Recruit, Inspire & Retain

July 2004

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

Great Training for Great Employees
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bullet Now Hiring...and Look Who’s Applying
bullet Who's Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet For Those Who Enjoy Language (or severe distortions thereof)
bullet Cool Calls
bullet The Best Places to Work—The Leaders Who Make Them So
bullet People Learn From Experience: Here Are the Key Factors in That Learning
bullet How Org Charts Lie
bullet Things to Do This Month/Conferences to Attend/Ways to Volunteer/Give (Call 800-469-3560 or E-mail For Ways to Celebrate the Special Days of the Month!)

Celebrate the 4th of July ALL month!

Support your employees who serve in the National Guard & Reserve.

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Now Hiring

Doug Ducey, President and CEO, Cold Stone Creamery
Scottsdale, Arizona

Projected 2004 employee growth: + 11,725

I think ice cream is recession-proof. I used to sell beer for Anheuser-Busch, and we had a saying: "When the economy is good, the beer business is good; when the economy is bad, the beer business is better." I think some of those same ideas apply to Cold Stone in tough times. It's a comfort food. It's something that's affordable, and it's something that gets back to family and simplicity.

Our franchisees opened up 228 new stores last year. And they'll open 469 more this year. Every time a store opens, in addition to a franchisee being in business for themselves, there's somewhere between 15 and 35 crew members they need to hire. When we originally set our vision in August of 1999, we said we will have 1,000 profitable stores operating by December 31, 2004. At the time, we had 74 stores up and running. We set out that big hairy audacious goal of 1,000 profitable stores, and amazingly, as of December 31 of this year, we will meet it.

We believe the principles of really getting the right people on this team--not only at headquarters but also inside the stores--got us to that goal. For example, we don't interview our crew members; we audition them. It takes a certain level of energy, enthusiasm, and outgoing personality to create this ultimate ice-cream experience. We bring in five, six, seven people at a time and audition them for jobs. And you quickly learn which ones do or do not have the personality, charisma, and can-do attitude to work in a Cold Stone.

Wolfgang Hultner, CEO, The Americas, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
San Francisco, California

Projected 2004 employee growth: + 500

When our current CEO Edouard Ettedgui came on board five years ago, he had a vision to move beyond our presence in Asia and our one hotel in San Francisco. He said it was time to become a global company, but not just by sticking flags around the world in various cities. But really by getting specific, key destinations throughout the world where we could find the right people and go slowly. We are still a relatively small company with 19 hotels.

He asked me to give him three cities where I thought we should be in North America. I said, New York, New York, New York. So of course, we started with New York and we have two hotels there, The Mark and the Mandarin Oriental. The number of people on staff all depends on hotel occupancy as well as how many amenities we have, such as food and drink outlets and spas. For example, the Mandarin that opened last fall in New York hired 400 people.

We then came up with Washington, which opened this spring; Boston, breaking ground this summer; and L.A., which we're still working on.

The hotel business, like others, is cyclical, with the cycle lasting anywhere between four and seven years. You want to build hotels when the cycle is a little bit down. To build in the downtime is good for a number of reasons. Number one, construction costs are normally 20% to 25% lower than at the height of the market. Two, it's easier to find a good staff, and today in the hotel business, it's all about finding the right staff. By the time the hotel opens--and most hotels take between three and five years from the time you sign a contract to the day the doors open--hopefully you are out of the cycle and ready for some good news.

Adapted from Fast Company, May 2004.

...and Look Who’s Applying
...beleaguered employees who’ve held onto their jobs but feel overworked and underpaid. Some are beginning to lay plans for an escape. in the first quarter of 2004, 4.2 million people posted their resumes on Monster, the online job board, up 44% from a year earlier; this year “confidential” postings (usually made by people trying to hide job hunting from their boss) are up 13%. “People are very loosely tethered to their laptops, and at any moment, with the right phone call, they could be lured away,” says Sibson Consulting’s Peter LeBlanc, who expects turnover rates to double in the next 12 months.

That’s largely because companies spent the past few years squeezing more and more work out of ever-smaller staffs, and many workers aren’t happy about it.

That’s causing even idyllic-sounding employers to pay more attention to morale:
● At Orvis headquarters in Manchester, VT, the staff of 200 routinely fishes, hikes, or gather wild mushrooms during lunch; hardly anyone works past 5:30 p.m. Yet HR Chief Mary Cheddie has asked supervisors to watch for employees who seem overworked or bored or ready for a change.

● Earlier this month, Procter & Gamble announced a one-time bonus of 2 extra days of vacation (or the equivalent in cash) to every worker.

● It’s time to return to more “differentiated” compensation schemes, where star performers reap far bigger raises. But some workplace experts say money isn’t the only effective salve, especially for a work force traumatized by the long hours of the pat few years.

● Work-family expert Amy Richman sees more companies taking steps to relieve weary workers by hiring more hands or rethinking processes to eliminate time wasters. With support from bosses, she says, “there are things people can do to manage workload better.”

Some pros wonder whether any of these strategies will keep workers onboard. Wharton professor Peter Cappelli, who’s studied attitudes among New Economy workers, says people couldn’t help but notice that “employers cut employees faster and harder (during the recession) than during any previous one.” As conditions improve, why should employees feel loyal to bosses who ruthlessly swung the ax? Sure, the boss may give better raises or more “attaboys” to try to make up — but like a spurned lover, employees remember the mistreatment, and they’re unlikely to forgive and forget. “It’s like being in a bad relationship,” says Manhattan recruiter Sunny Bates. “People are saying, “I just want out. I want to start over.”

Adapted from Newsweek, May 24, 2004.


  Hiring Sources (w/CD), is a tool kit of hiring materials, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  own Cathy D. Fyock, to order call 800-465-3560 or E-mail

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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


* Sprocketeer Speedometer wearers
* Avcenter Inc. staff and customers


For Those Who Enjoy Language (or severe distortions thereof)

* Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.
* A backward poet writes inverse.
* A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
* Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
* Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
* Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
* A man takes a mistress just to break the monogamy.
* A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
* Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
* Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
* Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
* Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
* When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
* A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
* What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
* In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
* A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
* If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
* When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
* The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
* You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
* A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.
* A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
* He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
* A plateau is a high form of flattery.
* Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
* Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
* Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
* Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
* Acupuncture is a jab well done

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!
BUY PACKS of inspirational posters. (Do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for Training Room Posters (30/pack).)

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* Julie Raque (TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  is editing the book she’s writing) writes: “THANK YOU SO MUCH for the book (on self publishing)! I received it today, and THANK YOU EVEN MORE for the little note you included!!! To have an editor who supports and believes in the author as much as you do IS PRICELESS!”

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The Best Places to Work – The Leaders Make Them So

The 50 Best Christian Places to Work were just named. Congratulations to employers and their happy employees!

What do the leaders of these workplaces have in common?
Best Christian Workplace Institute has identified 4 key success factors.

An Environment of Trust
Organizations with a climate of trust cultivate it by practicing:
  Openness and honesty.
  Caring for employees.
Taking Time to Manage Well
Top performers in the survey demonstrate a universal truth: that good management requires focus and intentionality—it doesn’t just happen. Some common ways in which leaders at these organizations manage well are by:
  Ensuring a high level of trust.
  Demonstrating fairness and accountability.
  Serving customers/supporters.
  Building strong teams.
Sharing Organizational Power
Sharing power allows employees freedom and flexibility in their jobs, whether that means the power to make appropriate decisions on their own, or the ability to change their work time to suit their lifestyle. Despite the fact that employees appreciate and desire this flexibility, Christian organizations have remained slow to respond. Christian Management Association president John Pearson says, “For an organization to have a culture of freedom and flexibility, it has to make it a core value, owned first and foremost by the leaders. Then they have to be willing to practice it with those who report to them. But I don’t think leaders understand yet how much employees appreciate a flexible work environment.” The best organizations:
  Act on employee suggestions.
  Involve employees in decisions affecting them.
  Explain the reasons behind major decisions.
  Encourage experimentation and innovation.
The Right People in the Right Positions
In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins says that getting the right people on the bus and getting them in the right seat was the most significant conclusion as to how to become a great company. Even though the apostle Paul laid out this principle 2,000 years ago in Romans 12:6 (“And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly….”), the publication of Collins’ book has had a huge impact on Christian ministries as many organizations rediscover this truth and incorporate it as one of their principal management tenets. But even though many organizations realize the importance of this concept, properly implementing it is another story. There are many tools available to assess the gifts or interests of employees. They’re usually useful, but one common factor we’ve found with the best places to work is management’s wisdom, experience, and talent to put people in the right job. Moreover, paying close attention to the process of:
  Recruiting and hiring the right people.
  Basing promotions on performance.
  Retaining the right employees.

The bottom line is that the best places to work have managers who care about their people, who put the time, energy, and resources into building trust, managing well, sharing power with employees, and getting the right people in the right positions. Side Benefit: finally — a key finding emerging from the survey is the strong correlation between employee satisfaction and an organization’s growth.

How many of the above can you check off?

About the survey: The Best Christian Places to Work is a nationwide annual employee survey conducted by Christianity Today and Best Christian Workplaces Institute to determine, recognize and celebrate Christian organizations which are the best stewards of their human resources. A high percentage of employees from each participating organization are asked to complete a survey consisting of 50 multiple choice questions, eight demographic questions, up to 5 questions selected by the organization, and 3 open-ended questions. In addition, each organization completes a profile that reflects its human resources practices. Early registration for the 2005 survey is now open at  The survey is scheduled to begin in mid-October and run through the end of November 2004. At the end of the survey, each participating organization receives an in-depth report of its survey results.

Adapted from Christian Management Report, June 2004.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins
First Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham
   Order both at 800-469-3560 or E-mail 

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People Learn From Experience: Here Are the Key Factors in That Learning

Ten years of research at the Center for Creative Leadership has demonstrated that successful and effective leaders develop critical skills from their experiences in the workplace. Effective senior managers learn much of what they need to know through mastering challenging work situations — for example, managing turnarounds and start-ups, participating in important projects, and making successful transitions into major new roles with increased accountability and responsibility.

FACT: individuals learn from experience. So, what are the key factors in that learning?  There are at least 3:
willingness to take the opportunity
learning versatility.
The organization provides the opportunity. The individual must be willing to take advantage of the opportunity and there must be a variety of strategies for learning.

Some people may be more willing to take on new challenges than others because of upbringing, education, and life history. Effective learners have clear strategies for managing their fears about doing something new, different, or unfamiliar. They are not embarrassed to say, "I don’t know.” They accept a challenge, even if their palms are sweating and their hearts are pounding.

Some people have many ways to learn and some people are limited in how they learn — even in how they think about learning, because of personality and ways of thinking about things. For example, a person who likes to figure things out by himself or herself. The person likes to be alone, think about what to do, and then do it. If this person is offered the opportunity to work on a new project as part of a team, he or she may turn it down. Such a person must develop some new tactics for learning from others in order to succeed on a team. Imagine another person who has been very successful learning through trial and error. He or she may misuse an opportunity to work on the strategic planning group because of their concern for working at the pace of others and having to listen to a bunch of data and processes before doing.

Every time a person avoids a task or fails to consider how to best go about learning from the task, an opportunity to learn is lost. How you learn influences what you are willing to try to learn and your probability of success. Fortunately, you can improve your ability to learn from experience; the 1st step is to understand how you learn.

Personality and information-processing style influence how an individual prefers to learn. Versatile learners understand their preferences, and have worked to adopt other learning tactics that do not come naturally. These people learn more than individuals who approach every event or task in the same fashion. The Learning Tactics Inventory is designed to help people recognize their current learning preferences so that they can expand from there.

People learn from experience in one of 4 ways: Action, Thinking, Feeling, and Accessing Others. The most versatile learners use all 4 tactics:
 1. Action. These learners believe the best way to learn is by direct experience — to jump in and see what happens. They do not feel compelled to gather data first nor to solicit buy-in from all of the people involved.
 2. Thinking. These learners reflect on the past and imagine the possible outcomes for the future. They draw on their own inner resources in a somewhat solitary fashion.
 3. Feeling. These learners are able to recognize when they are anxious or uncertain about engaging in new challenges and employ tactics to help them manage the psychological discomfort that occurs from “knowing they don’t know”.
 4. Accessing Others. These learners, faced with a novel situation, seek advice, example, support, or instruction from others who may have been in a similar situation.

The Learning Tactics Inventory shows the learner the tactics that they report using most often when faced with a challenging situation. If they are using only one or two tactics, it is possible that they are overusing or misusing these tactics. Or they may be avoiding situations in which other tactics are called for.

On the other hand, if they find that they do use all of the tactics, it is likely that they are willing and able to learn from a wide variety of challenging situations and that they are quite proficient at learning from experience.

Adapted from The Learning Tactics Inventory.

Learning Tactics Inventory (assessment & workbook)
Learning Tactics Inventory (Facilitator’s Guide)

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How Org Charts Lie

It has taken us years, and I think we are still not sure if we are getting things right even after substantial re-engineering projects, a move to teams, new HR practices, two acquisitions, and a ton invested in technology. By now we should have reduced costs and created a more nimble company without a focus on hierarchy or fiefdoms. But it's tough to ensure that this is really happening. Most of us in this room have thousands of people we are accountable for stretched across the globe. It's impossible to manage or even know what's going on in the depths of the organization. I mean, each of us can fool ourselves into thinking we're smart and running a tight ship. But really the best we can do is create a context and hope that things emerge in a positive way, and this is tough because you can't really see the impact your decisions have on people. So you just kind of hope what you want to happen is happening and then sound confident when telling others.

— Executive Vice President, Commercial Lending

This executive's frustration likely resonates with your own experience. Whether as a manager in charge of a department or as a member embedded in one, we are all dramatically affected by information flow and webs of relationships within social networks. These networks often are not depicted on any formal chart, but they are intricately intertwined with an organization's performance, the way it develops and executes strategy, and its ability to innovate. For most of us, networks also have a great deal to do with our personal productivity, learning, and career success.

Yet it's not always easy to know what is going on in these large, distributed, and seemingly invisible groups. Reflect for a moment on the network of relationships among the people you work with. You can probably describe your close relationships accurately, but studies show that as you move beyond your immediate circle, your accuracy begins to fall off. Given the importance of networks, this lack of understanding can have substantial implications for individual and organizational performance.

Network analysis reveals patterns in specific functions, divisions, or business units
Consider a small network of employees in the exploration and production division of a petroleum organization. This division was in the midst of implementing a distributed technology to help transfer best practices across drilling initiatives, and the managers were also interested in assessing the ability of the division to create and share knowledge. To help with these efforts, a social network analysis among the division's top executives was conducted. The results — a striking contrast between the group's formal (org chart) and informal structures.

The social network analysis identified 3 important things:
  1. Midlevel managers critical for information flow whom leaders had not anticipated would be so important. A particular surprise came from the crucial role played by an overall information flow both within the group and between members of the production division and the rest of the network. One manager's reputation for expertise and responsiveness had resulted in his becoming a critical source of all kinds of information. However, the number of requests he received and projects he was involved in had become excessive, not only causing him stress but also often slowing the entire group. Through no fault of his own, he had become a bottleneck.

  2. The extent to which the entire network was disproportionately reliant on that same manager. If he were hired away, the company would lose both his knowledge and the relationships he had established, and in many ways these relationships were holding the network together. People would have to scramble to establish informational relationships, and the group's performance would suffer. As a result of the analysis, the organization decided to categorize the requests that he had received and then allocate some of these domains to other managers. This simple solution unburdened him and made the overall network more responsive and robust.

  3. Peripheral people were identified who represented untapped expertise. In particular, many of the senior people had become too removed from the group's day-to-day operations. This is common. As people move higher within an organization, their work begins to entail more administrative tasks, making them both less accessible and less knowledgeable about the work of their staff. For example, the most senior person was one of the most peripheral, and his lack of responsiveness often held back the entire network when important decisions needed to be made. The social network analysis helped turn what could have been a difficult confrontation with this executive into a constructive discussion, which led him to commit more of his time to the group. The analysis also demonstrated the extent to which the production division had become separated from the overall network. Several months before the analysis, this division had been moved to a different floor. After reviewing the network diagram, the executives realized that this physical separation had resulted in fewer serendipitous hallway meetings. Because this lack of communication had driven a series of recent operational problems, they decided to introduce more structured meetings to compensate for this loss.

The power of a social network perspective
The results of this organization's social network analysis are fairly typical. Even in small, contained groups, staff are often surprised by patterns of collaboration that are quite different from their beliefs and from the formal organization chart. Getting an accurate view of a network helps with managerial decision making and informs targeted efforts to promote effective collaboration. Rather than leave the inner workings of a network to chance, managers can use the insights of a social network analysis to address critical disconnects or rigidities in networks and create a sense-and-respond capability deep within the organization.

Common Social Network Analysis Applications
Supporting partnerships and alliances
Assessing strategy execution
Improving strategic decision making in top leadership networks
Integrating networks across core processes
Promoting innovation
Ensuring integration post-merger or large-scale change
Developing communities of practice

Adapted from Working Knowledge, June 7, 2004, a Harvard Business School electronic publication, Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations, by Rob Cross and Andrew Parker.


The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations, by Rob Cross and Andrew Parker


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National Ice Cream Month
National Picnic Month
July 4-10–Freedom Week
July 25-31–Salad Week
July 7–Chocolate Day
July 8–Be a Kid Day
July 11–Cheer Up Day
July 12–Simplicity Day
July 13–Puzzle Day
July 16–Talk to a Telemarketer Day
July 17–Wrong Way Corrigan Day
July 25–Act Like a Caveman Day
July 25–Christmas in July!
July 28–Accountant’s Day
July 30–System Administrator Appreciation & Cheesecake Day (Buy your system administrator some cheesecake!)
July 31–Patent Day

July 19-21, 2004
SHRM 2004 Spring Seminar Series, HR Generalist Certificate Program, Cleveland, OH, 

July 25-27
Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress, Denver, CO, 

July 28-29, 2004
Excellence in Government Conference, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., 

August 14-17, 2004
American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting and Exposition, Minneapolis, MN, 

September 8-9, 2004
HSMAI’s 15th Annual Affordable Meetings National Conference & Exposition, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., 

October 11-13, 2004
Training Magazine’s Annual Training Fall Conference & Expo, San Francisco, 

October 13-15, 2004
HR Executive’s Technology Conference & Exposition, McCormick Place, Chicago,

October 26-29, 2004
International Coalition of Workplace Ministries (ICWM), Holiday Inn Select, Bloomington, MN, 

October 28, 2004
3rd Annual Chicagoland Learning Leaders Conference, Hamburger University, 


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