Developing a Mission & Vision Statement

I’ve been doing some background work for a strategic planning session with a board committee which will include reviewing and updating our chamber mission statement and crafting a vision statement.  I’ve helped develop both in my career, but was looking for a tool that could help guide our process as I’ve used templates and tools before for this. 

I found this great 4 page worksheet that is simple and helps you develop those two strategic statements.  As many businesses are developing their next year plan I thought I’d share it.

This worksheet is free to download at this link.  

Hope you find it helpful!  Debi Mollahan, CEO, Tigard Chamber

Now Accepting 2019 Tigard Chamber Scholarship Applications

Tigard, OR – The Tigard Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the application process for the 2019 high school senior scholarships is now open! The Chamber will provide three scholarships in the amount of $1000 each to graduating seniors that will be continuing their education at either a trade school, professional training, two year college or 4 year college. These scholarships are made possible through the generous donations of Pride Disposal, over 80 Tigard Chamber Members and other sponsors.

To be eligible to apply, students must live in or attend school in the 97223 or 97224 zip codes. They must also be planning to pursue a career in the fields of business, the trades, or non-profit work. The committee will be looking for students that have demonstrated participation in extra curricular activities and/or after school employment and has a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Students wishing to apply for the scholarship must fill out the scholarship application and provide an unofficial transcript that goes through Junior Year. They will also need to submit a one page essay that is 250 words or less on a goal they are passionate about.

In addition, two letters of recommendation from teachers, club advisors, or employers will need to be provided. For a complete copy of the scholarship application, check with your high school career center/ guidance counselor or visit the Tigard Chamber of Commerce website at For questions, please contact the chamber office at (503)-639-1656.

Completed applications are due in the Tigard Chamber office (12345 SW Main Street Tigard, OR 97223) by 4:00 pm on March 1, 2019 or postmarked or emailed by that date.

The scholarship award winners will receive a phone call informing them of their award. They will also formally receive their scholarship award at the 45th Annual Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Gala. This event will be held on Friday, May 3, 2019 from 5 to 9 PM at Embassy Suites Hotel – Washington Square, our event location host. With a theme of travel, this elegant themed event includes a silent auction, dinner, dessert dash, awards and more.

For further details about the Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Gala, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at, or go to our website at

About the Tigard Chamber of Commerce

A vibrant, supportive, interconnected business community where strength through collaboration and power through partnership. Build Business. Growing Together.

How in the World Do I Increase Employee Productivity?

It’s holiday time as I write this and countless employees across various industries have told me they aren’t in the mood to work. Sound familiar? Even if your employees haven’t been so brash as to tell you this, it’s likely their struggling. And if they’re struggling, your business is too.

But you don’t want to come off as Ebenezer Scrooge!

So how do you get your employees more focused and productive without alienating them and decreasing morale? It takes a balance but these productivity and motivation tips can get you through the holidays and all the other times as well.

5 Ways to Improve Employee Productivity and Motivation

First, decide what it is that your team and culture are lacking. Are they meeting customer needs or exceeding them? Are they adhering to their job description but not doing anything that is wowing you? Is it an individual or the whole team that needs help? Understanding the source and the depth of the productivity/motivation issue is essential to curing it.

For instance, if it’s one person and nothing you try is changing it, the solution may be as simple as switching out that person. However, if it’s an entire team, the issue is much deeper than a single hiring situation.  

Communicate Expectations

Often job expectations can be found in the job description, but not always. If your culture is one that the employee should pitch in to help anyone who needs it, this should be communicated ahead of time. If the customer is always right, this too should be communicated. Whatever expectations you have for the team should be addressed early and often.

Knowing what’s expected of them will help them achieve their goals and feel like a valuable part of the team. On the other hand, having certain expectations that they don’t meet because they didn’t know about them, only serves to alienate the employee and bring on feelings of failure. That doesn’t make anyone more productive. 

Provide an Inspiring Work Environment

A safe, naturally-lit, comfortable, and clean workplace with few distractions is best for productive employees as a general rule. But it also can benefit you to know how your team works best. While studies have shown open workspaces aren’t the key to productivity for most people, especially introverts, they might be perfect for your group if they love brainstorming and creative collaboration. Talk to them and find out how they work best. Also, find out what’s important to them around the office. Sometimes a snack machine can make all the difference.  

Clear the Obstacles and Provide the Right Tools

A manager or boss’ job is two-fold, helping with professional development to make them the best employee possible and clearing the obstacles that impede employees from doing their jobs. Doing this will keep discouragement at bay and make them feel like you have their back. People work harder for those they feel protected by.

Deal with Issues Immediately

Never ignore a productivity issue believing it will go away. If you think a productivity issue exists because one of your employees is dealing with a personal problem, take the time to speak with them about it and find out if there’s anything you can do. In some cases, they may be eligible for leave while they straighten things out. While that’s not ideal, it’s better than having someone at your business who is bringing others down because of their lack of productivity and what others assume is you not addressing it.

If it’s seasonal, it still must be dealt with. Every day that you have an uninspired employee working for you is one more day a customer sees that lack of motivation as a reflection on you and your company. You can’t afford an off day so make sure everyone understands the importance of their role and how they fit in. This can be very inspiring.

