FUN DAYS TO CELEBRATE
March 9-15 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Week &
Email of Appreciation Week (too bad you can’t send chocolate chip cookies
as an attachment!)
Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.
Look for Passion
by Cathy Fyock, employment strategist andTRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, contact her at Cathy@CathyFyock.com
Let's face it. When people talk about what they're really passionate about, they tend to forget everything they learned in the "what to say when you're interviewing" self-help books. All those buttoned-down corporation-speak responses go right out the window as their true excitement lights up their eyes. It can actually be a little scary at times (especially when that excitement reminds you of someone you once knew, yourself maybe?). Don't call the interview to a quick conclusion! Open it up even more to find out what really lights their fire. Then, if the fit seems right, take a deep breath and offer them the job.
Find out about the candidate's work-related passions. If candidates today aren't passionate about the industry, the profession, or the company, then you're probably going to be dealing with an employee who will become quickly disengaged and unmotivated once he gets used to that steady paycheck.
If you have passionate employees who believe that what they're doing is an essential task, then you have employees who don't need external motivation. They are already wired to do what's necessary to get the job done since the belief exists that the job is Job One in both heart and mind.
Most of us want to work with a team of people who believe in their work and believe they can make a difference. These people are easier to manage, especially when you keep showing them how they continue to live a life of purpose through their work.
Ask candidates about what gets them excited to come to work. Ask them to tell you about the last time they were so engrossed in their work that the day just flew by. Ask them about a time when they woke up and were glad it was Monday and not Friday.
See how personally knowledgeable your candidate is about your product, industry, market, or customer base. For example, those considering a career in the publishing field should be able to talk about the books they're reading and be ready to discuss why they chose these books. Container Stores intentionally recruit from their own community of regular customers on the theory that anyone who gets excited about organizers and cleaning supplies enough to frequently return to the store would likely be enthusiastic evangelists for the company itself.
Or take the example of a receptionist at a law firm who believed her job to be the most important job in the company. She said that she had always been told that her gifts were a sunny disposition and the ability to make people's day, and that she was in a job that allowed her to use those gifts and make a difference. She said that she had the ability to brighten the day of all the people who visited the firm and who called to speak to one of their attorneys. That's the kind of person you want on your team.
When asking about applicants' last jobs, observe their energy level and animation while talking with you. Are they obviously excited and energetic when talking about their work? Do their eyes light up and get that twinkle of excitement?
Ask about candidates' last work assignments, and listen to the words they use to describe their work. Do they talk about how much they love their work? Do they comment on how they are passionate about what they do for a living?
Ask candidates why they want to work for your company, in a certain department, and in the job you’re talking about. If they can't answer the question, then they probably don't have the passion to do the work. Or if they answer in terms of "my career", "my salary", "my benefits", their motivation isn’t likely to be passion for the job. Listen for those candidates who have an understanding of their unique gifts and how their gifts and talents can be put to use for a purpose in the work you're providing.
From The Employment Strategist
Only Great Minds Can Read This
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltt eres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh! and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Creating Excellence with Enthusiasm and Self-Empowerment
by Roz Trieber, MS, CHES, health & humor specialist & TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., Associate, contact her at Roz@humorfusion.com
Picture this: You can't sleep. Constant stress, day in and day out; all you can think about are heavy workloads, unrealistic deadlines, difficult working conditions, difficult people, and mandatory meetings. It's going to be another crummy day! Change your thoughts, change your results. It's easier than you think!
Wake up, love that beautiful body you see in the mirror, be passionate about the work you do, brew yourself a cup of "joy juice," insert your favorite DVD or CD (the one that makes you laugh the most) into your DVD/CD player and voilá, you’re energized, you feel like a million bucks; full of good enthusiasm, positive energy, and positive thought.
The truth of the matter is "thinking matters!" What you think and believe about yourself, your job, your attitude is the foundation for creating excellence with enthusiasm. It all begins with you. Do you think of yourself as the best at what you do now? If you are having a problem with this concept, put a sign on your door that says "I'm Awesome."
Find positive things to say about the people you work with, even when you don't feel like it. Give that person a reason to feel good about the work he or she does. You are a true leader influencing those around you with positive energy. You have just demonstrated an act of kindness as well as making those around you feel important, productive, and motivated. That genuine smile you happen to be wearing tells people you love life and you are there to welcome them in an environment of appreciation and productivity.
