Recruit, Inspire & Retain

May 2007


Ideas for “Marketing” and Providing “Customer Service” to Current and Potential Employees


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bullet FUN
 Days to Celebrate
(Call/Email for Ways to Celebrate the FUN
 Days to Celebrate!)
bullet RECRUIT -
11 Challenges Facing Hiring Managers
bullet Making Excuses
bullet Who's Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet What Are You Reading This Month?
bullet INSPIRE -
Inspire Staff With a Breather Once A Year
bullet TRAIN -
Learn more, Waste Less Time
bullet RETAIN -
Staff Need to See Your Strategic Plan Being Implemented
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give



How do you deal with so many staff off in the summer?


Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain


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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May is...

Better Sleep Month
Hamburger Month
Barbeque Month
Older Americans Month
Photo Month
Salad Month
Strawberry Month
(Take a photo of you having a BBQ hamburger & strawberry salad with an older American, then take a nap)

May 1-7 – Get Happy Week
May 6-12 – Nurses Week, Teacher Appreciation Week, & Pet Week
May 13-19 – Christian Family Week & Reading is Fun Week
May 20-26 – Friends Week

May 1 – Chocolate Parfait Day & Plant A Flower Day
May 2 – Be Kind to Smelly People Day (just stand downwind)
May 3 – National Day of Prayer, Raspberry Popover Day, & Cinco De Mayo in Texas
              (Wait, isn’t that the 5th of May? Texans, what’s goin’ on?)

May 4 – Orange Juice Day
May 5 – Chocolate Custard Day, Hoagie Day, Scrapbook Day, & the actual Cinco De Mayo
May 6 – No Diet Day
May 9 – Tear Tags Off Your Mattress Day
May 10 – Clean Up Your Room Day
May 11 – Chair Day
May 12 – Kite Day & Nutty Fudge Day
May 13 – Mother’s Day & Frog Jumping Day (Take your mom frog jumping — she’ll love that!)
May 14 – Dance Like a Chicken Day & Clean Up Your Street Day
May 15 – International Day of Families Day, Clergy Day, & Chocolate Chip Day
May 17 – Rubber Band Day
May 19 – Plant Something Day
May 26 – Cherry Dessert Day
May 28 – Memorial Day

 for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.

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11 Challenges Facing Hiring Managers

After working with and learning from some of the most successful companies in the world for over 20 years, About Recruiting Inc. has seen several challenges facing hiring managers and those people on the interviewing team:

  Most companies lack a formal sourcing strategy and end up hiring the best of the bunch rather than THE BEST. Top talent needs to first be found. In a robust economy or tight labor market, many of the best people are working. In other words, they are passive candidates that need to be located.
  The wording in typical job descriptions limits the number of qualified people who will apply for the position. Rather than looking at what people are exceptional at, abilities and talents that are instinctive, many companies make their hiring decisions based on what people have learned, acquired and experienced to date. Because the essence of people is not what they have learned, acquired and experienced, hiring based on those limited aspects will bring limited results.

  Most companies only list the "necessary" skills, experience and knowledge required without appealing to the real reasons top talent accept new offers.
  Too many companies erroneously discard top candidates because they do not have ALL the skills, experience and knowledge listed on the job description. These companies are more focused on processes and procedures and less on the end result.
  Hiring based on emotional biases is common practice. Whenever a hiring decision is based on a subjective element like an emotional bias, the interviewing process becomes tainted.

  When an emotional bias is favorable to hiring the candidate, the interviewer often starts selling the company to the candidate.
  Lengthy job descriptions are posted listing desirable skills, knowledge and experience required for the role paying little to no attention to natural abilities and the outcome expected of the job. Someone with all the skills, knowledge and experience does not guarantee a world-class job performance.

  The placement of job advertisements often reaches average candidates shopping for another job, not top talent seeking a progressive career move.
  Hiring managers and people on the interviewing team often have conflicting information about what the job entails. This is especially true if the focus of the job description is on learned skills, experience and knowledge, and not on performance outcomes.

  The hiring team does not often follow the structure of the interviewing questions and if they do, they do not know what to do with the results.
  When it comes time to offer the person a position, hiring managers seem to have little experience negotiating the remuneration package or in dealing with counteroffers.

About Recruiting Inc. has documented a three-step process to recruitment that, if followed, is guaranteed to help locate top talent and hire only the best each and every time!

by Sharon Cornwall

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.


Recruiting Sourcing Strategies
™ — to sign up for any of the three modules found within the training, go to

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


Making Excuses

One night 4 MBA students were out partying till late and didn’t study for the test which was scheduled for the next day. In the morning, they thought of a plan. They made themselves look as dirty and weird as thy could with grease and dirt. They then went up to the dean and said that they had gone out to a wedding last night and on their return a tire burst, and they had to push the car all the way back and they were in no condition to appear for the test.

The dean was a just person, so he said that they could take the test in 3 days. They said they would be ready by that time. On the 3rd day, they appeared before the dean. The dean said that this was a special condition test.

All 4 were required to sit in separate classrooms for the test. They all agreed as they had prepared well in the last 3 days. The test consisted of 2 questions worth a total of 100 points.

Q1. Write down your name. (2 points)

Q2. Which tire burst? (98 points)

From Bipin Gopinath Mayekar, Prasanna HRD Private Limited

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!
 group training and conference bookstores? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of the topics you need.

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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Fun Meter  

* Purchasers @ The Collaborate ‘07 Conference Bookstore

* Schneider




 us with what you’re reading & a sentence or 2 about why you’re reading it or what you learned from it (can be fiction or non-fiction).

 Associate Roz Trieber is reading:

5 Dysfunctions of A Team

by Patrick Lencioni

His book is incredible as is the Field Guide that accompanies it. The activities suggested are excellent to identify appropriate people for different positions on a team. The text is incredibly logical and practical.

You Don’t Have To Have A Title To Be A Leader

by Mark Sanborn

This book emphasizes the fact that everyone who is accountable esponsible is in fact a leader and influences many. He also is quite pragmatic about how to follow 6 Leadership principles and be successful.

The 7 Measures of Success

by ASAE and the Center for Leadership

This book is the result of a study that compared remarkable sustaining profitable non-profit associations with those that were not considered remarkable. Characteristics of a remarkable association are explicitly defined and described. Facilitators and trainers can apply much of this information to the many non-profit clients they service.

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Inspire Staff With A Breather Once A Year

We have had an annual "Mystery Fun Day" for 2 years here at Northside Christian Church; only the Executive Pastor, Executive Secretary, and myself create the day. Top Secret; not even the Sr. Pastor knows what we are going to do.

1st Year – Safety Day Testing (big ruse)

I told our staff we were having a mandatory Safety Meeting and they had to be here by 8:00 a.m. that morning. We got the entire staff together for breakfast; we rented 15 passenger vans and took them to the first location.

Hearing "Test"

We had breakfast at Denny’s and I put a "Bible" character name tag on the back of each employee. The rule was this "you could ask questions of others to get hints of who you were". For example; am I in the OT or the NT, man or female, etc.? It was a total hoot. I made the youth pastor Jezebel. The place was buzzing with excitement and I laughed my head off.

Agility "Test"

There is a family game park called "Boomers’; we purchased passes for everyone. We spent two hours climbing rock walls, playing laser tag; video games, golf and water games. It was a total hoot; everyone was age 12 all over again. The competition was fierce on the racecourse….

Visual "Test"

We went to a rated "G" movie, and stuffed ourselves with soda, popcorn and candy. After the movie we went to get ice cream. People are still talking about this day; now we look forward to it annually.

2nd Year – The Great Race (We filmed at each location; it was hysterical)

We ordered shirts and split the staff into teams (we purposefully put people together that did not work together). We had custom made shirts with a racing theme and purchased goofy trophy (see the picture of Darlene; she was on the losing team so she got the turkey award). We spent a lot of time coming up with "clues" to each destination. Teams were given 5 minutes to get into their cars and line up at the parking lot. We had summer interns that were told where the "locations" were that morning and given explicit instructions to monitor each activity at each location:

Location #1

We had a "racing course" with pylons; the vehicle was a heavy duty John Deer bicycle that the guys could fit on. As each team arrived they had to ride the course and tag the next team member. At the conclusion of the relay they were given the hint to the next location.

Location #2

The 2nd "hint" was in Spanish (a very nasty thing to do to a group where no one speaks Spanish!) They were stopping people on the street, Mexican Resturants, etc. trying to get someone to translate the note. The ultimate location was a Spanish Language station on the South West side of town (our town has several Spanish Language Stations). When they arrived they had to complete one of two "hula hoop" exercises.

Exercise #1

Group gets in a circle and puts their two index fingers out. "Together" (this is the tough part) they are to lower the hula hoop without it lifting off anyone’s finger.

Exercise #2

Everyone in the team must successfully "keep the hula hoop" up in motion for 2 minutes.

Added Bonus — Cool PR for our organization

The TV station put our people on the news because they thought it was hysterical; we had our Pastors and staff doing these exercises on the sidewalk in front of the TV station.


Location #3

Back to "Boomers" the family game park we went to last year (a very, very popular option). This year we just paid for the racing cars; school was in session so it was hysterical to see our "grown-ups" patiently waiting among little kids for their ride on the racing car.

Last location: Woodward Park

We had a reserved spot for our group; we decorated it with a racing them. We hired a D.J. who played different themes for each team as they arrived; the winning team theme song was "Rocky"; the last group had some ridiculous song that reminded me of a turtle. We had a full BBQ catered, dessert, and we had an awards ceremony for the winning team and the last team. At this event we also recognized any employees that were celebrating a 5, 10 , etc. year anniversary. We give them gift certificates based on years of service.

Thanks, Carol Lerma, for sharing these great ideas with us
and inspiring us all to do the same with our staff!

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301 Ways to Have Fun @ Work,
 by Dave Hemsath & Leslie Yerkes
Fun Works,
 by Leslie Yerkes

Order both by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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Learn More. Waste Less Time

Rush Hour?

It's the morning rush hour in north Atlanta. I'm on my way to help a client improve their ability to deliver projects successfully. Today’s bumper-to-bumper traffic makes my 5 mile hop a 50 minute journey. Looking at the blank stares on the drivers inching along the highway with me, it's clear this delay is just business as usual.

My hometown of Chicago serves up plenty of traffic challenges so the issue isn't one of surprise. What strikes me today is how easily we put up with wasted time. Whether it's the daily crawl commuting to and from work, the mind-numbing anguish of directionless meetings, or the needless time re-working the fallout of a poorly planned project, our days are filled with wasted time.

Traffic School

A few years ago I had a fascinating interview with one of my heroes: Zig Ziglar. He talked about using commute times as Automobile University, quoting a University of Southern California study that found 12,000 miles of metropolitan area driving a year for three years afforded enough time to learn the equivalent of two years of college education.

If you have an MP3 player and you’re not intentionally listening to podcasts, electronic books, or other resources focused on areas you want to develop, you’re missing an easy way to take advantage of Zig’s idea. The iPod has changed my personal development strategy, not because of the seemingly endless amount music onboard as much as the learning I get any time I’m on the road, working out, or have other time available to absorb more learning.

Are you enrolled in Automobile University? Are you using your MP3 player to better use your time?


I’m doing more e-learning. I have found I can maximize my training time and dollar by choosing online options for selected topics I want to grow in. And I can do it without the time and cost of getting on a plane or driving in that traffic!. If you haven’t tried e-learning lately, I highly suggest you add it to your professional development strategy.

Taking Action

Speaking of traffic jams and personal development, check out our new e-learning release on managing conflict (Beyond a Rock & a Hard Place
, It will help you deal with that guy in the car in front of you who just cut you off! As Zig told me: "Lack of time is not the problem — lack of direction is."

 Associate, Andy Kaufman

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E-Learning Companion: A Student’s Guide to Online Success
, by Ryan Watkins & Michael Carry
M-Learning: Mobile E-Learning
, by David Metcalf

Order both by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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Staff Need to See Your Strategic Plan Being Implemented

If you involve staff (or not) in developing a strategic plan, but they never see it being implements, get to participate in implementing it, or it isn’t even being implemented, you are missing not only the benefits your organization gets from implementing the great, forward moving strategies, BUT you lose a wonderful retention technique!

"Organizations don’t fail for lack of vision or talent. They fail for lack of execution." —
T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductors

Mike Femlee, The Prouty Project, has a wonderful idea:

Michael Mankins and Richard Steele wrote a great article published in the Harvard Business Review
 recently entitled, "Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance". They interviewed senior executives from 197 companies worldwide with sales exceeding $500 million and learned that despite differences in product markets and geographies, they shared many of the same concerns over planning and execution. Their survey indicated that, on average, most strategies deliver only 63% of their potential financial performance. On a grading scale, this is a "D" at best.

The Top 3 Reasons:

Inadequate or unavailable resources.
Poorly communicated strategy.
Actions required to execute strategies are not clearly defined.


Obviously, this performance would not be acceptable to your Board of Directors, your senior leaders or your shareholders. Then, why is it happening? And, more importantly, why are you continuing to let this happen?

The Reality Check

This is where we believe many strategic planning processes fail. Simply stated, you can miss the opportunity to "brutally" evaluate the reasonableness of your plan in the context of existing systems, structure, people, culture, and processes. Without a "Brutal" assessment of each of these factors, no wonder you don’t deliver the financial results you forecast. The cold, harsh reality is that you never really had a chance.

Here are 3 guaranteed ways to fine-tine your "strategic" intuitions:
Challenge your Board of Directors or members of your Advisory Council in a no-holds barred evaluation of your strategic plan. It’s not about patting you on the back for your brilliance. Rather, challenge them to help you sniff out the blind spots and the fallacies in your logic.
Share your plan with 35 "contrarians" (an eclectic mix of employees not on the senior leadership team) and ask them what they like about your plan. More importantly, ask them what they don’t like and what changes they would make if they were wearing the CEO hat.
Ask a group of 3-5 CEOs from different industries to weigh in on your strategic plan. They don’t have any skin in the game and can be brutally honest in their assessment of your plan. Chances are, they’ve tried many of the strategies you believe will help move your organization forward. Listen well to their insights and perspectives and react accordingly.


Do you have the courage to embark on these types of reality checks? Do so, and I’m convinced you will better position your organization to execute its strategic plan. No question, you’re responsible for the execution of your plan. The actual tactics will be delegated but the responsibility and accountability are clearly yours. So, make sure you perform your reality checks early and often and put the missing piece(s), staff, back into your strategic planning.

Adapted from article by Mike Femlee, The Prouty Project

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Applied Strategic Planning: How to Develop a Plan That Really Works
, by Leonard Goodstein, Timothy Nolan, and J. William Pfeiffer 

Order by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.

 for ideas on getting your staff involved in the planning and the implementing.

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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May 8-10, 2007
Fourth Annual Leadership and Women of Color Conference
, Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, GA,

June 22-24, 2007
HUMOR Project’s The Positive Power of Humor & Creativity Conference,
 Silver Bay, NY,

June 24-27, 2007
SHRM’s 59th Annual Conference & Exposition
, Las Vegas, NV,

June 25-27, 2007
Training Director’s Forum Leadership Summit
, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ,

July 29-31, 2007
World Future 2007: Fostering Hope and Vision for the 21st Century,
 Hilton Minneapolis and Towers Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota,

October 10-12, 2007
HR Technology Conference
, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL,

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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.

Are your shelves full of books you’ve already read?
Join, an online book-exchange store. Select books from their site, and send in an equal number of books in exchange.

Provide free mammograms!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.

Global Volunteers (

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

Recycle yogurt containers and old toothbrushes!

Recycline’ Preserve partnered with Stonyfield Farm and is recycling yogurt containers into toothbrush handles. Old toothbrushes are used to make plastic lumber for picnic tables. Go to for details.

Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics

 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.

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




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.

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