Recruit, Inspire & Retain

June 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 - Great Workplaces Welcome Their New Staff
bullet Perks of Being Over 40
bullet Who's Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet What Are You Reading This Month?
bullet INSPIRE - Leave Your Job Behind When You’re on Vacation
bullet TRAIN - Facilitation Challenge – Facilitator is Stuck in Traffic!
bullet RETAIN - A Simple Formula for Reducing Unwanted Turnover
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give



How do you leave your job behind when you're on vacation?


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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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June is...
Iced Tea Month
Candy Month
Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month
Effective Communications Month

June 10-16 – Flag Week
June 11-17 – Email Week, Men’s Health Week
June 17-23 – Forgiveness Week
June 18-22 – Take Your Pet To Work Week

June 9 – Great Turtle Race Day (This only takes a day?)
June 10 – Iced Tea Day (iced tea is so special it gets a day during its’ month) & Race Unity Day
June 12 – Machine Day
June 13 – Lobster Day & Kitchen Klutzes of America Day (You klutzes! Do NOT attempt to cook
                a live lobster — it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen! Just go out to eat.)
June 14 – U.S. Flag Day & Strawberry Shortcake Day (make a flag shortcake with strawberries,
                blue berries, and whipped cream)
June 15 – Smile Power Day & Electricity Day
June 16 – World Juggling Day
June 17 – Father’s Day & Eat Your Vegetables Day (At least Moms got frog-jumping!)
June 20 – Vanilla Milkshake Day & Ice Cream Soda Day (is it also, "Put on 10 lbs Day"?)
June 21 – Recess At Work Day, Less is More Day, & Baby Boomer’s Recognition Day
June 22 – Chocolate Éclair Day
June 23 – Typewriter Day & Pink Day
June 26 – Chocolate Pudding Day
June 27 – Sunglasses Day
June 28 – Handshake Day
June 29 – Remote Control Day (Men, celebrate this by giving the remote to someone else!)

July 1 – Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, Ice Cream Sundae Day, Be a Kid Day, & Milk Chocolate
             with Almonds Day
July 2 – Rock N’ Roll Day & Sugar Cookie Day
July 7 – Strawberry Sundae Day

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

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Great Workplaces Welcome Their New Staff

You can recruit them and hire them, but IF you don’t keep them, have you actually recruited them?

The following "best practice" examples from three 100 Best Companies to Work For winners highlight some of the ways these companies have gone about welcoming their employees and reinforcing their unique cultures in the process.

The MITRE Corporation
MITRE is a nonprofit IT consulting firm based in Virginia with close to 6,000 employees. Managers and leaders spend a lot of energy welcoming new employees and making sure they successfully get acclimated to their new work environment.

Welcome e-mails are sent out to introduce new employees to others in their department, and some senior vice presidents send personal notes to each new employee. New employees are also invited to a "get-acquainted" meeting soon after they start work. Pictures of new employees are posted on department bulletin boards, and each week the names of new employees are posted on electronic information displays in common areas in each building.

Operations and support staff have a goal that by the end of the first day’s orientation, each employee has a computer with functioning software and a desk drawer filled with the basic tools for getting down to work. It’s also standard practice for new employees to receive welcome e-mails and phone calls from the help desk, information center, security and others to make sure everything is working, to answer any questions and to let the employee know how to reach them as new questions come up.

As one employee said: "I was delighted by how much time, energy and organization is given to the New Employee Orientation. The entire week was completely reassuring that I made the correct choice for my next career move to The MITRE Corporation. Not only did I feel assimilated and equipped with the appropriate tools and contacts to start my new job, but I felt welcomed on a personal level."

At Google, hiring and welcoming new employees has been a critical part of the company’s efforts during its past few years of extraordinary growth. Leaders and managers at Google seek to ensure that each new hire feels special from the moment they join the company. New hires, called "Nooglers," begin their time at Google with an all-day orientation.

Speakers come from different departments to talk to the Nooglers and a special tour of the campus is provided, as are folders with benefit information and coupons for a free massage and discounts for a car wash. At the end of the day, Nooglers are picked up by their mentors and receive a special escort to their work areas where they’re greeted with welcome balloons and a bag of chocolates.

A Google Buddy (technical person) stops by during the week to ensure each new employee is set up with their computer and to assist with any technical questions or concerns. Mentors play a big role in helping Nooglers adjust to their new work environment. They stay with their Noogler until they feel completely comfortable, and each mentor continues to be a direct resource for any future needs. To round out the first week, Nooglers are recognized at weekly TGIF events, with their names and work group shown on a large screen. They also get their first chance to feel part of Google, sitting in the front rows as Google founders Larry and Sergey talk shop. Here are a few employee comments that confirm the success of Google’s welcoming activities:

"I was really impressed with the openness and amount of information given to Nooglers during orientation and throughout the first week."

"I couldn’t believe all the speakers that take time to come and talk to Nooglers during the first day orientation."

"My group had a special orientation where I was introduced to my group. It really made me feel special."

"I was surprised at how many employees went out of their way to help me – and that they came to me to help and I didn’t need to go to them."

Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Bright Horizons is a provider of high quality child care at work sites. With over 14,000 employees, and in an industry with an often transient workforce, their ability to attract, hire and retain skilled employees is critical to their success. When new employees start at Bright Horizons, they’re welcomed into a community, with the first day treated as if it is a birthday. This approach is taken to convey people’s excitement about a new employee’s decision to join the Bright Horizons family. There is also a clear understanding of the business significance of the first day at work, so from the start Bright Horizons staff seek to instill trust, mutual respect and a strong work ethic, as well as inject a sense of fun into the welcoming experience.

When new hires start, everything is ready to go – at the corporate office, the new employee’s name is placed on his or her workspace, a key scan security card has been provided to insure access to the corporate building and all paperwork is done before the first day. The phone system – including voice mail, an e-mail account, working computer and desk – are all ready to insure that each new hire is able to do their work and doesn’t need to fuss around with logistics.

Each new employee also receives a welcome letter at their home, and when they arrive at work there are a series of orientation activities geared to their role within the company. New Teacher Orientation begins immediately upon hire and continues through the first three months of employment. Similarly, for their New Manager Orientation, managers receive an individualized program geared to prepare them for their role through a review of specific topics and skill-building activities.

Throughout the first weeks and months of employment, each new employee is ‘re-welcomed’ at numerous events. One staff member wrote, "I never went to a meeting where I wasn’t introduced and made to feel welcome." Staff meetings are one mechanism for keeping employees from across the many on-site locations connected to each other and to the larger organization. People gather as a team each month at the on-site offices and every quarter at the home office. At these meetings, new employees are recognized and have an opportunity to share information about themselves and their recent experiences at work.

How to Get Started

Every great workplace has a few distinct qualities in its culture that are special and create a foundation for success. It’s hard to define these cultural factors in a few words, yet several common themes are identified from studying the 100 Best .

First , great workplaces are characterized by inclusive environments in which all employees are invited to participate in the cultural life of the organization. Second , leaders at great workplaces are accessible, sharing information with employees and answering their questions. Third , leaders at great workplaces create an environment in which the fair distribution of rewards, recognition and opportunities is rigorously pursued. And all great workplaces are characterized by a sense of being on a journey. The bottom line is that there’s never an end to the process of becoming a great place to work – it’s something people work at every day.

Adapted from Motivation Strategies, Spring 2007


New Employee Orientation: Bringing People On Board Successfully , by Charles M. Cadwell

Creative New Employee Orientation Programs: Best Practices, Creative Ideas, and Activities for Energizing Your Orientation Program , by Doris M. Sims
Order both by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.

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


Perks of Being Over 40

We know all our readers aren’t over 40, but if you’re not, you surely work with people
who are!

1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

2. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

3. No one expects you to run — anywhere.

4. People call at 9 pm and ask, "Did I wake you????"

5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

7. Things you buy now won’t wear out.

8. You can eat supper at 4 pm.

9. You can live without sex but not your glasses.

10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

11. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

12. You quit trying to hold your stomach in no matter who walks into the room.

13. You sing along with elevator music.

14. Your eyes won’t get much worse.

15. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

16. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the National Weather Service.

17. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

18. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

19. You can’t remember where you saw this.

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.

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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Fun Meter  

* Connecticare

* Buyers at the ICOVA Conference Bookstore and The Women of Color Conference Bookstore

* Diamond Power International




TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate Andy Kaufman is reading:

Warmth Disperses and Time Passes: The History of Heat
by Hans Christian von Baeyer

This is a very accessible book about thermodynamics. I’m thinking anyone that can make thermodynamics fun and interesting to a non-physicist is intriguing enough to buy his book! I’ve applied the concept of entropy to leadership development and project management for over a decade, but this book is giving an engaging education into the people and science behind it. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics has interesting applications to more than we might realize, but you’ll have to read the book to appreciate it all!

The Secret
by Rhonda Byrne

The reason I took a night out of my life to read it is because so many people in classes and in friendly conversations brought it up after Oprah gave it the attention of two episodes. There are a few reasonably good ideas in it (e.g. How we think impacts our feelings. Sometimes change is made more effectively not by doing other things, but rather changing how we think about them. Choose gratefulness over resentment. You reap what you sow. Visualizing a future event can help one prepare for it.). However, even a passing extension of her Law of Attraction yields some downright hideous ramifications. The Secret’s philosophy says that bad things, even great evils, happened to people because they were somehow on the same frequency as the event. An abused person was somehow attracting that fate. Jews killed in Nazi death camps were somehow on a very unfortunate frequency. The 2 ½ year old child diagnosed with leukemia attracted the illness with their intentions? This single tenet of The Secret is outrageously repulsive, not somehow comforting or empowering. The “I am God” worldview, with Me as the center of the universe leads inevitably to narcissistic hedonism, not true lasting joy. Nothing personal Oprah but two thumbs down!

Email 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).

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Leave Your Job Behind When You're on Vacation

Thanks to cellphones, smartphones and wireless Internet, it's more difficult than ever to get away from the office. According to's 2007 Vacation Deprivation survey, 23% of workers checked their voice mail or e-mail while on vacation. The survey also found that 35% of Americans did not take all of their vacation days.
Here are some tips on how to leave the job behind:
Prepare your workplace for your absence. "Two weeks prior to your vacation, let your clients, internal team and boss know you're taking time off, and let them know you're going to disconnect," says Karla Robertson, a certified business coach and president of Shifting Gears in Howell, N.J.

Leave your BlackBerry and laptop in the office, and don't check voice mail , suggests Laura Stack, a time-management trainer and author of Leave the Office Earlier . "It's becoming more acceptable to leave extended-absence greetings or automated e-mail responses," she says.

Consider building in an extra day back home instead of immediately returning to work, suggests Jeff Davidson, author of Breathing Space: Living & Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society . "Before you even depart," Davidson says, "plan your vacation so that you return home one day before you told everybody you would." He adds that you are better off spending one less day at your vacation destination than coming back to work too abruptly.

From USA Weekend, May 25-27, 2007

Make a Comment/ ?

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Breathing Space: Living & Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society , by Jeff Davidson

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

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Facilitation Challenge – Facilitator is Stuck in Traffic!

If you’ve facilitated more than a few in-person group training sessions, you’ve had your cell phone ring, forgotten materials, discovered typos, or even been late because of traffic. Lynn Hauser, TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, got stuck in traffic, handled it brilliantly, and was gracious enough to write up her experience so we all can benefit. Thanks and Bravo, Lynn!:

"I recently had a facilitation challenge that I thought you might be interested in hearing about. Last week I was facilitating a one-day workshop in downtown Chicago for a new client. Since I live in the southwest suburbs I got to sleep in my own bed the night before and drove into the city in the morning. Without another car on the road, it takes me about 45-50 minutes to get into the city. Since it was rush hour, I left 2½ hours before the 8:00am start time. Under normal rush hour circumstances, that would have been plenty of time. For reasons known only to the commuting gods, last Wednesday was anything but normal. Since the traffic reports put the freeway at a virtual standstill, I stayed on the surface streets for as long as possible.

It was apparent fairly quickly, though, that I was going to have trouble getting there on time. By 7:00am I had been on the road for 1½ hours and was still only about of the way there. I called the client to give him an update. Being a Chicago native, he was very understanding and said they'd just wait for me (like they had any choice but to wait).

At 7:45, I was certainly closer but still not moving very quickly. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm like a rabid dog about beginning and ending a group training session on time. So, I decided it was going to start at 8:00am even if I wasn't there . I called the client and asked him to set up a speakerphone in the training room. Since there was almost a full minute of dead silence, I'm fairly certain that he thought he'd hired a crazy person. But he hooked up the phone and called me back at the stroke of 8:00.

We started the training at 8:00am sharp from my on my Bluetooth and them on speakerphone. Since I didn't want to do too much talking while trying to navigate rush hour traffic, I adapted the beginning a little so that I could get to the beginning small group activity faster.

After the opening I got them going on their small group activity, with the client acting as my eyes to let me know when they were finished. Once they were done, we started the processing. I did lose them as I went into the underground parking, but the client continued with the processing anyway. I called back in as soon as I got above ground and he filled me in on what I had missed. Within minutes of parking the car I was at their building. I walked into the room at 8:30 (to a rousing round of applause, which I can tell you felt great) and continued the training as if I'd been there all along.

The learners were a group of executives who were used to running their own companies so I could have had some credibility issues. The good news is that they weren’t in the least bit upset about the somewhat unorthodox start to the day and the training was a huge success.

I told the client contact that if I ever had the chance to work with them again, I'd leave my house at midnight and sleep in the parking lot until morning. Not only would I be there on time, but I'm sure I'm make a lot of new friends in the parking lot."

From TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate, Lynn Hauser, Performance Partners, Inc.

Delivering Effective Training Sessions , Geri McArdle
The Creative Trainer , by Michael Lawler & Peter Handley

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

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A Simple Formula for Reducing Unwanted Turnover

Recently, two researchers, Robin DiPietro and Steve Condly, completed a study within hospitality and tourism, an industry notorious for high employee turnover. They discovered "employee satisfaction" is far less important as an exit trigger than 4 very specific variables related to thinking and behavior.

DiPietro and Condly conducted their research at high- and low-turnover work sites. They discovered four factors that explain more than 96% of employee turnover. Workers at the low-turnover sites displayed significantly higher:

Self-efficacy. They were confident of their ability to perform what was asked of them.

Agency. They were convinced that management and the work environment strongly supported their efforts to meet success criteria.

Positive work perspective. They felt good about their work and working conditions.

High work interest. They valued their work and were genuinely interested in what they did.

As a result, employees at low-turnover work sites appeared to persist longer at work tasks, exhibiting more mental and physical effort in pursuit of their duties than their peers at high-turnover locations.

Of the four factors, the one exerting the strongest impact was agency — even when workers reported lower levels of the other three, supportive supervisors and managers appeared to reduce the likelihood of job abandonment.

Practical Application
Based on these findings, how can organizations reduce undesirable turnover? Above all, do everything possible to convince employees that management and the entire organization supports — not opposes — their work efforts. Communicate this clearly both directly (through words and deeds) and indirectly (through the environment, policies and daily practices).

Build value for work. Show employees that their contributions not only help the organization and customers but, more importantly, build their own valuable skills and knowledge. Employees who highly value their work seldom leave.

Avoid comments and practices that decrease feelings of self-efficacy. Continually reinforce employees' ability to perform. Feelings of inability to meet requirements often lead to demoralization and flight from the source of discomfort: the job.

Monitor employee performance to spot declining persistence and effort. These are warnings of a waning motivation for the job and a sign of potential turnover.

From Talent Management Magazine, May, 2007

Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High-Turnover to High-Retention , by Gregory P. Smith
The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It's Too Late , by Leigh Branham

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


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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,

October 10-12, 2007
Strategic HR Conference , Tampa, FL,

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Charity Navigator ( is an in-depth, searchable guide to more than 5,000 charities worldwide that aims to encourage "intelligent giving". They rate charities based on their total expenses, revenues, and organizational capacity. If you want to give, but the recent slew of charity scandals has you feeling skeptical about where your money would go.

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.

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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* Get answers to your employee recruiting, inspiring, retaining, & training questions from our experts!


Copyright 2007 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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RECRUIT, INSPIRE & RETAIN is a free e-zine of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., published 12 times/year. Editor: Carolyn B. Thompson, Data Entry: Patti Lowczyk (Lowczyk Secretarial), HTML: Debbie Daw ( Visit us at soon!
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