Recruit, Inspire & Retain

June 2005

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

Great Training for Great Employees

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800-469-3560 FAX 815-469-0886


bullet Help Your Employees & Even Potentials Learn to Interview
bullet Flying to Your Vacation Destination? The Flight Attendants Make It Fun on This Airline
bullet Give Your Staff Guidance So Their Vacation Is Inspiring
bullet Training This Summer? Make It FUN!
bullet Give Employees the Flexible Choices They Need: Benefits
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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June 30, 2005)!

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Help Your Employees & Even Potentials Learn to Interview

Many organizations do less hiring in the summer vacation months. So it’s the PERFECT time to do a little “training” on how to present your best self in an interview. “Why,” you ask, “would I want to help people learn to interview? Isn’t their ability to interview part of what will help me choose the right person for the job?”

Well, sure, if you’re hiring a Recruiter, a sales person, or PR staff —
they will have to be interviewed! But just how much “being interviewed” will the rest of your staff do? Using interviewing ability as an assessment tool is less than useful, so let’s help people learn how to give us the information about their skills and abilities we need.

An Easy Start For Setting Up Your Interviewing Training
At a minimum — provide current or potential employees with short articles relating to what you’re looking for in an employee in general. A couple examples:


Assuming that job applicants have the basic skills needed to do the job, the one quality that most employers value is the willingness to work hard and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Qualities that surveyed employers most value are:
Work ethic 59%
Intelligence 23%
Enthusiasm 12%
Education 4%
Other qualities 2%

Employers are looking for employees who have a positive attitude.
When there are many experienced applicants for a job, employers are more likely to offer the job to the person who has an outstanding attitude. The applicant’s attitude isn’t measured objectively. Usually it is revealed during the job interview, and the employer weighs it intuitively.

Employers expect employees to get along with co-workers.
Employer’s viewpoint:
● Employees who collaborate with co-workers are likely to boost productivity
● Successful team efforts lead to high morale and a happy workplace.
● Less time is lost mediating conflicts between employees.

Employers want employees:
● Who can do the job.
● Who want to do the work.
● Who are willing to do the job.
● Whose services they can reasonable afford.

From JJC Newsletter, 5/05



Be able to describe your:
1. Certifications
2. Skills and years of experience required by area of expertise
3. Level of involvement with skills required by skill area
4. Management experience/expertise
5. Specific work experience
6. Work products or deliverables (bring a few to show)
7. Past activities & projects (hours, budget, resources)
8. Security clearances
9. Key development tools experience
10. Methodologies used
11. Education
12. Past positions’ difficult aspects
13. Personality characteristics
14. Past positions’ organizational structure
15. Past supervisor(s)’ management style
16. Overall pace of work (quick or methodical)
17. Amount of interaction with customer groups or clients
18 Salary range/maximum salary
19. Ability to travel
20. Past group/team culture experience

Adapted from Dice Inc., Top Questions You Must Ask



Ready to sabotage your own career? If you are not looking to make a career advancement and don’t have high hopes of getting called to an interview for your dream career, then bad mouthing past employers is the way to go.

A simple derogatory statement or comment about past employers can be detrimental to your career. Spreading negativity can lead you to face unexpected endings to potential business relationships. Associates, co-workers, friends and anyone else who is caught in your war of words will only identify your complaining as vengeful, immature and a sure petty retaliation for an unwelcome departure. While you may think you are getting the upper hand by back talking, your behavior may just backfire. Once the damage has been implemented, there is no turning back. Getting referrals, references or recommendations may be next to impossible.

Keep in mind, it’s a small world. So be aware of whom you speak to —people talk and gossip spreads. Your unkind opinions of others may not always be kept confidential. You never know, someone may know your former employer.

From Onyx Woman, Vol.10-2

At a Maximum — provide self-study or group training for your current employees using already existing materials: our favorite: Preparing For Your Behavior Based Interview.