Be truly present and aware of what's happening in the present moment — you will be open to new ideas and new ways to approach the situation. Adopt a creative attitude so you can focus on how to make things better at work and at home. As a leader you are not spending time complaining and moaning, you are looking to bring joy and fun wherever you are. Tapping into your sense of humor and wit gives you the opportunity to create cohesiveness and communicate sensitive information in a way your co-workers get the point minus the anxiety associated with negative situations. Non-offensive humor diffuses tension and anxiety, reduces stress, and increases resiliency, building bonds between people.
Try positing one-liners around such as this one from Steven Wright "Yesterday I Parked My Car In A Tow-A-Way Zone… When I Came Back The Entire Area Was Missing." Create your own top 10s or share funny stories about work and personal life. Joy comes from the work itself and from the working community.
What kind of energy do you give off? All of us are part of great swirling invisible positive and negative energy fields. In order to create excellence with enthusiasm and self-empowerment, we need to know how to harness positive energy-loving and nurturing forces from within — compassion, courage, forgiveness, and faith. Most of your brain is not conscious of your world, just what you feed it. If you feed negative thoughts, then your mind will build a world of suspicion, defeat and even hate. Negative energy keeps us from being our best selves. Stop focusing on everything that doesn't work right.
Positive thought looks for other positive thought energies to bind with. When we think positively, we spread positive energy, we heal, and we influence the energy and behavior of others. Harness positive energy by calming your mind — focus on your breathing (take in a deep breath), let your thoughts go by without judgment, exhale deeply to activate the relaxation response. You only need a minute to do this. Your body will love you; you will love how you feel and your co-workers will love to work with you.
Turning Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Into An Asset
by Kim Hitchcock, MA, Jewish Vocational Service Director On-Site Workplace English as Second Language & Cultural Diversity Training
Diversity can be your company's greatest strength and also its greatest challenge. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate communication at your company? Chances are that if there is more than one language and culture represented at your workplace, you are looking to improve your score.
Perhaps your employees are eager to communicate better in English, yet a separation exists between non-native speaking employees and their supervisors or between staff and customers. One solution for communication problems that many companies find effective is on-site Workplace Education. Companies can now have Vocational English-as-Second-Language (VESL) Training customized to their business and brought to their doorstep. Here’s an example from JVS' Workplace Education Department:
JVS begins by conducting a thorough needs assessment of communication barriers for the culturally and/or linguistically diverse company. All prospective participants are tested to evaluate their English comprehension and fluency. A customized curriculum is developed that combines the language needs of participants with the language usage most important for the business. Classes are held on-site and students are post-tested to determine progress made. The custom curriculum belongs to the business so courses can continue to be taught at reduced cost.
Here are some examples and results realized by companies that have used English language training:
Company "R":A Popular Retailer Situation: Cecile, a retail store manager has excellent managerial skills. She was a good salesperson, got along well with her employees, and was a smart businesswoman. The corporation wanted to promote her to a higher-level position in the company but employees and customers were often not able to understand her when she spoke over the phone or when she gave presentations.
Objective: Cecile will be able to give presentations, communicate effectively with employees, and use the phone professionally and efficiently.
Solution: Cecile was assigned a qualified coach from JVS' Workplace Education Department. She and the instructor met to practice different sounds and segments of the language, making her speech more understandable to a North American audience. Work related vocabulary, conversation and questions and answers were practiced until her speaking was clear and understandable.
Results: Shortly after the course was completed, Cecile received her promotion, and colleagues reported that she was much easier to understand.
Company "J": A Manufacturer of Fine Jewelry
Situation:The company had a widely diverse group of employees and communication between these groups needed improvement. The company recognized that various language and cultural barriers got in the way of employee participation, especially at Continuous Improvement meetings. This hindered company success.
Objective: To improve departmental and interdepartmental communication; successfully conduct effective Continuous Improvement meetings so that all employees can make positive contributions and help employees have a better understanding of their jobs and how the company functions.
Solution: Managers and JVS' Workplace Education worked together to select training objectives that would help achieve these goals. Two experienced instructors were assigned to work with employees. Cross-cultural trainers were also assigned to work with managers in order to better understand the diverse cultural differences of staff.
Results: Management reported great improvement in cohesiveness and cooperation among employees and departments. Employees with more limited language skills had a better understanding of their responsibilities and could respond better to requests. Retention rate improved, there was less turnover as employees felt more successful, confident and perhaps "cared for."
Company "J's" program cost was partially covered by a grant provided through the Illinois Secretary of State Workplace Enhancement Project, which provides funds for improvement of literacy of employees of Illinois businesses. JVS provides the support and expertise needed to write the grant and train employees. Up to $15,000 of the employer's expenditures in program costs are matched in this grant.
Companies in the Chicago area can contact JVS' Workplace Education Consultant at 312/907-0079 or e-mail: email@example.com. In many major cities in North America such as Boston, Toronto and San Francisco, JVS has similar services.
Your Roles as a Shepherd: Seven Secrets to Managing Productive People
Peggy Leasure, the Director of Operations at The Rorheim Institute (part
Rest of the Learning Methods:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the notes from this exceptional training.
Rewarding & Recognizing Employees the Scottrade Way
by Louise Anderson
How does a company that has received national accolades for its excellence in training, development, customer loyalty, engagement, and information technology recognize and reward its own employees? With the same gusto and enthusiasm. Scottrade, a premier stock trading company, introduced its "Above & Beyond" reward and recognition program this summer.
"Above & Beyond" rewards employees for contributions they make in the areas of outstanding customer service, consistent superior quality of work, exceptional teamwork, exemplifying Scottrade’s core values, excelling in initiative, innovative ideas, and taking responsibility for individual learning. By recognizing those employees for exemplifying Scottrade’s core values and culture, the company is driving the performance it needs to continue to grow the firm. Key elements of the program include:
Communication Is Key To jump-start and keep any recognition program top-of-mind requires targeted, frequent, and varied communications. Scottrade embraced this opportunity by initiating a communications strategy that includes fun and interactive elements. A light-hearted video teases participants on what’s coming. The recognition program kicked off with an "I Scream, You Scream" company-wide ice cream social. At the company’s St. Louis headquarters, the executive committee served ice cream sundaes to associates. Branch offices across the nation received a gift box to host their own ice cream social, with managers serving associates.
A follow-up voicemail message from Rodger Riney, president and CEO, reinforced the goals of the program. A feature article in the company’s newsletter, posters, email blasts, and web site home page updates continue to keep the recognition program top of mind.
A Web Platform Through the use of an innovative web site (online recognition platform), employees play a points-for-performance game. Employees earn points that they accumulate in their personal, passcode-protected online account that can be used to redeem for merchandise. With the click of a key, employees can be recognized and recognize others.
Scottrade’s strategy is paying off. Within the first day of the program launch, 60% of all employees logged on to the program’s web site. Within one week, 83% of employees earned recognition points. By week two, 94% of employees had logged on, and more than 2,400 award opportunities were recorded. This level of engagement is a testament to Scottrade’s commitment to supporting, rewarding, and recognizing its employees’ contributions.
Excerpts from HRO Today, September 2007
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US Chamber’s 2008 Small Business of the Year Award: for info or to apply, go to o to http://www.uschambersummit.com
ASAE’s 2008 Associations Advance America Awards: apply at http://www.asaecenter.org/AAAawards
has great tips on green cleaning.
Going Green At Work
B.I.G. ON BOOKS is an organization that promotes literacy in underprivileged countries, primarily Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. You can donate books through most Rotary Clubs. B.I.G. also accepts cash donations. Send email to Steve Frantzich at email@example.com for more information.
Kicking World Hunger is the biggest soccer juggle-a-thon in the world (uh, that we know of), much like a walk-a-thon, but more fun! Participants sign up to juggle a soccer ball thousands of times while raising money to provide hope for children and communities that desperately need it. http://www.firstgiving.com/kickingworldhunger
Charity Navigator (http://charitynavigator.org) is an in-depth, searchable guide to more than 5,000 charities worldwide that aims to encourage "intelligent giving". They rate charities based on their total expenses, revenues, and organizational capacity. If you want to give, but the recent slew of charity scandals has you feeling skeptical about where your money would go.
Take Pride T-Shirts (http://www.takepride.com) was founded by a group of friends who all share the belief that the more difficult the mission facing our military, the more deserving they are of our thanks and support. Each unique shirt design provides a glimpse into the life of a different US Service member who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and is hand silk-screened. The message of the shirts isn’t political, it's about acknowledging, celebrating, and taking pride in the spirit of young Americans who despite facing an extremely difficult job and unpleasant conditions, nonetheless strive to do their job well. Take Pride gives at least 20% of profits to charities and causes that assist combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Set a reminder to visit http://www.thebreastcancersite.com daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms.
volunteermatch.org helps you
find organizations in your area that spark your interest in volunteering.
RECYCLINRecycle yogurt containers and old toothbrushes!
Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
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. http://www.greendisk.com
Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.
Find local Electronics recyclers at http://www.earth911.org and http://www.ebay.com/rethink
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