occurs, you can help ensure your company is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

When all else fails, give us a call!



Federal Contractor Update

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

While we do expect more substantial changes from the new administration moving forward, things have been fairly quiet on the federal contractor front over the last month.

One small change that did happen was a revision to the VEVRAA hiring benchmark. As a reminder, the benchmark is the minimum percentage goal that an organization must set for veteran hires. That figure was 6.9% of hires for plans with a plan date of March 4, 2016 or later. For plans with a plan date of March 31, 2017 or later, federal contractors can adopt a lower benchmark of 6.7%, meaning 6.7% of a contractor's hires are expected to be veterans. For contractors that are missing this benchmark, OFCCP expects the organization to engage in expanded outreach efforts to boost the number of qualified veteran applicants and hires.

For federal contractors who are having Cascade do their plan for them, we will automatically adjust this benchmark moving forward unless the contractor wishes to set a higher benchmark.

For more information about your organization’s federal contracting obligations or information about scheduling an affirmative action audit, contact Cascade today!


Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Consumer Price Indexes listed were issued April 14, 2017 for March data. 1982-84 = 100, unless otherwise noted.





Avg. 2nd 







Avg. 2nd




Note: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of certain retail goods and services. CPI-W consists of urban households whose primary source of income is derived from the employment of wage earners and clerical workers. CPI-U includes wage earners and clerical workers, salaried workers, the self-employed, retirees, and the unemployed.

US Department of Labor Historical CPI Data


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