On the other hand, if it’s not a personal problem but rather a bad attitude, you need to address it quickly before it begins to bring others down too. Don’t assume it will rectify itself. After all, misery loves company.

Give Rewards That Mean Something (to your employees)

Don’t assume what you love is what they will love. If you’re rewarding someone for doing something amazing, find out what means the most to them. Some love cash, while others want a day off.

Whatever they prefer, make sure you also recognize them in public. Yes, some people find this embarrassing but it’s necessary so that everyone knows why they are being singled out. It sets an example for the team.

If you’re struggling with employee productivity, it’s time to take action. Get to the bottom of the issues, clear the path to doing their job, and deal with issues decisively. When employees trust youo take care of matters, they will respond with more interest and desire to do a great job.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine,, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.  

Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

10 Things to Check Before Posting to Social Media

One of the most embarrassing things you can do on social media for your business is to mess up a post. For some of us, that might be a spelling or grammar mistake, for others, it may involve a humiliating auto-correct situation. For others still, it might mean giving away a company secret earlier than intended. Whatever it is that you’ve done or might do, you can ensure it doesn’t happen again with this handy social media post checklist.

Social Media Post Checklist

Very little can be taken back on social media. A mistake in a post can be embarrassing or deeply troubling to your PR department. It can alienate customers or cause them to question your professionalism. Before hitting send, post, or tweet, run your potential post through this handy checklist.

  1. Proofread before sending to avoid silly mistakes. We all love spell check but it’s not always enough. Spell check doesn’t always catch homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently) and depending on your settings, it may not catch a misspelled word if you have it in caps or it is capitalized. Don’t forget to double-check auto-correct issues, especially when sending from your phone. However, never blame autocorrect for your mistakes as it usually only corrects your words with frequently used ones.
  2. Be funny, not offensive. Humor is great but not if it alienates customers, vendors, or partners. You can lose lucrative relationships over something as simple as a tweet. You’d be surprised how few second chances are given on social media.
  3. Use sarcasm sparingly and obviously. Are you saying what you mean? What is your tone conveying? Is that the only way it could be interpreted? Sarcasm is very difficult to master in print or on social media. Just look at Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal where he <satirically> suggested eating children in order to solve the problems of famine and poverty in the early 1700s. Many believed his idea to be a serious proposal. It is much better to use the strong words you mean than to post something in jest. Meaning can be lost in social media unless you accompany it with some emotional clues like emojis.
  4. Check stats and claims. If you’re quoting a source make sure you haven’t transposed numbers or wrongly attributed a claim. Ensure you use a “not” if that’s what you mean. After all, there’s a big difference between 3 billion and .3 million as well as 83% of adults are on Facebook or 83% of adults aren’t on Facebook. There are also a lot of people on social media who enjoy correcting people.
  5. Check your quote. Quotes, especially image quotes, receive some of the biggest shares out there. However, before you attribute something to a famous person, check the sources. There are entire books written on this subject and some very famous quotes are often misattributed. For instance, Gandhi never said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” and George Washington never claimed, “I cannot tell a lie, even on the internet.”
  6. Test the link. Always check your link by copying it into another tab and double-checking that it works. When you’re copying and pasting, it’s easy to copy and paste the wrong one or leave off the last character so checking is always advisable.
  7. Double check the image. When you’re using an image from elsewhere, wherever possible give attribution through a tag. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it can help your business. It will call attention to your post and the original content creator will be made aware of you. They may even share your post. Even if you decide not to tag the original content creator, watch for watermarks. If there is one or you’re reposting something that’s been shared by multiple sharers, go to the original site mentioned in the post before you share it. You don’t want to share content that one of your followers could follow back to the original poster only to find it’s an unsavory group.
  8. Use scheduling software. If you use scheduling software, you’re not going live immediately. We all know there’s something inexplicable about posting. Your post looks perfect until you hit the post button then magically all of the errors are visible. (At least that’s how it seems.) If you use a scheduler instead of going live immediately, you’re creating a buffer that will help you see mistakes before they’re in someone’s stream. Many schedulers also have spell-check features.
  9. Use with permission. If you’re posting to social media, always use attributes for quotes and materials. Give the content creator credit for saying/writing it in the first place. That’s common courtesy. However, this becomes much more important when your posting is posting to a blog and not merely a quote. If you’re using a cartoon, song lyrics, more than 10% of a printed work, or an image, and you’re publishing it on a business blog, you should seriously consider getting permission from the content owner. If your usage is for educational purposes, the rights holder may be more lenient. But if you stand to make money off of it, don’t be surprised to receive a cease and desist letter. Grammar rules have become less enforced with social media. Copyright law has not. 
  10. Look at the published post. After you post your item, always double-check it again. Click on the links. Take another look at the spelling and grammar. Some social media platforms (like Facebook) allow you to edit your posts so you could save yourself some issues if you’re the one who catches it.

Finally, if after all of this checking something still escapes your attention and causes someone dismay, remedy the situation quickly. If it’s grammar thank them for their attention to detail and get it corrected. If it’s a public relations issue, consult the appropriate decision maker about how it should be handled. Remember, doing so quickly is your best course of action. That’s why so many businesses have a protocol in place on how to handle a social media faux pas. If you don’t, you should consider making those decisions ahead of needing them.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine,, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.  

Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.