Recruit, Inspire & Retain

November 2003

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

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Recruitment Events That Really Attract The Employees You Need

Many organizations are reaping the benefits of attracting great employees using an event.


They see your physical location.
They meet current employees in a less formal atmosphere.
You meet a lot of people at one time.
Publicizing the event brings you more people later.
Add your own

What type of event?
You’ll need to choose the type of event that attracts the kind of employee you need. For example, if you’re looking for fun, creative people you can have a carnival with games. If you’re looking for conservative people you can use the same carnival idea but the booths show the things being done in each area of your company. Always keep the tone, vision, & values of your organization in mind as well as the kind of positions you’re generally filling. You want to attract people who fit both and choosing an event that’s wildly different from the day-to-day atmosphere is false advertising!

Event Ideas
Keeping the method for choosing the event in mind (it has to fit your tone, vision, & values to be attractive to the employees you seek), here’s a list of events other organizations have been successful with. Some of them have even been virtual events for those of you thinking, “But we seek people all over the country/world!” You may want to combine some as well:

  1. Carnival - booths showcase various departments/functions. Set up officers, staff, customers in various locations to talk about how the organization functions.

  2. Show a popular movie.

  3. Speaker on a topic of interest to the people you’re trying to attract

  4. Coffee shop with entertainment – serve coffee, tea, and “mocktails” with hors d’oeuvres. Have a folk or jazz band. Set tables up around your main room to look like coffee shop.

  5. Sculpture party – with snow, sand, or other materials. Have a contest to see who can make the most creative sculpture that relates to your organization.

  6. Graffiti party – cover the walls with paper and provide either magic markers or tempura paint and let people write graffiti relating to your organization.

  7. (Your Company Name) Feud – based on the TV show, “Family Feud”. Split up employees and potential employees into teams and have your emcee ask questions relating to your company.

  8. “Let Me Entertain You” – have staff, managers, officers perform skits and provide talent. Let the potential employees be the judges.

  9. Popcorn party – offer a variety of popcorn flavors: cheddar, regular, caramel, parmesan, etc. (also works with any other type of food that has many varieties – chocolate, cake, ice cream, bread). Be really creative & relate the food types to your organization.

  10. Brunches – for a change of pace, have a mid-morning brunch. It’s a great way to start a day with potential employees.

  11. Hawaiian Luau – decorate in a tropical motif, have entertainment, roast a pig, serve pineapple and coconuts.

  12. Golf outing – make arrangements with a local golf course for group rates. Invite potential employees and employees. This can be fun for everyone – even those that aren’t expert golfers by having hole prizes, etc.

  13. Trivial Pursuit – this can be a fun small group event. All you need are a few Trivial Pursuit boards and a group of potential employees. You can even use your own company questions.

  14. Around the world or U.S. – set up different themes per room/department. Especially great if you have several locations. Have each room serve soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and decorate to represent a country.

  15. Mexican South of the Border party – serve tacos and other Mexican food. Break out the cowboy hats and boots.

  16. Build your own sundaes.

  17. Magician show.

  18. Charades – break up into teams and play charades. Topics are company products.

  19. Fireside chat with the President or other company executives.

  20. Goofy games – you could combine the above with a whole series of games such as a sack race, pyramid building, egg toss, etc.

  21. Box lunch auction – provide picnic or box lunches for two with an employees name inside. Potential employees bid on boxes not knowing whose name is in them. “Buyers” then share their lunch with the employee listed inside the box.

  22. Chicken fry – an outside affair to include fried chicken in large cast-iron skillets and a bluegrass band.

  23. Food festivals – booths offering samples of various ethnic foods such as egg rolls, tacos, pizza bread, Greek salad, etc.

  24. Career party – everyone dress like the stereotype of their career.

  25. Childhood days – dress like the career you wanted to be when you were a kid and participate in games like racing tricycles, a jacks contest or “twister”.

  26. Croquet tournament – set up your lawn for a big croquet game.

Call us if you want to brainstorm which event fits you and how to set it up! 800-469-3560 or e-mail


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Ever Wondered Why...

Here are some facts about the 1500's
§ Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell again so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

§ Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children, last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

§ Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm so all the dogs and cats and other small creatures (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained the straw became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

§ With the thatched roof, there was nothing to keep things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. So a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

§ The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying “Dirt Poor”.

§ The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door the straw would start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed across the entranceway. Hence the term “Thresh Hold”.

§ They cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that was always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables would eat that stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and start over again the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it which had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.

§ Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show it off. It was a sign of wealth if a man “could bring home the bacon”. Then they would cut off a little to share with the guests and all would sit around and “chew the fat”.

§ Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leech into the food, causing lead poisoning and even death. This happened most often with tomatoes so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

§ Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burned bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top or “upper crust”.

§ Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock fellows out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait to see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of “holding a wake”.

§ England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and take the bones to a “bone-house” and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string to the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (The Graveyard Shift) to listen for the bell: thus someone could be “saved by the bell”.

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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* From a listserv colleague interested in purchasing Skill Wars:
  “By the way, I supervise a systems training development group at FPL, and we have used your Ten Steps to Determine the Return on Your Training Investment worksheet as our basis for analysis - for several years now. What a great tool!”
*Steve Drake, Drake & Co., an association management company:
  “In July, I was able to attend a 1-day “course” led by David Maister, author of Managing the Professional Services Firm, Practice What You Preach, True Professionalism, and more. Thinking back on some of his key points, I realize they really reinforce your work...and that you could use them as references in your training and your marketing. Here are the key points – which he has confirmed via research:

• Becoming Profitable
is caused by
• Delivering Outstanding Value
is caused by
• Energized, Excited & Enthused Staff
is caused by
• The talents of the individual manager

The important words in this equation are ‘IS CAUSED BY’...not happenstance, not accidental but the result of...”

*Lisa Reil, Silver Cross Hospital (after the 1st day of a 3-day leadership retreat):
  “Your trainer, Betsy, was so warm, so easily able to build a relationship with our staff that day. She is an asset to your organization!”

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Should You Have Fun at Work in Challenging Times? YES, More than Ever!

We’re not talking about “making fun” of low sales, low profits, or laid off workers. We are talking about enjoying yourself at work.

It’ll help you keep the employees.

It’ll help you get higher production.

It’ll help you keep them coming to work instead of calling off.

  Here are a few examples:

Farewell Party for colleague moving to Another Company.
We kept it low-key as it was a small group and had a dinner in a private room of a neat little restaurant with its own private entrance. We bought him an Iris Pen, a handheld scanning device that reads up to 55 languages, and translation software to go with it- his new job is as an Account Exec for a translation company. I made up a bunch of business cards for him with titles like Chief Cook & Bottle Washer, Firefighter, etc. (he wore so many hats) which he is having framed. — Unither Pharma

Bob Moog, chairman, took his employees on a cross-country train trip. He says, “If there’s no fun, there’d be no Games.” After five years, employees are given a month off with pay to do whatever they want. The only rule: they can’t check their e-mail or call work. “It’s part of an informal social contract between managers, employees, and shareholders,” says Moog. “People need to have a balance between their home and family and work.” — University Games

George Zimmer, CEO of a $1 billion retailer, takes fun seriously. Last year he spent nearly $2 million on 39 Christmas parties. Company retreats, held once or twice a year, are some work, some play, like the treasure hunt, in Santa Cruz, California. Salesmen are encouraged to tune TVs in their stores to sports events, set up putting greens, throw around Nerf footballs and take in doughnuts or pizza for themselves and the customers. — Men’s Wearhouse

Company co-founder Jerry Yang and crew let folks take their pet parakeet to work and ride scooters up and down the hallways. You can get a chair massage and all the espresso you want—which is an odd combination when you think about it. — Yahoo!

This company loosens up the office, flooding the place with toy ducks that quack (the duck being the hook on the company’s quirky advertising spots), giving workers flexible hours and making people feel comfortable about stepping away from their cubicles to walk around the duck pond. The emphasis isn’t on freebies but on attitude. It’s elusive, harder to define but ultimately more effective than all the flashy accoutrements that so many failed companies tried to throw at employees in fruitless attempts to retain them in a hot job market for really bad businesses. — AFLAC

There’s an on-site health clinic with four doctors and 20 nurses. “Instead of taking three hours out of work to go to the doctor, it takes 30 minutes,” Goodnight says. The company figures the on-site health care saves it $2,000 per employee annually, because workers get to go to the doctor sooner when sick. The same rationale applies to the on-site barbershop, child-care center, gym and the staffer who arranges for care for elderly relatives. Free M&Ms, the twice-weekly, on-site discounted car detailing, the art classes, the yoga and the in-house artist. The employees genuinely talk about having fun at work. “If I want M&Ms, I can go to the store,” notes one of the software developers. What he values, rather, is a culture that gives him the time and freedom to think and create and collaborate with colleagues from other departments. There isn’t a lot of hierarchy at SAS or rigid rules and structures, so staff are free to do what they like. — SAS Institute

Profit from Fun
Keep your workplace from becoming “the grind”!, says Men’s Wearhouse CEO Zimmer, “Look, if the employees are happy and make the stores fun, then that will make it fun for the customers”.

Some examples are from November 2003 Time Magazine article Having Fun Yet?

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Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work, by Leslie Yerkes

301 Ways to Have Fun at Work, by Dave Hemsath

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eLearning: The Ideal Set Up vs. the Reality of Real Life

Everyone knows that the way you are supposed to develop an eLearning solution for your organization and the way it really happens are two quite different things! The ideal, of course, is to do some variant of the following:
1. Create an eLearning solution vision
2. Initiate a project charter
3. Conduct a needs assessment
4. Select and budget the eLearning needed
5. Implement the eLearning solution

Can we all agree this just never happens? Instead of trying to trim and massage the model to make it fit, let's toss it away for now in favor of something more realistic. It simply does not faithfully depict the experience a typical learning officer has as they implement eLearning. Instead, let’s look at a more realistic situation and a more strategic way of making the best of what you actually do confront.

Reality: a Collage of Disparate Possibilities
Most learning officers do not begin their foray into eLearning with the ideal approach. Instead, the norm is to "ooze" into eLearning. eLearning begins in your organization very incrementally and people in the organization gravitate to elements of it gradually and by default.

Isn't this close to what you have seen: As a trainer you realize the technology has arrived. You begin to explore what is meant by eLearning and what it might look like. You are also getting signals from others in your organization. Perhaps HR has some compliance documents and they ask you to 'put them online'. Or a supervisor comes by one day and says, "Hey, let's put this PowerPoint on our company Web site, so I won't have to always respond to e-mail requests for it. Can't we call it training and make all the new hires look it over?” And of course, there's that hotshot over in the accounting department, who just got out of college. She's been hanging out with some guy named Arthur Ware and says she already has some eLearning modules up on her part of the network. John, your administrative assistant, has also told you about his experiences with some outfit that offers online training in Microsoft office products. And wow! Some of his latest Excel spreadsheets have been phenomenal. Even the VP's kid visited last week and was saying how his role-play games are teaching him how to set up towns and run railroads and did you learn to run your department on a Nintendo!

What these learning officers have in front of them at the time they recognize a need for an eLearning strategy is a wide variety of experience and ability to use technology and a wide variation in the types of needs and solutions available. And everyone is voicing a different combination of all these things. Indeed you may have already hired a coordinator for eLearning, but found them unable to get an initiative underway successfully. Or maybe you brought a programmer on board to create some eLearning courses, but found that they know nothing about how to help people learn.

The Problems
Computer Literacy
Perhaps the best predictor of whether people will begin using any kind of eLearning is whether they are already computer literate. If there is one thing you can count on, its that the admin down the hall hacking out Word documents all day is much more likely to be able and willing to use an eLearning offering than the salesperson who only types out a report once a week or who call that thing on their desk a 'black box'. Sophisticated eLearning for those without computer literacy is money down the drain. They need to start at a more basic level—instructor-led computer training.

"You don't need a cannon to blow away an outhouse". You may read about the latest and greatest eLearning technology, or a salesperson will pitch the hottest thing on the market. Many, if not most of the learning and knowledge needs out there simply do not require the most sophisticated technology to address them. In fact, trying to push a sophisticated solution where it really isn't needed can be harmful.

I recall attending a session a few years ago at ASTD's Techknowledge '99 Conference. Performance Support Systems are a favorite of mine, so I attended a session related to that subject. The focus was team-based task analysis. The issue came up of process and task standards and how task steps were relayed to machine operators on the factory floor. Of course I had in mind a really cool system of monitors displaying computerized process steps with complimentary training available at the touch of a mouse, etc. The presenter let us know that they had abandoned such a system for plain old binders with sheet protectors. For them the low-tech method worked because it required less maintenance, was easily changed, and did not require that factory personnel be computer literate. Actual learning and training was obtained in team meetings where they would discuss the process steps and tasks to complete them. A sophisticated solution would have been inappropriate and may even have retarded team development.

