Recruit, Inspire & Retain

May 2005

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

Great Training for Great Employees

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bullet Older Workers/Younger Workers — Why They Work
bullet Who’s Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet Jokes & Goofiness in the Workplace — A How-To Guide
bullet Cool Calls
bullet Instead of Banning Religious Activities, Try A New Approach to Faith @ Work
bullet Toys for Training/Toys For Meetings
bullet What GREAT Supervisors Do Differently
bullet Fun Days to Celebrate/Professional Development Conferences/Ways to Volunteer & Give
(Email Us For Ways to Celebrate the FUN Days to Celebrate)

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Older Workers/Younger Workers — Why They Work

The 2004-2005 SHRM Workplace Forecast listed “Aging of the Workforce”, “Increase in Unskilled Workforce”, & “Generational Issues” in its Key Demographic Trends. Look how they relate in articles from 2 writers.

Older Workers – Briefing, AmEx newsletter, says:
  • The oldest workers today are the youngest members of the “WWII Generation”, or “Matures”. This senior generation was born before the mid-40s, now nearing their 60s or older. Many older members had families impacted by the Depression and served in WWII: the younger half grew up in the shadow of it. While they have been influenced by Baby Boomer attitudes, these younger Matures adopted most of their elders’ core values of discipline and hard work, self-sacrifice, respect for authority, and teamwork — which got them through hard times and with which they built the prosperity that America came to enjoy. Their mindset is one of work before pleasure, sacrifice over the long term, right and wrong, patriotism, and loyalty — what we think of today as traditional values.

  • Many of this generation are in senior positions, but in today’s age-diverse workforce, younger workers may be managing some Matures. In leadership positions, their style is more authoritative and hierarchic than democratic. While Matures value teamwork, their “team” experience has been under strong leaders – teamwork today incorporates an unfamiliar sense of equality. Because Matures like to work for strong leaders with proven track records, younger managers need to show they have enough industry knowledge and skills to deserve their leadership role. It’s important to be respectful — letting Matures know their wisdom and experience counts.

  • Matures prefer clear job descriptions and expectations. They’ll want to know the rules and how you will measure their success. During training and orientation, emphasize long-term goals. They like knowing the big picture of a company and its history. A high level of structure is a positive — they relate to classrooms and textbooks, while they stayed in line, sat in rows, and were taught to memorize. Their approach is much more linear and logic based than other generations.

Younger Workers — Joe Cappo wrote:
“Low-paying jobs are great for young people getting their start on a career. They are for students working their way through college, for immigrants who have yet to master the local language or for those who simply do not have the education to get a professional, managerial, or technical job. And, low-paying jobs are sometimes the only ones remaining for those who were outsourced, downsized or made irrelevant by structural changes in their industries.

We should realize that about ¼ of U.S. students do not complete high school. Yes, it would be just peachy if we could create high-paying jobs for these undertrained people. What would you suggest for them? Brain surgeon? Financial planner? Computer analyst? Air traffic controller? Congressman?

Decades ago, people who didn’t have a college degree or technical training might have gotten mid-paying jobs as meatpackers, steelworkers, rubber workers, etc. But today, even most mid-paying jobs require a high school education and additional special training in computers, electronics, engineering, just to name a few.

Simply put, our economy no longer creates high-paying or even mid-paying jobs for people without educations. This is one of the basic reasons so many disadvantaged kids get into drug-dealing, prostitution, and robbery. These jobs, with all of their risks, pay better than service industry jobs. Even then, most people who are undertrained and undereducated still prefer to submit to jobs with low wages rather than resort to a life of crime. So it’s a good thing that we haven’t somehow bowed to the stigma of the low-paying job and stopped creating them.”

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  America’s Workforce Is Coming of Age, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Cathy Fyock
  UnRetirement, also by Cathy Fyock

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


Fun Meter  



Participants in a TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. session on “maintaining positivity” at the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officers Conference.


Participants in a TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. session on HR Basics at The Christian Management Association Conference.

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Jokes & Goofiness in the Workplace — A How-To Guide

Age-Old Secret

A woman walking down a residential street noticed a little old many rocking in a chair on his porch.

She called out to him as she passed, “Hello there! I couldn’t help but notice how happy you look. What’s your secret for a long, happy life?”

“I smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day,” he replied. “I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat nothing but fast food, and never exercise.”

“Wow!” said the woman. “How old are you?”

“26," he replied.

From The Chaka, the bulletin of the Rotary Club of Calcutta, India1. Give out silly jokes (clean, non-harassing!)

1.Give out silly jokes (clean, non-harassing!)

2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don’t disguise your voice.

3. At lunch time, sit in your parked care and point a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

4. Skip rather than walk.

5. Put a sticker next to the “6” button in the elevator that reads, “6th floor button broker; push 3rd floor button twice.”

6. Or put a sticker by any button that reads, “For faster service push button 5 times.”

Thanks to Brad Montgomery for these ideas from
The Association For Applied & Therapeutic Humor Conference.

Humor Scout Pledge
I promise to do my best
To promote laughter and happiness.
To help myself, my family, my friends, and all associates.
To look for humor everywhere.
To belly laugh everyday,
To lighten up by laughing at myself,
To daily practice one comic ritual,
And to allow my inner clown to emerge.
Ruth Hamilton

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!
Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS you see in TRAINING SYSTEMS' group training and conference bookstores? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of the topics you need.

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Timothy J. McCormally, Tax Executive Institute, sent this referral to a colleague: “Tax Executives Institute recently used TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. (based in Chicago, but with some staff here in the Washington area) to design and conduct a staff customer service training program. Our objective sounds a lot like yours...a desire to help everyone on our staff learn the importance of having a customer-service philosophy AND to provide some practical tips for dealing with common (problem) areas.

Overall I thought the program was excellent. The training/facilitator met with us for 2 half-day sessions, which featured role-playing exercises and a lot of humor and interactivity. Tax Executives Institute has an eclectic staff of 16...4 attorneys, 2 meeting planners, 2 website/communications people, an IT professional, membership coordinator, a director of admin/human resources, and 4 support staff (plus myself). We all participated...and I think we all got a lot out of the sessions.

(By the way, we also used TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  to help us design the roll out strategy for our new website, including developing several online tutorials.)”
Thanks, Timothy – we are really enjoying our work with your staff!


Joe Rice, Mike’s Carwashes, called TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  to tell what’s been happening since their coaching session to enhance their employee training program:
“We tried deleting the words, ‘Follow Up’ from all our training discussions/materials. Like you said, the words, ‘follow up’ had been making the managers think it was something ‘after’ the training so if they didn’t do it, no big deal. Of course, we know that it’s crucial to the learning and therefore is part of the training. But the simplest wording change made a huge difference — from ‘the follow up is to observe your employee’s behavior...’ to ‘on March 3 complete the training by using the Observer Checklist to write all the behaviors you see changed since the Feb 3 day your staff worked with the trainer...’

Managers are now jumping on their part of the learning (previously and detrimentally labeled ‘follow up’). Now we’re off to eliminate some other words detrimental to learning like ‘workshop’.”
We’re thrilled, Joe, that you saw such immediate results. Those words are pretty important!

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Instead of Banning Religious Activities, Try A New Approach to Faith @ Work

When Muslim employees at Ford Motor Co. needed a place to perform ablution, a ceremonial washing before prayer, they knew who would help. The Ford Interfaith Network, a company-funded religious employee group, played the role of ombudsman and had certain restroom sinks designated for ablution.

The 3-year-old employee resource group also sends a monthly electronic newsletter to 6,700 Ford employees, observes the National Day of Prayer with readings from eight religions, and hosts lunchtime presentations. "We’re particularly trying to make sure people feel that they don’t have to leave their faith or personal beliefs at the door when they show up for work in the morning," says Daniel Dunnigan, a finance manager at Ford and chairman of the Interfaith Network. "The company acknowledges that is part of who they are."

Ford isn’t the only company to grapple with the contentious issue of religion in the workplace. American Airlines, Texas Instruments and Intel Corp. all support religious employee networks, adding those groups to the roster of constituency networks based on race, ethnicity, gender or other shared characteristics. Though companies could completely divorce themselves from anything to do with religion, many say that the faith-based employee resource groups complement their workforce-diversity goals and contribute to the bottom line through employee recruitment, development and retention. In addition, at least one company believes that its willingness to confront thorny issues impresses its customers, enhancing the company’s position in the marketplace.

