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of July ALL month!
employees who serve in the National Guard & Reserve.
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FUN DAYS TO CELEBRATE
JULY SPECIAL DAYS
Hot Dog Month
Baked Bean Month
Ice Cream Month
(Who could be bored with hot dogs, baked beans, & ice cream?)
July 15-21 – Hug Week
July 22-28 – Coffee Week
July 22-28 – Salad Week
July 11 – Cheer Up Day, Swimming Pool Day, & Blueberry Muffin Day
July 12 – Simplicity Day
July 13 – French Fries Day & International Puzzle Day
July 15 – Ice Cream Day
July 16 – Talk to A Telemarketer Day (As IF!)
July 17 – Peach Ice Cream Day & Wrong Way Corrigan Day
July 20 – Moon Day, Fortune Cookie Day, Chess day, & Ugly Truck Day
July 22 – Ice Cream Cone Day & Vanilla Ice Cream Day
July 25 – CHRISTMAS IN JULY, Act Like a Caveman Day, & Hot Fudge Sundae Day
July 26 – Coffee Milkshake Day
July 27 – System Administrator Appreciation Day
July 28 – Hamburger Day, Cheese Lovers Day, Accountants Day, & Milk
(which of these things don’t go together?)
July 29 – Lasagna Day
July 30 – Cheesecake Day & Kiss Your Car Day (Kiss the car before
you eat your cheesecake!)
July 31 – Cotton Candy Day & Raspberry Cake Day
August 1 – Raspberry Cream Pie Day (Boy, someone sure likes
August 2 – Ice Cream Sandwich Day
August 3 – Watermelon Day, Grab Some Nuts Day, Bratwurst Day, Dental
Awareness Day, & Work Like a Dog Day (The dentist is the one who’ll be
working like a dog after all these
INC. for ideas on how to
celebrate any of these days.
Sticky Messages — Beefy Benefits — I.T.
||While reading Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive & Others Die,
I immediately thought of the messages we send out about working in our
companies — whether in our formal recruiting info or informally. In an
interview w/Motivation Strategies Magazine, one of the authors, Chip
Heath, had these things to say:
My Definition of Stickiness
"Our definition of sticky is that people understand the message when they
hear it, that they remember it later on and that it changes something about
the way they think or act. So there are a lot of good ideas in the world
that haven’t been turned into sticky ideas – a lot of business memos or
PowerPoint presentations, for instance. People absolutely don’t remember
them, and they certainly don’t change the way people think or act."
What’s Needed for a Sticky Message
A memorable message doesn’t necessarily have to include all of these, but
the more of these qualities it shares, the more likely it is that the
message will be remembered:
- Simplicity. The core message is both simple and profound.
- Unexpectedness. It generates interest and curiosity by overturning
- Concreteness. The message is put in terms of sensory
information and human actions.
- Emotions. It should tap into people’s feelings.
- Stories. The message makes use of a short, coherent story or
Examples of "sticky" messages include the Kennedy era policy that the
U.S. would "Put a man on the moon within the decade" and a Texas anti-litter
campaign whose slogan is "Don’t Mess with Texas."
From Motivation Strategies magazine, Spring 2007
As the competition for employees continues to grow, restaurants are
enhancing their benefit packages as a way to lure and retain staff (and
these can apply to any industry).
Qdoba Mexican Grill locations in Denver, CO, St. Louis, MO, and Seattle,
WA, host the Knowledge Series — free seminars to help employees with their
lives outside work (e.g., buying a home, financial management, building
healthy families.). Seminars are typically held at restaurants between
shifts. "We believe that if we can help improve the quality of employees’
personal lives, it makes Qdoba a better place to work," says Tiffany Herron,
A major perk of working at Mercy Wine Bar, Dallas, TX, are all-expense
paid trips for staff. Last year the entire staff of servers (14 people,
split in two groups of seven) went to the California wine country. This year
two servers are being sent to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. "It’s a
great way for us to invest in our people and increase their wine knowledge
so they can share it with our guests." says manager Mike Castagne. "These
trips are also a really good retention tool, helping to keep our turnover
From day one employees who work 25+ hours a week at Carino’s Italian
Grill headquartered in Austin, TX, may apply for tuition reimbursement, from
$200 to $1,000 per semester (amounts increase with tenure; the highest
amount is for hospitality majors). "This provides an extra incentive for
students to join us," says Vici Wilkerson, director of human resources. "Our
ultimate goal is to entice them to enter our management program".
At MK, Chicago, IL, GM Kara Sherman says, "We’re trying to build loyalty
and create a family environment for the staff. One way we do this is by
offering 3 weeks paid vacation to those who are employed for 5 years or
more." Currently, 15 employees qualify.
From Briefing, May/June 2007
It takes an average of 56 days to fill a full-time, staff-level
information technology position and 87 days to bring in a new IT manager,
according to a survey of 1,400 U.S. CIOs of companies with 100 or more
From Oracle Magazine, May/June 2007
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive &
Others Die, by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Best Practices: Hiring People: Recruiting
& Keeping the Brightest Stars, by Kathy Shwiff
Order both by emailing
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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
A magazine recently ran a "Dilbert Quotes" contest. They
were looking for people to submit quotes from their real life Dilbert-type
managers. Here are the finalists:
"As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to
access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be
taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in 2 weeks."
(This was the winning quote from Fred Dales at Microsoft Corp. in
"What I need is a list of specific ‘unknown’ problems
we will encounter." (Lykes Lines Shipping)
"E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or
data. It should be used only for company business." (Accounting
manager, Electric Boat Company)
"This project is so important, we can’t let things
that are more important interfere with it." (Advertising/Marketing
manager, United Parcel Service)
"Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the
"No one will believe you solved this problem in one
day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few
weeks and I'll let you now when it's time to tell them." (R&D
supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)
"My boss spent the entire weekend retyping a 25-page
proposal that only needed corrections. She claims the disk I gave her
was damaged and she couldn't edit it. The disk I gave her was
write-protected." (CIO of Dell Computers)
Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people
doing what I say." (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation*)
My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled
for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I
would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if
we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for
me." (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)
"We know that communication is a problem,
but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees."
(Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)
We recently received a memo from senior
management saying: "This is to inform you that a memo will be
issued today regarding the memo mentioned above." (Microsoft,
Legal Affairs Division)
One day my Boss asked me to submit a status
report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him
if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, "If I wanted it
tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!"
(New business manager, Hallmark Greeting Cards.)
Thanks for sending this, Steve Sligar,
|| 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
group training and conference bookstores?
Email or call
800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of
the topics you need.
* National Assn. of Postal Supervisors
in Fort Lauderdale, FL
* Buyers at The
Gratitude Store in Port Aransas, TX
* Attendees at The Maine Wellness
* The Maxey Family at their 2007 reunion
ASAE’s Professional Development
Forum published Books That Will Make Your Job Easier –
Becoming a Change Agent for Your Association,
President, Carolyn B. Thompson, in the Professional Development
Quarterly Column in the June 2007 issue. Email
for a copy.
President, Carolyn B. Thompson is reading:
by Fred Ramsay (great friend &
husband of great friend & retired client Susan Ramsay)
I was lucky enough to read the galley of Judas long ago
and thought it was such a different portrayal of Judas and his interaction with
the people around him! Now it’s finally published and I’m reading it again to
see what changes the publisher asked for. A very good summer read!
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).
Getting Onboard With Your New Leader
An often-overlooked aspect of assimilating a new external executive into
a company is not getting that person onboard with the organization but vice
versa. When the new executive takes the reins of leadership, the question
then becomes whether the team is ready to be led.
Every seasoned manager comes into a new business with a sense of
excitement and anxiety. There's excitement about the opportunities promised
during the interview process and anxiety in discovering the unknowns.
A newcomer might experience a love-hate relationship with the new team
and peers — the organization loves the fresh perspective, new ideas and new
practices but hates that the new person just won't leave things alone. The
new leader wants to lead change.
One of the best tools to overcome resistance to new leaders is a set
of assimilation questions. Although deceptively simple on the surface,
these questions can help a new leader and the organization in profound ways.
They are based on the notion that meaningful relationship building and an
open exchange serve as a solid platform for leadership.
Kevin Wilde, vice president and chief learning officer at General Mills,
uses four key topics with leaders and their teams about two to three months
into the new job:
What does the team know about the leader? What does the
team wish to know? Some new leaders are better than others at
self-disclosure. Teams are more willing to trust and follow leaders when
potentially sensitive topics are covered early, in a direct way:
Background and Career. What were the leader's most
developmental jobs? Who were their most influential bosses? How
long does the leader plan on staying in the role? What's next?
Communication Style and Preferences. In person,
e-mail or voicemail? Scheduled or drop-in meetings? Headlines or
Likes and Dislikes. Everyone has pet peeves and
preferences. Must meetings start and end exactly on time, or is
a bit late OK? Should problems be reported early or only after
potential solutions can be offered?
Expectations and Direction. What results are most
important to achieve? Short-term? Longer-term? How do other
senior managers view the team, the situation and what needs to
What does the leader need to know about the team, and how does
it like to be led? Getting team members to talk about themselves
facilitates the group bonding with the new leader. Discussing how the
team prefers to be led allows it to describe many of the topics the
leader shared in the previous questions such as communication styles and
What challenges might the leader face? Part of getting a
team onboard with a new leader is having the group put itself in the
place of the leader. This topic builds empathy and a bridge to the new
leader. Groups often link challenges with what the leader has shared
about goals and expectations.