Need for eLearning
As a rule of thumb, the closer the individual's job is to managing information, the more likely they are to benefit from some form of eLearning. So the IT department & that administrator we talked about are obvious. Add persons engaging in specific service, or information-based processes (e.g., how to file a claim), as well as those who routinely face a specific social or relational situation (supervisors, salespersons) are able to benefit from some of the more advanced forms of eLearning. When deciding who you should start creating eLearning for, ask yourself the hard question of 'how many extra dollars could that person bring in revenue or productivity for every dollar I would spend on an eLearning solution for them?" You will find that the answer may not be as often in the affirmative as you have been led to believe.

Knowledge or Learning?
Never confuse the need for training with the need for knowledge. I am often asked about new product 'training'. Clearly there is a role for eLearning in the dissemination of information about new products and how to use them. Many times, however, people only need answers, not training. So as you gaze down at the 'collage of disparate possibilities' on your desk, distinguish information management issues from those intended to impart deeper understanding and skills.

We have only talked about one side of the coin. Literacy and needs are the 'demand' side of the eLearning equation. The other is the 'supply' side. You will have solutions coming at you from two directions. One is the host of materials, documents, and modules already in use in your organization - the PowerPoint slides, word documents and independent attempts to inject eLearning in individual departments. These are either someone else's solutions to training and knowledge problems or suggestions people think you should implement or improve. They can range from product information to phone manuals, from the HR policy manual to the shipping department's top ten list of things not to do if you expect a customer to receive their package.

The second source is represented by the vendors, in whose myriad brochures and URLs you find yourself swimming. The U.S. News and World Report lists over six hundred eLearning vendors ( These are just those registered with the magazine and do not include a number of smaller 'boutique' firms and independent instructional designers. Most of the vendors’ products are of the generic kind. Many of these focus on how to use the technology. eLearning products explaining how to use Microsoft Word or other applications are almost a dime-a-dozen these days. Almost any electronics or office supply store carries inexpensive training CDs covering most of the standard software packages. The equivalent is available from most major suppliers of online training. They usually establish for you a company account and administrative tools if you sign on with them. Their product offerings are becoming increasingly sophisticated, as well.

A second tier of products has emerged which slightly customize generic content. This is occurring mostly in the business skills areas. Leadership, project management, coaching and supervising, and other generic content focusing on "soft skills", have been around the training industry for some time. There are literally mountains of instructor-led training materials available on these subjects. Much of this is being turned into eLearning. That allows organizations to work with the content so that it matches their particular approach and culture.

The third type is training custom developed for a particular client. In contrast to the $9.99 CDs at your local electronics store, these often go for between $500 and $1,000 per learner minute, excluding the LMS infrastructures in which to place them.

What this supply breakdown means is that when you are thinking about finding eLearning solutions for the persons most likely to need and use them, you will be drawing solutions from a pool of highly generic, but less expensive to highly customized and more expensive products. Clearly the most absurd way to solve your eLearning dilemma would be to go out and purchase top-of-the-line custom ware for those with little need or ability to use it (i.e., those in the bottom right quadrant of the table above). This is not to say it has not happened however! Most of us, at least with the aid of the strategic tips in this article, can avoid this obvious misstep. So our next move is to apply good strategic principles to getting the right thing to the right people at the right price.

Your Next Step
First, do not rush out and make the 'mistakes of extremes'. There are a couple of these and you should try to avoid them.

Don't ...
1. Hire an in-house eLearning designer.
One extreme is to leap into the middle of the lake and think you'll be able to build the Queen Mary while treading water.

Hiring an in-house eLearning designer is a symptom of this reaction. True, if this were an instructor-led piece of training, you might go out and hire a trainer to develop and deliver instruction in some subject. The trainer would come in and design the course and do the training. Ergo the same must be true for eLearning.

But that is not the ball game we are in here. The whole point of eLearning is to deliver courses without a live human for every twenty or so attendees. Looking at eLearning staffing as if it were just another training position misses the idea entirely. Besides, that single individual might be put toiling away on a wheel already invented by someone else, and could never get around to developing and managing all your eLearning courseware. In fact it takes about three or four times (some say more) as much time to develop an eLearning course as it does a typical classroom offering.

2. Hire a vendor for everything. At the other extreme is the reaction of tossing up your hands, hiring a vendor for all your eLearning and turning loose of the steering wheel. There are numerous problems with this approach. First, you will need to explore the offerings of lot of vendors. And also consider that many of these will offer only online services. Your staff, however, will want to take these courses at home or on the road, where bandwidth issues become important.

