Recruit, Inspire & Retain

March 2007

Ideas for “Marketing” and Providing “Customer Service” to Current and Potential Employees

Great Training for Great Employees

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bullet FUN Days to Celebrate (Call/Email for Ways to Celebrate the FUN Days to Celebrate!)
bullet RECRUIT - Who Are 50+ Workers?
bullet Beware of New Virus!
bullet Who's Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet Cool Calls
bullet What Are You Reading This Month?
bullet INSPIRE - It's Okay to Be the Boss: Be A Great One
bullet Training We Participated in Last Month
bullet TRAIN - Selling Your E-Learning Inhouse
bullet RETAIN - Fads That Work (Oxymoron?)
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give

What Books Are You Reading


column this month (and every month) highlighting a book a TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate or Recruit, Inspire & Retain reader is reading!

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

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!


March Special Days

March is...
Optimism Month

March 4-10 – Bike Week
March 4-10 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Week & Read An E-Book Week (What are you reading?)
March 4-10 – Email of Appreciation Week

March 4 – Hug a GI Day
March 5 – Say “Hi” to Mom Day
March 6 – Chocolate Cheesecake Day
March 21 – Great American Meatout & Birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (bet he ate meat!)
March 25 – Pecan Day
March 27 – Photography Day
March 28 – Black Forest Cake Day
April 1 – April Fools’ Day
April 2 – Peanut Butter and Jelly Day & Reconciliation Day (reconcile yourself to eating PB&J for
               lunch every day!)
April 3 – Chocolate Mousse Day

Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.

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Who Are 50+ Workers?

   A carpenter who has worked his entire career as an employee has now retired and wants to work as his own boss on a part-time basis.

   A boomer has decided to start her own graphic arts business, but needs a part-time job in order to pay the bills while she builds her business.

   An older woman who has held one job her entire life loses it when her organization closes its doors, forcing her to find employment in another company or industry.

   A grandmother wants to continue working part-time while she spends more time with her new grandchild.

   A recent widow needs to find work to provide her with health benefits.

   A husband wants to reduce work hours in order to care for his spouse who is seriously ill.

In other words, there is not one single scenario that adequately depicts these 50+ experienced workers and their motivations for work, making attracting this market a real challenge.

Want to attract them? Identify the types of experienced workers who might be the best fit for your recruitment needs and then develop strategies to reach those very specific markets.

Excerpted from "Special Report--Recruiting Experienced Workers:
A Guide for Employers to Attract Workers Aged 50+" by Catherine Fyock

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.


Effective Recruiting Strategies, Ron Visconti

Personnel Testing, by John Jones
 Both available at (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions) Or e-mail

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

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Things to Remember

The most important things in your workplace are the people.

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

Faith is the ability to not panic.

If you worry, you didn’t pray. If you prayed, don’t worry.

Laugh every day – it’s like inner jogging.

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.

Do the math. Count your blessings.

Dear God: I have a problem. It’s me.

Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.

A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS you see in TRAINING SYSTEMS' group training and conference bookstores? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of the topics you need.
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!

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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Fun Meter  

* Gulf Coast Cruisers of SE Texas


* Scheider National

* Purchasers from the AATH Conference Bookstore



* Sheila Grant, a Trainer & Instructional Design student wrote: "I just can’t thank you enough for your willingness to interview with me especially at the last minute. But more than that, thank you for your words of wisdom. I really did take your advice to heart. I feel fortunate to have the benefit of some of your wisdom. Thank you very much!" 


When someone we admire is reading a book, we want to read it too (if they’re reading it, it must be good!). So here’s the first installment in our new column to give you ideas for your reading this month.

Nickel & Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

by Barbara Ehrenreich

Calling all readers who work in companies with any low wage or minimum wage staff: Read This Book Today! (Retail, hotels, nursing homes & other residential organization, cleaning services, call centers, trade associations staff whose members have low wage employees...) Never, ever did I expect a non-fiction book to be a page turner! I have a completely different respect for people working in the lower wage positions in the U.S.

Email us with what you’re reading & a sentence or 2 about why you’re reading it or what you learned for it (can be fiction or non-fiction).

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It's Okay to Be the Boss:  Be A Great One!

Do you feel you don't have enough time to manage your people?

Do you avoid interacting with some employees because you hate the dreaded confrontations that often follow?

Do you have some great employees you really cannot afford to lose?

Do you secretly wish you could be more in control but don't know where to start?

Managing people is harder and more high-pressure today than ever before: There's no room for down time, waste, or inefficiency. You have to do more with less. And employees have become high maintenance. Not only are they more likely to disagree openly and push back, but they also won't work hard for vague promises of long-term rewards. They look to you — their immediate boss — to help them get what they need and want at work.

How do you tackle this huge management challenge? If you are like most managers, you take a hands-off approach. You "empower" employees by leaving them alone unless they really need you. After all, you don't want to "micromanage" them and don't have the time to hold every employee's hand. Of course, problems always come up and often snowball into bigger problems. In fact, you probably spend too much of your time solving problems and falling behind on your work…which leaves even less time for managing people…which opens the door for even more problems!

The biggest problem in corporate America is an undermanagement epidemic affecting managers at all levels of the organization and in all industries. How about another way: Bosses everywhere need to:
spell out expectations
tell employees exactly what to do and how to do it
monitor and measure performance constantly
correct failure quickly and reward success even more quickly.
Now that's how you set employees up for success and help them earn what they need.

Stop falling for the myth of empowerment. Leaving people alone to manage themselves is a set up for failure. Start practicing the art of true empowerment — guidance, direction and support. IT'S OKAY TO BE THE BOSS. Be a great one! Set people up for success every step of the way and help people earn what they need.

Get in the habit of managing every day.
Learn to talk like a performance coach.
Take it one person at a time.
Make accountability a real process.
Tell people what to do and how to do it.
Track performance every step of the way.
Solve small problems before they turn into big problems.
Do more for some people and less for others (based on what they deserve).

Excerpted from Bruce Tulgan’s new book, IT'S OKAY TO BE THE BOSS

Make a Comment/?

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

IT'S OKAY TO BE THE BOSS: The Step-by-step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need, by Bruce Tulgan (in bookstores March 13, 2007)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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How To Use Improv as an Effective Group Training Tool

Facilitator Roz Trieber says, "today's business world requires quick thinking and the ability to see things from multiple perspectives. Improvisation is another form of experiential training that encourages employees to free their creative energies, to act and respond to change in creative and effective ways. It also encourages bonding, the building of trust, collaboration, communication, and the ability to think quickly."

The facilitator explains the principles of Improv that lay the foundation for helping people learn to lighten up, listen better, accept other people’s ideas, be spontaneous, and emerge with new discoveries. Following each exercise, the facilitator asks the learners to answer questions that reflect their emotions and discover how the lessons learned from that exercise could be implemented at work. Learners have fun as they learn and increase confidence in their abilities to use what they know in new and different ways.

#1: Warm - Up Slap Pass (modified from Koppett - 2001)
Build energy, listening, spontaneity, and be aware of verbal and non-verbal behavior

Participants stand in a circle. Someone begins and announces their name, makes a funny gesture such as waving their arms in the air, and claps their hands in the direction of the next person. That person repeats the first person's name and demonstrates the gesture and then gives his or her name and creates a new gesture. The second person then claps in the direction of next person in the circle and the process repeats itself until everyone has had a turn. This needs to go very quickly.


  • How do you feel compared to when we began?

  • Was this an exercise in honing your memory skills or more about the ability to think clearly when you are nervous?
  • How does this relate to collaboration and communication in the workplace?

#2: Speech Tag (modified from Koppett - 2001)
Review learning points relative to content material without fear of making mistakes, build listening, accept offers, object less to others, and build trust.

Learners in groups of 5-7 tell a story that has never been told before, based on content material, tagging each other when they want to take over the narrative. This process helps facilitate successful problem solving by empowering the learners to create action and dialogue based on their own intuition and spontaneity. Each story must have a logical beginning, middle, and end, following the principles of Improvisation, and remain focused on the content topic.


  • When did you choose to jump in?
  • When did you hesitate?
  • What was difficult?
  • What was enjoyable?
  • How do you feel about what you created as a group?
  • What kind of offers were there to accept?
  • How was questionable information handled regarding content material while adhering to the rules of improvisation?
  • Did you need to feel in control?
  • Did the issue of right or wrong come up?

Facilitator Roz Trieber recommends including improvisational activities to build trust, improve communication and help teams find new solutions to continuously emerging problems. Additionally, the use of improvisation in training provides an immediate vehicle for assessing how much information the learners were able to synthesize from the training.

Thanks, TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate Roz for giving us insight into this great learning tool.

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Selling Your E-Learning Inhouse

As a fan of the mystical and fantastic, I can't help but liken the experience of HR executives to Harry Potter's first visit to the train station -- how many are stuck at Platform 9 ¾ , unable to grasp that their next step, as impossible as it might seem, is truly within their power? Like Harry, sometimes HR needs to run full speed toward the wall to overcome adversity and adopt processes that might seem impossible or better suited to only the most well-oiled organizations.

Learn to Do Your Job
Many years ago, during my tenure at 3M United Kingdom, most of the groups underwent Professional Selling Skills training based on materials from Lee Dubois – an extremely valuable program. In addition, the HR team also completed a follow-up Negotiations Skills program based on materials by Dr. Chester Karrass.

This training equipped the HR team with many skills that now seem rare — skills that enable us to get things done, make tough decisions, achieve genuine win-wins, implement initiatives that the majority doesn't want in the beginning (but that later prove effective), and take a proactive and accountable approach to effect change. This moved our focus from being liked and hoping to be effective to understanding that we had to sell our solutions to the company. After embracing this philosophy, senior line executives started to buy our ideas, our credibility increased, more initiatives were adopted, and more commitment was given to making them work. We started to be invited to business meetings rather than being allowed to attend. HR became a strategic force because we sold only ideas, initiatives, and processes we knew would prove beneficial — and we took accountability for getting them right and for selling them.

Don't Wait for Buy-in — Sell!
HR now faces one of its most exciting times in decades. However, major demographic and socioeconomic changes make it increasingly difficult to recruit, train, develop, manage, motivate, reward, and retain excellent talent. We must create and implement innovative, cutting-edge solutions.

To be sure, there is a rush that comes when you identify a solution that maximizes the potential of human resources, improves organizational performance, and impacts the bottom line. Often though, if your solution is rejected, the resulting depression can be debilitating.

Before you go into a selling negotiation, consider the following:
bullet Know your audience. Identify their needs, wants, budget and resources. Also determine who has authority (usually more than one person) and their dominant buying motive, including personal needs.
bullet Prepare well and know what you're offering. Develop the best offer you can for your organization and remember that it's your responsibility to make sure it is right and that you know everything about it.
bullet Get the attention, then the interest of the decision makers before trying to sell. People don't buy for one of two reasons: Either they are unaware of their problem or they are insufficiently disturbed by it. Highlight and show that you are interested in their issues. Don't bore them with your issues. Don't even try to sell until they show attention and interest.
bullet Persuade. Tell them what is necessary to convince them, not everything you know. Set out to persuade them, not to beat them. Get a response to each selling point before making new ones.
bullet Keep checking where you are. Many good ideas fail because the decision-making process takes too long -- the proposal goes unsold. Try to get a decision earlier rather than later. Don't waste time or wait until interest dies.
bullet Handle objections and quell arguments early. Handle objections constructively before they arise. Don't waste time handling objections that are simply distractions.
bullet Aim high, but have a fallback position. Be prepared to negotiate by giving away things to get what you want.
bullet Accountability. It may be each manager's responsibility to apply HR policies and procedures, but it is HR's job to ensure that the organization has the very best for them to apply and to make sure that they work.

If you believe in the potential of an initiative, you have a responsibility to sell it to others. People are our greatest asset -- but HR's inability to sell effective ways to optimize their use may be our greatest liability.

From Learning & Training Innovations Magazine article by Clinton Wingrove, CEO at Pilat (2/8/06)

Winning E-Learning Proposals, by Karl Kapp
Selling E-Learning, by Darin Hartley. Order by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. (10% off by mentioning "RIR")

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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Fads That Work (Oxymoron?)

