Recruit, Inspire & Retain

April 2003

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

Great Training for Great Employees
800-469-3560 FAX 815-469-0886



Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

SPREAD IT AROUND! Pass this issue along to fellow employees or customers so they too can benefit from the ideas on recruiting, inspiring, training, & retaining. You can FORWARD this issue or print it out.

Remember, you can CHECK BACK ISSUES by keyword at our Web site, If this was forwarded to you, get your own copy FREE!


Brainstorming for More Recruiting Ideas

If this were group training (in person or web cast), we’d ask you to shout out any ideas that came to you as you read the following recruiting ideas. Oh, what the heck, we’ll ask you to anyway! E-mail all the recruiting ideas you get from each below. (The person with the most ideas wins a FREE AUTOGRAPHED copy of The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush!)

Rules of Brainstorming
  1. No idea is bad.
  2. Write down every idea - no matter if you’ve tried and it doesn’t work, no matter if it costs a ton of money, no matter if it’s illegal or immoral - write them all down.

* Recruiting firm, Recruit2Hire, sends out sales openings to its job seekers by cell phone. How could you use this idea in your company? What else does this make you think of?

* The average age of a Registered Nurse in a large county near Chicago is 48 years old, and there aren’t enough new RN’s or people preparing to fill the jobs that’ll be opening as they retire. This Baby Boomer retirement issue is plaguing other industries as well. What could healthcare institutions do now to help this problem? How could this apply to your industry?

* Southwest Airlines was the only major carrier that didn’t lay off people in the fall of 2001. They knew customers needed even more attention since 9/11 and enough staff has allowed them to provide it. Hiring right reduces the cost of employee turnover, loss of customers, and the cost of mistakes. How could you use this idea in your company?

E-mail  with your ideas by 4/30/03 for your chance to win The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush and get your ideas printed in our May issue.

Ask a Question

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.


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

Back to the top


I’ve Had Lots of Jobs
My first one was working in an orange juice factory, but I couldn’t concentrate, so I got canned. Then I got work as a tailor, but it was just a sew-sew job, and I wasn’t suited for it.
Then I tried to be a chef. Figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn’t have the thyme.
Next I worked for a pool maintenance company. It went swimmingly for a while, but eventually got to be draining.
My last job was in a grocery store, but I didn’t put much stock in it, and ended up getting sacked.

  • PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous posters that are pre-set to work on “auto-pilot”. Makes a great “WELCOME” message or enhancement to your session break. Runs about 5 minutes, and is set to automatically recycle. You can add in your own slides. (a great place to slip in your objectives!) Get your PowerPoint screen show here!
  • BUY PACKS of inspirational posters. (Do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for Training Room Posters (30/pack).)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Back to the top


*War: A reason to read “The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush”: “I am so glad I read The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush! I feel so confident about his war decisions, As President Bush has been taking various actions over the past month, I think, ‘Ah, that makes sense. That fits.’ Thanks for the confidence builder in an uncertain time.” (We got this message from numerous people!)

*On President Bush, Journal 10+, & designing training the TRAINING SYSTEMS' way: “President Bush is not the only genius in the crowd! It takes one to know one, and you’ve got what it takes! Congratulations to both you and your co-author. I enjoyed reading all of it. I would love to reference parts of the book that I enjoyed most, but my copy is out on loan.

Thanks to the Journal 10+  you introduced me to a couple of years ago, I have it that you went to Sedona with us 2 years ago on Friday, February 23. I keep up with the journal, sometimes covering a week or more at one sitting when I come back from a trip. It’s a good discipline and a great way to help remember things.

I recently developed a 3-hour customer service training course complete with workbooks and facilitated it for Scottsdale Air Center last week. I even did a timetable! Everything I learned about training I learned from you. By the way, it went well.” Susan Ramsay, Avitat Network-Worldwide

Back to the top


Inspire with Mini Personal Retreats

You and your staff person have just completed a very interactive performance appraisal process. It was a good conversation, the form is filled out, you have goals and dates for achievement and you’ve scheduled appointments to discuss progress over the coming year. We say - fantastic! You are doing so many more things to use the performance appraisal process than most of your peers and you’re sure to succeed. Success being defined as: “staff person has enhanced performance in targeted areas”. But, next year at Performance Appraisal time, it’s the same old thing - little to no change. Try giving the person some time to reflect and plan the methods & action steps they’ll take to achieve the goals.

Gain the benefits of your interactive performance appraisal process by carving out the time for your staff person to retreat from crazy schedules and cluttered thoughts to work on their methods.

Steps to give the staff person for planning a successful mini personal retreat:

1. Schedule the Date.
Schedule two dates over the next month when you will go on one full-day, uninterrupted, mini personal retreat. (2 dates, even though you’ll only use one - now you have cushion for an emergency.)

2. Find the Perfect Place.
The perfect place is different for each person. It depends on what enables you to connect with your inner thoughts and have a clean break with your normal responsibilities. Find a place where you can work undisturbed for hours, a place that’s quiet, comfortable, and surrounded by beauty. For some, this means a mountain inn or lakeside cabin. For others, it’s an art gallery, a library, or a restaurant.

3. Know What You Want to Achieve Each Day.
Review and confirm what you feel about your performance and the goals you and your supervisor set. Then write the specific methods/steps you’ll follow to achieve each goal. Include who you’ll need to help, what obstacles you’ll need to get around and dates for each step.

4. Plan Ahead.
A week or two before the day of the retreat purchase (or borrow from your library) & skim through:
* Some excellent books on performance improvement:
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton
* Also read: books, articles, websites, manuals that are specific to your goals.
* Ask your co-workers & supervisor for ideas on how they’d achieve your goals.

5. Bring Only Select Materials.
The goal of a retreat is to eliminate the clutter of life, to focus your thoughts and provide direction. So bring:
* foods and beverages you enjoy (unless you chose a restaurant)
* notes of the ideas from co-workers, supervisor, friends
* the books and articles you read

Leave at home:
* phone
* Internet connection
* pager You get the idea!

Adapted from Halftime Guide daily e-mail (HalftimeGuide@leadnet.orgn)

Ask a Question

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  • Motivating At Work: Empowering Employees to Give Their Best, by Twila Dwell. Available at, click on Inspiring. (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

  • Now Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Back to the top


Plan to Reinforce Training Before You Train (if you want performance)

Many employees and their managers feel like they participate in training, learn some new skills and new ideas, and then it’s just a roll of the dice whether the learning will actually stick. They filled out their workbooks, watched the video, read the self-study manual, did all the practice, the role plays, the exercises...they should now know everything there is to know about that subject or skill and be able to apply it.

The reality is that the more the manager and other employees are involved in the process before, during, and after the training — the more seriously the employee will take the learning and the GREATER THE ODDS that they will transfer what they’ve learned to their job. The learning keeps going long after the employees have left the group or finished the video, OJT, computer/web-based training, or self-study manual. That’s why the time and effort spent following up with the employees after training is one of the most important keys to ensuring that they retain and utilize what they’ve learned.

Design reinforcement into the learning, so the learners, their co-workers, and their managers will easily be able to reinforce the learning on an ongoing basis. Choose the methods below that fit.

Some of these are initiated by the manager (M), others by co-workers (C), others by a training professional (T), and others by the learner (L).

* Actively participate in determining training needs (M C T L)

* Actively participate in the design of the training (M C T L)

* Select learners according to established criteria for that training and the need for that skill
(M C T L)

* Participate in an advance briefing on training (M C)

* Participate in some training with employees (M)

* Arrange meetings between former learners and those about to learn to discuss how to transfer learned skills to the job (M C T L)

* Make sure the learner uses the new skills immediately (M C L)

* Have employee complete a Learning Action Plan to plan performance after training (M T L)

* Conduct a pre-training meeting to discuss objectives (M T)

* Take a pre-training survey to determine current skills/knowledge (M T L)

* Show your excitement about the learner learning — what they’ll be able to do when they finish training (M C T)

* Schedule the learner’s workload so they can focus on learning instead of worrying about what’s not getting done and what will be waiting when they return (M L)

* Plan the evaluation method for use after training (observer checklist, post test, etc.) (M T)

* Publish a training newsletter (ex. “Plotting our Progress”) (M T)

* Hold reminder/booster sessions (at regular staff meetings and/or special sessions) (M T)

* Use Supervisory Follow up Booklet, which lists all skills learned, behaviors that should be seen, and what can be done to reinforce the learning (M)

* Give constructive and immediate verbal feedback on performance (M C)

* Plan and communicate rewards and incentives (on-the-spot and/or before the training) (M C T L)

* Conduct a meeting with the learner back on the job to plan use (M C T L)

* Have the learners write postcards to themselves re: skills they’ll use and mail/give to them 2 weeks after completing the training (T)

* Provide the learners with checklists and worksheets for use on the job (M T)

* Have the learner share training experience and learning with co-workers on the job (M C T L)

* Involve the learner in work-related decisions based on new learning (M C)

* Request reports from the learner on the use of new skills and knowledge on the job (M T)

* Send 2 Minute Boosters to their e-mail at pre-determined intervals. See an example of the 2 Minute Booster we sent out.

from Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly & Effectively, pp 19&20, by Carolyn B. Thompson.

Ask a Question

Get more tips on training great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  • Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly & Effectively, by Carolyn B. Thompson, available at, click on Training. (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

  • Transfer of Training, by John Newstrom

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

Back to the top


Unmanaged Employee Conflict is Largest Reducible Organization Cost

“Over 65% of performance problems result from strained relationships between employees, not from deficits in individual employees’ skill or motivation. Interdependent workplace relationships are a fertile soil from which conflict can sprout.”

This is from an interesting article with a worksheet that’ll help you measure the financial cost of organizational conflict. You’ll be measuring 8 factors:
Factor 1: Wasted time - the productive time employees are distracted by conflicts.
Factor 2: Reduced decision quality - decisions made under conditions of conflict are always inferior to decisions made when cooperation prevails.
Factor 3: Loss of skilled employee - exit interviews reveal that chronic, unresolved conflict acts as a decisive factor in at least 50% of all such departures.
Factor 4: Restructuring for avoidance - often, design of workflow is altered in an attempt to reduce the amount of interaction required between employees in conflict.
Factor 5: Sabotage/theft/damage - studies reveal a direct correlation between prevalence of employee conflict and the amount of damage and theft of inventory and equipment.
Factor 6: Lowered job motivation - from time to time, most employees experience erosion of job motivation due to the stress of trying to get along with a “difficult person”.
Factor 7: Lost work time - absenteeism has been shown to correlate with job stress, especially the stress associated with anger toward co-workers.
Factor 8: Health costs - illnesses and injuries requiring medical attention are partially psychogenic, and conflict contributes to their psychogenesis.

Thanks, Das Dujatha in the HR Measurement listserve for your recap of the
article, “The Dan Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict”.

E-mail for the measurement worksheet.

  • Managing Disagreement Constructively, by Herbert S. Kindler (book, CD, audio or video)

  • Preventing Workplace Violence, by Marianne Minor

Both available at, click on Return. (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

Back to the top

Put the TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. site on your Windows taskbar! Right click blank area of taskbar, select Toolbars/New Toolbar, in new Toolbar box, enter

Buy The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief NOW at

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

  • Download articles for your newsletter!

  • Use free online assessments!

  • Purchase books, tapes & fun incentives to help you & your employees be the best!

  • Get new tips each month on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining great employees!

  • Click on links to great managing and training websites!

  • Purchase our famous inspirational quote posters!

  • Get answers to your employee recruiting, inspiring, retaining, & training questions from our experts!

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

Back to the top


April 6-12, 2003
National Library Week. A great time to see what’s new at your library.

April 10-15, 2003
ISPI 41st Annual International Performance Improvement Conference and Exposition, Boston, 

April 22, 2003
Earth Day. Log on to for a list of events taking place in your community.

April 22-24, 2003
Eighth Annual Teaching in the Community Colleges Online Conference, “The Student Experience in Online and Hybrid Courses”,

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

April 24, 2003
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Visit for ideas.

April 27-May 3, 2003
National Volunteer Week. Get ideas at

April 29, 2003
Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day! Stop by one of their stores for your free scoop.

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

May 6-12, 2003
Nurses Week/Hospital Week. Show nurses & hospital staff they’re appreciated. Visit for ideas.

June 2-6, 2003
ASTD International Conference and Exposition, at the Earnest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA, 

June 8-11, 2003
19th Annual Training Director’s Forum, at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa, 

June 22-25, 2003
SHRM 55th Annual Conference & Exposition, Orlando, FL, 

Back to the top

Copyright 2003 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.

**FORWARD Recruit, Inspire & Retain TO OTHERS


**ARTICLE REPRINTS FOR Recruit, Inspire & Retain

An ideal way to introduce new ideas or stimulate learning with the employees in your organization. Article reprints can also serve as a powerful promotional or sales tool - include them with your brochures, newsletters & media kits. For complete information on article reprints or copyright permission, call 1-800-469-3560 or e-mail


We’d love to print your articles on recruiting, inspiring, training and retaining employees.
E-mail your article to

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

Recruit, Inspire & Retain contains links to web sites operated by organizations other than TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. These links are for your convenience and we assume no responsibility for the content or operations of those sites.

Recruit, Inspire & Retain is a free e-zine of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Visit us at soon!

SUBSCRIBE (it's FREE) - send blank mail to:

UNSUBSCRIBE - send blank mail to:

Change your email address (we want to keep you!) - unsubscribe under your old address (send blank mail
to: then subscribe your new address (send blank mail to: