Recruit, Inspire & Retain

June 2006

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

Great Training for Great Employees

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bullet RECRUIT - Differentiate Yourself With “Unusual” Compensation, Benefits, & Perks
bullet Who’s Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet In The Global Economy, Be Careful What You Name Things
bullet Cool Calls
bullet INSPIRE - Small Organization/Large Organization? A More Inspirational Alternative to a Policy Manual
bullet TRAIN - Global Understanding & Navigation
bullet RETAIN - Creating a Respectful Work Environment to Prevent Violence & Promote Retention
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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Differentiate Yourself With "Unusual" Compensation, Benefits, & Perks

Personal shopper service, diaper service, on-the-spot incentives (lottery tickets, movie gift certificates, breakfast cart, Burger King bucks, Panera gift cards—we made a whole booklet of what employees in one medical practice wanted so managers could easily obtain them!). These are just a few of the programs some employers & employees would consider "unusual", i.e. not your average paycheck, health insurance, company uniform type stuff.

Why have "unusual" benefits, compensation, perks? To be proactive in the increasing competition for the kind of staff you need.

Before you go too crazy, remember it’s not a "benefit" if the people you want to hire don’t want it. Start by asking your current great employees what is attractive to them. Again, be careful. Try multiple choice instead of fill-in-the blank. That way you can list the things you’d actually be willing (fits your company culture, gives ROI, etc.) to give.

Figure out what’s important to your employees, then be innovative in what you’ll add/substitute in your comp/benefits/perks and then promote it!

Email your most "unusual" comp/benefit/perk and we’ll list it and your organization name (free recruiting!) In the next issue of Recruit, Inspire & Retain.

Example: Oberweis Dairy in Tinley Park, IL, organized a game of "Assassin" for their employees, who are mostly teens. The players each get the name of the person they are assigned to "shoot" with water guns. They aren’t allowed to "shoot" anyone inside the store. It has to be outside, so they have to either lure their victim outside, or catch them in the parking lot before or after work. No one knows who has their name, and the last dry person gets a $20 gift card for Toys-R-Us.

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

The Compensation Solution: How to Develop an Employee-Driven Rewards System, by John E. Tropman
The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want, by David Sirota, Louis Mischkind, Michael Meltzer
Order by calling 800-469-3560 or Emailing  (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions).

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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

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Fun Meter   * 888
* The Banks Family at their reunion
* Buttons Designed by Audrey

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In the Global Economy, Be Careful What You Name Things

On an American Airlines packet of nuts - INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS.

Bacardi concocted a fruity drink with the name 'Pavian' to suggest French chic ... but 'Pavian' means 'baboon' in German.

On the label of Boot's “Children’s” cough medicine - DO NOT DRIVE A CAR OR OPERATE MACHINERY.

When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, “Fly in leather,” it came out in Spanish as “Fly naked.”

Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that mist is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the manure stick.

When Coca Cola was first introduced into China they named it Ke-Kou-Ke-La. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect.

Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent:
Ko-Kou-Ko-Le, which can be roughly translated as "happiness in the mouth." (have you seen what it can do to teeth?).

Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.

Coors lost its fizz in Spain when their hip phrase "Turn It Loose" came out as "Get Diarrhea".

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American ad campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux. But in America if something 'sucks' it means it is really bad.

When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go." After the company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.

In Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."

Not to be outdone by Coke when Pepsi started a marketing campaign in Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan "Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation" came out as

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.
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!

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* Email from Sheila Jones, Evangelical Alliance of the UK: "Just thought I would connect with you and say how grateful I am again for your work on these monthly newsletters. I used the "Peace of Mind/Better Sleep Month" for our monthly staff information meeting this morning. This is what we did:

People came in to Bach playing in the background. We reminded ourselves of Jesus’ words in John 14 on peace and we had a scripture for each person to pick out of a basket as they left the meeting. We also provided ‘tranquility’ tea (herbal infusion) and healthy snacks (to quiet and please the system!) like fruit bars, diced apricots, and rice cakes. It went down well.

  I am always so grateful for this inspiration – just the idea of a certain theme sets all sorts of imagination going. If you want to share the above please feel free."

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Small Organization/Large Organization? A More Inspirational Alternative to a Policy Manual

You’re growing, you’re doing well, and then you get the urge to write things down. You want to create rules, regulations, procedures. You decide you need a ...policy manual.

It's a natural enough instinct. You know why your business has succeeded, so you want all staff to do things just the way you do. You want them to look and feel the same, and to deliver the same value to the customer. You know that Fed Ex doesn't allow managers to paint their trucks green—or to decide that some packages don't absolutely, positively have to get there overnight.

But when you write everything down in a manual, people read it. Worse, they base their decisions on it. The manual tells them how they're supposed to run the business. It spells out all the things they can't do. Before long, all those fast-moving, get-things-done staff you hired are turning into cover-your-butt, manual-reading people (or they're out looking for a job at a real entrepreneurial organization).

Take a tip from PSS, who has a different approach to written communication—and it doesn't involve a policy manual.

When they do write things down, they steer clear of the policy-manual format. Their "Top 20"—a list of the company's core values—is written on a wallet-size card. When lawyers told them they needed written nondiscrimination policies, they made up a poster with cartoon figures explaining those policies, and put one in every office.

And then there's the Blue Ribbon, which is how they make sure they’re all reading off the same page.

They certainly want uniformity from one office to another. PSS’s reputation rests on delivering world-class service to its customers, and they have developed systems and methods to ensure that customers get that service. They have a business model, and they don’t really want staff experimenting with business models of their own.

But instead of a manual spelling out how an office has to operate—trucks must be washed no less than once a week; grade 3 employees are entitled to 12 vacation days a year—they created a 100-point checklist known as the Blue Ribbon book. Every office gets a copy. Then the offices take part in a contest they call the Blue Ribbon Tour.

Here’s how it works. Twice a year, one of PSS’s leaders will show up at an office’s door. Unannounced. It might be 7:30 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon, or anytime in between. "Blue Ribbon time!" they’ll say as they walk in.

At some organizations, this kind of inspection would be a horrendous experience. At PSS, when people hear there’s a Blue Ribbon on, they start whooping and hollering. They run around making sure the wastebaskets are empty and there’s toilet paper in the bathroom.

Nobody is in trouble if the office does poorly. You won’t get fired, disciplined, or even reprimanded for a bad Blue Ribbon score. What you will win or lose is bragging rights—and money.

Every person in a winning office pockets a nice chunk of change. Each employee in the office scoring highest on the Blue Ribbon gets $3,000. The 2nd place office gets $2,000 per person, the 3rd place office gets $1,500, and so on, all the way down to the 10th place office, where employees get $500 apiece.

The losing offices—which is to say all the rest—have to pay for the other offices’ prizes. They might have to pony up a couple thousand dollars from their operating profits. It isn’t enough to do any serious damage to their bottom lines; it’s just enough to make the leaders wince.

So this isn’t some military-style inspection greeted by fear and trembling. It’s a game. The offices are competitors. The people in our offices take pride in keeping their facility ready for a Blue Ribbon Tour at all times. They take enormous pride in winning—and, of course, in mentioning the fact that they won to their friends in other offices.

Sure, an organization that’s growing fast has to have consistency and uniformity. But you don’t need a bunch of written rules, regulations, and procedures. You’re better off figuring out fun, face-to-face ways of achieving the kind of consistency you need. The Blue Ribbon contest is a perfect example, and if you think it would work in your organization, well, you’re welcome to swipe the idea.

Adapted from Inc. 4/98.

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Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Faster Company: Building the World's Nuttiest, Turn-on-a-Dime, Home-Grown, Billion Dollar Business, by Patrick Kelly, founder and CEO of PSS/World Medical. Order by calling 800-469-3560 or Emailing  (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions).

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Global Understanding & Navigation

The world is shrinking and your employees have to successfully deal full circle with foreigners every day inside your local headquarters and in foreign countries since many corporations have often more than 50% of their total revenues generated abroad and many non-profit organizations work globally.

Your executives often have to travel at short notice to represent your organization and make decisions of lasting impact that often translate in key investments, purchases or alliances. Too often they go unprepared and much is lost: time, money and relationships like in this case...

An interesting example:

A U.S. African-American cosmetics company loses money in London with a poor margin because their packaging was below standards according to department stores buyers who feel they are doing a favor to the brand even if it generates sizable income for the stores.

The key is that the U.S. brand owners and executives engaged negotiations on the basis of what matters to them which is "not to be at the back of the bus" a sentence that means a lot in the U.S. but that virtually means nothing for British buyers who did not change the margin for years and kept threatening the brand.

When they changed their tune and hired a French Caribbean Sales Director, they were able to demonstrate that several mainstream brand were generating less than them year on year, they started to be heard and took on the challenge to make a big promotion normally proposed to mainstream brand in a leading store. They had a target of 70,000 British Pounds to achieve in two weeks, an impossible figure after data analysis. The brand simply did not have enough customers in that store even at its highest pick time to generate such a result. The newly hired sales director had no choice but to push skin care and a fragrance that could be sold to any woman. Many white women bought skin care. The promotion happened in August which is when Arabic women hit London in droves, the fragrance for sale was the name of a city, restaurants, coffee shops, a hospital and a first name in Saudi Arabia. They bought so much fragrances that the sales team was able to reach the target and consequently succeeded in improving margins in all stores in the UK. The brand eventually changed its appearance with better packaging.

Since this exciting episode, many mainstream brands have continuously invested in African-American women consumers from M.A.C. to Bobbi Brown, to Chanel to Lancôme as it is a sizable profit sector.

Geography, Demography, Resources, History, Society, Language, Beliefs, Personality, System, Intelligence and Exchange all played a part in transforming a bad business situation into a much better one with a double digit margin change.

— 11 KEYS —

Geography. The UK is a much smaller country than the US and an island. If politically the British Government is often allied to that of the US, business wise, Brits do not like to get orders from mainland Europe nor the US.

Demography. The market is African-American British women, the owners are African-American and the buyers are white women who do not know nor socialize with African-American British women. Other consumer groups are targeted to succeed.

Resources. The human resources of the brand owners are limited versus mammoth human resources for the buyers.

History. Negotiations are packed with American civil rights history that do not resonate in British ears. The French Caribbean Sales Director had a different approach to negotiations that understood the company and the buyers.

Society. A name rooted in a Saudi Arabian tradition ensured the sales target.

Language. The name of the fragrance was more than a name, it was a symbol to the Saudi Arabian women who purchased the products of the range proud to unexpectedly find a product with that name in London.

Beliefs. The sales director transformed a disbelief attitude of the sales team into a hour count of the results with a Positive Mental Attitude mantra that helped the staff discover new levels of skills.

Personality. The creativity and flexible personality of the Sales Director broke the rigidity that both parties were locked in.

Systems. Margins are the central part of a department Store economic structure and are not easily negotiable unless you have several brands in the space like Estée Lauder Companies. The only way to win particularly with a packaging flaw is to chock the buyer with sales figures.

Intelligence. Information and memory analysis of the brand led to the fragrance focus what the company never concentrated on.

Exchange. The exchange was maximized. The staff collaborated. The brand developed a better partnership with the store. Trade was good and the brand broke new ground towards a new clientele. The mainstream brands sales staff in the store gained new respect for the ethnic brand and staff.

Written by Ester Fraser.

Global Understanding & Navigation: Charting the Course from National to Global Diversity in 11 Keys, a training course by Ester Fraser. Contact TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for more info. Email, call 800-469-3560.

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Creating a Respectful Work Environment to Prevent Violence &
Promote Retention

At every level of organizations, employees are being asked to take on more demanding tasks and being asked to achieve higher results with fewer resources and support. In most cases, the demands include cost cutting, improved efficiency, innovation and strategic thinking. While some people thrive in this changing environment, many people are becoming its casualties. Mounting work related stress combined with a perceived or real lack of job security, increased worker anxiety and volatility leads some workers to lash out.

To effectively decrease the likelihood of violence in the workplace, organizations need to anticipate the stress caused by their dynamics and culture, and implement comprehensive prevention programs.

Human Resources executives and other organization leaders may get so caught up in rapid change, re-organizations, re-engineering, etc. that they don’t plan for and take action on the human consequences of the changes they are shaping.

Additionally, it is important to understand that work is important to people beyond just being a source of income. They look at their jobs as a place where they belong, as a source of meaning and value, and as a way to define who they are. The more a person is tied into the organization in these ways, the more vulnerable they are to becoming violent if they experience loss or degradation on the job.

Another way of viewing workplace violence is to think of the violence and rage that is generally spreading through the country as spilling in from the street into the workplace. Once the employee in this environment is stressed, they may aim their work-related frustrations and desperation at victims who are seen as representatives of an organization that the employee believes to be the source of this distress. The employee is trying to re-establish self-esteem or reduce overwhelming distress by getting even or retaliating for perceived harm or danger from the company or its representatives.

The organization revolution toward employee empowerment and participation is only the beginning of how we fundamentally will reshape, organize, and operate organizations.

Ultimately, the best strategy for preventing workplace violence is to develop the right corporate culture—one that eschews power and authority in favor of:

Getting to know employees and listening to them.

Cultivating a climate that supports and fosters a means for individuals and groups to air their tensions, concerns and resolve them in a manner that is perceived as fair.

Senior managers create the culture and the management processes that flourish in an organization. This means that we managers can’t (or at least shouldn’t) point our fingers at disgruntled and psychologically unstable employees as the cause for the rise in workplace violence. Instead, we should take a good look in the mirror.

One critical component that senior managers need to own and address is the importance of having highly skilled supervisors and team leaders that are well trained in how to effectively manage and deal with employees. Supervisors/team leaders are the key link in the organization to combating workplace violence along with progressive, positive leadership from the top.

Highly skilled supervisors:
are able to deal with emotionally charged employees.
understand and value stress management interventions.
value individual differences.
are able to admit when they are wrong.

We need managers and supervisors who recognize that preventing violence by reducing tension offers the dual benefits of developing a more effective workforce and preventing violence at the same time.

We need to eliminate poorly trained supervisors and team leaders who trigger or reinforce intimidating behaviors and authoritarian company cultures that deprive employees of dignity and respect and stifle positive response to threats. "Eliminate" means help them learn another way or if they can’t, help them find another organization to work in.

Adapted from Workplace Violence Prevention Reports, by Barry Nixon.

Violence in the Workplace: A Prevention & Management Guide for Business, by S. Anthony Baron


Risky Business: Managing Employee Violence in the Workplace, by Lynn Falkin McClure
Order by calling 800-469-3560 or Emailing  (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions).

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June is...
National Dairy Month
National Rose Month

June 10 – National Flag Week
June 17-19 – Father’s Day flashback Days at the Duct Tape Festival in Avon, Ohio,

June 13 – National Juggling Day & National Lobster Day (juggle 3 live lobsters!)
June 14 – Flag Day
June 15 – Power of a Smile Day & Fly a Kite Day (impossible not to smile when flying a kite)
June 18 – Father’s Day
June 20 – Ice Cream Soda Day
June 21 – First Day of Summer!!!!!!
June 22 – Chocolate Eclair Day
June 23 – Typewriter Day (you remember what a typewriter is...right?)
June 26 – National Chocolate Pudding Day and the day the toothbrush was invented (which came 1st, the toothbrush or chocolate pudding?)
June 27 – Sunglasses Day
June 29 – Remote Control Day
July 1 – International Joke Day
July 3 – Eat Beans Day & Air Conditioning Day (should be Air Freshener Day!)
July 4 – Independence Day
July 5 – Workaholics Day

Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.


June 11-14, 2006
Training Director’s Forum, Palm Springs, CA,
TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. is running the Conference Bookstore)

June 14-17, 2006
European Distance and E Learning Network 2006 Annual Conference, Vienna, Austria,

June 22-23, 2006
Accelerated Learning Advanced Design Class, Lake Geneva, WI,

June 25-28, 2006
SHRM's 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC,

July 7-9, 2006
National Career Development Association 2006 Conference, Chicago, IL, 1-866-FOR-NCDA

July 26-30, 2006
WorldFuture 2006: Creating Global Strategies for Humanity’s Future, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

July 28-30, 2006
Annual Conference of the World Future Society, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

August 19-22, 2006
ASAE’s 2006 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, MA,

September 25-27, 2006
IQPC’s E-Learning 2006: Evaluating, Delivering & Aligning E-Learning Technologies with Business Strategy, Renaissance Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA,

October 4-6, 2006
Strategic HR Conference, Phoenix,


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

Donate Old Suits
Check with your local Dress Barn.
Some have programs to help unfortunate women get jobs by supplying them with business suits people have donated. Plus, they offer the donator a 10% off coupon for any purchase. Give a little, get a little!

Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
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

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Copyright 2006 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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