Recruit, Inspire & Retain

May 2004

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

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


bullet Choose Employees For What They Can Become
bullet Who's Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet You Love Our Posters, You’ll Love These
bullet Cool Calls
bullet Does Your Organization’s Culture “Allow” People to Take Time Off?
bullet Why Human Interaction is Needed for Learning
bullet You Can Only Create Motivation for Employees If You Know Enough About Them
bullet Things to Do This Month/Conferences to Attend/Ways to Volunteer/Give (Call Us For Ways to Celebrate the Special Days of the Month!)


1. Scan It.
Read what interests you, and then select one article at a time to focus on.
2. Capture the Main Ideas.
Read a couple of ideas that are most relevant to you.
3. Think of an Application. 
How will you apply these ideas and insights to your life and work?
4. Take Action.
Set and implement at least one idea.

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Choose Employees For What They Can Become

No matter your faith and religious beliefs, the following will hit home for all of us recruiting the best staff! We tend to hire for what the person has to offer our organization now and miss people who have potential. As always, a balance is best.

TO: Jesus, Son of Joseph
COMPANY: The Woodcrafter’s Carpenter Shop, Nazareth
FROM: Jordon Management Consultants, Jerusalem
SUBJECT: Management Report

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization.

All of them have now taken our battery of tests, and we have not only run the results through our computers, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant. It is the opinion of the staff that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking.

They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capacity.

We have summarized the findings of our study below:

* Simon Peter is emotional, unstable and given to fits of temper.
* Andrew has absolutely no quality of leadership.
* The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interests above Company
* Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale.
* We believe it is our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem
    Better Business Bureau.
* James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus definitely have radical leanings. Additionally, they both
    registered high scores on the manic depressive scale.

However, one of the candidates shows great potential. He’s a man of ability and resourcefulness; he is a great networker; has a keen business mind; and has strong contacts in influential circles. He’s highly motivated, very ambitious and adept with financial matters. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your Controller and Chief Operating Officer.

All the other profiles are self explanatory. We wish you the utmost success in your new venture.

  Get the Best, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Cathy Fyock. (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions on order form). Or e-mail  
  Assessing Potential, by Barrie Gunter & Adrian Furnham. Special order at 
Order both by e-mailing or calling 800-469-3560.

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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


* Participants in an E-Learning How-To session at the Christian Management Association
* Clients of Edward Jones Investments


For All of Us Who Feel Only the Deepest Love and Affection for the Way Computers Have Enhanced Our Lives

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following

  1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
  2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
  3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
  4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
  5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.
  6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
  7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
  8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
  9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
  10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.
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).)

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*Jennifer Baker, APTA, after requesting all the Performance Appraisal questions from the April Recruit, Inspire & Retain: “Thanks for sending these along. I was curious about the questions ‘What are you pretending not to know?’ and ‘What am I pretending not to know?’ It seems like the first could provoke a defensive reaction and the second could elicit an ‘I don’t know’ or ‘Nothing’ sort of answer. Have you seen or heard of these used effectively and, if so, what are some examples of on target responses?”

TRAINING SYSTEMS' answer to her: “It’s all in the tone of voice and pacing used to ask the question. We haven’t heard of anyone who got defensive, but we sure can imagine it could happen. When we think of delivering these questions, we imagine a jovial tone and facial expression. Plus the emphasis in the first question is on the word not and in the second question it’d be on the word I.)

*Ed Lamaster, HealthNet, after using the problem solving training we designed for their huge influx of new staff: “The curriculum is well received, but it does produce some interesting results. Management loves it. For others, it depends on how well their management has included them in decision-making in the past. Some embrace the class, and others are skeptical about how much their opinion counts. The good thing is that when there’s been resistance, it’s provided a way for us to go to those managers and tell them how their associates perceive their jobs.”

*Mary Kasunick, The Cliffs, after using the supervisory training off-the-shelf workbook we found for their staff: “Just wanted to say, I have enjoyed using the book this week in my training. It was well received and so easy to use. Thanks again for your help. You have my future business for training needs!”


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Does Your Organization’s Culture “Allow” People to Take Time Off?

A survey by Andersen Consulting showed that, while on vacation:
83% of those with a household income of $75,000 or more kept in contact with their offices 

60% brought a mobile device

51% of those who brought a cellular phone received a work-related call

Is it good for overall productivity to create a culture that expects and rewards staff for being always connected/always at work? It’s doubtful. Assess your expectations and how they’re communicated. Be sure you’re giving people some true brain downtime so they can rest and come back ready to work!

Of course, the opposite culture is a problem, too — one that not only doesn’t expect or reward employees for being connected, but in fact has problems getting them to come to work at all! Here are 3 wonderful ideas from Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: How to Reduce Absenteeism at Work, by Gregory P. Smith:

  1. Lottery System. Use a lottery-type system to reduce absenteeism. Only employees with no absences during the month may participate. Such a program may include prizes like a television, a bicycle, or gift certificates. Companies using this tactic have been able to reduce the rate of absenteeism by as much as 75%.
  2. Play “Poker”. Improve attendance with a game of chance. Employees who come to work each day they are scheduled are allowed to draw one playing card. Those who attend all week own five cards by Friday. The player with the best hand wins $20.
  3. Perfect Attendance Program. Reward employees who have perfect attendance with anything from a monetary bonus to a complimentary dinner for two. Not only will you reward these dedicated workers, but you’ll also encourage those with less than perfect attendance to increase their commitment.

While these ideas may not work in every situation, the key to success is knowing the individual needs of your workforce. If you have an attendance problem, acknowledging the problem and talking with your employees to find a solution offers the best results.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: How to Reduce Absenteeism at Work, by Gregory P. Smith

Each quarter, & EMERGE Int’l. sponsor the Cultural Health Indicator (CHI). It assesses key business dimensions & provides leaders with a clear picture of human behaviors and business systems that are enhancing and/or preventing the achievement of strategic business goals. 


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Why Human Interaction is Needed for Learning

“The greatest needs for improvement relate to the planning and delivery of content that leaves attendees motivated and inspired. Meeting logistics and facilities appear to be adequate.” – Conclusion from the MPI Foundation study on the effectiveness of corporate meetings

Training and learning are a particular type of meeting and this MPI study has a lot to tell us about the effectiveness of our learning events. Below are a few of the highlights – share these with all those who need to help people learn!

Learner Overload
“Attendees have limited capacities in their working memory, the same as your computer. Once they are overloaded, frustration and demoralization inevitably set in which blocks further learning. One key to teaching is to avoid overloading one’s working memory.”
Ruth C. Clark, Author

Emotions—the Basis for Inspiration and Motivation
When content is presented in a stimulating and challenging manner it generates emotions within us as we try to make sense of what is occurring. Emotions are critical in determining whether we pay attention, learn, process, and retain information. We tend to remember best those experiences in which we had some emotional involvement and forget those in which we had little or no emotional involvement. Learners will be as passive as a facilitator allows them to be or will be as active as the presenter requires them to be, both of which impact learning.

Agenda, Pace, Delivery Methods, Amount of Content, Degree of Relevance are Critical Factors
The mere dissemination of content generally does not change one’s performance. The delivery methods and degree of attendee processing with the content are just as important as the content if learning and change are to occur according to cognitive psychologists.

Trainers/Speakers Who Lack Presentation Skills Tend to Use the Lecture Method
This form of presentation tends to (1) focus entirely on content, (2) overload learners with information, and (3) minimize opportunities for learners to process the message. More experienced trainers have learned to limit their content, focus on a few key points, and provide opportunities for learners to process information through questions, discussion, problems, exercises, case studies, etc. Learners make their own meaning of what they experience. Active mental processing by learners converts information into knowledge. When faced with a great deal of information, learners have to select what they will process and what they will discard—a natural sorting process the brain uses to prevent overload and keep a person functioning. Until information becomes knowledge to each learner, it has no value to them and cannot be retrieved.

The Learning Beyond the Training Room
Help learners follow up immediately and weeks and months after meetings: send email with a few key bullet points that will continue to help others do their jobs well with what they learned.

Establish a listserv for learners on the internet or on the intranet of your organization. Seed the listserv with key points that needs to be reinforced. Ask the learners to write down their experiences and questions while using the network they established at the training/meeting to continue to grow in their jobs and seek common solutions. Your organization can use their feedback to establish goals for a new meeting of the same people or others in similar positions.

Adapted from Making Meetings Work: An Analysis of Corporate Meetings by the MPI Foundation

Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly & Effectively, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Carolyn B. Thompson
Preventing Death by Lecture, by Sharon Bowman
Both available at 10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions on order form, or e-mail

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You Can Only Create Motivation for Employees If You Know Enough About Them

Last month we gave you a list of questions to help you have a great performance appraisal conversation. The dialogue will help you learn what your staff need for their performance.

Here’s a list of questions — choose the ones that fit your culture, as you’ll see, some are a bit off-the-wall — that’ll help you learn enough about your staff so you can actually know what motivates them (one size doesn’t fit all when motivating staff!):

1. What color are your kitchen plates?
2. What book are you reading right now?
3. What's on your mouse pad?
4. Favorite magazines?
5. Least favorite smell? 
6. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in morning? 
8. Least favorite color?
9. How many rings before you answer the phone?
10. Future child's name?
11. What is most important in life?
12. Chocolate or vanilla?
13. Do you drive fast?
14. What type was your first car?
15. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?
16. Favorite food?
17. What is your sign & your birthday?
18. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
19. If you could have any job what would it be?.
20. If you could have any color of hair what color would it be?
21. Favorite movie?
22. Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?
23. What's under your bed?
24. What is your favorite number?
25. Favorite sport to watch?
26. What is your single biggest fear?
27. Favorite CD?
28. Favorite TV shows?
29. Hamburgers or hot-dogs?
30. Favorite soft drink?


Motivating Employees, by Anne Bruce, James S. Pepitone (a Briefcase Book, like Carolyn’s Interviewing Techniques for Managers)


Motivating Today’s Employees, by Lin Grensing-Pophal


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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

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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


Barbeque Month
Better Sleep Month
Business Image Improvement Month
Correct Posture Month
Get Caught Reading Month
May 11–Clergy Day
May 16–Bike to Work Day
May 21–Employee Health and Fitness Day
May 21–Waitstaff Day
May 31–Stop Smoking Day

July 19-21, 2004
SHRM 2004 Spring Seminar Series, HR Generalist Certificate Program, Cleveland, OH,

Accelerated Learning Training Methods Workshop,

June 14-16, 2004
The Geneva Inn, Lake Geneva, WI

July 7-9, 2004
Hotel InterContinental, Toronto, CAN,

June 6-9, 2004
20th Annual Training Directors’ Forum 2004, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ,

June 17-20, 2004
IAF Conference 2004, Scottsdale, AZ,

June 21-22, 2004
Preventing Death by Lecture!, presented by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.
own Sharon L. Bowman, M.A., The Westin Westminster, Westminster, CO,

June 27-30, 2004
SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA,

July 25-27
Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress, Denver, CO,

August 14, 2004
American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting and Exposition, Minneapolis, MN,


Donate your old glasses!
Drop them off at a local LensCrafters store of Lions Club, or call 800-522-LENS

Cut Your Hair and Change a Child’s Life!
Matrix is the official sponsor of Locks of Love, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing custom-fitted hairpieces to boys and girls with medical hair loss.

They need hair of 10 inches or more from men, women, and children of all ages, races, and colors.

Give by Purchasing Products!
Purchase a product or service from any advertiser in the May, 2004 issue of Redbook Magazine, send your receipt(s) to REDBOOK by July 1, 2004 and they’ll match your dollars spent (up to $50) to your choice of over 30 charities.

Companies Helping Employing People!
These companies TRAIN and EMPLOY those in need of jobs:

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Copyright 2004 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.

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