"The old conventional wisdom was just don’t talk about religion or spirituality in the workplace at all," says the Rev. Thomas Sullivan, director of spiritual life and professor of business ethics at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. "The new conventional wisdom is that we still don’t want proselytizing pressure in the workplace and we don’t want people to feel unwelcome, but we know that folks who feel like they can bring their spiritual values to work are happier, are more productive, stay longer and help the company more than people who don’t feel like they can bring their values to work. The challenge is finding a way to do that, that still respects the wisdom of seeing to it that people don’t feel pressured or proselytized in any way."

How Ford Does It
At Ford, several separate religious groups petitioned the company, each seeking designation as an employee resource group. The official status gives groups a senior-management "champion," corporate funding and an intranet site. The company denied the requests, saying that it did not want to appear as if it were favoring one religious group. But Ford said it would consider a proposal for an interfaith employee resource group, one with representatives from a variety of religions.

Work began in 2000 on bylaws that would provide a seat on the interfaith network’s board for any religion with 350 million adherents worldwide or 1% of the U.S. population. By 2001 the Ford Interfaith Network had assembled a board composed of representatives from eight religions—Buddhism, Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism and Orthodox Christianity. There’s also a non-voting chairman who facilitates meetings. "Requiring it to be an interfaith employee resource group drove acceptance and diversity," says Ford’s Dunnigan, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "People really have learned to work together."

How American Airlines Does It
At American Airlines, employees wishing to form a new employee group submit an application to the company’s Diversity Advisory Council, composed of representatives from the 14 existing resource groups, a wide spectrum that includes constituents from working parents to employees with disabilities. The council approved American’s Christian Employee Resource Group in 1995, followed in 1997 by Jewish and Muslim groups. "Our employees have not had any difficulty accepting the religious-based employee resource groups," says Sharyn Holley, managing director of diversity strategies and corporate citizenship at American Airlines. American’s Diversity Advisory Council is responsible for keeping the yearly objectives of employee groups aligned with corporate goals. To support American’s objective of community involvement, for example, the Christian Employee Resource Group coordinated a program that collected and shipped 729 contemporary Christian music CDs to U.S. troops in Iraq.

How Proctor & Gamble Does It
Some companies don’t sanction any employee religious groups. For example, Procter & Gamble allows employees to use small conference rooms for praying, but spokeswoman Vicky Mayer says that "no organized religious activities" are allowed on P&G property. Companies must be cautious because such religion-related community-service projects could cause employees outside the group to feel ostracized, says Michelle Bligh, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Claremont Graduate University.

Whatever the policy, employers should treat religions and religious groups evenhandedly in order to get the benefits and avoid the potential problems.

Excerpted from Workforce Management magazine, 10/04

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Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Faith @ Work, by Os Hillman
Business Through the Eyes of Faith, by Richard C. Chewning

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Toys for Training/Toys For Meetings

I love my listservs! This past week in the MIMlist we had wonderful ideas on using toys to focus learning:

Trisha Pollock started it off by asking the list:
I am looking for items to place on workshop/breakout tables that attendees can play with during the meeting. I have seen tiny containers of play dough, stress balls, the pens with the games attached (Operation, Connect 4, etc.) Does anyone know a source for these products?


Pegine had 2 comments:
1. Toys and activities that engage the audience, encourage interaction and take people away from their norm are great for meetings and sessions. My training and continued education in the fields of adult education, group and organizational development, children's theatre, comedy and improvisation all have proven research that the use of facilitation techniques including engagement, interaction (including small and large group techniques, hands on activities) and participation raises the ability to retain concepts and create memorable experiences that enable content to be recalled immediately during times of need. My programs, including my keynotes, incorporate all of these because they work. I work with diverse audiences from college students to rocket scientists, engineers and the military. They LOVE that the programs are different and engage them. Most importantly they have high ROI because they can remember and USE the material. Isn't the point of our work to give audiences the tools, skills and knowledge that they can use at work and in their lives? Using toys and
activities creates a physical, emotional and intellectual connection with the material taught so that they can easily recall the information when they need it.

2. The key to the inclusion of toys and activities is that everyone has something he/she can share with their teammates and have a memorable experience. Activities where only one person participates in (i.e.; crocheting, knitting, PDA playing) breaks down the team atmosphere and hinders the experience. Additionally the individual activity can create
distractions for participants and the presenter. Have you ever been in a presentation, movie or event where someone was participating in a solo activity (i.e.; crocheting, knitting, PDA playing) and your mind drifted and focused on their activity rather than the presentation, movie or event? If everyone was taught how to crochet or yarn and needles where distributed to each table that would be a different scenario.

Of course when the presenter is boring everyone should break out the crocheting, knitting, and PDA playing - rather than waste your time you might as well be productive.

Speakers beware...if people are bringing out their crocheting, knitting, and PDA's know that you are boring.


Joan–the queen of toys @ meetings–Eisenstodt responded:
YEA that you are going to do this! Help those in attendance know that "when your hands are engaged, your brain is more engaged" and help them feel comfortable playing. I recommend:
Wikki Stix (
Crayola products: Model Magic, Crayola "dough", SillyPutty, crayons and markers of all sorts (
Legos - just the regular ones, not the sets to specifically build. (
Pens w/ games attached - and other wonderful items such as traveling hula hoops, Magic 8 Balls and more - 
Other cool stuff at and Oriental Trading Co. ( for squishy stress balls, bubbles, and so much more.


Candace Mingo said – It's all about fun!!!
I have always professed that fun doesn't have to be about clowns, balloons or remote control fart machines ... it's simply making something -- anything -- more palatable!

Years ago I was in charge of putting together an annual "revenue enhancement and budget review meeting" for the hotel I worked for. Corporate was going to attend, along with all of the executives and department heads. This was a meeting that was usually dreaded, and I knew it would be a challenge to make this type of meeting take on any aspect of fun! Well ... by the end of the day, they literally hated that they had to quit!

I took play money and superimposed our GM's face in the center oval, with a bubble that read "MO' MONEY!" I placed stacks of these bills around the table, and when someone came up with a really great idea that would be implemented, the GM signed one of the bills, and it was later redeemed for $10 real cash.

Instead of writing ideas on a flip chart, there were large bouquets of helium balloons and Sharpies, and attendees wrote their ideas on these, and "floated" the idea before the rest of the group.

For the morning segment, I put out large bowls of "creative" foods that included colorful fruit loops and other "fun" cereals, milk with chocolate and strawberry Qwik, fresh fruit with chocolate dip, coffee with a bezillion condiments, etc. Then in the afternoon, just when things usually start to drag, SUGAR saved the day! Large handfuls of "vintage" candies (lipstick, licorice, teeth, pop rocks, etc.) along with the coolest stuff in the normal "junk food" line I could find on the shelves kept everyone "engaged" AND energetic through the entire (usually painful) process.

The brainstorming was above average, and everyone was still in a good mood when we finished! Upon completion, the consensus was that the sugar and colorful foods and toys were the heroes! Try it ... you'll be surprised what people will do (or eat) when given permission or encouragement (or peer pressure!). They're just waiting to let that inner child out for a little fun!


Joy Hall Bryant said:
I agree with what the others have already mentioned. Unfortunately I don't run the type of meetings where having toys is feasible, but I love when ones I attend use them.

Be prepared that some of your toys will disappear with the attendees. One of my favorite trainers plans for that and openly invites each attendee to keep any ONE toy when the class is over.

Good sources include:
Rhode Island Novelty, 
They carry similar stock to Oriental Trading, 
This is a discount liquidator, so stock varies (but it's cheap!)

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Get more tips on training great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

301 Ways to Have Fun at Work, by Dave Hemsath & Leslie Yerkes
Joy At Work, by Dennis Bakke
Buy by emailing  or calling 800-469-3560. 10% off for RIR readers.

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What GREAT Supervisors Do Differently

Great supervisors come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors and genders and ages and everything else. It's how they act that makes them great. Here are several behaviors that set great supervisors apart.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors understand that as a boss you have very little power. Your staff decide for themselves how to act and their performance affects your evaluation.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors understand that they have tons of influence. Your people pay attention to what you do. What you spend time on, comment on and emphasize becomes important to them.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors pay a lot of attention to their supervisory performance. They keep notes about what works and what doesn't. They pay attention to accomplishing the mission and caring for people. They understand that supervision is hard, but rewarding work.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors show up a lot. You can't learn about your folks and they can't learn about you unless you're around each other frequently. Not only that, if you're a regular part of the landscape, your folks won't automatically become defensive when you show up.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors make a bridge from noticing to documenting and let staff know about it. That way nobody's surprised.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors do great documentation when they need to. They record time, place, and behavior. Behavior is what people say and what people do.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors understand that you can't "motivate" people They motivate themselves.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors understand that saying someone has a "bad attitude" doesn't help anyone. You have to identify what they DO (behavior) that makes you think they have a bad attitude and then work on influencing their behavior.

bullet pictureGreat supervisors know that you can't win them all. Some folks won't do the right thing no matter what you do. Some folks will have off-the-job problems that sabotage their performance. Accidents happen.

Thanks to Wally Bock, who writes a fantastic newsletter, 

Excellence in Supervision, by Richard Conlon. (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)
Managing By Values, by Ken Blanchard.
Call 800-469-3560 or e-mail

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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


Family Support Month
Flower Month
Better Sleep Month
National Hamburger Month
Get Caught Reading Month
International Business Image Improvement Month
International Internal Audit Awareness Month
National Book Month
National Correct Posture Month
Older Americans Month

May 8-14
National Hospital Week
Flexible Work Arrangements Week
National Pet Week

May 15-21
Raisin Week
National Bike Week

May 22-28 – National Frozen Yogurt Week
May 10 – Human Kindness Day
May 11 – Clergy Day
May 12 – Nonsense Day
May 13 – National Apple Pie Day
May 16 – Receptionist Day
May 17 – Pack Rat Day
May 18 – Peace Day
May 19 – Plant Something Day
May 20 – Pick Strawberries Day
May 21 – Waitstaff Day
May 26 – National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

May 17-18, 2005
Getting Results from Evaluation and Assessment Technologies, San Antonio, TX, 

May 17-19, 2005
HR Generalist Certificate Program, New York, NY, 

May 21-25, 2005
CCL: Leadership Development for Human Resource Professionals, Colorado Springs, CO,

May 24, 2005
Best Year Yet Individual Success Program, Personal Planning Session, Chicago, IL, 

May 24-26, 2005
SHRM Workplace Diversity Conference & Exposition, Las Vegas, NV, 

June 9-12, 2005
SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition, San Diego, CA,

June 13-17, 2005
CCL: Leadership Development for Human Resource Professionals, Colorado Springs, CO,

June 19-22, 2005
SHRM Annual Conference & Expo, San Diego, CA,

June 20-24, 2005
eLearning Instructional Design Conference, Boston, MA,

July 5-8, 2005
5th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Koahsiung, Taiwan,

July 22-23, 2005
THE PATH Training, La Jolla, CA, 

July 31-August 4,2005
SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Conference, Los Angeles, CA,

August 15-17, 2005
HR Generalist Certificate Program, Seattle, WA, 

August 15-18, 2005
CCL: Leadership Development for Human Resource Professionals, Colorado Springs, CO,

September 23-25, 2005
National Christian Leadership Coaching Summit, Sheraton Capital Center, Raleigh, NC, 

September 25-27, 2005 Employers of Excellence Conference 2005, Phoenix, AZ, 


Five Wishes At Work
Five Wishes At Work is an easy-to-use legal document that helps people plan for serious illness. It can be offered to employees along with other benefits like life & health insurance, pension planning, etc.

Be a Pen-Pal to a Soldier
Got to the Manhattanville web site,, sign up to correspond with a soldier, and receive a red wristband stamped with MY SOLDIER (like the Lance Armstrong “LIVE STRONG” bands).


Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics

Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation, 

Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.

Find local Electronics recyclers at 

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Get FREE access to great recruiting, inspiring, training & retaining tips, ideas & resources where you can::
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* Click on links to great managing and training websites!
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* Get answers to your employee recruiting, inspiring, retaining, & training questions from our experts!


Copyright 2005 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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