Recruit, Inspire & Retain

February 2006

Ideas for "Marketing" and Providing "Customer Service" to Current and Potential Employees

Great Training for Great Employees

Visit our website,
800-469-3560 FAX 815-469-0886



bullet RECRUIT - Shortages — Elderly Achievers — Never Too Young to Start – Tips from the Feds
bullet Things My Mother Taught Me
bullet Cool Calls
bullet INSPIRE - Creating a Buzz—For a Good Cause
bullet TRAIN -  You’ll “Lose” People Unless You Get Them Involved
bullet RETAIN - Creative Orientation Solution to High Turnover Rate
bullet Fun Days to Celebrate/Professional Development Conferences/Ways to Volunteer & Give
(E-mail Us For Ways to Celebrate the FUN Days to Celebrate)

FREE 1 year subscription to the 1st 5 people who respond! Click here

Learn more about these MemCards (books on cards)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain


READERS! If you find an article worthy of Recruit, Inspire & Retain, please send it (with a note telling us where you found it)

Remember, Recruit, Inspire & Retain back issues are available at

We encourage you to use these articles in your own communications with staff and customers/members.

If this was forwarded to you, get your own copy FREE!


Shortages — Elderly Achievers — Never Too Young to Start – Tips from the Feds

"Over a quarter-million math and science teachers are needed. That is like a ticking time bomb not just for technology companies, but for business and the U.S. economy." – IBM Foundation head Stanley Litow, on the company’s offer to subsidize employees who leave to become schoolteachers.

Oldies but Goodies. There are a lot of "older" workers available and a lot will become a really lot in the coming years. Think older workers aren’t quick enough, or too steeped in old ways:
Michelangelo completed his final frescoes, in the Vatican’s Pauline Chapel, at 75.
Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal glasses at 78 to help correct his own poor vision.
Giuseppe Verdi finished "Falstaff", his final opera, just 8 months shy of his 80th birthday.
Georgia O’Keefe continued painting well into her 80s, despite failing eyesight.
Frank Lloyd Wright worked on the Guggenheim Museum until his death at 91.
Martha Graham danced until 76, then kept choreographing 20 years longer.

Get potential employees excited about your industry and your business early:
  Marlin Kaplan, Cleveland, OH, recently guided 30 6th graders through a 5-week program that culminated in a dinner party for their families. The Dinner Party Project, produced by Spoons Across America, teaches children about nutrition, food safety, meal planning, table setting, etiquette, and cooking. "The children were quite stunned at what they were able to produce and a 10-year old came to me after dinner saying he decided to become a cook," says Marlin.
  Cesare Cassella, chef/owner, Beppe, NY, NY, volunteers with Slow Food’s Harvest Time in Harlem and the American Institute of Wine & Food’s Day of Taste, teaching children to respect the seasonality of food and to eat as naturally as possible. "Kids enjoy trying new foods, and when they go home, they influence their parents," says Cesare. "One kid told me he had never eaten anything green – imagine that."
  The Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai, CA, offers internships to teenage graduates of an intergenerational project called PB&J (People Bonding & Joining) where, for 12 weeks, they have worked alongside retired seniors, planning and executing menus. "The interns are treated as crew and have been an important addition to our staff – one has decided to pursue pastry," says Bernard Collin PB&J director.
  At Charlie Trotter’s, Chicago, IL, twice a week high school students have dinner in the studio kitchen. "It’s a chance to have an experience they might not otherwise be exposed to," says Molly Glover, assistant to Chef Trotter. "Our team members, many of whom come from different backgrounds, speak about their own career path and approach to personal excellence."

52% of the 1.9 million-member federal workforce will be eligible to retire in the next 5 years. Agencies are scrambling to plug the coming brain drain and give prospective employees a sense of why public service matters. Some agencies are showing real ingenuity. The CIA enlisted TV spy Jennifer Garner, star of the ABC drama Alias, to recruit young employees and other agencies have added a host of recruitment programs. These include student loan repayments of up to $60,000, hiring bonuses up to 100% of salary, and fast-track entry to bypass the regular hiring process.

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting, & Orienting New Employees, by Diane Arthur
Get the Best, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate Catherine Fyock. (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

 Back to the top


Things My Mother Taught Me

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

My mother taught me LOGIC.
"Because I said so, that's why."

My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you."

PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous posters that are pre-set to work on “auto-pilot”. Makes a great “WELCOME” message or enhancement to your session break. Runs about 5 minutes, and is set to automatically recycle. You can add in your own slides. (a great place to slip in your objectives!) Get your PowerPoint screen show here!
Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS you see in TRAINING SYSTEMS' group training and conference bookstores? E-mail or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of the topics you need.

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Back to the top


* The Society for Human Resource Management's online Recruiting & Staffing Library published No More Recruiting For Top Spots: Use Succession Planning Only, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. President, Carolyn B. Thompson, in the January 2006 issue. Get a copy by emailing

Back to the top


Creating a Buzz—For a Good Cause

One day a week, Ken Zaiken sits in a doctor’s office, awaiting chemotherapy treatment. Then he thinks of the other office, the one where he works, and, specifically, of the people with whom he shares that office. And at that point, Zaiken, who’s battling Hodgkin’s disease for the second time, feels thankful.

In July, doctors found a mass deep in Zaiken’s abdomen, near his bladder. It was a recurrence of the Hodgkin’s disease he was treated for some 18 years earlier. Zaiken was told chemotherapy would begin immediately.

When the vice president of research and development informed his co-workers at Lakeview Technology of his condition, they responded by offering their emotional and financial support. And by breaking out the electric razors. On August 11, Lakeview’s Rochester, MN, office put on a rally for Zaiken where about 30 employees volunteered to have their heads shaved. Most were from Rochester, but a few came in from the Chicago-area headquarters. And at least 1 employee from across the pond at Lakeview’s Leaven, Belgium, facility got her own buzz cut.

The event was not only a show of camaraderie for Zaiken, who was 4 weeks into chemotherapy at the time, but also a fund-raise for the American Cancer Society. By the end of August, more than $5,000 had been raised from pledges to those who submitted to the shears. Dennis Schmidt, a user-interface developer at Lakeview, came up with the idea for what is dubbed the "Z-Team" initiative. His inspiration comes from deeply personal experience. Schmidt’s wife, Joan, 48, died of breast cancer in early 2004. "The staff here was incredibly supportive to me," Schmidt says, "I know what that support means."

Z-Team buttons abounded at the rally, which was attended by Lakeview employees and family members, and chronicled by the local newspaper and TV stations. While the cause was serious, levity—and family—dominated the day. Bob Wysick, a Lakeview programmer, got his hair buzzed: his wife, Nina, did the honors. Meanwhile, Doug Curier, software engineer, took a seat so his seven children could take turns rubbing his newly stubbly scalp. Of course Zaiken’s family—wife, Mary, children, 19 year old Beth, 17 year old Jessica and 12 year old Michael, along with Mary’s mother, Millie Canfield—was on hand, too.

Zaiken, who had come from chemotherapy the morning of the rally, admits he found his co-workers’ actions overwhelming. "This is very moving, very uplifting and totally unexpected," he says. "I wasn’t the only one in that doctor’s office, but I don’t know that anyone else there had going for them what I have going for me."

From Eserver Magazine, November 2005

Make a Comment/Question

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Life Principles: Feeling Good by Doing Good, by Bruce Weinstein
How to Have Fun @ Work, by Dave Hemsath & Leslie Yerkes, call
800-469-3560 or email, (10% off for RIR subscribers)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Back to the top


You’ll "Lose" People Unless You Get Them Involved

Trainers need to expect to "lose" some people at some point during the learning. Especially if it’s facilitated training: learners can process speech at the speed of 400-600 words per minute, while trainers typically talk at 125 words per minute. That slow speed causes learners to "tune out", so be prepared to apply some of the following techniques:

Give examples related to what learners are seeing on transparencies, PowerPoint screens, and workbook pages rather than just reading them aloud.

Illustrate with interesting analogies and stories to pique interest.

Create games like contests and word puzzles to reinforce terms and concepts.

Give out prizes for participation.

Infuse the session with your own energy. Pick up the pace and use really short segments of learning. Sound bites. Tag lines. Slogans. One-liners. The 30 second spot. The 60 second take. Small chunks of information dished up in short snippets of time. In television dominate cultures, learners are used to this mode of information delivery: short and quick. Lengthy lectures are out. Short information chunks are in. Keeping this trend in mind, and using what we know about learning that sticks, those of us who are involved in the business of helping others learn need to design and deliver learning that uses shorter segments of time more effectively. We need to create learning experiences that are built on 2 fundamental learning principles of the 21st Century: shorter segments of instruction are better than longer ones, and learners remember more when they are involved in the learning. Involving learners before, during, and after short segments of instruction is also the basis of brain-compatible training.

Here’s an example from Sharon Bowman, the master of short segments of learning:


What is a Mark-Up?

You instruct learners to mark their written material in certain ways so that they will remember the information longer. According to educational research, most learners only remember about 10% of what they read. If they interact with the written information in some way, the probability increases that learners will remember more. And since a Mark-Up is kinesthetic—that is, it requires movement—participants who learn through doing will find it easier to pay attention when listening.

With a Mark-Up, learners will:
Remain focused on the written material in front of them.
Think about the information as they read it.
Analyze the new information while reading it.
Make the written material more meaningful and memorable.
Find the written key points more quickly after the training is over.
Review written information more easily later.

Mark-Up Ideas
Draw a square (a circle) around this important word (words, phrases).
Cross out the least important sentence on this page.
Connect this word (words, phrase) to that word with a line or arrow.
Put a star or check mark (sticker or dot) in front of this item (sentence, bulleted point)
Underline (or highlight) the main idea in this sentence (or the most meaningful words in this section).
If you’ve created a "fill-it in" worksheet, say: As I lecture, fill in the words that are missing on this
page. Or tell learners what to write in the blank spaces.
Quickly read the bulleted items on this page. Circle (or put a dot or sticker beside) the 3 that are
the most important (the most meaningful, the most useful) to you.
Silently skim this section. Draw a question mark beside any sentence that you have a question
about or that you want more clarification about.
Write the words "I will use this" ("I will remember this", "This is a wow") beside 3 ideas on this
On this page, write the words, "I agree" or "I disagree" beside each paragraph. Or write "useful" or
"not useful" beside the information.

Excerpts adapted from The Ten Minute Trainer: 150 Ways to Teach It Quick & Make It Stick,
by our beloved colleague Sharon Bowman.

Make a Comment/Question

Get more tips on training great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

The Ten Minute Trainer: 150 Ways to Teach It Quick & Make It Stick!, by Sharon Bowman
Preventing Death by Lecture, by Sharon Bowman  
Both available at (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Back to the top


Creative Orientation Solution to High Turnover Rate

Nationwide, the school-age population is surging, and the departure of baby-boom-age faculty at Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas—thanks to pension plans that allow them to retire with full benefits in their mid-50s—already is creating a dire situation. Over the next decade, public schools across the country will need 2.4 million new teachers—nearly as many as the 2.8 million presently at work in classrooms.

While college education programs are scrambling to produce graduates to meet the need, these novices have an alarmingly high washout rate. Nationwide, 30 to 50% of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years because of poor performance or because they are disillusioned (luckily the rate is only 13% at Blue Valley).

Blue Valley administrators knew that just filling jobs with new hires wouldn’t work. Research indicates that it takes a teacher several years to develop the skills needed to reach children with different learning styles. For the school district to keep its lofty reputation intact, new hires had to stay long enough to develop into talented veterans. The problem wasn’t a lack of quality applicants. Blue Valley’s reputation and pay scale, the fourth-best compensation among Kansas school districts, attracted 10 for each opening. Instead, new teachers who should have succeeded weren’t making it.

Sandra Chapman, Director of HR, and others gradually realized that a solution would require major changes in the initiation process for teachers. In the past, rookies had plunged in with little formal help from administrators or experienced colleagues.

Thus, Blue Valley developed the Alliance for Educational Excellence program, a new-teacher-development initiative providing orientation seminars, workplace mentoring, and continual in-the-classroom evaluation and training to help new teachers improve their performance. The program gives new teachers an opportunity to build on their academic credentials with a master’s degree from the University of Kansas through a special program in which they can actually take many of their classes at Blue Valley and conduct research on issues in their own classrooms.

Another distinctive aspect of the program is the district’s extensive use of surveys and feedback to continually monitor and improve the program’s performance. Finally, the program is a product of partnership. On one level, it’s an alliance that includes school-district administrators and the local teachers’ union, who’ve put aside their sometimes divergent interests to work together, and the University of Kansas. But on another level, it also is a cooperative effort between the district’s HR professionals and veteran teachers, who’ve been persuaded by HR to contribute many hours of work--with only modest compensation--to help their new peers.

The results of the Alliance initiative have been startling. Since implementing the program in 1999, Blue Valley hasn’t had to fire any new teachers for poor performance. Given the previous 13% rate, that’s a net gain of 27 veteran teachers who might not otherwise be in the classroom.

6 days of training at start of school year, much of it from veteran teachers teaching fundamentals such as curriculum, instruction, classroom management, workplace culture and community expectations for teacher performance.
Demonstration classroom, where new teachers spend a half day in the classroom of a veteran teacher mentorship program that pairs new and more experienced teachers who are in the same grade or subject. The mentors are volunteers and receive a nominal $400 stipend for their efforts. To qualify, mentors receive 10 hours of specialized training on coaching techniques.
Continual critiques to improve—and validate—performance, implemented by four veteran teachers, who take 3 years off from the classroom to work with new hires and help them develop their skills. Each peer assistant has a caseload of 25 to 30 new teachers. The veteran meets with his or her charges at least eight times in the course of the year, and spends much of that time actually observing the novice teacher in the classroom.
Optional master’s degree in education — new teachers have a chance to take 9 credit hours of classes taught in the evenings at school-district buildings by university professors and school-district staff members. They use textbooks supplied by the district.

Adapted from Workforce, 9/02 Blue Valley’s Lessons in Retention

Make a Comment/Question

Get more tips on retaining great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Straight Talk for Employers: Recruit, Inspire & Retain Great Employees (2 audiotape set) by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Carolyn B. Thompson (especially the section on new employee orientation). (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions)

Creative New Employees Orientation Programs, by Doris Sims

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Back to the top


February is...
Library Lovers Month
Get Inspired Month — get a great start by celebrating Inspire Your Employees to Excellence Day, February 1st, sponsored by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.!

February 8-14 – Love & Laughter Week
February 16-22 – Love Your Pet Week
February 22-28 – Pancake Week
February 1 – Inspire Your Employees to Excellence Day
February 3 – Carrot Cake Day
February 4 – Thank a Mailperson Day
February 5 – Chocolate Fondue Day
February 6 – Compliment Day
February 8 – Smiles are Contagious Day
February 9 – Pizza Pie Day
February 10 – Umbrella Day
February 11 – White Shirt Day
February 13 – I Value Our Friendship Day
February 14 – Valentine’s Day
February 16 – President’s Day
February 17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day
February 18 – World Thinking Day
February 20 – Be Humble Day & Cherry Pie Day (but aren’t we supposed to eat humble pie?)
February 22 – Teddy Bear Day
February 23 – Banana Bread Day
February 24 – Obnoxious Day (some people celebrate this every day!)


February 24-25, 2006
Laurie Beth Jones Train-the-Trainer PEP Event, Addison, TX,

February 26-28, 2006
ASAE’s The Great Ideas Conference, Coronado Bay Resort, San Diego, CA,

February 26-28, 2006
IADIS International Conference Web Based Communities 2006, San Sebastian, Spain,

March 6-8, 2006
Gartner Business Intelligence Summit, Chicago, IL,

March 10-12, 2006
Dave Barry’s Hoot Camp, Embassy Suites, Tampa, FL,

March 12-15, 2006
Questionmark 2006 Users Conference, San Francisco, CA,

March 15-18, 2006
19th Annual International Mentoring Association Conference, Chicago, IL,

March 17-18, 2006
Laurie Beth Jones Path for Adults: Personal Growth, Phoenix, AZ,

March 29-31, 2006
Dave Meier’s 3-day Accelerated Learning Training Methods Workshop, Orlando, FL,

March 31-April 3, 2006
Humor Project Cruise to the BaHAHAHAmas, from Miami to Bahamas,

April 6-7, 2006
Managing for Impact: HR Metrics and Firm Performance, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY,

April 10-12, 2006
Dave Meier’s 3-day Accelerated Learning Training Methods Workshop, Atlanta, GA,

April 18-21, 2006
15th Annual Association of Australian Career Counselors (AACC) Conference, Sydney, Australia,

April 23-26, 2006
Strategic Leadership for Women in Human Resources, Simmons School of Management, Boston, MA,

April 24-28, 2006
Leadership Development for HR Professionals, CCL campus, Colorado Springs, CO,

June 22-23, 2006
Accelerated Learning Advanced Design Class, Lake Geneva, WI,

June 25-28, 2006
SHRM's 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Washington, DC,

July 7-9, 2006
National Career Development Association 2006 Conference, Chicago, IL, 1-866-FOR-NCDA

July 26-30, 2006
WorldFuture 2006: Creating Global Strategies for Humanity’s Future, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

Enter the 2006 ASAE Associations Advance America Awards!
February 17, 2006 is the deadline for programs conducted between October 2005 and January 2006.
May 2, 2006 is the deadline for programs conducted between January 2006 and April 2006.
For details on eligibility and award categories, go to


Give a Little Love:
The easiest way to feel good is to do good! The following sites let you donate to all your favorite charities in 1 place.
Network for Good (
JustGive (
GuideStar (


Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation,

Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.

Find local Electronics recyclers at and

Back to the top

Get FREE access to great recruiting, inspiring, training & retaining tips, ideas & resources where you can:

* Download articles for your newsletter!!!
* Use free online assessments!
* Purchase books, tapes & fun incentives to help you & your employees be the best!
* Get new tips each month on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining great employees!
*Have a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Send E-mail, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at 
* Click on links to great managing and training websites!
* Purchase our famous inspirational quote posters!
* Get answers to your employee recruiting, inspiring, retaining, & training questions from our experts!


Copyright 2006 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


Remember, you can get issues you missed at our Website For older (pre-1997) issues, call 800-469-3560 or send an E-mail.

An ideal way to introduce new ideas or stimulate learning with the employees in your organization.
Article reprints can also serve as a powerful promotional or sales tool - include them with your
brochures, newsletters & media kits. For complete information on article reprints or copyright
permission, call 1-800-469-3560 or E-mail

We’d love to print your articles on recruiting, inspiring, training and retaining employees. E-mail
your article.

**We’ll be back next month with more great tips, ideas, success stories, and information to help you recruit, inspire, train, & retain great employees!

RECRUIT, INSPIRE & RETAIN contains links to websites operated by organizations other than TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  These links are for your convenience and we assume
no responsibility for the content or operations of those sites.

RECRUIT, INSPIRE & RETAIN is a free e-zine of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., published 12 times/year. Editor: Carolyn B. Thompson, Data Entry: Patti Lowczyk (Lowczyk Secretarial), HTML: Debbie Daw ( Visit us at soon!
SUBSCRIBE (it's FREE) - send blank E-mail to:

UNSUBSCRIBE - send blank E-mail to:

Change your E-mail address (we want to keep you!) - unsubscribe under your old address (send blank E-mail
to: then subscribe your new address (send blank E-mail to: