Recruit, Inspire & Retain

March 2009

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:  Alternatives to Layoffs
bullet POSTERS: What Happens to People Who No Longer Work In Their Profession?
bullet Cool Calls
bullet INSPIRE: You Bring Lunch on Monday, I’ll Bring Lunch on Tuesday...
bullet TRAIN: Be Efficient, Whatever the Budget
bullet RETAIN: GENERATION Y: Get More Work and Better Work Out of Fewer People
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give

An Economic Stimulus Package from

...figured we’d jump on the bandwagon. Here’s a whole issue to help you do more with less!


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.

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March is...
American Red Cross Month
Employee Spirit Month
Optimism Month
International Expect Success Month
International Ideas Month
International Listening Awareness Month
International Mirth Month
National Caffeine Awareness Month

March 1-7 – National Write A Letter of Appreciation Week, Telecommuter Appreciation Week,
                    Celebrate Your Name Week, National Sleep Awareness Week (I’m aware that I
                    don’t get enough sleep!)

March 1-7 – National Procrastination Week
March 8-14 – Iditarod Race
March 8-14 – World’s Rattlesnake Roundup Week (...think I’ll skip this one...)
March 15-21 – Act Happy Week
March 15-21 – American Chocolate Week (Now, that’s more like it!)

March 4 – March Forth-Do Something Day
March 6 – World Day of Prayer
March 8 – Daylight Saving Time Begins and it’s Check Your Batteries Day
March 9 – Barbie Day (What about Ken? Does he get a day?)
March 10 – Organize Your Home Office Day
March 13 – National Open An Umbrella Indoors Day
March 14 – Pi Day & International Ask A Question Day
March 15 – Beware! Ides of March Day & True Confessions Day (Don’t tell ‘em anything!)
March 17– St. Patrick’s Day
March 19 – National Chocolate Caramel Day & Companies That Care Day
March 21 – Corn Dog Day, Maple Syrup Day, Memory Day (Gingko anyone?), National Common Courtesy Day, & National Quilting Day
March 22 – As Young As You Feel Day & International Goof-off Day
March 24 – National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day
March 25 – Kick Butts Day (So...quit smoking?)

Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.
Last month, a reader asked us to include the ideas right here in RECRUIT, INSPIRE & RETAIN. We thought it was a great idea, and when we expressed concern for the amount of time it would take, he asked if we could at least do a couple. So here’s two for this month!

Companies That Care Day -
- Sending notes from senior management to employees expressing their appreciation for employee
- Providing on-site massages for all staff
- Publicizing the organization's commitment to employees and the community via banners and shirts
- Providing employees an opportunity to recognize each other by sending "caregrams"
- Providing an appreciation lunch for all employees
- Holding a drawing and giving "care packages" to the winners
- Making a donation to groups supporting the medically uninsured

Kick Butts Day - Choose from one of the three or combine them all together. Create a wall as a memorial to lost loved ones from tobacco, create graffiti expressing your thoughts towards big tobacco, or create a pledge wall for people to pledge to quite tobacco and support those who are trying to quit.

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Alternatives to Layoffs

I know this seems like a strange one for the Recruit section — but quite often when we layoff, we recruit for other positions remade to fill the void. Why do this when there are alternatives that will save you money?!

The recent front-page story in the New York Times followed similar stories in the Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio and other outlets about companies pursuing alternatives to layoffs that would cut costs in other ways. I can't remember getting as many calls from reporters on a single topic as I have recently asking about these alternatives.

The idea that there are alternative ways of handling the need to cut costs without laying off individual workers is actually a very old story. In fact, up until the mid-1980s, the idea that an employer would dismiss workers permanently -- that they were not expected to come back after business picked up -- was so rare that the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not even keep track of such cuts.

The term "layoff" in those days meant temporary job losses: Unionized workers, but even some non-union employees, would be paid supplemental benefits during the period of layoff not just to be nice to them but to keep them from taking another job someplace else. As soon as business picked up, the companies wanted to bring those temporarily furloughed workers back as fast as possible, the same workers into the same jobs.

Rehiring took place, based on seniority, in part to make sure that the most experienced workers stayed with the company. The benefits from this, of course, were that the company could get going again really fast, and the costs of hiring new workers and training them were eliminated as were the learning-curve problems of waiting for the performance of new hires to get up to speed.