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  Preparing For Your Behavior Based Interview, by Terry Fitzwater. (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions) Or e-mail
  201 Best Questions to Ask On Your Interview, by John Kador

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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


Flying to Your Vacation Destination? The Flight Attendants Make It Fun on This Airline

Wouldn't you love to have this attendant on your next flight? Thanks to a retired Delta Captain for sending this "paraphrase" of a memorable safety PA from Alaska Air Flight Attendants.

In his own words.... "I was flying to San Francisco from Seattle this weekend, and the flight attendant reading the flight safety information had the whole plane looking at each other like "what the heck?" (Getting Seattle people to look at each other is an accomplishment in itself.) So once we got airborne, I took out my laptop and typed up what she said, so I wouldn't forget. I've left out a few parts, I'm sure, but this is most of it."

Before takeoff...
Hello, and welcome to Alaska Flight 438 to San Francisco. If you're going to San Francisco, you're in the right place. If you're not going to San Francisco, you're about to have a really long evening. We'd like to tell you now about some important safety features of this aircraft.

The most important safety feature we have aboard this plane is.....The Flight Attendants. Please look at one now.

There are 5 exits aboard this plane: 2 at the front, 2 over the wings, and one out the plane's rear end. If you're seated in one of the exit rows, please do not store your bags by your feet. That would be a really bad idea. Please take a moment and look around and find the nearest exit. Count the rows of seats between you and the exit. In the event that the need arises to find one, trust me, you'll be glad you did. We have pretty blinking lights on the floor that will blink in the direction of the exits. White ones along the normal rows, and pretty red ones at the exit rows.

In the event of a loss of cabin pressure these baggy things will drop down over your head. You stick it over your nose and mouth like the flight attendant is doing now. The bag won't inflate, but there's oxygen there, I promise. If you are sitting next to a small child, or someone who is acting like a small child, please do us all a favor and put on your mask first. If you are traveling with two or more children, please take a moment now to decide which one is your favorite. Help your favorite first, and then work your way down.

In the seat pocket in front of you is a pamphlet about the safety features of this plane. I usually use it as a fan when I'm having my own personal summer. It makes a very good fan. It also has pretty pictures. Please take it out and play with it now.

Please take a moment now to make sure your seat belts are fastened low and tight about your waist. To fasten the belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle. To release, it's a pulley thing — not a pushy thing like your car because you're in an airplane. HELLO!!

There is no smoking in the cabin on this flight. There is also no smoking in the lavatory. If we see smoke coming from the lavatories, we will assume you are on fire and put you out. This is a free service we provide.

There are two smoking sections on this flight, one outside each wing exit. We do have a movie in the smoking sections tonight... hold on, let me check what it is... Oh, here it is; the movie tonight is "Gone with the Wind."

In a moment we will be turning off the cabin lights, and it's going to get really dark, really fast. If you're afraid of the dark, now would be a good time to reach up and press the yellow button. The yellow button turns on your reading light. Please don't press the orange button unless you absolutely have to. The orange button is your seat ejection button.

We're glad to have you with us on board this flight. Thank you for choosing Alaska Air, and giving us your business and your money. If there's anything we can do to make you more comfortable, please don't hesitate to ask.

If you all weren't strapped down, you would have given me a standing ovation, wouldn't you?

After landing...
Welcome to the San Francisco International Airport. Sorry about the bumpy landing. It's not the captain's fault. It's not the co-pilot's fault. It's the Asphalt.

Please remain seated until the plane is parked at the gate. At no time in history has a passenger beaten a plane to the gate. So please don't even try.

Please be careful opening the overhead bins because..."shift happens".

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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Give Your Staff Guidance So Their Vacation Is Inspiring

Feel like staff vacations are their own business? Left to their own devices most will:
● call in at least 1x during the week
● call back people who left voice mail messages
● check their email at least 1x/day!
You’re thrilled to read that they have such loyalty to the organization read the study that found that those who try to juggle email and all the rest of their work experience an IQ drop more than 2x that of marijuana smokers. Dr. Glenn Wilson, regarding that study, said, “This is a very real and widespread phenomenon. We have found that this obsession with looking at messages, if unchecked, will damage a worker’s performance by reducing their mental sharpness.” Our guess is that it’s an even bigger drop on vacation!

Some tips to give to your staff before their vacations:


How about a week with the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration — Monasteries have welcomed travelers for centuries, but now vacationers seeking peace are showing up.
Some go seeking a quiet breather from deadlines and responsibilities, while others go in search of spiritual rejuvenation. Sister Colleen Maura McGrane, whose Clyde monastery welcomes 3,000 guests of all ages a year, says, “There is a real hunger for people to find ways to live their spiritual life in the midst of the secular world.” Clyde’s guests attend prayer services 4xs a day, assist nuns by making rosaries and baking communion breads, and explore the monastery grounds.
For an inexpensive vacation — a 4-night stay, including 3 meals a day, costs only $25. Amen to that.




• Help staff learn how to set their email auto responder to tell people when they’ll be back
• Same w/voice mail
• Tell them if they check, their IQ will drop (see above study)!


To change your life, you must get rid of old thoughts and be able to accept some new ones. One of the greatest truths is that you create your life with your thoughts. Your thoughts are what make things happen. Thoughts and words have power.
Each thought in your mind is the seed for everything you do, feel, or say. Thoughts are what create our feelings. If you want to feel happy you need to change your thoughts. If you are feeling depressed, angry jealous or sad you are the one that is causing you to feel that way with your negative thoughts.
You have more control over your thoughts than over anything else in your life. When you are able to control your thoughts you will be able to control your world.
Thoughts create everything that happens to you. Thoughts are what produce results in your life. You will get more of whatever you focus your thoughts on. Whatever you think about frequently will happen in your life.
If you focus your thoughts on too much work to do when you get back from vacation, worrying about a certain event, or about becoming sick, that is exactly what is going to happen. You have a great power that needs to be used in the right way. Drop your negative thoughts today like a hot potato!

By Barb Garza, President of Pinnacle Enterprises.

Summer Is Your Busy Time
OK, so staff doesn’t take their vacation in the summer because it’s your busy time. But the rest of their family and friends may be, so give them a vacation where they “sit”:

Every day your staff work and sit at a desk surrounded by 4 gray walls and stare at a computer monitor for 8 long hours with a ˝ hour unpaid lunch break. Have some fun with “The Cubes”, new inaction heroes by Accountrements. The fun comes in building and decorating your hero’s work area (it’s a little like Legos), and determining whether your employee is a corporate asset or liability. Your hero can be hard at work on a spreadsheet—or a game of solitaire. The Cubes’ cubes come with cheesy motivational posters, lame signs, and stickers that form wonderfully generic job titles like Deputy Purchasing Coordinator or Level B Marketing Analyst. It’s something to play with in between filing those reports. (More info @

Doing Good for Goodness Sake: Heartwarming Stories & Inspiring Ideas to Help You Help Others, by Steve Zikman
Volunteer Vacations: Short Term Adventures That Will Benefit You & Others, by Bill McMillon

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Training This Summer? Make It FUN!

“...most of us have long since discovered that the joy of acquiring new skills and knowledge is the closest thing to fun adults are allowed to have.”

Wine-tasting, kitchen craft, weekend rocking and baseball bliss. What’s it all got to do with work? Remember those dismal days when your parents forced you to take piano lessons — the endless arpeggios and scales and the monotonous tick of the metronome? How about those dance classes where little ladies and gentlemen stumbled through waltzes and foxtrots with palms sweating and stepped-on toes throbbing? Ever wonder how you endured the interminable hours when the adults made you sit up straight, pay attention and improve yourself by learning something educational, edifying...and excruciating?

While learning and fun may exist on distant galaxies, far from each other in the chaotic confines of a kid’s brain, most of us have long since discovered that the joy of acquiring new skills and knowledge is the closest thing to fun adults are allowed to have. As much as we’re touted on self-improvement, sharpened job skills, and a framed degree on the office wall, a significant number of us are flocking to learning environments of every description simply because it’s fun to find out what we don’t know. And the other employees in your organization are no different than you!

Learning, just like fun, is where you find it and it’s highly likely that what your staff find will be an opportunity to add some delightful new dimensions to their job and lives if you think outside the box. Think beyond the traditional classroom way of fun — toys, games, etc. Oh, please keep doing them when appropriate for the learning objective and the learners, but we’re talking broader here. Think..............................

Gary Thornburg, who once allowed a chance encounter to lead him to a pleasurable and fulfilling new career. A successful businessman with the requisite stress level and overbooked, Thornburg found himself in Napa Valley on a weekend wine tasting getaway. It was there that he discovered a hitherto untapped passion for the fruit of the vine, a highly specialized pursuit about which he knew virtually nothing. A self-taught crash course in white, red, blushes, and beyond ensued and when Thornburg’s fun quotient reached new highs, he promptly sold his company and bought 5 acres of prime vineyard. These days he and his wife own and operate a cozy wine tasting establishment across from the historic Mission in San Juan Capistrano, California, passing on his love for great vintages to his customers through direct experience, his own preferred educational method.

Of course, not everyone seeking enhanced avenues of learning and enjoyment is required to stake their future on simply having a good time. For Ann Michaels, fun intersected directly with her desire to prepare healthy and delicious food for her household. Raised in a well-to-do family where meals were always prepared for them Ann was never expected to pitch in peeling potatoes or shucking peas and, in fact, felt distinctly out of place in the kitchen. It was only when here husband and kids turned up at the dinner table with expectant expressions that she decided it was time to take the culinary bull by the horns. While private lessons with a certified chef were too pricey to justify, Ann set about gathering a group of 4 friends, all of whom were interested in making meals memorable. Together they hired an instructor, sharing the cost of weekly lessons, all of which, of course, made the learning much more — there’s that word again — fun.

If you’ve ever yodeled your way through a golden oldie in the shower or played spontaneous air guitar, then it’s quite like you’ll connect with the musical mission of Roger McNamee, guitarist, songwriter and part time rock star whose own personal learning curve arced into the fun zone with the formation of his very own rock group. McNamee, a 40-something high tech venture capitalist, joined forces some years ago with an odd assortment of fellow funders and friendly computer geeks to make good on his dreams of a Grateful Dead-style jam band. He dubbed the floating contingent of between 8 and 14 semi-permanent players The Flying Other Brothers, playing one-off gigs at Silicon Valley conventions and even recording a couple of credible CD’s. Dissatisfied with the band’s progress, however, McNamee hired some ringers, including former Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady and Rod Stewart keyboardist Pete Sears, to coach them through a month-long session of music camp, getting timely tips on everything from tuning up to hair teasing. The result? Their camp counselors joined them on stage and in the studio, adding a whole new level of realism to their rock ‘n’ roll fantasy.

On the subject of fantasies, major-league sports probably provides more fodder for daydreaming than anything short of a winning lottery ticket. Small wonder that, back in 1980, former big leaguer Randy Hundley stumbled on a way to bring the bat-swinging, base-rounding fantasies of boyhood back to life with the inspired Fantasy Camp concept. It’s an idea that has grown faster than a Yankee’s salary, offering the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the game’s greats without regard to your athletic ability, or lack thereof. Among the most popular is the World Series of Fantasy Baseball, held twice a year at Vero Beach Florida’s Dodgertown, as well as a wide variety of week long sessions run by various major league franchises. Among the perks: your own uniform, professional coaches, locker room privileges, and personalized trading cards.

Adapted from Half Time Magazine, 1/03.


Use videos/DVDs of movies of current culture as the discussion starter for any topic. Sources include:
Implications For Training?
“Outside the box” learning FUN comes from:
  • things relating to current culture
  • through direct experience
  • things done together
  • using a coach
  • things that fulfill fantasies

Let TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. brainstorm ideas with you. Call 800-469-3560!

Make a Comment/Question

Get more tips on training great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Movies to Manage By, by J. Clemson & M. Wolff
“Training Goes to the Movies” article in Training & Development Magazine, 53(7)

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Give Employees the Flexible Choices They Need: Benefits

“For many employers, the business outlook is significantly brighter today than 12 months ago. As companies once again compete to attract and retain top talent, employee benefits programs — many of which were trimmed during the past three years — are getting a long-needed makeover. The result is likely to be a new generation of benefits plans that are more flexible, convenient and customized than their one-size-fits-all predecessors.”, says Craig Guiffre, Sr. VP, MetLife.

Employees as Life-Stage Consumers
Today’s employees are, first and foremost, savvy consumers — consumers who demand options. In an age when employees can go out and “build” a computer to match their personal specifications, they expect a range of flexible benefits options to meet their specific life-stage needs.

That’s what makes benefits programs that target offerings to employees at various life stages such a perfect fit for the 21st century employee, and a great opportunity for employers to build workforce loyalty. At the core of such programs is the belief that an employee’s financial and protection needs change as he/she ages. Single employees, for example, may favor disability income insurance and health savings accounts (HSA) over dependent life insurance. Mid-lifers and pre-retirees, on the other hand, may opt for retirement income products and long-term care (LTC) insurance over 529 college savings plans. To increase employee satisfaction, employers need to prioritize workers’ needs at each life stage and then tailor benefits, communications, and employee educational materials to meet these diverse needs.

Customized Communications
Think about today’s consumers again: Along with flexible, affordable products, they want easy-to-understand information about optimal coverage levels. To maximize benefits satisfaction, employers need to develop customized communications materials, which include life-stage-specific product recommendations and decision support tools.

To meet workers’ diverse needs and rebuild benefits satisfaction, employers need to provide benefits options that are flexible and affordable. For most employers, this means a creative combination of traditional, employer-paid benefits, supplemented by a range of voluntary benefits for which employees pay most or all of the cost. Such combination plans address employers’ need to customize their companies’ benefits offerings without incurring additional expenses.

Recent MetLife research shows that most employees are also eager to receive customized benefits communications. This is good news for employers, many of whom have seen benefits satisfaction levels and participation rates fall over the past few years, due in large part to cost-shifting and rising health-care premiums.

A New Era in Benefits
With employees funding an ever-increasing share of their benefits, they expect more options and new ways to manage their choices. Fortunately, benefits plans — made available to a company’s entire workforce and then targeted to employees at various life stages — enable employers to help meet their employees’ expectations. They give employees the flexible choices they need and employers a cost-effective way to boost workplace satisfaction and loyalty.

From Human Resource Executive, 11/04.

Benefit Facts, by Frank J. Bitzer

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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


Candy Month

June 13-19
Email Week

June 8 – Best Friends Day & Ice Cream Day (take your best friend out for a HUGE cone)
June 10 – Iced Tea Day
June 14 – Flag Day
June 15 – Smile Power Day & A Friend in Need Is A Friend Indeed Day
June 19 – Father’s Day
June 20 – Vanilla Milkshake Day
June 21 – Summer Solstice Day
June 22 – Chocolate Eclair Day
June 23 – Typewriter Day
June 24 – Flying Saucer Day
June 26 - Chocolate Pudding Day
June 29 - Remote Control Day

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 17-20, 2005
ASAE 2005 Annual International Meeting, Tampa, Florida, 

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 9-10, 2005
6th Annual Illinois Human Resources Conference & Expo, Holmes Student Center, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, 

August 13-16, 2005
ASAE Annual Conference, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, TN,

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, 

October 19-21, 2005
8th Annual HR Executive’s Technology Conference & Expo, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL,

October 24-26, 2005
Workplace Diversity “New Challenges, New Opportunities” Conference, Las Vegas NV, 


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  and 

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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!
*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 
* 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!


Copyright 2005 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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