Recruit, Inspire & Retain

September 2002

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

Great Training for Great Employees
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THIS ISSUE   (Thanks to Guest Editor Lynn Hauser!)

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Recruiting Bloopers and Blunders: Avoid These in Your

*Internal staff cutbacks without productivity increase. Less internal staff to recruit and sell means less opportunities and lower volume. A staff cutback without a significant productivity increase from those remaining means lower customer service and encourages a slump. The capacity to produce is the limiting factor of growth. Perhaps, evil Lord Economic Forecast moonlights as an accountant.

*Training cutbacks. More productivity from internal staff is a critical success factor in the current economy. Where is the sanity of hiring a new internal staff employee and not giving them the training to succeed? Where is the sanity in not giving an existing staff person additional skills to succeed when a replacement search is far more costly? Evil Lord Economic Forecast loves it when training budgets are cut and self-inflicted profit declines occur.

*Depending on the Internet job boards. Internet job boards reliance has created an abundance of lazy, low skilled recruiters. Only a small percentage of those actively looking for employment are listed on the Internet. Learn networking skills from an old-timer or quality trainer.

*Under utilizing trade association resources. An appropriate trade association membership is an absolute necessity. Knowledge is power. The quality of trade association programs and periodicals rises in difficult times. One article or education seminar might be your competitive edge against the uninformed. A trade association membership is an outsourced competitor and market segment intelligence expert.

Excerpted from

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Interviewing Techniques for ManagersCarolyn B. Thompson, President of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. has written a new book! It’s called, “Interviewing Techniques for Managers”. Interviewing is simply gaining information from another person. In this book, Ms. Thompson gives you methods for enhancing your skills in planning so you can get the information you need quickly and with accuracy. You’ll learn how to ask questions, listen, deal with difficult interview situations, and use the information you gain to make decisions. Great for sales people, problem solvers, employee performance managers, strategic and project planners, customer service staff, hiring managers, trainers, and researchers.

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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Failures...But Not Quite

  • After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, a 1933 memo from the MGM testing director said, “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.
  • A relatively unsuccessful marketer of restaurant equipment, he didn’t sell his first hamburger until age 52. At a time when many people prepare for retirement, Ray Kroc built McDonald’s from a handful of hamburger stands into the world’s largest food chain.
  • When his older brother was killed during WWII, he first withdrew into a shell. Then he began to listen to the radio to ease his pain. Soon he was dreaming about hosting his own radio show. That led Dick Clark to start American Bandstand.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper for lacking ideas. He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
  • PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous and timely 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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**Be A Coach

Richard Stenson had a great idea he’s been using with his staff: “I set aside one hour each month for individual one-on-one discussions with my staff, and 2 hrs each trimester for individual reviews of the progress on their development plans. This is an informal measurement technique that really works. Also, at year end there are no surprises. Occasionally, a meeting has to be rescheduled, but it is always held. These are extremely valuable times that have an ROI that is off the charts!”

**Top Ten Needs of Employees & Managers

Based on a research report by Dr. Kenneth Kovach in People Performance Magazine in October 1996, what employees want in the workplace differs from what their managers thought they wanted. What about your staff?

Dr. Kovach’s Survey Results

What Do Employees Want? Rank with Employers Rank with Managers
Interesting Work #1 #5
Full appreciation for work done #2 #8
Feeling “in on things” #3


Job security #4 #2
Good wages #5  #1
Promotion/growth opportunities #6 #3
Good working conditions #7 #4
Personal loyalty to workers #8 #7
Tactful disciplining #9 #7
Sympathetic help with personal problems #10 #9

**Evaluating Job Appraisals: Keep This in Mind...

Tom Coens & Mary Jenkins, experts on employment and labor issues, have given performance appraisals a resounding “F”, saying they damage morale and productivity. They contend there are better alternatives. Appraisals fail to help employees grow and develop because they’re done so infrequently and therefore prevent feedback from being delivered in a timely manner. Coens said, “An employee would much rather be taken to coffee as it’s happening rather than four months later. There’s no value in saving it up.” from “Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do Instead”


  • “Nuts”, by Kevin & Jackie Freiberg. Learn Southwest Airlines’ crazy recipe for business success.
  • “Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work”, by Leslie Yerkes.

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!! Carla bought 12 Journal 10+! “I’ve been using one for five years and showed it to a friend who wanted one. I decided to get it as a gift for her. When I saw I could get a discount for ordering ten or more, I decided to get enough to give as gifts to others and a few extra.” Thanks, Carla!

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**Redefining Learning for Working Adults

The term “learning” has come to mean improving one’s skills through training as well as deepening one’s understanding in a particular field of knowledge. Similarly, the term “learners” has begun to replace “students” and “trainees”. From “Schedule Earth, Inc.” Newsletter

**Does Technology Improve Performance?

Everyone has a story to tell about technology hindering rather than helping performance. This recent media report from “The New Zealand Herald” seems to sum it all up:

“When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space they found out that the pens wouldn’t work at zero gravity. In order to solve this problem, they hired Andersen Consulting (Accenture today). It took them 1 decade and $12 million. They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees. The Russians used a pencil.” excerpted from “Performance Resources

**Ten Rules for Successful Outsourcing to a Training Vendor

  1. Define a vision and communicate it clearly. The difference between a vision and a hallucination is the number of people who can share it.

  2. Decide that your mission is to deliver quality knowledge and skills, not low costs, to your company.

  3. Understand that you are providing a service—not just courses—to your customers, and partner with people who share that commitment.

  4. Partner with profitable companies who will still be in business next year. Their profitability is your insurance.

  5. Pick partners who have a depth of experience in developing and implementing learning in a corporate culture, and who know how to manage intensive projects.

  6. Use open software architecture rather than proprietary authoring systems or “platforms”, because your infrastructure is going to change—constantly.

  7. Be willing to rewrite your purchasing policies and procedures. The best vendors are not always the biggest or the oldest.

  8. Learn to work virtually instead of letting vendor location be a major factor.

  9. Be willing to take on more risk and embrace rapid change as a constant.

  10. Remember that e-learning is one of many media to help people learn. Choose what fits the learners’ needs.

  11. BONUS RULE: All rules have a half-life of two months. Even these. adapted from “Successful E-learning Outsourcing”, Godfrey Parkin

**The Mozart Effect: Use Music to Increase Learning

In Brittany, monks report that their cows consistently give more milk after being serenaded with Mozart.  +In Washington State, immigration officials play Mozart during English classes for new arrivals from Asia, and report that it speeds up their learning.

In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, city officials pipe Mozart string quartets into their downtown area to calm pedestrian traffic.

In Japan, a brewery reports that their best sake is made when Mozart is played near the yeast. adapted from “The Mozart Effect”, by Don Campbell

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On-Site Auto Service

Should they need an oil change or their tires rotated, workers at several New Jersey offices of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. need not go farther than the company parking lot, thanks to a handy benefit Merck offers its employees.

The pharmaceutical company has contracted with an outside firm to come to the parking lot once a week to perform on-site auto maintenance, which saves employees the time and trouble of getting to work on time after dropping off their car for repairs, as well as avoiding the problem of finding a ride back to the mechanic at the end of the work day.

“The goal is to make things as easy as possible,” says a company spokeswoman. “People do spend a great deal of time at work, and with this service, it’s one less thing to worry about.”

Accommodating Employees

In this tight labor market, Restaurant Columbia chef/owner Stephen Mangasarian says that it’s impossible for him not to factor in his employees’ lives outside of work—and he puts his money where his mouth is. For example, “Some of my back wait staff wanted to go to a prom. I adjusted my business to accommodate them by reducing the number of reservations that evening,” says Stephen.

Stephen says decisions like closing off part of the restaurant so employees can do something that’s important to them pays off in terms of their loyalty and respect. “Taking in less money one night is small change when you consider the goodwill it generates in my employees,” he says.

“Safety Bingo” Wins

To reward safety at work, all non-management employees at Café Allegro play “Safety Bingo” daily. Players use regular bingo cards and every day the office manager pulls a number out of a jar during the lunch line up. The game continues until there is a winner or an accident. When an accident occurs the game is voided and a new “Safety Bingo” game begins. The first person to get bingo wins a $100 bill, the winner’s photo is taken with the manager and posted on the bulletin board. “As the game progresses, employees are especially alert to safety issues, i.e., ice on the floor, as one accident could end the game”, explains Stephen Cole, owner.

The game is fun and focuses everyone’s attention on creating a safe work environment, which employees value and take seriously. As a result, workers’ comp premiums are down and the savings can be spent on rewards.

  • “CARE Packages for the Workplace”, by Barbara Glanz.
  • “Retain Your Employees”

Available at  (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

Get more tips on retaining great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2002
 3 unique groups continue to assist victims’ loved ones. You can still help by donating to:

*September Space, which supports relief workers & other volunteers. (September Space, 520 8th Ave, 20th Fl, NY, NY 10018)

*The Kids for Kids Relief Fund, which helps children who lost a parent or guardian. (Volunteers of America of Greater New York, Kids for Kids Relief Fund, 340 W 85th St, NY, NY 10024)

*The Infant Care Project, which provides aid to women who were pregnant when their spouses were killed. (Infant Care Project, PO Box 3058, Arlington, VA 22203)

September 23-25, 2002
Online Learning Magazine’s 5th Annual Online Learning Conference & Expo 2002, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA, 

September 24-26, 2002
e-Learning Workshop Blended Online and Classroom, Framingham, MA, 

September 25-27, 2002
Human Resource Executive’s 5th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, 

September 25-28, 2002
Disney Institute Presents The Walt Disney World Approach to HR Management Seminar, Orlando, FL,

September 29-October 2, 2002
15th Annual Benefits Management Forum & Expo, Hyatt Regency at Reunion Tower, Dallas, TX, 

October 7-9, 2002
SHRM’s HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, New Orleans, LA, 

October 7-11, 2002
National Customer Service Week. What will you do to say, “Thanks!” to your customers and keep your staff  “Jazzed About Customers”?

October 16-18, 2002
SHRM Recruitment and Retention Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Chicago, IL, 

October 21-23, 2002
Workplace Diversity New Challenges/New Opportunities Conferences, Chicago, IL, 

October 21-23,2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Chicago, IL, 

October 26, 2002
12th Annual Make A Difference Day, America’s largest day of service. Need ideas? Go to 

October 28-30,2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Orlando, FL, 

November 4-6, 2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, New York, NY, 

November 6-9, 2002
North American Simulation Gaming Association (NASAGA) 2002 Conference, San Diego, CA, 

November 6-10, 2002
International Career Development Conference: Thriving in Challenging and Uncertain Times, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Irvine, CA, 

November 12-16, 2002
Association for Educational Communications & Technology, Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, TX, 

November 13-15, 2002
SHRM Recruitment & Retention Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, Washington, DC, 

November 18-20, 2002
SHRM HR Generalist Certificate Program, facilitated by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  Associate, Catherine D. Fyock, CSP, SHPR, New York, NY, 

November 18-20, 2002
Corporate University Week 2002, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, Lake Buena Visa, FL, 

November 30, 2002
Computer Security Day, 

Join the NASAGA (North American Simulation and Gaming Association) free listserve for more ideas on how to make learning interactive, 

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Copyright 2002 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.

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