Recruit, Inspire & Retain

June/July 2009

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

TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.
Great Training for Great Employees

http://www.trainingsys.com 
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ABOUT US BOOKS & FUN STUFF RIR BACK ISSUES

COOL STUFF IN THIS ISSUE!

 
bullet FUN Days to Celebrate (Call/Email for Ways to Celebrate the FUN Days to Celebrate!)
bullet RECRUIT:  Where is the Talent?
bullet POSTERS: Comments Made in the Year 1955!
bullet Cool Calls
bullet INSPIRE: Coaching Winning People
bullet TRAIN: Teach With Technology
bullet RETAIN: Pay Staff at the Same Level the Same Salary. And When One Gets a Raise, They All Do.
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give

What are the best

and worst

parts of your day?

 

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.

If this was forwarded to you, get your own copy FREE!
 

FUN DAYS TO CELEBRATE

JUNE SPECIAL DAYS

June is...
Dairy Alternative Month
Effective Communications Month
Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month
National Ice Tea Month
National Smile Month

June 7-13 – National Business Etiquette Week
June 14-20 – National Flag Week
June 21-27 – (Ready?) Carpenter Ant Awareness Week, National Old-Time Fiddler’s Week,
                     & Watermelon Seed Spitting Week
June 28-July 4 – Freedom from Fear of Speaking Week (call us to help with our High Voltage
                          Presentations coaching 800-469-3560)


June 17 – Stewart’s Root Beer Day
June 18 – Recess At Work Day
June 19 – Work @ Home Father’s Day
June 20 – World Juggling Day
June 21 – Actual Father’s Day
June 23 – Let it Go Day
June 26 – Ugly Dog Day & Take Your Dog to Work Day (So...how about, “Take Your Ugly Dog
                to Work Day?)

June 28 – Log Cabin Day
June 30 – Leap Second Time Adjustment Day (Which may or may not happen, based on what
                the scientists feel like doing this year!)

JULY SPECIAL DAYS

July is...
Blueberries Month
Cell Phone Courtesy Month
National “Doghouse Repairs” Month
National Grilling Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Horseradish Month
National Hot Dog Month (as long as his house is repaired)

July 5-11 – Freedom Week

July 5-11 – Be Nice to New Jersey Week & Sports Cliché Week
July 12-18 – National Ventriloquism Week (See the fabulous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47DT41m86N4)
July 19-25 – Lumberjack Week (Everyone must wear plaid flannel shirts – we don’t care how
                    hot it is.)

July 1 – U.S. Postage Stamp Day (42 cents to mail a letter?!) stamps
July 2 – I Forgot Day
July 3 – Compliment Your Mirror Day & Stay Out of the Sun Day
July 4 – Independence Day
July 7 – Tell the Truth Day
July 10 – Don’t Step on a Bee Day (Ever get stung by a dead bee?” Know what movie that
               came from?)

July 11 – World Population Day
July 13 – Embrace Your Geekness Day & ‘Gruntled’ Workers Day
July 15 – Gummi Worm Day
July 16 – Get to Know Your Customers Day
July 18 – Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day
July 19 – National Ice Cream Day
July 23 – “Hot Enough For Ya?” Day
July 24 – Arbor Day & National Hairball Awareness Day
JULY 25 – CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!!!!
July 28 – National Milk Chocolate Day

AUGUST SPECIAL DAYS
August 1 – World Wide Web Day & U.S. Air Force Day
August 4 – National Chocolate Chip Day
August 6 – National Fresh Breath Day
August 7 – Professional Speakers Day & Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day
August 8 – Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night (Don’t try this during the
                  day!)

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

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COOL RECRUITING TIPS

Where is the Talent?

Experts are beginning to say the same thing: Where is the talent? Numerous reports have clearly documented the growing talent crunch in the United States and many other countries.

Through economic ups and downs for companies of all sizes, talent availability has remained a major issue. In April 2006 the National Federation of Independent Business reported that 31% of its members had one or more unfilled positions for which they could not find qualified applicants. In November 2008 as a world economic crisis dominated media headlines, 100 CEOs of top U.S. corporations still identified obtaining an educated workforce as one of their highest priorities.