What are the team's challenges and potential solutions? The
challenges the team shares can provide the leader with an inside view of
the team's thinking, including how the team views its situation in the
organization, their pressures and creative approaches to consider.
When I see a leader and a team connecting well, they often remark, "We
have the same challenges." This can be an encouraging sign of maturity in
the group. It is certainly a sign the team is getting onboard with the new
leader. That's the moment of truth awaiting all new leaders.
There is no greater time for learning than when a new leader joins an
organization — and no greater opportunity for misunderstanding and lost
Remember: Assimilation isn't just about getting the new leader informed
and integrated. It's also about readying the organization so the new
manager can lead. Anything less diminishes the value of new talent and
might result in eventual outboarding. If that occurs, everyone will be
asking another question: "What happened?"
From Talent Management Magazine, May 2007
Managing Upward: Strategies for Succeeding
with Your Boss, by Susan Schubert
Assimilating New Leaders: The Key to
Executive Retention, by Diane Downey, Tom March, Adena Berkman
Order both by emailing
or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.
Helping Execs Be Better Presenters
From the CEO and founder of Fast Signs, Gary Salomon:
I’m not a natural public speaker, but I have steadily gotten better at it
over the years thanks to a lot of practice and a willingness to work hard to
improve. I am always willing to give my presentation in front of people who
can assist me and provide guidance.
Training is a big part of our culture at FastSigns International Inc.
Each year, our training department holds a presentation-skills training
session in preparation for our annual franchisee convention. As part of that
training, presenters are required to submit notes detailing what they want
to include in their PowerPoint presentations, and then a person on the
training staff schedules training with all presenters so that they have an
opportunity to rehearse, receive constructive feedback, and work toward
becoming a stronger and more confident speaker.
If this process isn’t easily replicated in your own organization, or
training is not part of your corporate culture, my advice is this: Let these
"challenged" speakers watch their own performances on video so that they can
see for themselves how invigorating they are. If that doesn’t make the
point, hire a third-party presentation expert to provide training and
One way to sell the idea of hiring an outside consultant is to inform
execs that based on across-the-board learner evaluations, all staff within
the company could stand to make some improvements. Then have the third-party
expert come in and evaluate and critique every person’s presentation, not
just the CEO’s. If your execs aren’t willing to spend the money on an
outside trainer, establish an internal review committee tasked with
evaluating video of all staff presentations and providing constructive
If your execs are so out to lunch that they aren’t willing to accept
assistance or constructive criticism, then they have bigger problems than
just presenting. If that is your situation, I’d either find another company
to work for or simply accept the fact that you and the learners may continue
to suffer "Death by PowerPoint."
Excerpted from Corporate Event magazine, Spring 2007
We’ve helped hundred of executives and other staff improve their
presentation skills. If you need help, call
at 800-469-3560 or email
Getting Your Message Across, by
Never Be Boring Again: Make Your Business
Presentations Capture Attention, Inspire Action & Produce Results,
by Doug Stevenson
12 Questions to Determine Employee Engagement
The Gallup Organization has identified 12 questions to ask to determine
if the level of employee engagement is where it should be. The company says
its "Q12" system is based on findings of hundreds of companies and millions
of employees it has gathered data on in the past 20 years.
Essentially, Gallup says that the more a company’s employees can answer
yes to the list of questions, the greater their level of engagement. Engaged
workforces have proven to be significantly more productive than non-engaged
workforces, according to the company. The 12 questions:
- Do you know what is expected of you at work?
- Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work
- At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every
- In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for
doing good work?
- Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about you as
- Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
- At work, do your opinions seem to count?
- Does the mission or purpose of your company make you feel your job is
- Are your associates or fellow employees committed to doing quality
- Do you have a best friend at work?
- In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your
- This last year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow?
Excerpted from Motivation Strategies, Spring 2007
12: The Elements of Great Managing,
by Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter
First, Break All The Rules, by
Order by emailing
or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.
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,
January 31-February 3, 2008
Christian Writers Guild Writing for the Soul Conference, Colorado
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
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.
Global Volunteers (http://www.globalvolunteers.org)
by type of work project
by country and date
by service program conditions
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
Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people
through partnerships with law enforcement organizations,
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.
PCs to National Cristina Foundation,
PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their
websites for details.
other places to recycle old PCs:
local Electronics recyclers at
EASY TO BE GREEN!
has great tips on green cleaning.
will help you get off junk mail lists.
has tips on every facet of green living.
gives advice on replacing old light bulbs w/energy efficient bulbs.
provides comprehensive "green power" info.
urges the use of recycled paper.
helps you plant trees to save the environment.
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