April, 2002


Southwest Airlines is Hiring Again - Is Something
Holding You Back? * Who’s Wearing Fun Meters? * Of Cell
Phones, Words & Age... * Beware the Busy Staff Person *
Cool Calls * 10 Ways You Can Get More From Your
Association with TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. * You Get What
You Pay For, So Train * Provide Thorough Employee
Orientation on Your Intranet * Conferences/Seminars & Volunteering/ Donating

SPREAD IT AROUND! Please make every effort to pass this
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Southwest Airlines is Hiring Again - Is Something
Holding You Back?
AP News - Southwest Airlines, which bucked the trend of
layoffs and flight reductions after September 11, plans
to hire about 4,000 workers this year.

Southwest knows that staff bring profits.

A controller in California asks:

The owners of our privately held company have minimal
staffing in both accounting and HR. The backlog of work
is very large and has been building for years. There
are two problems. First, the owners won’t offer wages
to attract qualified staff. Second, they don’t
acknowledge the need for more staff. Other than
explaining the risks of not hiring competent staff, and
not having enough coverage for all positions, what are
my options? -- Overworked controller in CA.

Answer: Company owners are driven by profits in most
cases. Profits are earned by strong sales and
cost—efficient operations. The more productivity that
can be squeezed out of each process, employee, machine, or hour, the greater the potential for profit. Given that the owners are striving for intense cost control, we might assume that they are challenged by a slowdown in business because of the economy and/or the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. Naturally, they’ll be looking to cut costs wherever they can. However, sometimes you can cut too much, and that apparent cost reduction actually turns out to cost more.

Present your case to them in terms of dollars and
cents, as well as the work that needs to be done. You
may have a “pay me now or pay me later” situation. A
reasonable analysis will help.

At the same time, find some ways to streamline the work
being done. Can you improve the process to save some
time? How will current and proposed conditions affect customers, sales, service, and the long-term viability of the company? Instead of fighting the owners; counsel them in terms they will identify with. Excerpted from an article in Workforce by Roger Herman, CMC, The Herman Group, Greensboro, North Carolina, Oct. 3, 2001.

#”Hire & Keep the Best People”, by Brian Tracy.
Call 800-469-3560 to order.
#”Winning the Talent Wars”, by Bruce Tulgan,
available at
(10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

Get more tips on recruiting great employees at  and then click on RECRUIT TIPS.

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  


*The staff of The Christian Management Association wore
them at their Annual Conference and it was really fun!

*Salvation Army staff participating in NCV Division
round tables.

Fun Meter Buttons, available at



Of Cell Phones, Words & Age...
*I don’t like the idea that people can call you in your
car. I think there’s news you shouldn’t get at 60mph.”
– Tom Parks

*If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why
the human race has not achieved, and never will
achieve, its full potential, that word would be

*Ultracrepidarian: a person who gives opinions beyond
his scope of knowledge.

*What we Learn Through the Ages...
~”I’ve learned that you can’t hide a piece of broccoli
in a glass of milk.” - age 7

~”I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I
like it, Mom makes me clean it up.” - age 13

~”I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me.” - age 15

~”I’ve learned that there are people who love you
dearly but just don’t know how to show it.” - age 41

~”I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by
simply sending them a little card.” - age 44

~”I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the
side away from the phone.” - age 50

~”I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by
the way he handles these three things: a rainy day,
lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” - age

~”I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship
with your parents, you miss them terribly after they
die.” - age 53

~”I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will
elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs
of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the
very best you can, happiness will find you.” - age 65

~”I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.” - age 92


#!!NEW!! A PowerPoint screen show that features 40
humorous and timely 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!)  

#BUY PACKS of inspirational posters at,
do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for
Training Room Posters (30/pack).



Beware the Busy Staff Person
Staff will tell you that the resource they lack most is
time. If you watch them, you’ll see them rushing from
meeting to meeting, checking their e-mail constantly,
fighting fires - an astonishing amount of fast-moving
activity that allows almost no time for reflection.
Staff think they are attending to important matters, but they’re really just spinning their wheels.

For the past ten years, the authors of this Harvard
Business Review article have studied the behavior of
busy staff, and their findings should frighten you:
fully 90% of staff squander their time in all sorts of ineffective activities. A mere 10% of staff spend their time in a committed, purposeful, and reflective manner.

Effective action relies on a combination of two traits:
Focus - the ability to zero in on a goal and see the
task through to completion, and
Energy - the vigor that comes from intense personal

Focus without energy evolves into listless execution or
leads to burnout. Energy without focus dissipates into
aimless busyness or wasteful failures. Plotting these
two traits into a matrix provides a useful framework for understanding productivity levels of different staff.

Staff who suffer from low levels of both energy and
focus: they dutifully perform routine tasks but fail to
take initiative.
Disengaged staff have high focus but low energy: they
have reservations about the tasks they are asked to do,
so they approach them halfheartedly.
Distracted staff have high energy but low focus: they
confuse frenetic activity with constructive action.
Purposeful staff are both highly energetic and highly
focused: these are the staff who accomplish the most.

This article will help you identify which staff in your organization are making a real difference-and which just look busy.
Adapted from Harvard Business Review, 2/02.

#Now Discover Your Strengths”, by Marcus Buckingham.
A revolutionary approach to improving employee
performance by focusing on strengths instead of
weaknesses! Call 800-469-3560 to order.



10 Ways You Can Get More From Your Association with
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8. Check the TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. web site frequently for new ideas or use “Search” to get all the information on a topic (
9. Stay informed of employee recruiting, inspiring, training, & retaining by ideas by reading Recruit, Inspire & Retain. 10. Let your customers know how well trained your staff are (one of our clients uses footage of his HVAC staff learning in their TV commercials).


*In a first phone call with a potential client -
Chicago’s Best Entertainment: Kim Amling said, “Where
have you been the past 13 years that I needed a
customized company?”

*Carl Wrede, Neumann Homes said, “I really enjoyed our conversation on Friday. It helped me remember what I like about my job and profession.”

*After helping the partners of an accounting firm set
their mission, vision and values and a plan of action to
use them daily: they began the process of getting staff involved. One staff person took the values and made 1x3 magnets for each.

When a staff person told a partner she’d worked 5 hours
more this week than the client’s budget called for, the
partner pointed to the value “Integrity” on the wall and
said, “That’s integrity.”



You Get What You Pay For, So Train
You: (Hiding embarrassment) Hey Joe, do you know any
good painters?
Me: Sure, what do you need done?
You: My whole house.
Me: I thought you just painted your whole house.
You: (Irritated and defensive) I did, OK. Now, can I get
that number or are you going to just stand there with
that weird smile all day long?
Me: Didn’t turn out so well?
You: (Admitting defeat) It turned out to be a disaster.

A disaster is what organizations can’t afford in today’s competitive world.

Please answer honestly “yay” or “nay” to the following
about your organization:
+ Does your organization help all its employees learn?
+ Are trainers brought in from the outside?
+ Are useable tools given by trainers that can be
implemented immediately?
+ Does training positively influence morale?
+ Does training help improve individual and
organizational productivity?
If you didn’t answer “yay” to all of these questions,
there’s a problem.

You (now a business manager): What are you talking about
pal? You don’t even know our company
Me: Don’t need to. Every organization needs to help its employees learn.
You: We do! Our accounting manager did a seminar on communication last week.
Me: Accounting manager?
You: Mind your own business.
Me: Sarcasm aside, there is one element common to
successful organizations: They help employees learn in
areas that affect productivity. What’s unfortunate is
that too many organizations try to do it all from inside instead of a mix of outside experts and inside staff.
“You get what you pay for” is true-blue when it comes to staff development.
It requires collaboration with
external people who can bring in two critical
components: specialized skill sets and the courage to
tell you that your organization has weaknesses.
You: But Joe, with the downward turn of today’s economy
we can’t afford to pay someone outside our organization
help our employees learn.
Me: You can’t afford not to. Trained employees directly
impact the bottom line with improved morale, fewer
errors and increased productivity. Everyone wins.
You: Maybe, you’re right.
Me: I knew you’d come around.
Tip of the week. Want to find out where to get trainers?
The International Society for Performance Improvement at
Adapted with permission of Joe Takash, professional
speaker & president of Victory Consulting, who writes a wonderful column in The Star Newspaper each week.

#Increase learning retention with The Talking Stuffed
Reinforcement Messenger from Connection Channel,
here's another great way to reinforce learning. Let a
stuffed plush fur ball carry your message. You record
your voice message over the phone or Internet so the
fur ball arrives with your voice message! The learner
will be amazed! Available at

Get more tips on helping great employees learn at, click TRAIN TIPS.

NEW FEATURE AT OUR WEBSITE! In addition to Train Tips,
you can now get new ideas for learning methods you can
use right away. Click TRAIN TIPS, then LEARNING


Provide Thorough Employee Orientation on Your Intranet
We have an employee orientation on our Intranet web site (created as a multimedia interactive training with DreamWeaver). The person is supposed to take one of the four lessons each of their first four weeks at work. There is a Learning Plan that can be printed out and shared with their manager, thus affording interactions with the manager on a regular basis through the first month of employment -- it gives extra chances for getting acquainted, having questions answered, etc.

We do have some employees who do not yet have access to
the Intranet and they learn from a PowerPoint screen
show delivered via PlaceWare at a specific time.

Since we have 1500 branches in just the US, this is an excellent method. It has eliminated travel for both employees and facilitators, it is still human being to human beings, offers chances for interaction and questions, feedback, etc., through polling by the facilitator and questions that can be typed to the facilitator or over the conference call. Attendance can be taken by PlaceWare and any questions you take that you can’t answer become part of the presentation (on a whiteboard slide) and you can print after the presentation for follow up. It has worked great for distance orientation, but takes some upgrading of facilitation skills on the part of the facilitator.
Thanks to A.J. Evans & Pat Anderson for letting all of
us in the  listserv know how
they do it.

#”Hands On Training”, by Gary Sisson. Order by
calling 800-469-3560
#”30 Ways to Shine As a New Employee”, by Denise
Bissonnette, available at  (10% off
by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

Get more tips on retaining great employees by clicking  and clicking RETAIN TIPS.


Put the TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. site on your Windows
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April 19, 2002
ASAE “Advanced Leadership Skills”, facilitated by
TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Carolyn B. Thompson,
Minneapolis, MN, 888-950-2723

April 21-24, 2002
International Federation of Training & Development Organisations Ltd (IFTDO), Bahrain International Conference Center, Manama, Bahrain,  

April 22-24, 2002
SHRM’s HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR in Las Vegas, NV,

April 22-25, 2002
ISPI Conference. TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Carolyn B.
Thompson will be facilitating a cracker-barrel session:
“For the Fastest Learning - All Learning Goes in This
Order”, Dallas, TX, 301-587-8570

April 29-May 1, 2002
SHRM’s HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR in Washington, DC,

May 5-7, 2002
Fast Company RealTime, San Diego, CA,

May 5-8, 2002
Chief Learning Officer 2002: New Strategies for Human
Capital Management, Hotel Boston/Cambridge, Cambridge,

May 14-17, 2002
IQPC’s Training Measurement 2002. On May 15, TRAINING
SYSTEMS, INC. own Carolyn B. Thompson will be
facilitating an Interactive Dinner Workshop: How to
Measure What Training Really Costs, Hyatt Regency,
Chicago, IL. Carolyn has 2 free registrations for the
whole conference available to the first 2 people who e-mail her at

May 16-17, 2002
CMI’s Experiential Education: Train the Trainer, Iron
Oaks Adventure Center, Olympia Fields, IL

May 23-26, 2002
International Association of Facilitators Conference
2002 Texas, “The Quest for Transformation”, Fort Worth,

June 2-6, 2002
ASTD’s International Conference and Exposition, New
Orleans, LA,  

June 19-21, 2002
Emerging Technologies & Healthcare Innovations Congress, Washington Hilton & Towers, Washington DC,  

Capella University Online Master’s Degree in Training
and Development,

HELP A GIRL GO TO HER PROM: donate unopened makeup,
gently worn formal dresses, shawls, purses, and shoes to
Sequin Dreams Project/Wakulla HS, Attn: Jet Fowler, 3237 Coastal Hwy, Crawfordville, FL 32327 or to Fairy Godmothers, Attn: Joyce Jesko, 2930 Turnpike Dr., Hatboro, PA 19040

cost you anything: just go to  and click on “donating a mammogram” (pink window in the middle). Their corporate sponsors donate mammograms based upon the number of daily visits to the site.

VolunteerMatch is an online service that helps to match volunteers with jobs. On, you can search for community volunteer opportunities across America by zip code, area of interest, and more.

billion disks are thrown away by PC users every year!
They go into landfills, where they can take over 450
years to degrade OR they’re incinerated, causing acid
rain. Greendisk has a recycling program that’s easy and inexpensive. You ship used 3.5" disks, CDs and videotapes to their recycling facility in Missouri.
Greendisk takes them apart and makes new disks and other
items. Go to  for details.


Copyright 2002 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights


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inspire, train, & retain great employees!

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