After the 1981 recession, the term "layoff" shifted from its original meaning of a temporary job loss from which workers could expect to be recalled to a permanent separation with no prospects for recall.

It was in this period that more creative alternatives to layoffs flourished. The most prominent of these alternative approaches was wage cuts, often negotiated by unions under the guise of concessions to existing union contracts, but the goal was always to reduce permanent job losses.

The range of other alternatives was impressive — reduced hours of work (and pay), job sharing where the same job would be split into two part-time positions, cutting back on outsourced work and the use of vendors to make work for regular employees whose normal tasks were no longer needed, etc.

Given the steepness of the current downturn, it isn't surprising that there would be a lot of attention directed at layoffs and their alternatives. Further, there is at least some circumstantial evidence that the need to keep your workforce together by avoiding layoffs is even more important now than in the past.

One reason is that most companies just spent the last few years struggling to recruit and retain the workforce they need. To lose them voluntarily seems like shooting yourself in the foot. The second reason is that all the liquidity that governments around the world began pouring into markets beginning in September will start to hit the global economy soon, and the predictions are that the pickup in business will happen even faster than in the past.

So here's the amazing thing: Despite the extraordinary pressures to cut costs, the knowledge from decades past about alternatives to layoffs and the contemporary concerns about losing skilled employees, almost no one is doing anything about it!

When we look carefully at the stories about the few companies pursuing alternatives, we see they are mostly very small, privately held companies, many of whom have never had a layoff in their history. The few big companies that are cited, Motorola, for example, are, in fact, laying off employees; they are just cutting other things as well.

The best example of a significant company that is pursuing real alternatives to layoffs is FedEx, where they are cutting wages to reduce costs. What is particularly important about the cuts at FedEx is that the cuts are even bigger for executives: 10% for executive pay, five percent for everyone else. (Fed Ex also announced for the first time that it will not be advertising in the Super Bowl, another very public effort to save money.)

Why are so few companies pursuing any alternatives to layoffs? Why has the interest in these alternatives declined so much over time? It isn't because the alternatives don't save money: A 5% salary cut saves much more money than a 5% layoff because there are no severance payments; the legal liability and associated costs are much less; and the savings come instantly without the agonizing administrative process of figuring out who has to go and getting them out in a dignified manner, etc.

Morale might actually improve through a collective effort to save jobs, certainly as opposed to the morale-killing effects of layoffs and, of course, the ability to ramp up when business improves is dramatically accelerated.

What's striking to me is not just that almost no companies end up pursuing these alternatives. It is that they don't seem to even consider them.

I don't know, for sure, why this is, but it does seem to me that, in part, many companies move first to layoffs because they think the investment community wants them to do so.

The financial community isn't especially aware of alternatives and the benefits associated with them, and their focus is very much on the immediate financial performance, not how the companies will respond when business improves.

The fact that virtually every company, despite their varying circumstances, ends up pursuing exactly the same approach to cost-cutting suggests that the processes involved have more to do with psychology – herd mentalities – than to any rational processes.

From Human Resource Executive Online, 1/8/2009

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.


A perfect confirmation for this article - we tried numerous search phrases and got nothing/nadda/zip written on how to keep employees/save money in other ways. SO - write us what you’re inspired to do after this reading this and we’ll get it at least posted on our website.

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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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What Happens to People Who No Longer Work in Their Profession?

Old accountants never die, they just lose their balance.
Old actors never die, they just drop a part.
Old anthropologists never die, they just become history.
Old architects never die, they just lose their structure.
Old anthropologists never die, they just become history
Old bankers never die, they just lose interest.
Old beekeepers never die, they just buzz off.
Old bookkeepers never die, they just lose their figures.
Old bowlers never die, they just end up in the gutter
Old brewers never die, they just ferment away.
Old cashiers never die, they just check out.
Old chemists never die, they just smell that way.
Old composers never die, they just decompose.
Old cooks never die, they just get deranged.
Old daredevils never die, they just get discouraged.
Old electricians never die, they just lose contact.
Old Elks never die, they just become dislodged.
Old environmentalists never die, they are just recycled.
Old exorcists never die, they just give up the ghost.
Old farmers never die, they just go to seed.
Old fishermen never die, they just get reel tired.
Old garbage men never die, they just waste away.
Old golfers never die, they just lose their drive.
Old hikers never die, they just trail away
Old investors never die, they just roll over.
Old janitors never die, they just kick the bucket.
Old lawyers never die, they just lose their appeal.
Old magazine editors never die, they just expire.
Old mailmen never die, they just lose their zip.
Old milkmaids never die, they just lose their whey.
Old mountain climbers never die, they just peak out.
Old musicians never die, they just become disconcerted.
Old office workers never die, they just become defiled
Old photographers never die, they just stop developing.
Old priests never die, they just go out to pastor.
Old printers never die, they're just not the type
Old quarterbacks never die, they just fade back and pass away.
Old programmers never die, they just lose their memory.
Old salesmen never die, they just go out of commission.
Old school principals never die, they just lose their faculties.
Old Scots never die, but they can be kilt.
Old skiers never die, but they go downhill fast.
Old yachtsmen never die, they just keel over.


Lawyers get disbarred
Priest get defrocked
Electricians get delighted
Musicians get denoted
Cowboys get deranged
Fashion models get deposed
Judges get distorted
Mediums get dispirited
Dress-makers get unbiased

**TOOL BOX****
"All stressed out and no one to choke" poster Here’s a FREE poster that everyone will LOVE Want more? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to buy packs of posters!

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From Lou Russell, CEO, Author, Speaker, Consultant: “Whoever is doing your research is amazing! Nicely done! I am interested in a 12 month view of the conferences you guys target (like the list in your newsletter). Will you share?”

Here are a few of our exceptional colleagues who are looking for their next great job. If you know of anything that fits them, please email them directly.

Patricia Hayden ( is a professional development practitioner with over 12 years association management experience analyzing, developing, and executing educational programs to meet the strategic goals of the organization. Patricia has the ability to manage multiple projects and vendors, work collaboratively to reach consensus with committee volunteers, sees the big picture and work with constituents so outcomes meet learners’ needs and the organization’s bottom-line.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills

  • Demonstrated skills in training design, development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Abilities in seeing the big picture and creating an overall professional development framework to meet the organizations’ members needs.
  • Strong facilitation abilities both face-to-face and online.
Peggy Leasure ( is a marketing professional that has expertise in all phases of marketing: research, strategy, execution, analysis.
  • 10 years in non-profit marketing and 13 years in consumer market research

  • Self-starter with excellent project management skills and keen attention to the details
  • Enjoys leading cross-functional teams and inspiring others toward accomplishing project initiatives
  • Supervisory and budgeting experience that leads to successfully meeting goals
John K. Crupper ( is a leader with broad experience in operations, program and training management seeking a role in leading an organization in one of the following areas:
  • Operations Management

  • Program Management
  • Project Management
  • Training Management
John O’Conner ( has a proven record of work performance and experience with Systems and Office Administration. I pride myself on being a results oriented, hands-on individual with progressive management experience. My management style strongly emphasizes teamwork. An evaluation of my resume will further acquaint you with my background and qualifications for this position which includes:
  • MS degree Human Resources. 20 plus years of progressive management experience and growth

  • Demonstrated leadership capability in leading computer installations, operations and maintenance
  • Ability to learn and assimilate rapidly, new systems, concepts and methodology
  • Excellent skills using ADP totalsource payroll and HR Systems and over 3 years experience using QB on-line and in-house
  • Extensive experience with MS Office and computer software and hardware

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You Bring Lunch on Monday, I’ll Bring Lunch on Tuesday...

Help your staff save money.

What's the great idea?
Organize "lunch cooperatives" in your workplace. Coworkers in small groups take turns providing home-cooked lunch for each other.

Who's doing it?
Green America (formerly Co-Op America).

What's involved?
The idea was sparked by an article Editorial Associate Joelle Novey wrote on families that use cooperative cooking. "We said, ‘What if we took our own advice and tried to implement this idea for our weekday lunches at the office?'" says Novey. The staff of Green America were surveyed to gauge interest and diet preferences (vegetarian, vegan, omnivorous, and so forth), and interested participants were assembled into groups of four (fitting into Green America's four-day work week; groups of five may be more appropriate elsewhere). Each day, a different member of the group brings in a home-cooked lunch to feed the whole group, meaning each member cooks a large meal once a week and eats for free on the other days. "By cooperating together, it will be like we're going out to lunch three days a week in exchange for cooking once," says Novey.

What are people saying?
"People have loved it," says Novey. "It's really a treat to feel like someone has cooked for you." Meanwhile, participants are generally saving money and eating healthier food. Novey says the cooperative lunches have "cured" many staff members of the expensive and less-healthy lunch options near Green America's office in downtown Washington, DC. And while one initial ground rule was that there were no specific social expectations—in other words, participants would cook for each other, but they wouldn't have to eat together—the lunch groups have built community among staff members nonetheless, says Novey.

From Associations Now magazine, January 2009

Engaging the Hearts of Employees: How to Ignite Passionate Performance for Better Business Results by Lee Colan
Closing the Engagement Gap: How Great Companies Unlock Employee Potential for Superior Results, by Julie Gebauer & Don Lowman
  Order by calling 800-469-3560 or emailing and get your 10% discount by mentioning RIR

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Be Efficient, Whatever the Budget

A recent white paper from KnowledgePool, a U.K. training consultancy, said organizations with staff of 2,000-plus can reduce learning and development expenses by 30% by following best practices and working efficiently.

It recommends:
bullet Careful supplier management, including adherence to an authorized supplier list and discount bulk purchasing.
bullet Automating training administration.
bullet More efficiently managing course scheduling to maximize occupancy and minimize empty seats and canceled sessions.
bullet Reviewing and modifying training offerings. Course content offered in the past doesn't always have priority today.
Here are some other ways to operate more efficiently:
bullet Tie training to specific business initiatives and job tasks. The more talent managers can make training job-specific using workplace examples, the better.
bullet Balance internal trainers with outside suppliers during peak times. The "day cost" will be higher when using a vendor, but companies will come out ahead if they limit use.
bullet Offer flexible delivery. Ten years ago, more than 50 percent of TRACOM's business was for training programs of two days or more. Today, most are shorter than one day. The availability of modular training, pre-study and follow-up allows people to develop their skills in a more effective manner that requires less time away from their jobs. 

At Gates Corp., a manufacturer of industrial and automotive parts, today's environment has meant constraints on training travel. "It's forced us to look for more creative ways to deploy training content," said Kathy Wojcik, Gates' manager of leadership development and learning.

"We're doing more Web-based training, webinars and consolidating training in the field to focus on what's really needed by the business. Self-paced and on-demand learning are also on the rise. We're evaluating the impact of these changes so we can make smart long-term decisions about training deployment."

Support People
One of the biggest challenges organizations face in a down economy is waning employee engagement. Organizations typically don't lose many people during a recession because external opportunities are limited. But slow-growth and a shrinking opportunity pool can cause employees to lose motivation.

If layoffs occur, the remaining people likely will experience fear and stress from the change and risk overwork from picking up extra responsibility. It's important to support employees through training and development.

Communication may initially take precedence over training in the early stages of cutbacks. But once people understand the situation, don't overlook how training and development programs can help.

bullet Building core skills such as personal effectiveness, team performance and conflict management.
bullet Providing new functional skills training for employees with new responsibilities.
bullet Assessing employee engagement to uncover areas of concern.

"We know our learning and development activities have improved employee engagement. People feel emotionally connected to the business because we invest in them," said O'Toole.

Just as a stock market decline presents an opportunity for investors to regroup before future gains, a down economy presents an opportunity for training and development.

"It's the challenges that teach the best lessons," said Wojcik. "The decisions we make today will shape our future.

Excerpted from Talent Management Magazine, Jan 2009

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How to Make Smart Decisions About Training: Save Money, Time, & Frustration, by Paul Whitmore

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GENERATION Y: Get More Work and Better Work Out of Fewer People

by Bruce Tulgan

Help Them Keep Score
You might think a generation raised on mantras like "we're all winners" and "everyone gets a trophy" wouldn't be particularly competitive. But that is not the case. While the self-esteem movement was chipping away at Generation Y ers' competitiveness, the testing movement was building it back up. Still, testing breeds a different kind of competitiveness: competition against standards and benchmarks, against averages and means, and against one's own past performance.

Think about a video game that a Gen Yer might practice and practice, beating one high score after another, set by himself. He wins every time, and nobody has a reason to feel bad. That's the kind of competition Gen Yers are looking for: they want to compete against themselves in a safe environment where they can try over and over again to improve on their own performance benchmarks. When it comes to competitiveness at work, this is what one Gen Yer had to say: "I'll do whatever they want me to do. Just tell me someone is keeping track of all this stuff I'm doing. Tell me I'm getting credit for it, that I've been racking up points here like mad. Tell me someone is keeping score."

When Gen Yers know you are keeping track of their day-to-day performance, their measuring instinct is sparked and their competitive spirit ignited. Keeping close track of their work tells them that they are important and their work is important. The process motivates them to perform because they want to get credit, score points, earn more of whatever there is to earn. "I was managing this very young team of programmers," a senior manager in one of our nation's intelligence agencies started to tell me. "For the first few months, our weekly team meetings were great, but after every meeting, the programmers would come up to me one by one asking for feedback on their individual work. I kept trying to address this in the team meetings by asking each of them for status reports in our meetings. But one by one, they would come see me after the meeting to ask for individual feedback. Finally, in one of the team meetings, I asked the group about it point-blank. They all said, 'We all want to know how we are doing, individually.' So I said to them joking, 'Do you want me to give out gold stars when you do a good job?' And they all nodded affirmatively. They were very cheerful about it, but I was having a hard time with it. But I started giving out gold stars to them, individually, in the team meetings, and they loved it. They started asking all the time, 'Do I get a gold star for that?'"

I've heard stories like this over and over again from managers of Gen Yers in a whole range of industries. Yes, they want to earn gold stars. Just remember that if you are going to give out gold stars or points of any kind, you have to make it very clear every step of the way exactly how those points can be earned-or lost. You need a system.

The Point System
One outstanding system I've seen in action is used in the warehouses of a large beverage wholesaler. Every day, hundreds (or even thousands) of boxes come in one end of a warehouse and hundreds more go out the other end. All day long, boxes are being moved from one end to the other, meticulously accounted for by bar codes scanned each time they are moved. Everybody in that warehouse is on a point system. One of the warehouse managers told me, "The only way you get points around here is moving boxes. If you drive a delivery truck, you get points by delivering boxes. You break bottles, you lose points. If you work in the loading dock, you get points by loading boxes onto the truck. Points are how everything gets done here. That's how you make extra money. That's how you get to leave early or get extra days off."

How does the system work? The warehouse manager laughed: "Everybody is always trying to get points, especially the young guys. We've got a very young group in the warehouse. These guys are practically climbing over each other when a truck pulls in. The young guys want to get their points. Some of them want to work all day and make more money. Some of them just want to get their points and get out of here for the day. But they all want to get those points. I just sit back and let [the points] do most of the management work."

Similarly, the founding partner of a small advertising firm told me that she started giving out "extra points" to associates "for above-and-beyond performance on very difficult projects." She told me, "At first, I didn't even know what I really meant by extra points. But I'd usually come back with a bonus check, so the points came to mean something." The practice was so popular among the younger associates that the partner started attaching points to projects in advance. "After a while, just about any task, no matter how small, was eligible for extra points. If you get something done very fast, you might get extra points. If you really do a fantastic job on something, that's extra points. It's for above-and-beyond performance. And it's worth money."

Am I saying you should create a point system or start giving out gold stars to your Gen Yers? If you can think of easy ways to convert the performance you need from your young employees into a point system, then maybe you should consider it. I promise you, a point system will get Gen Yers focused like a laser beam. If you want them to start showing up earlier for work, attach points for every minute they arrive early, and take away points for every minute they come in late. If you want Gen Yers to meet quality standards, give them checklists of every detail and specification, and give points for every detail and specification completed-and take away points for every one missed. If you want Gen Yers to speed up, set a realistic quota of tasks per hour and give points for every task done over the quota-and take away points for every task under the quota. And so on.

Keeping Track Informally
Formal gold stars and point systems are not always necessary. You will get a similar result as long as you make it clear that you are paying close attention to what they are doing and keeping score, one way or another. Have regular one-on-one conversations where you ask for an account of what the person has done since your last conversation: "What concrete actions did you take? Did you meet the expectations we spelled out? Did you do all the items on your to-do list?" Then offer credit for the items done and take note of the items not yet done. You might say, "You did a great job on A, B, and C. But on D, you fell a little short. So that's three out of four for today. Let's talk about how you are going to do D next."

Another approach is to help Gen Yers keep track of their own work by using self-monitoring tools like project plans, checklists, and activity logs. Gen Yers can monitor whether they are meeting goals and deadlines laid out in a project plan, make notations within checklists, and report to you at regular intervals. Activity logs are diaries that Gen Yers can keep, noting contemporaneously exactly what they do all day, including breaks and interruptions. Each time he or she moves on to a new activity, the Gen Yer might note the time and the new activity. By using these tools, Gen Yers can document their own hard work every step of the way and build their own track record of success.

Negotiate Special Rewards in Very Small Increments
Today we live in a world in which relationships are governed by an increasingly short-term and transactional logic. That's true for people of all ages. But Gen Yers have never known it any other way. Segmented as a market from birth and armed with credit cards, they have been taught to think of themselves as customers in virtually every sphere. Even in their roles as students, most Gen Yers think of themselves as buying and consuming the learning services sold by schools. Meanwhile, their parents have been negotiating "choices" with them since they first uttered "I want" as toddlers, trading short-term rewards for short-term desired behavior.

By the time Gen Yers arrive at the workplace, short-term transactional thinking is second nature to them. They are still thinking like customers. Sometimes when I point this out to managers, they'll say, "Yeah, well, they're not paying us. We are paying them. So what currency do they bring to the transaction? They can do as they are told." I agree with that 100 percent.

Of course, you want to get more work and better work out of every one of your Gen Yers. For their part, Gen Yers want to earn more of what they need and want. The best solution? Plug into Gen Yers' transactional mind-set. Stop paying them and start buying their results, one by one. The more you trade results for rewards, the more reliable their performance will be. The smaller the increments you buy in, the more effective it will be. "I had this manager who would always say to me, 'What do you need from me?' a Gen Yer told me. "I'd always know she was going to get me back with, "Great. Here's what I need from you.' She did that with everybody. She knew I needed the money and went out of her way to help me make more money, which was really great of her."

The critical element when it comes to rewarding Gen Yers is letting them know that rewards are tied to concrete actions within their own direct control. This might remind you of the old-fashioned pay scheme called piecework in which individuals are paid an agreed-on amount for each defined unit of work they produce. The seamstress might be paid per stitch or per finished garment. The accountant might be paid per tax return prepared. The computer programmer might be paid per line of new code written. And so on. The key to your success will be defining those measurable pieces of work and setting a price per piece.

Traditional Compensation Versus Short-Term Rewards
"Oh yeah?" one manager interrupted to ask in the middle of one of my seminars, "Then why do Gen Yers push so hard for more when it comes to traditional compensation and benefits? It's not like they are saying, 'Don't give me health care, don't give me the 401k, and don't give me the salary. I'll just take the short-term rewards.' Are you telling me they just want more of everything?"

This was no doubt a fair question and one that is on the minds of a lot of managers. Perhaps if given the choice, many Gen Yers would actually opt for a safe lifelong employment relationship with secure, long-term vesting rewards. The problem is that you won't find any Gen Yers who actually believe that this is a real option in today's world. To them, it sounds like an absurd claim on its face-largely because it is. Therefore, most Gen Yers are concerned about all the rewards they might be able to extract from their immediate boss in the short term. However, Gen Yers are also acutely aware that the compensation systems and language of their employers almost always revolve around the traditional elements of compensation and benefits; pay scales or salary, health care plans, eligibility for 401k or pension plans, and the like. They often ask about traditional rewards because they are aware that you only know how to talk about traditional rewards-they figure at least the conversation will make sense to you. They also want you to think they care about the reward system you seem to care so much about. Finally, they figure they might as well get everything they can out of that system, even as they are making their other more idiosyncratic requests.

The answer, then, is, sure, they want more of everything. But the real performance drivers for Gen Yers are the short-term, special rewards you negotiate in exchange for their short-term above-and-beyond performance. A senior engineer shared this story with me: "One of the engineers on my team, a young lady who talked about little else but flextime and work-life balance, pretty much dropped everything for two months and lived here around the clock working on a killer deadline for me. Why? I arranged for her to take six weeks off, two unpaid, in a row after the project was finished. That was all it took. She was here around the clock for two months, then she disappeared for six weeks and came back happy as could be. The other two guys on that team? They just wanted a bonus check." He concluded, "They all want something different. But they all want something, and most of them are willing to work for it."

Negotiating Rewards in Small Increments
So when that Gen Yer knocks on your office door and asks if you have a minute to discuss his special need or want, you could roll your eyes and think about beating your head against the wall-or you could realize that this need or want might just be the key to driving this employee's performance to a whole new level, or at least the key to getting more work out of him better and faster for the short term.

The best approach is to negotiate these special rewards in very small increments. You want to be able to say, "Okay. I'll do that for you tomorrow if you do X for me today." Work a particularly undesirable shift? Work longer hours? Work with a difficult team? Do some heavy lifting? Work in some out of the way location? Clean up some unpleasant mess? Then deliver the reward in question as soon as you possibly can. Immediate rewards are much more effective with Gen Yers because they provide a greater sense of control and a higher level of reinforcement. Gen Yers are likely to remember the precise details and context of the performance and are therefore more likely to make the connection the next time the desired performance is called for. Plus they won't spend time wondering if their performance has been noted and appreciated, and they will therefore be less likely to lose the momentum generated by their short-term success.

Most managers have more discretionary resources than they realize at their disposal. These are often resources that can be deployed as special short-term rewards. What extra funds are available to you that you might be able to use for special short-term bonuses? What can you do to improve work conditions in the short term for your employees? How much latitude do you have to make special short-term accommodations in employees' schedules or paid time off? How much control do you have over extra training opportunities? Can you offer exposure to decision makers? How hard is it to have a written commendation added to an employee's file? There are many extra rewards managers have in their control, and you need to use every resource at your disposal.

That does not mean that everything is open to negotiation. You should be rock solid on your basic standards and requirements. What is not negotiable? What is essential? What is not acceptable? That's your starting point. From there, take control of the ongoing negotiation and help Gen Yers earn those special rewards they want so much. In the process, you'll get so much more, and better, and faster work out of them, one day at a time.

Used with permission of Bruce Tulgan, Founder/Chairman,
RainmakerThinking, Inc.,

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Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y, both by Bruce Tulgan

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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April 2-4, 2009
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology 24th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA,

April 19-22, 2009
ISPI The Performance Improvement Conference, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, Orlando, FL,

April 20-25, 2009
International Association of Facilitators North American Conference, Vancouver, BC CAN,

April 20 - 22, 2009
Christian Leadership Alliance Conference, Hilton, Atlanta, GA,

April 29-May 1, 2009
95th Annual Multicultural Business Conference, Orlando, FL,

May 19-23, 2009
American Counseling Association Annual Conference, Charlotte, NC,

June 28-July 1, 2009
SHRM 61st Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, LA,

July 1-3, 2009
National Career Development Association, St. Louis, MO, 866-FOR-NCDA

August 15-18, 2009
Excite: ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition, Toronto, CAN,

Dick Knowdell’s Career Development Training
Creator of the wonderful Motivated Skills, Career Values, and other Card Sort tools for managers & career counselors has the following training dates set up. Email him at to get more information.

• March 17-25, 2009 Charlotte, NC Conference

• April 6-25, 2009 Melbourne, Australia Conference and Coach Workshop

• April 28-30, 2009 San Antonio, Texas Conference

• May 25-28, 2009 Atlanta, Georgia Coach Workshop

• May 31-June 3, 2009 Minneapolis, MN Conference

• June 29- July 5, 2009 St. Louis, MO Conference

• July 19-26, 2009 Detroit, Michigan Coach Workshop

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WAYS TO VOLUNTEER & GIVE has a list of hundreds of organizations that support the military. The Yellow Ribbon Fund is one such group and focuses on injured service members and their families.




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.

Going Green At Work
Find ecofriendly building materials and services at
Buy ecofriendly office supplies at http://www.thegreenoffice.comcom
Work from home ideas at 
Find jobs and volunteer opportunities with socially responsible organizations at 
Reduce paperwork by invoicing, & paying employees & bills electronically
TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  now invoices exclusively by email and is close to paying everyone
         by credit card, PayPal, or automatic debit from checking account)
Encourage employees to use public transportation
Use ceiling fans to reduce air-conditioning costs
Reduce your hot water heater temperature by 2 degrees and insulate the tank
Use energy-saving light bulbs

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 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.

Charity Navigator ( 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 ( 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 daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms. helps you find organizations in your area that spark your interest in volunteering. fights for family-friendly programs and policies at work. honors the heroes and victims of 9/11, by giving ideas for good deeds to perform. helps entrepreneurs by connecting them with backers for short term loans and both make sure the organizations you’re supporting are legit and give the bulk of their money to their mission

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


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.  http://www.greendisk.comm

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

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