Some fads stop being called fads and become part of everyday life in our organizations. Others we never hear of again and therefore aren’t called fads anymore either. Hmmmm, wonder why we have to label all new things fads anyway?

“Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on a stage.” Charlie Chaplin

“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.” President of the Michigan Savings Bank 


What "fads" are you using to retain the best staff?:

Balanced Scorecard: Articulate your strategy and identify key indicators

Chaos Theory: There’s a reason why you’re experiencing total confusion

Corporate Culture: Organizations have a collection of values and norms that don’t change easily

Customer Focus: Find ways to delight your customers

Delayering: Flatten the organization structure

Downsizing: Shrink the organization to survive

Excellence: Be fanatical about getting good at what you do

Lean: Eliminate all waste in the system to improve quality and reduced cost

Learning Organizations: Think about what you’re doing and learn from your mistakes

Managerial Grid: Negotiate goals with your employees

Matrix Management: Organize by function and cross-functional teams

MBWA: Get out of the office and find out what’s really happening

Quality Circles: Talk together about how to improve work processes

Quantitative Management: Study the cold, hard numbers

Reengineering: Rethink all organizational processes

Restructuring: Take apart the orgnization and put it back together a different way for greater efficiency

Rightsizing: Increase some units while reducing others

Six Sigma: Use appropriate measures to control quality

Team-Based Management: Good teams outperform a group of individuals

T-groups: Use small groups to teach interpersonal skills

Theory X and Y: Use participative management techniques

Theory Z: Use Japanese management techniques

Total Quality Management: Lower costs while increasing customer satisfaction

Zero-Based Budgeting: Justify every expense category every year

If you are using even one of these, and I bet you are using more than one, and it’s helping you retain great staff — just laugh at the next person that calls(ed) it a fad!

Excerpted from Christian Management Report, Jan/Feb 2007

Management Fads & Buzzwords, by David Collins

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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March 12-15, 2007
Christian Management Association 2007 Conference, Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, California,

March 19-21, 2007
SHRM Global Forum Conference & Exposition, Los Angeles, CA,

March 26-28, 2007
Exhibitor 2007:The Education and Training Conference for Trade Show and Corporate Event Marketers, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas,

April 30-May 4, 2007
Learning Consortium: Learning in the 21st Century, Doubletree Hotel, Ontario, CA,

April 30-May 3, 2007
2007 International Performance Improvement Conference: Performance Beyond Borders, San Francisco Marriott Hotel, San Francisco, CA,

June 22-24, 2007
HUMOR Project’s The Positive Power of Humor & Creativity Conference, Silver Bay, NY,

June 24-27, 2007
SHRM’s 59th Annual Conference & Exposition, Las Vegas, NV,

July 29-31, 2007
World Future 2007: Fostering Hope and Vision for the 21st Century, Hilton Minneapolis and Towers Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota,

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Are your shelves full of books you’ve already read? Join, an online book-exchange store. Select books from their site, and send in an equal number of books in exchange.

Provide free mammograms!Set a reminder to visit daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms. helps you find organizations in your area that spark your interest in volunteering.

Global Volunteers (
You can:
select by type of work project
select by country and date
select by service program conditions
select by cost

Recycle yogurt containers and old toothbrushes!

Recycline’ Preserve partnered with Stonyfield Farm and is recycling yogurt containers into toothbrush handles. Old toothbrushes are used to make plastic lumber for picnic tables. Go to for details.

Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Donate Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people through partnerships with law enforcement organizations,

Recycle PCs, cell phones, printers, CDs diskettes, etc., with GreenDisk. For $29.95, they send a 70-pound-capacity box.When it’s full, you download postage from their website and ship it back. Your “junk” then goes to workshops for the disabled and are refurbished.

Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation,; Goodwill,, Salvation Army,

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

Several other places to recycle old PCs:,,

Find local Electronics recyclers at and



K has great tips on green cleaning.
K & will help you get off junk mail lists.
K has tips on every facet of green living.
K gives advice on replacing old light bulbs w/energy efficient bulbs.
K provides comprehensive "green power" info.
K urges the use of recycled paper.
K helps you plant trees to save the environment.

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Copyright 2007 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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

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