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Do You Do to Help Busy Parents Get into the Swing of
“Back to School”?
We encourage you to use these
articles in your own communications with staff and
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SEPTEMBER SPECIAL DAYS
School Success Month
Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month
September 17-23 – Constitution Week
September 21-27 – Dog Week
September 3 – Do It Day
September 4 – Bright Idea Day
September 5 – Cheese Pizza Day
September 6 – Coffee Ice Cream Day, Rent a Movie Day, & Read a Book Day
September 8 – Nose Hair Maintenance Day (?!)
September 9 – Hot Dog Day & Teddy Bear Day
September 10 – Swap Ideas Day
September 11 – Patriot Day
September 12 – Chocolate Milkshake Day
September 13 – Positive Thinking Day
September 14 – Cream-filled Donut Day, Hug a Crabby Stranger Day, Pet
Memorial Day, Write
Your Own Headlines Day
September 15 – Thank You Day & Make A Hat Day
September 16 – Collect Rocks Day & Working Parents Day
September 19 – International Talk Like A Pirate Day & Butterscotch Pudding
Day (Sure it’s not
RUM butterscotch pudding?)
September 20 – Lemonade Day
September 21 – International Day of Peace, World Gratitude Day, & Pecan
September 22 – Family Day & Ice Cream Cone Day
September 23 – Chocolate Day
September 24 – Innergize Day
September 25 – One Hit Wonder Day
September 26 – Pancake Day & international Tool Day
September 28 – Strawberry Cream Pie Day & Good Neighbor Day
September 29 – Rosh Hashanah, Coffee Day, & Pumpkin Day
INC. for ideas on how to
celebrate any of these days.
Last month, a reader asked us to include the ideas right here in
RECRUIT, INSPIRE & RETAIN. We thought it was a great idea, and when we
expressed concern for the amount of time it would take, he asked if we could
at least do a couple. So here’s two for this month!
Do It Day, September 3 (Today!)Always the Wednesday after Labor Day to capitalize on the
"back to school, back to work" mentality that follows. It’s a day to
encourage yourself and other procrastinators to identify what they want to
get done, plan how to do it, do it on Do It Day and then celebrate their
Typical Do It! Day Do Its include:
-- Catching up on filing (e- and paper)
-- Cleaning out a drawer, file, closet
-- Writing a delayed letters and emails
Chocolate Day, September 23
Treat this day as a day for relaxing and enjoying. In the evening
make yourself a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and drink with your
favorite chocolate bar, cookie or cake. Chocolate day is a day for
reflecting and appreciating the good things you have - and of course for
appreciating the taste of chocolate.
Some Ideas for Celebrating:
||Have a Chocolate Event
||Watch Movies About Chocolate - Charlie and the Chocolate
Consuming Passions, Like Water for Chocolate
||Play Chocolate Games - Chocolate-Opoly, chocolate Chess
(chocolate pieces which
you eat when you take them), a piñata filled
with chocolate, chocolate poker ("chips"
instead of chips)
Applicants — Good Interview vs. Great Employee
How do you distinguish between job applicants who sound good in
interviews and those who will really do a good job? Sheila C. Johnson,
co-founder of BET, founder of Salamander Hospitality, and co-owner of
the NBA's Washington Wizards, answered this question:
The first thing you have to realize is that if you trust your gut alone,
you'll make a lot of mistakes. Even if you get a recommendation from a
trusted friend or colleague, the person you hire may not fit well in your
culture. I've probably made more than 50 hiring mistakes in my time as
entrepreneur, and they have happened at every venture I've been involved in.
At BET, we hired an extremely well-credentialed CFO who embezzled almost $2
million and ultimately ended up in jail. At Salamander Hospitality, which
owns and develops hotels and resorts, I hired a full-time consultant who was
recommended by a friend. It didn't work at all. Actually, he wasn't even
qualified. He sent us in some wildly wrong directions, and a few million
dollars later, it was a pretty bitter pill to swallow.
About two years ago, I decided that I would do everything I needed to do
to ensure that I get the right people. I now use a headhunting firm to
recruit every senior level employee. It's expensive -- we pay about $100,000
a year. And it can sometimes take six months to find the right person. But
in the long run, it pays off. We do our best to hire slowly and fire
My headhunting firm also administers personality tests to all of our job
candidates, not just the top ones. This has been crucial for us. The firm
gives applicants tests like the DISC assessment, which measures personality
type, and the PIAV test, which looks at the different ways employees deal
with stress. This really helps filter out all the people who interview well
but don't perform. When I first started using these tests, I even gave them
to my current employees. They worked so well that our headhunters spotted
one human resources employee at Salamander whose testing indicated she would
be better suited for another department. She now works for my foundation,
and she's much happier.
Psychological testing isn't enough, however. Whomever you hire,
especially for a senior position, make sure you investigate, investigate,
investigate. At Salamander, I use an investigation firm that can go and dig
up everything on a candidate all the way back to kindergarten. It tells you
a lot about someone if he or she has ever skipped paying taxes. Keep an eye
out for employees who have had any kind of financial trouble, even if it's
small. Those are the type of people who, in my experience, end up being
subpar -- or worse, end up stealing from you.
As an entrepreneur, you have to realize that you're going to make
mistakes hiring. But I know the money I spend on the hiring process is going
to come back to me when I find employees who are the right fit. In this
economy, you can't afford to hire people who aren't pulling their weight.
Reprinted from Inc. Magazine,
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
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You Know You're Drinking Too Much Coffee When...
answer the door before people knock.
Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.
You ski uphill.
You get a speeding ticket even when you're parked.
You speed walk in your sleep.
You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
You just completed another sweater and you don't know how to knit.
You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
You sleep with your eyes open.
You have to watch videos in fast-forward.
The only time you're standing still is during an earthquake.
You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the
You lick your coffeepot clean.
You spend every vacation visiting "Maxwell House."
You're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even
You've worn out your third pair of tennis shoes this week.
Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
You chew on other people's fingernails.
The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.
Your T-shirt says, "Decaffeinated coffee is the devil's blend."
You're so jittery that people use your hands to blend their margaritas.
You can type sixty words per minute... with your feet.
You can jump-start your car without cables.
All your kids are named "Joe".
You don't need a hammer to pound nails.
Your only source of nutrition comes from "Sweet & Low."
You don't sweat, you percolate.
You buy Half & Half by the barrel.
You've worn out the handle on your favorite mug.
You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged
You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.
Charles Manson thinks you need to calm down.
You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
People get dizzy just watching you.
You've worn the finish off your coffee table.
The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you.
Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
Your taste buds are so numb you could drink your lava lamp.
You're so wired, you pick up AM radio.
People can test their batteries in your ears.
Your life's goal is to amount to a hill of beans.
Instant coffee takes too long.
You channel surf faster without a remote.
When someone says. "How are you?", you say, "Good to the last drop."
You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a
You want to come back as a coffee mug in your next life.
Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.
You'd be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison.
You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
You're offended when people use the word "brew" to mean beer.
You name your cats "Cream" and "Sugar."
Your Thermos is on wheels.
Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.
You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
You short out motion detectors.
You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.
You think being called a "drip" is a compliment.
You don't tan, you roast.
You don't get mad, you get steamed.
Your three favorite things in life are...coffee before, coffee during and
Your romantic partner uses soft lights, romantic music, and a glass of iced
coffee to get you in the mood.
You can't even remember your second cup.
You help your dog chase its tail.
You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.
Your coffee mug is insured by Lloyds of London.
You think CPR stands for "Coffee Provides Resuscitation."
Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.
You introduce your spouse as your coffeemate.
poster that everyone
or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to buy packs of posters!
* Buyers at the Pioneer Network Conference Bookstore
* Buyers at Gratitude in Port Aransas TX
* Mary Noyes
Creating A Workplace Legacy
If you’re a baby boomer nearing the final 5 years of your career, don’t
just drift into retirement. Here’s how to revitalize your spirits and make a
difference for generations to come.
The first wave of nearly 78 million baby boomers has reached a watershed:
these employees are in the final years of their work lives. At this stage,
many can do their jobs blindfolded; they’re restless, bored, unmotivated,
and looking for that elusive "something more". No wonder. Wherever a baby
boomer lands by the age of about 57 is usually where he or she stays until
retirement. A company unsure of a boomer’s plans may not assign him or her
to challenging projects requiring a long-term commitment. In short, the
boomer can become a persona non grata.
But that has begun to change. As boomers have aged, attitudes toward the
capabilities of older workers have shifted. And boomers have lived more
extravagantly than their parents; continued income is critical to maintain
their lifestyles. So, if you’re a boomer, working longer may become a new
reality. But don’t let that create career malaise that interferes with your
vitality and productivity. Many boomers with 5 or fewer years of work ahead
of them are no longer motivated by money, power, prestige, or position. If
you’re like them, take advantage of that attitude. Re-frame the Final 5 as
the time to create a legacy, not a time of decline, and you’ll give
those years purpose and meaning.
There are innumerable ways to create your legacy before moving on to
post-career life, but here are 10 to consider. During your last few years of
work, find 2 or 3 that complement your personality and the culture of your
||Transfer knowledge to younger
||Be a mentor
||Creating new systems or processes
||Define standards of excellence and
methods to measure them
||Influence the vision, values and
goals of your company
||Become a trusted advisor
||Get involved with the community or
||Develop your exit strategy
||You’re a boomer, so create your
Excerpted from United
magazine, September 2008
The New Path to Work, Purpose, and Passion After 50,
by David D. Corbett & Richard Higgins
Order by calling 800-469-3560 or emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org and get your
10% discount by mentioning RIR.
Don't Retire, REWIRE! by Jeri Sedlar &
Several learners from
national health insurance company training on presentation skills
wrote us at the end of the day
Robin was very energetic, informative, helpful, insightful and a
joy to learn from.
She’s awesome, constructive feedback [on the practice video
presentations] done gently but effectively.
Her enthusiasm made you want to participate.
Made me feel very comfortable.
Another emailed 2 weeks
I really enjoyed the workshop. I did a team meeting the very next
week using some of what I learned. Based on reports after that
time, it looks like I was definitely able to get my point across.
Employee phone performance improved.
Training Older Workers: Do You Subscribe to the Depreciation or the
In today’s world, American business is faced with the challenge of
maintaining a skilled and productive workforce in order to meet or beat the
competition. Training employees to work at peak capacity is necessary for
Two Conflicting Philosophies
There are two philosophies regarding employees’ abilities: depreciation
and conservation. The depreciation philosophy sees employees as
assets with a decreasingly useful life. It assumes that a person’s value to
the organization peaks during his or her early career, plateaus at
mid-career, and declines steadily thereafter. Investments in training and
development beyond mid-career are not considered cost effective. One of the
flaws of this philosophy is that it ignores that recruiting, selecting, and
training new employees is expensive, and the odds are good that a newly
hired college graduate will leave the organization within 5 years.
The conservation philosophy sees a person’s value to the
organization developing gradually and, if properly managed, being maintained
at a high level throughout the person’s career. This philosophy recognizes
that a 50-year-old will likely stay with the organization for the remainder
of his or her career. It favors investing in career planning, training, and
development for employees of all ages.
Three Common Problems
The mid-career and older employee has 3 potentially serious problems
that reduce productivity:
Problem 1: Career Burnout
Career burnout is caused by emotional and physical exhaustion. It is
commonly found in jobs with intense pressures and limited support systems.
Some Solutions to Career Burnout
Nip it in the bud (as Barney would say)! Look for
excessive absenteeism, uncharacteristic poor attitude, disregard
for the quality of work, and complaints about work overload.
When burnout is diagnosed early, managers can take steps to
prevent it from derailing careers. Some steps to take are:
||Job redesign or job
||Reassignment as mentors or
||Stress management training
Problem 2: Career Plateauing
Employees quit trying or let up when there is little probability of
Some Solutions to Career Plateauing
||Assign employees to
projects that use their special skills
||Use frequent performance
appraisals to alert employees to problems on the job
||Provide alternative career
||Provide opportunities for
training and development
||Set up a job posting and
Problem 3: Career Obsolescence
Career obsolescence occurs when the skills and knowledge needed to do a
job well have become outdated.
Some Solutions to Career Obsolescence
||Retrain to sharpen
existing skills or teach new skills
||Encourage employees to
become active in professional organizations
||Encourage employees to
take courses to keep up with new developments
||Establish or upgrade a
career planning and management system
||Encourage older employees
to consider their career options and develop career
||Hold career planning
||Start a career information
Adapting Training Techniques for Older Employees
The best way to minimize older employee career problems is
to help them maintain their old skills and develop new ones.
Here are some especially effective training techniques to use
when working with older workers:
- Have the trainees help plan the curriculum.
- Work with each trainee to develop an evaluation process
that will measure the extent to which his or her personal
learning objectives have been accomplished.
- Allow for participation and interaction among learners
by using problem solving, case studies, role playing, and
- Relate new learning to trainees’ past experiences.
- Help each trainee to transfer and translate current
skills to the new skills being learned.
- Provide audio and visual learning materials designed to
compensate for any hearing or sight loss older persons might
have. This is especially important when using slide or taped
presentations, videotapes, films, or flipcharts.
- Use large, bold, dark print on flipcharts.
- Reduce glare.
- Keep a consistently high level of light on the screen
when showing films, videos, or slides.
- Post training materials at eye level (for those wearing
- Be sure that there is no distracting background noise.
- Use good diction.
- Speak clearly at a lower range and a natural rate of
- If there are hearing-impaired persons, seat them up
front where they can see the speaker’s face.
- Use handouts, memory aids.
- Eliminate time-pressured situations. Encourage
self-pacing. Allow trainees extra time to practice alone.
- Use older trainers. They are especially sensitive to the
needs of older trainees and are excellent role models.
- Provide encouragement, assurance, and reinforcement
- Reiterate new, complex concepts frequently.
- Stress the relevance and application of training issues.
Remember, if the learner hasn’t
learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.
Excerpts from How to Train Older Workers, AARP
How to Train Old Workers —
by emailing TSI@trainingsys.com
Training Older Workers and Learners: Maximizing the Workplace
Performance of an Aging Workforce by James L. Moseley & Joan C.
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email@example.com and get your
10% discount by mentioning RIR.
The ABCs of Mentoring: The Why’s and How’s
of Finding the Most Important Person in Your Professional Life
People used to know what a mentor was, but the term has fallen into
disuse. They still exist and are very useful people to have in your corner
as you make your way through your work life. The mentoring process has less
in common with telling someone what to do than it does with helping them
learn how to do it.
What is a mentor and do you need one?
Ulysses had it easy when he entrusted the education and well-being of
his son, Telemachus, to an Ithacan gentleman he called Mentor, largely
because that was his name. The name Mentor has since morphed into a verb
that means – in a business setting – the act or process of helping someone
younger or less experienced to learn the ropes. A mentor not only shows you
the ropes, but might also give you some lessons on how those ropes are tied,
how they sometimes get tangled, and how to avoid hanging yourself with them.
How do you
spot a mentor?
Instead of looking for the most talkative person in the room, notice the
person who elevates the discussion to a higher or more interesting level.
This person may have the vexing habit of pointing out a fundamental issue or
problem that others have failed to acknowledge. A mentor is often modest but
quietly carries lot of weight.
How do you sign up?
Mentors and mentees gravitate toward one other. They may not even be
aware of their relationship until it has gone on for a while. It is the
obligation of the younger person to seek out a mentor and keep the
relationship going. You do this by keeping in touch and exploiting each
opportunity to engage the mentor. It’s reasonable and expected to take your
mentor to lunch.
Is a mentor the same as a friend?
Often, the features of each type of relationship overlap. But a mentor
is not someone with whom you routinely share your personal thoughts and
feelings. To do that would dilute the relationship. Besides, you have
friends to whom you can complain A mentor should see you at your best. You
should mentally suit up for this person and share your finely honed critical
thinking. You offer up the problems that vex you, not simply annoy you.
Playwright David Mamet gives drafts of his plays to Nobel Prize-winner
Is it wise to have your boss serve as your mentor?
That would be a definite maybe. It’s tricky being candid with someone
who has the power to fire you. On the other hand, the mentor who is also the
boss may be inspired to look after you during rough times and reward you
lavishly during good times.
When Michael J. Cavanaugh started working for Travelers Insurance, Jamie
Dimon was his boss. Dimon has a reputation for being a fierce taskmaster.
Cavanaugh proved to be a gifted and resourceful workhorse. Later, when Dimon
took over Bank One he brought Cavanaugh along and transformed that company
into the powerhouse that is JPMorgan Chase. Cavanaugh is now the CFO of
Chase, and it was his announcement that Chase was buying out Bear Stearns
that single-handedly quieted the credit markets and avoided a meltdown of
our financial system. Dimon could have made the announcement, but he didn’t.
Mentors don’t need the spotlight.
Should you look to the opposite gender for mentoring?
It is an unfortunate fact that any enhanced relationship between a
businesswoman and a businessman who is her senior – or vice versa – creates
speculation. Therefore, it is especially tricky for someone to acquire a
mentor of a different gender. These relationships can and do work, but it
can require extra effort to keep focused. Many people find it easier and
more productive to find a female mentor.
What if you outgrow your mentor?
This happens all the time. Sometimes you rise farther in your field than
your mentor ever did. That’s an example of good mentorship. Sometimes your
mentor will disappoint you, and that’s fine too. Never accuse your mentor of
being outdated, out of touch, or just plain wrong. That would be rude, and
possibly inaccurate. Always keep the relationship if you can. If necessary,
find yourself a new mentor to help you achieve new challenges you have set
for yourself. Some people have successive generations of mentors who have
helped them during their career. Mentors, active or retired, deserve your
continued respect and appreciation.
Perhaps some day you will find yourself confronted by some kid who seems
especially eager to find out what you think and know. That’s how it works.
And when you are asked to go to lunch, accept the invitation. You probably
have information more useful than you will ever know.
Reprinted from The Rotarian, September 2008
September 24-26, 2008
SHRM Strategy Conference 2008: Creating the HR Leadership Agenda,
Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, Palm Springs, CA
Developing Procedures, Policies, and Documentation Workshops
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
September 18-20, 2008
27th Annual Inc. 500 Conference & Awards Ceremony,
September 24-26, 2008
SHRM Management Strategy Conference, The Westin Mission Hills Resort
& Spa, Palm Springs, CA,
October 2, 2008
Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference, Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon,
October 6-7, 2008
Exceptional Boards: Strengthening the Governance Team Workshop, The
Fairmont, Chicago, IL,
October 15-7, 2008
Canadian Society for Training and Development Annual Conference 2008,
October 15-17, 2008
HR Executive’s 11th Annual HR Technology Conference &
Exposition, McCormick Place, Chicago,
October 16-17, 2008
WEB 30 Conference & Expo: Semantic Web & Linked Data Business Strategies,
Santa Clara, CA,
October 27-28, 2008
SHRM Workplace Diversity Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, GA,
January 27-28, 2009
Association Technology Conferencee, Washington Convention Center,
January 29-30, 2009
Exceptional Boards: Strengthening the Governance Team Workshop,
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MI,
February 23-25, 2009
Talent Management Magazines’ Strategies 2009, Ritz-Carlton, Laguna
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,
CLUTTER FOR A CAUSE
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.
www.eere.energy.gov/greenpower provides comprehensive "green
urges the use of recycled paper.
helps you plant trees to save the environment.
Going Green At Work
ecofriendly building materials and services at
ecofriendly office supplies at http://www.thegreenoffice.comcom
from home ideas at http://www.treehugger.com
jobs and volunteer opportunities with socially responsible organizations at
paperwork by invoicing, & paying employees & bills electronically
now invoices exclusively by email
and is close to paying everyone
by credit card, PayPal, or automatic debit from checking account)
employees to use public transportation
ceiling fans to reduce air-conditioning costs
your hot water heater temperature by 2 degrees and insulate the tank
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
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.
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.
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.
momsrising.org fights for family-friendly programs and policies at
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
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
SHRM Foundation scholarships: application deadline July 15, 2008, for
more information, visit it
US Chamber’s 2008 Small Business of the Year Award: for info or to
apply, go to
ASAE’s 2008 Associations Advance America Awards: apply at
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