Recruit, Inspire & Retain

March 2003

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

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Attracting the Right People – Easier When You’re Healthy!

The following is taken from training we did with a group of managers & HR staff to help them learn how to assess their organization’s attractiveness to potential employees:

Assess these 9 areas of your organization. Look and write yourself. Have others do the same. Discuss it as a group. Or any combination. Write specific examples of each that everyone will be able to see with their own eyes as opposed to generalities which don’t paint a picture and will cause people to say – “we don’t do this”:

1. Values, mission, vision - Can you recite your organization's mission, vision, values? Can your employees? If you can't, they can't, and if no one can, how can you possibly tell the people you want to bring in? Make your mission short, “jingly” like these examples: “IL Bell will be a customer focused organization.”, “Quality of employee, quality of workplace, quality of customer.”

2. Fiscal - is it healthy or a bit under the weather? Tell the truth, especially if there are problems. Most of the people you want to bring in will be attracted by your honesty. If you don't describe the situation they'll know, they always do and they’ll run from what they perceive to be a sinking ship.

3. Organization structure - make sure it fits your current size and structure. If you've grown or changed the way you do business, like instituting teams, and not changed both the structure - who's responsible to whom and how – as well as the graphic representation – a circle with everyone responsible to each other vs. all reporting up to various managers who aren’t connected to each other, the people you want to bring in will get the wrong message.

4. Policies/procedures - re-examine policies/processes regularly. Things are changing so fast today that many of your procedures and policies from last year will hold your employees and your organization back. When written, they serve as a recruiting tool to let the people you want to bring in see what you're all about, what's expected of them and the benefits of working with you.

5. HRIS - when you have to spread all your files on the floor to find the information on the people you want to bring in, it's time to computerize. You can use your off the shelf or customized software to house the letters, resumes, work examples, tests, even the recruitment marketing strategies you developed for different target markets.

6. Compensation & benefits - make sure they fit the job, your organization and industry and the job market.

7. Staff development - many organizations think they have to have a Training & Development Department to have staff development. All of us train and develop people in some way. We all do it with on-going supervision and co-worker help. What if you don’t have formal staff development? Describing what you do have is more attractive to potential employees than telling what you don’t have.

8. Management philosophy - do you use baseball bat management, a hands-off approach, or a more guide and support approach? Whichever you choose, choose it to fit the people you want to bring in and your organization’s needs so they can see that they’ll be able to be productive and enjoy what they do. And whatever you choose, be consistent between employees.

9. Physical workspace – it doesn't have to be beautiful (ok, if the person you’re bringing in is Ainsley Hayes for Associate White House Counsel and the organization is The West Wing, then the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue will be fine) but it needs to be well lit, comfortable, functional for the person and the job.

Call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. to help you assess your ability to recruit the employees you need! 800-469-3560, or e-mail us at

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Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  • “Effective Recruiting Strategies”, In this workbook style book you'll learn a marketing approach to finding the best candidates and get forms for planning. Available at (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

  • is a great website with free information on how to stay out of trouble with the IRS on issues like: 1099 compliance and contractor employment.

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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

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Participants in “A One-Day Audit of Your HR Practices and Systems” at the CMA Conference.

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1. Name the 5 wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last 5 Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last 5 winners of the Miss America contest.

4. Name 10 people who have won the Noble or Pulitzer prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, it’s difficult to remember the headliners of yesterday. There are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name 3 friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name 5 people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated.

5. Think of 5 people you enjoy spending time with.

6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.


The lesson:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care. Charles Schult

  • 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!
  • BUY PACKS of inspirational posters. (Do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for Training Room Posters (30/pack).)

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*From a conference participant, on the conference bookstore TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. ran: “Thank you so much! I really enjoyed the CMA conference. Thank you for having materials there that I can use to take the things learned from the conference to the next level. I do look forward to learning more about your services and materials. I am cc:ing a staff person who is very instrumental in the training arena for ECCU, in case she would be interested in reviewing your web site.”

More on The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush:

*From an Amazon review of The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: “I will call you sometime to talk about the other ‘reviews’ on Amazon about LGOGWB. I was absolutely livid and wanted to slap their little faces for their glib attitude and arrogant words. I believe that those who do not know history are bound to repeat it. For example, there were those that did not appreciate Ronald Reagan or Winston Churchill and both those men proved themselves worthy of the important role they had in history.”

TRAINING SYSTEMS' response: “Many of those not so nice Amazon reviews come from ‘professional Amazon reviewers’ - take a look at their history by clicking on their weird Amazon names. These guys have written several thousand and they don’t actually read the books, just look at what they said, nothing related to the book. So the words don’t hurt us, but the stars do. All the 5 star reviews from people who actually read it get dragged down by the few when there are only 22 reviews. If you know anyone who read even a part of the book, send them off to write a 5 star review at Amazon. We need lots more reviewers!”

*From a client: “My husband picked up your book, The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush last week for both of us to read. I’m several chapters into it and all I can say is – you are more amazing than ever! Congrats to you and James Ware for a well-crafted book. You both deserve tons of accolades!”

*From an association staff person: “I finished your book over the weekend. THANK YOU. I really enjoyed it. It is amazing how after reading it, you can see the pattern and the reasons behind the decisions that President Bush is making. I hope the sales are going well. I am so happy for you.”

*From a radio host: “You are a fabulous guest and your book is very well written.”

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The Pygmalion Effect

The Pygmalion Effect is the increased achievement that’s due to the high expectations and beliefs of others. The Pygmalion effect gets its name from Greek mythology. The legend is that Pygmalion, who was the King of Cyprus, carved an ivory statue of the ideal woman, who he then named Galatea. Through the strength of his own will and love, and with the assistance of the goddess Venus, the statue was brought to life. This phenomenon of the power of expectations was later the basis for George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” and the musical “My Fair Lady”—stories of how Professor Henry Higgins helps transform Eliza Doolittle from a lowly flower girl to a refined and elegant lady. The Pygmalion effect can also work in the opposite direction——negative or low expectations leading to poor results. This has been dubbed by some as the Golem effect for the Hebrew term for “fool.” What was once the topic of plays and musicals also became the subject of an enormous body of scientific research. In 1968, a classic study showing the potential impact of expectations on school children’s learning achievement rocked the academic world and spawned literally hundreds of related studies as well as harsh criticism from “nay-sayers.” In this study, researcher Dr. Robert Rosenthal, and the principal of an elementary school met with teachers at the beginning of the school year and gave them the names of students who had scored exceptionally high on tests shown to predict intellectual ability. They indicated to the teachers that they could thus expect remarkable gains in achievement from these students during the coming year. At the end of eight months, all of the students took achievement tests which revealed that these “bright students” had on average increased their scores more than the other students. The fact was, though, that the “bright students” had been chosen completely at random. Somehow the higher expectations of the teachers had ultimately been translated into increased learning by those students. The Galatea effect occurs when high self-expectations result in greater personal achievement. This is when we act as our own Pygmalion, fulfilling our own prophecy about ourselves. Creating Galatea effects is also one of the ways in which Pygmalion transfer their high expectations, beliefs, and confidence to employees who then fulfill that positive prophecy. The story below illustrates the power of the Galatea effect:

A big-five accounting firm brought in an academic consultant to help improve staff auditors’ confidence and performance early on. Some oldie professionals were randomly chosen to meet with the consultant whose mission was to increase their confidence to be able to learn and successfully perform the rather complicated and difficult financial audit process. He spoke with them about their past achievements in life, about how they had been hired out of the hundreds who had applied (because they possessed the qualities and abilities that top performers at the firm had), and shared with them the high expectations and confidence of the partners. These employees then received three monthly communications from firm managers or partners expressing their appreciation for the difficulty of tasks the employees had and reinforcing their belief in the employees’ abilities to be successful. At the end of three months these employees still had higher self-confidence than their peers did and half of them were still outperforming the others.

Dr. Albert Bandura discovered that there are three main sources from which we gain information to form opinions of our ability to accomplish given tasks (i.e., our self-confidence).

Three Ways to Create the Galatea Effect

1. Give the Employee Experience:

Our self-confidence grows the more we have experience in a given area. The more we have successfully accomplished things, the greater our self-confidence in that area.

* Lead employees to successfully complete initially small and then progressively more difficult work assignments early on (e.g., a series of practice assignments).

* Provide employees with opportunities to learn and perform sooner, in a variety of ways, and with progressively more difficult assignments. Be sure to tailor the rate and sequence of assignments to ensure that employees sufficiently succeed at each task.

2. Involve Them with Successful Models:

This includes both giving employees the opportunity to sec other employees successfully performing tasks, as well as telling them how others have succeeded. Models have been found to be most influential when—

* The employee can watch the model performing the tasks successfully i.e., to see how they do it (versus just hearing about it).

* The employee perceives the model to be similar to him or herself in terms of age, capability, and other personal characteristics.

* The model succeeds after overcoming initial difficulty, versus succeeding easily.

* The model produces results that are clearly identified as success.

3. Use Verbal Persuasion:

Communicate to employees with messages and in ways that boost their self-confidence and help convince them of their ability to perform at a high level. Research indicates that the following factors are important for the manager and employees. Characteristics of the Manager—

* credibility, sincerity, trustworthiness, expertise, prestige, and familiarity with the demands of the employee’s tasks

* consensus of the messages among multiple managers, directors, etc.

Perceptions of the Employee – influence attempts are ineffective when—

* the employee does not believe that the manager’s behavior is related to the employee’s potential or actual behavior

* the employee thinks that similar encouragement, assistance, or bolstering is given indiscriminately to all workers

* the employee believes that the manager is engaging in these activities simply to inspire him or her to work harder.

Excerpted from CRM Learning’s video “The Pygmalion Effect”

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Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  • “The Pygmalion Effect”, includes Discussion Segments, Leader’s Guide, 10 Participant Workbooks, PowerPoint Presentation on CD-ROM and 25 Reminder Cards. Receive a free preview at http://www.crmlearning.

  • “Motivating At Work: Empowering Employees to Give Their Best” In this workbook style book you'll plan to create the motivating workplace, communicate high expectations to employees and create motivating managers. Available at (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

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An On-the-Job Way to Help Your Employees Improve Their Presentation Skills

You’ll rarely see this column used to describe a training method for a specific skill. But this month, we ran across the greatest idea for presentation skills training on the job.

How about a program where everyone participates in a “Presentations Blitz Campaign” month – each person presents to their colleagues and then gets input on how best to cover key issues, use facial expressions, body language, and pacing. Give the person who’ll give feedback an observation form to make it easy.

Here’s the kicker...then have them “Trade” presentations, with others so that two people have to take the topic presented by a colleague and do something new and radical to get the same information across in a different way.

This way the “trader” gets to:

1. Work with the “tradees” to help them understand the material.

2. See some alternative presentation methods (humorous, no PowerPoint, hands on). It doesn’t really matter too much if the tradee gets the information wrong and connects the elbow to the knee, so to speak, because the objective is the presentation.

3. Participate in a discuss of these alternative methods with the other two after each presentation.

4. At the end the group of three comes up with a consensus of “improvements” that the original presenter is then obligated to incorporate into their presentation.

Then, have the tradees and others attend the new and improved presentation, so they can praise the person’s new presentation.

Objective: Hear them say, “wow, this has been a great experience, I want to keep up a program like this where we all collaborate because I found it’s really great to get out of my routine and get some perspective and some fresh ideas on my presentation. My presentation on XYZ is so much better now...hey, I was thinking about that presentation you do on PQR and I have an idea...I’ll work it up for next Thursday and let’s meet and see what you guys think.”

Thanks, Christie Moon, from training & development listserv.

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Get more tips on training great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  • “Preventing Death By Lecture”, by Sharon Bowman

  • “How to Give It So They Get It”, by Sharon Bowman

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George W. Bush Retains by Giving Recognition & Praise

Your job is to rally the troops. Every single study on what employees want from their managers places “Recognition when I achieve results” at the top or near the top of the list (right after “Honest feedback and coaching on my performance”).

Bush says that people “…must know they have an equal chance to succeed. It doesn’t happen by telling them they are victims at the mercy of outside forces; it happens when they realize they have a worth, a dignity and a free will given by God.” Bush has been able to boost the morale of state workers by conveying his appreciation of their values and dedication. “You don't come into the public service expecting to get any stock options,” Albert Hawkins says, adding that Bush understands and respects employees who seek the less tangible rewards that come from helping others. Bush initiated a “Texas Stars” program to give recognition to employees of programs that excel in meeting targets set under the state's performance-based budgeting system.

In the view of Hawkins and former Texas Rangers partner Schieffer, much of Bush's success has come from his skill at making people feel good about working for him. And Schieffer remarks on Bush's popularity with everyone connected with the baseball club, from ticket takers to superstars. “He has such a good spirit about him, and he is interested in people.”

People feel recognized and praised because Bush notices what they’re doing and comments. They feel it because he gives them the responsibility in the first place. Responsibility with accountability – when people know they’ll be held accountable it tells them that their work is important. They feel it because in addition to sincere comments sometimes they receive tangible recognition like the Texas Stars and the t-shirts:

“It started,” George said, “during the campaign. It was August and well over 100 degrees. We landed in Crawford and I said that I had to go for a run. I knew if I didn’t get it in then, I’d never do it. So as I recall there was a change of shift of the Secret Service agents. And I just told them that we should all go for a run right then. So both shifts of agents went right with me in the heat. And afterward, I had 100-degree club T-shirts and certificates printed up and gave ‘em away to everybody who went with me.”

You just can’t beat those spur of the moment recognitions. A client of ours calls them “Off-the Cuff”. They wanted to continue to inspire busy physicians and other healthcare professionals to meet/exceed the company's stated Core Values. To achieve this in their company we held many interviews with people from all areas (physicians to accountants). We discovered that they felt most rewarded and therefore motivated to keep practicing the Core Values when their department head/chief gave them something “off the cuff” with no apparent planning. They said that it felt like you just did this thing and then you got a thank you or some material reward pretty close to the time it happened.

When the busy department heads hear what the employees felt inspired by, they said, “Oh, great. When we gave them rewards close to the time they notable practiced Core Values it was just luck. We just happened into these situations. We have no time for ordering rewards, planning them, etc.” To make it easy for the department heads, a little booklet was made listing a variety of rewards to give or to do with phone numbers (from a limo to the local basketball game to a gift basket to a thank you note). Stocks of thank you notes, lottery tickets, etc. were developed so it would be easy for them to recognize and praise their employees immediately for practicing the Core Values. Do employees know that their bosses have easy access to this stuff? Yes. It’s not the dollar value or time someone spent getting this thing for them that was meaningful and motivating. It was being recognized specifically for what they did (“you did ________ for our patients” as opposed to “good job”). And being recognized immediately instead of waiting until their performance review for what they did. That’s what really turned these people on.

Excerpted with permission from The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush, Chapter 5,
“Bring in the Right People & Leave 'Em Alone” PP. 145-147.
Buy it at

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Get more tips on retaining great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  • The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in- Chief, by Carolyn B. Thompson & James W. Ware available at

  • Retaining Your Employees, by Barbara Wingfield & Janice Berry. Learn the critical parts of employee retention - Respect, Recognition, Rewards. Available at (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

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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

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March 30-April 1, 2003
American Association of Association Executives Strategic Leadership Forum, Orlando, FL

March 30-April 2, 2003
Association of Job Search Trainers (AJST) Annual Conference, “Job Search Training: The Oasis in the Desert”, Palm Springs, CA,

March 24-28, 2003
Software Development Conference, Santa Clara, CA,

March 31-April 2, 2003
26th Annual SHRM Global Forum Conference & Exposition, Los Angeles, CA,

March 31-April 2, 2003
Training World 2003: Aligning Training for Value, San Francisco, CA,

March 29-April 2, 2003
International Association of Conference Centers Annual Conference, Alberta, CAN,

April 4-6, 2003
The HUMOR Project’s “Humor, Hope & Healing" Conference in Saratogo Springs,

April 7, 2003
NATIONAL FUN AT WORK DAY! Call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. at 800-469-3560 for ideas.

April 9-11, 2003
Hrtech 2003, Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, IL,

April 12-15, 2003
41st Annual International Performance Improvement Conference and Exposition, Sheraton Boston Hotel and Hynes Convention Center, Boston,

April 13-14, 2003
The Fourth European Conference on Organizational Knowledge, Learning, and Capabilities, Barcelona,

April 23-25,2003
34th Annual Employment Management Association Conference & Exposition, Las Vegas Hilton, NV

May 3, June 21, 2003
HR Certification Institute Exam Dates,

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Copyright 2003 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.

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

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  • Use free online assessments!
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  • 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 to 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!

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