Talent shortages are not confined to the United States. A 2008 Manpower Inc. Annual Talent Shortage Survey polled 43,000 employers in thirty- two nations and reports that "31% of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent available in their markets."

What Is Causing the Talent Shortage?
What is behind these deep talent shortages that now confront much of the world? Three major economic and cultural forces have combined to produce this global talent showdown:
* Workforce Demographics – a worldwide demographic shift
* The Globalized Economy - globalization
* The Education- to- Employment System – a broken talent preparation system

Too many job-seekers lack literacy, experience, education, and specialized career training. A rising tide of applicants does not meet the minimum qualifications for an increasingly sophisticated world of work. The 2008 Manpower survey reported that the hardest-to-fill jobs worldwide included engineers, technicians, machinists, mechanics, and IT staff.

Over the next decade, the talent creation and distribution system will need to be seriously overhauled. Recruiting, retaining, and developing skilled people will become so challenging that increasing numbers of businesses will be forced out of existence.

How can businesses and the communities in which they operate best be mobilized to effect these changes? Community-based organizations (CBOs) or nongovernment organizations (NGOs) are being formed in the United States and many other nations to address the dramatic labor imbalance. What are these CBOs and NGOs doing? At least in part they are supporting training and education for the new global tech economy fashioned to the special needs of employers, communities, and the diverse talents of people in the workforce. To find talented people, businesses are increasing their commitment to higher-quality education across cities, regions, and nations in both the liberal arts and math and sciences to create a broader and deeper talent pipeline. They are also working with students as young as kindergarten-age to encourage them to consider careers in science and technology.

Businesses around the world have come to the conclusion that combining their expertise with that of CBOs and NGOs is the best way to create sustainable talent for the future. Everyone’s hands-on leadership can participate in some meaningful way.

Unlocking the Future
Throughout the world, labor markets are seriously out of sync with global technological realities. The business community can avoid this talent catastrophe by finally getting serious about the overhaul of the entire education-to-employment system. Changing this system will take time and will not be cheap. Technology will continue to alter the nature of work and the knowledge that people will need.

In the long run, the worldwide labor market will probably adjust to the three economic and cultural forces. But when will this adjustment be completed? What will be the ultimate cost for business? How many Americans will have higher wage jobs? Where can business begin to make these transitions? Who will provide the local community and business leadership? Why can we not just muddle through all this, as we have always done before?

Excerpts from Ed Gordon’s newest book Winning the Global Talent Showdown

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

  
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Winning the Global Talend ShowdownWinning the Global Talent Showdown: How Businesses and Communities Can Partner to Rebuild the Jobs Pipeline, by Edward Gordon

Order by calling 800-469-3560 or emailing books@trainingsys.com and get your 10% discount by mentioning RIR.

 

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 http://www.trainingsys.com.

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YOU LOVE OUR POSTERS, YOU’LL LOVE THESE...

Comments Made in the Year 1955!

bullet

I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s groceries for $20.00.

bullet

Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a used one.

bullet

If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous...

bullet

Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?

bullet

If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

bullet

When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the garage.

bullet

Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.

bullet

I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying ‘DAMN’ in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL of DAMN in it.

bullet

Read the other day where some scientist thinks it’s possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas.

bullet

Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more than the President.

bullet

I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.

bullet

It’s too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.

bullet

It wont be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

bullet

Marriage doesn’t mean a thing any more, those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat.

bullet

I’m afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.

bullet

Thank goodness I won’t live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to Congress.

bullet

The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

bullet

There is no sense going to Lincoln anymore for a weekend, it costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.

bullet

No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $35.00 a day in the hospital it’s too rich for my blood.

bullet

If they think I’ll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it.
 

**TOOL BOX****
   
"All stressed out and no one to choke" poster Here’s a FREE poster that everyone will LOVE Want more? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to buy packs of posters!
   

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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COOL CALLS

* Victoria Key, founder and Dean of Alpha Academy, emailed: "Just a little update on how we used our TRAINING SYSTEMS product. We used our Career Values Card Sorts in an exercise on values. Something simple to get to know who we are, by listing our values and then pulling out the three most important ones to us. Thank you for the systems, they are very helpful and I will continue to use them with children. After all, they do grow up and become adults; our goal is to make sure they become successful ones."

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IDEAS TO INSPIRE

Coaching Winning People

Coaching the teamJohn Gagliardi has a ton of lessons you can learn, about leading and coaching people in your workplace. But it surprises him that anyone in the business world would be interested in what he has to say. John, football coach at St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN, since 1953, is the winningest college football coach in history — his college teams have won over 409 victories.

What have you learned in coaching sports that can help a manager in the workplace coach winning people?

"I tell the guys to do everything you can to help the new guys. You don’t get anywhere by being a jerk."

What about empowering your employees? Reminded that "empowering" employees is one of the popular "in" strategies today, John again laughed, and said:

"You say ‘empower’ them. That’s what we’ve been doing from day one." ("Day one" for Gagliardi was in 1943!)

So, what are some of John’s (he prefers "John," not "coach" -- "I don’t call my players "Player" do
I?")...what are some of his coaching ways that empower his players? And result in their winning in their jobs?

He’s broken a lot of the "hustle, hustle, winning is everything" rules:

bullet

His seasoned players, the older men, do most of the day-to-day coaching. They’re team leaders! "From day one, the seniors, the older guys, take over," he said. "They’re the greeters, they run the drills. They teach the younger guys. That’s why we get by with so few coaches." (He has four assistant coaches on his staff.)

bullet

No treating players like kids. No freshman or Junior Varsity program. No players cut. (He has 170 guys on his team, in a college with about 1,800 students. St. John’s is an all-male college, near St. Cloud.) No training table, his team eats with the other students. No slogans. No calisthenics. No pre-practice drills. "We only practice what we do in games," he says.

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Motivate by treating people the way you want to be treated. "We don’t drive players into the ground," he explained. For example, "We’re the only team in history that eliminates all-out tackle in practice. So we’ve eliminated almost all practice injury. We haven’t made a tackle on the practice field since ‘64 or ‘65. We try to eliminate the unnecessary."

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Find the right people. "Where coaching really comes in is identifying the right people, the guys who will produce and be effective. That’s a toughie," he said. "How do you hire the right people?"

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The key, he says, is "most people can do the job, given a chance. But they have to have the desire, the dedication. That’s the job of the coach, to find these people. Find the right people, show them what to do. Then get out of the way. And if they’re not getting the job done, then your job is to find people to get the job done."

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Always be ready to change. "We’re always adjusting a little," John said. "We’re pretty fluid. We don’t even have a play book. You always have to be ready to change." What, no play book? "Well, each player gets his own stuff, so he gets his job done."

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Have a culture of confidence in your people. "We want guys who don’t need rules. Who instinctively do the right thing," he said. Why does his unorthodox coaching work? "The reason...confidence in what we’re doing."

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Don’t focus on winning everything. John explained: "I know everyone prefers to be successful, to win. But we don’t win every game. We’re winning three out of four, but we’re losing one out of four. And look at the plays. You lose most of your plays. Most great successes come after disaster. Good athletes don’t give up. They bounce back."

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Let the front-line people make decisions. "We let our quarterbacks call their own plays," John said. "They call 80% of their own plays. Sure, I send in some plays. But if they don’t like the play I send in, they don’t have to use it. It’s just a suggestion. And we led the nation in scoring with this system."

Excerpted from ETimePay Newsletter, 5/1/2009

Let us know Email us which of these strategies you implement in your organization!

  
 **TOOL BOX**
     
Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court, by John Wooden
   
The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons from a Life in Coaching, by Dean Smith, Gerald D. Bell, John Kilgo, Roy Williams 
   
  Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court The Carolina Way
Order by calling 800-469-3560 or emailing books@trainingsys.com and get your 10% discount by mentioning RIR.

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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TRAIN SO THEY’LL LEARN

Teach With Technology

Learning expert Elliott Masie shares his take on using technology to create memorable learning events:

I went to an event at one of the very large consulting companies. I was the presenter and there were about 100 people in the room. Every one of them had their laptops open, and every one of them was hooked into a shared message board except me. As I'm facilitating the learning, the people in the room were all interacting with each other about what I was saying ... .[It was an] early concept of how you use technology and how you use the wisdom of the crowd.

What we are finding is that every technology has a sort of introductory phase where it's the early adopters playing with it. Then it becomes a high-fashion thing. I know people who are Twittering because they don't want to be accused of not Twittering. After awhile, it just becomes part of our world. But I'm really looking forward to when we get to the next stage, where they are just accepted. Then what we will do is choose to use them when they are appropriate.

People use technology without thinking about methodology. Let's say I get a GPS ... it's really good to get to some places that I've never been to before. But if I'm going to the grocery store that is three miles away, it's pretty stupid to punch this in my GPS. I've got this technology, but what is the methodology behind that technology? Technology used right accelerates the speed to solution. Technology allows you to do diversity without having to make it feel like diversity. If I'm good at building a social network, I don't have to think about diversity because my network is going to be diverse. Technology becomes a really powerful way of including people, including them in meetings, including them in decision making, including them in governance, and including them in learning. I want to see diversity in our organizations, but not because it's socially cool or politically correct. I want to see it because it's the best way to run organizations.

An organization has to also acknowledge that there are no walls anymore around learning events. Even though I may invite just 20 people ... there is a whole other world of people who aren't going to be at the event but who are going to influence, or be influenced, by the event.

Adapted from Associations Now, May 2009

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33 Million People in the Room: How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking, by Juliette Powell

Building Online Learning Communities, by Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt

33 Million People in the Room: How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social NetworkingBuilding Online Learning Communities
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RETAIN THE BEST

Pay Staff at the Same Level the Same Salary. And When One Gets a Raise, They All Do.

by Joel Spolsky, co-founder and CEO of Fog Creek Software and host of the popular blog Joel on Software

What would happen if you got to work one day, went into the kitchen, and saw a list of your employees' salaries taped to the fridge? Would you freak out? Would you expect to find half of your staff weeping and the other half waiting with pitchforks outside your office door?

Because salary information is viewed as particularly sensitive, employers often go to great lengths to keep it under wraps. Some companies even make it a fireable offense for employees to compare salaries, or they write something into the standard employment contract prohibiting workers from disclosing their pay. (In the United States, this kind of rule is unenforceable, by the way, but some bosses hope their workers won't know that.) The trouble with keeping salaries a secret is that it's usually used as a way to avoid paying people fairly. And that's not good for employees -- or the company.

When my partner and I started Fog Creek Software, we knew that we wanted to create a pay scale that was objective and transparent. As I researched different systems, I found that a lot of employers tried to strike a balance between having a formulaic salary scale and one that was looser by setting a series of salary "ranges" for employees at every level of the organization. But this felt unfair to me. I wanted Fog Creek to have a salary scale that was as objective as possible. A manager would have absolutely no leeway when it came to setting a salary. And there would be only one salary per level.

After some digging, I found a Seattle-area software-consulting firm called Construx that had published on its website the outline of a decent professional ladder system (read about it at construx.com/?nid=244). It reminded me of the old pay system at Microsoft, which had worked pretty well when I was there. We used this model as a rough basis for our system, although we added some flourishes. I posted the first draft on my blog and got tons of great feedback, which I used to write up the second draft. The basic system has remained in place ever since.

In Fog Creek's system, every employee is assigned a level. Currently, these levels range from 8 (for a summer intern) to 16 (for me). Your level is calculated formulaically based on three factors: experience, scope of responsibility, and skill set. Once we determine your number, you make the same as every other employee at that level.

The experience part is pretty easy: It's based on the number of years of full-time experience you have in the field you're working in. No work done while you were still in school counts, and certain types of rote, menial work can never add up to more than a year of experience. If you worked as a receptionist for six years, for example, you aren't credited with six years of experience; I give you credit for one year.

Scope is pretty easy, too. Are you primarily helping someone else do his or her job? Do you have your own area of responsibility? Or are you running a whole product? We are able to define the scope of most jobs pretty objectively.

Quantifying skill is a little bit harder, but we still find it possible to define a fairly objective continuum from a newbie programmer ("Is learning the basic principles of software engineering; works under close supervision; not expected to write production code") to an expert programmer ("Has consistently had major success during participation in all aspects of small and large projects and has been essential to those projects' successes").

Once we defined our terms, we created a little chart that assigns a level based on an employee's experience, skill, and scope. Then, we created another chart that lists the base salaries for each level, and that's how we figure out how much an employee makes.

Once a year, my management team sits down, reviews every employee's work, and recalculates every employee's level. Then we look at competitive market salaries using online tools such as Salary.com and Glassdoor.com, and we consider our own knowledge of the job market from the past year of recruiting and make sure that the salaries we have at each level are exactly where we want them to be.

Because everyone at the same level gets the same salary -- no fudging -- we sometimes run into difficulty. One problem with our system reveals itself when we're pursuing an employee who wants to negotiate for a higher salary. Sometimes this occurs when we find a great person who is currently being paid a salary that, in our view, is way above market. And sometimes this occurs when a potential hire just expects a reasonable amount of back-and-forth over salary because almost every other employer he has ever worked for maintains ambiguous salary ranges and there is always room to get paid better if you negotiate well. We usually address these situations by guaranteeing the recruit a larger first-year bonus than he would normally get. Here's the thing: Fog Creek is extremely profitable, and we have a generous profit-sharing plan, so the "guaranteed first-year bonus" is almost always less than the employee's profit-sharing bonus would have been anyway.

Our system was put to the test over the past eight years when the labor market was tight. It's easy to see why: Suppose you hire 100 yak drivers at $10 an hour, but then the Tibetan economy heats up, and you have trouble finding more yak drivers. The market rate might rise to $15 an hour. The weak-kneed thing to do is to hire new employees at $15 and hope that the senior people don't discover that the rookies are making more money than they are.

This is technically called salary inversion and can lead to strife within an organization. It can also completely warp the relationships among managers, HR, and employees. This may seem ridiculous and sound apocryphal, but I actually once heard that managers at a major corporation told their key employees to quit and reapply for their old jobs, because the bureaucracy had made it nearly impossible to give them raises that reflected the competitive job market. At Fog Creek, we decided that the right thing to do when the labor market tightens is to give raises to everybody at the same level. This move can be painful and expensive, but the alternative is worse.

I can't guarantee that our system would hold up if margins were to erode, but I'm pretty sure that employees would be willing to accept slightly lower salaries as long as the system were transparent and fair, and it were clear what you needed to do to move up the ladder.

At the same time, if you hear a lot of griping about salaries, you shouldn't look just at your system for paying people. One thing I've learned from experience is that happy, motivated employees who are doing work they love and feel they are being treated as adults don't gripe about money unless their pay is egregiously unfair. If you hear a lot of complaints about salaries, I suspect that's probably a manifestation of a much bigger disease: Your employees aren't deriving enough personal satisfaction from their work, or they are miserable for other reasons.

It takes a lot of salary to make up for a cruel boss or a prisonlike workplace. And rather than adjusting pay, you might choose to focus on some nonmonetary ways to make employees happy. Happy employees make better products and provide better customer service and will make your company successful and profitable. And success allows you to pay workers better.

Excerpted from Inc. 4/09

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Pay People Right!: Breakthrough Reward Strategies to Create Great CompaniesPay People Right!: Breakthrough Reward Strategies to Create Great Companies, by Patricia K. Zingheim, Jay R. Schuster

Order by calling 800-469-3560 or emailing books@trainingsys.com and get your 10% discount by
mentioning RIR

   

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCES

June 28-July 1, 2009
SHRM 61st Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, LA,
http://www.shrm.org

July 1-3, 2009
National Career Development Association, St. Louis, MO, 866-FOR-NCDA

August 15-18, 2009
Excite: ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition, Toronto, CAN,
http://www.asaecenter.org/AnnualMeeting

November 6-8, 2009
American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) 19th Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency DFW, Dallas, TX,
http//www.aahks.org

January 14-17, 2010
35th Annual International Conference: New Frontiers in Learning and Innovation, Houston, TX,
http://www.ialearn.org

Dick Knowdell’s Career Development Training
Creator of the wonderful Motivated Skills, Career Values, and other Card Sort tools for managers & career counselors has the following training dates set up. Email him @ rknowdell@mac.com to get more information.

  • June 29-30-July 1-2-3-4-5 St. Louis, MO Conference
  • July 19-20-21-22-23-24-25-26 Detroit, Michigan Coach Workshop

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WAYS TO VOLUNTEER & GIVE

www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil has a list of hundreds of organizations that support the military. The Yellow Ribbon Fund is one such group and focuses on injured service members and their families.

PODCAST: MORE GREEN TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE OFFICE, http://www.Inc.com/keyword/jun08

  EASY TO BE GREEN!

K www.eartheasy.com has great tips on green cleaning.
K www.greendimes.com & www.41pounds.org will help you get off junk mail lists.
K www.thegreenguide.com has tips on every facet of green living.
K www.energystar.gov gives advice on replacing old light bulbs w/energy efficient bulbs.
K www.eere.energy.gov/greenpower provides comprehensive "green power" info.
K www.globalwarming.org urges the use of recycled paper.
K www.arborday.org helps you plant trees to save the environment.

Going Green At Work
Find ecofriendly building materials and services at http://www.rateitgreen.com
Buy ecofriendly office supplies at http://www.thegreenoffice.comcom
Work from home ideas at http://www.treehugger.com 
Find jobs and volunteer opportunities with socially responsible organizations at
         http://www.idealist.org 
Reduce paperwork by invoicing, & paying employees & bills electronically
         (
TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  now invoices exclusively by email and is close to paying everyone
         by credit card, PayPal, or automatic debit from checking account)
Encourage employees to use public transportation
Use ceiling fans to reduce air-conditioning costs
Reduce your hot water heater temperature by 2 degrees and insulate the tank
Use energy-saving light bulbs

B.I.G. ON BOOKS is an organization that promotes literacy in underprivileged countries, primarily Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. You can donate books through most Rotary Clubs. B.I.G. also accepts cash donations. Send email to Steve Frantzich at frantzic@usna.edu for more information.

Kicking World Hunger is the biggest soccer juggle-a-thon in the world (uh, that we know of), much like a walk-a-thon, but more fun! Participants sign up to juggle a soccer ball thousands of times while raising money to provide hope for children and communities that desperately need it. http://www.firstgiving.com/kickingworldhunger

Charity Navigator (http://charitynavigator.org) 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 (http://www.takepride.com) 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.

Set a reminder to visit http://www.thebreastcancersite.com daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms.

volunteermatch.org helps you find organizations in your area that spark your interest in volunteering.
momsrising.org fights for family-friendly programs and policies at work.
mygooddeed.org honors the heroes and victims of 9/11, by giving ideas for good deeds to perform.
kiva.org helps entrepreneurs by connecting them with backers for short term loans
guidestar.org and charitablechoices.org both make sure the organizations you’re supporting are legit and give the bulk of their money to their mission

Global Volunteers (http://www.globalvolunteers.org)
You can:
select by type of work project
select by country and date
select by service program conditions
select by cost

RECYCLING

Donate Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people through partnerships with law enforcement organizations, http://www.911CellPhoneBank.com 

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.  http://www.greendisk.comm

Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation, http://www.cristina.org; Goodwill, www.goodwill.org, Salvation Army, www.satruck.com/MakeDonation.asp.

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

Several other places to recycle old PCs: www.earth911.org, www.eiae.org.

Find local Electronics recyclers at http://www.earth911.org and http://www.ebay.com/rethink


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