With the many choices available out there these days, putting all your eggs in one basket just is not strategically astute.

Start Your eLearning With
the staff who have high computer literacy and a true need for immediate learning— not knowledge only
simple interaction that doesn’t eat up all your bandwidth
a vendor partner (if needed) who’s part of your team—not the team

Adapted from an article by Randall Kindley @

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Get more tips on training great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

E-learning Strategies: How to Get Implementation & Delivery Right the First Time, by Don Morrison
Preparing Learners for E-Learning, by George Piskurich

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Underappreciated Staff May Bolt When the Economy Rebounds

For many years now, American business culture has fostered a form of star worship that even a Hollywood agent might find excessive. The American work force’s steady-Eddie performers gradually lost status to corporate hotshots and those with star potential. In the so-called war for talent, A-list players were showered with cash, stock options, and perks. Yet it was mostly the A players who failed spectacularly at firms such as Enron and WorldCom and countless dotcom wonders.

Now companies that have been overlooking their B players may start to regret it. When job demand picks up, those solid-performing workers who constitute the heart of a business are likely to start migrating to places that make them feel more appreciated. “Long-term performance depends far more on the contributions of B players than many firms have come to realize,” says Thomas DeLong, a professor at Harvard Business School. DeLong describes B players as the middle 80% of a company’s work force, employees who are neither the hotshots (the A’s) nor the weakest links
(the C’s).

B players are a company’s critical caretakers as firms go through the typical upheavals: CEO shuffles, corporate mergers, abrupt strategy changes. Because the B players tend to think of the company as a family, they often take the time to nurture and train inexperienced employees. The B’s can save companies from disastrous oversights and unethical corner cutting, since their ties to the firm tend to be stronger than those of free agents who hopscotch from job to job. And they know how to unjam the copier. One reason Enron, a company packed with hotshots, went bankrupt was that good, solid employees—like whistle-blower Sherron Watkins—were shunted aside in the gold rush. “B players strive for advancement but not at all costs. This attitude is anathema to most A players,” DeLong and co-author Vineeta Vijayaraghavan recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

In fact, elements of the management structure championed by former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who instituted a “forced ranking” system, have infiltrated deep into corporate America. Such systems rank employees along a bell curve in which the top 10% typically receive an A grade or equivalent, the middle 80% earn a B, and the bottom 10% earn a C—and a send-off if they don’t improve. Such “rank and yank” systems gained popularity in the 1990s, and about a third of companies now use them, up from 13% in 1997, according to the consulting firm DDL.

Another way of looking at B players is that they’re people who have a life outside the office. Some Silicon Valley companies are latching onto the idea that B players are valuable. Guerrino De Luca, CEO of Logitech, says, “We have a lot of B’s,” whom he describes as employees who “don’t emphasize self-promotion and don’t want to work 18 hours a day.

Logitech conveys the message to B’s that he and other top executives identify with them. Country-club memberships and other perks that might breed class resentment are frowned upon; everyone flies coach, including the CEO. De Luca roams the halls to chat with staffers and encourages everyone to e-mail him with ideas. A few years ago, he dyed his hair pink after losing a bet with an employee. That sent the signal, he says, that “the boss may be crazy, but he’s somebody I can talk to.”

What You Can Do
Work with employees to identify lateral moves within the organization that will keep workers inspired. Too often, workers who may not want to move up or don’t have the talent tend to be forgotten.

Think twice before you try to cut costs by scaling back such family-friendly perks as flexible work hours and on-site day care. Bs’ value those benefits, which have helped ease the pain of pay cuts.

Senior managers need to do a better job of informing people about how they mesh with the company’s overall strategy.

Let workers know how their contributions fit into the company’s overall strategy and goals. They feel disenfranchised if you don’t

Excerpts from Time Magazine, 9/15/03


Keeping the People Who Keep You in Business, by F. Leigh Branham


Now Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham

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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


November 17-20, 2003
Fifth Annual Corporate University Week, Orlando, FL, 

November 20-21, 2003
Kennedy Information’s Recruiting 2003 Conference and Expo: Recruiting for Profit, Leveraging High-Impact Talent, Javits, Center, New York, NY, 

December 2-4, 2003
International Association of Exhibition Management Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, 

December 7-10, 2003
Workplace Learning Conference, “Advancing Adult Work-Based Learning: Building a 21st Century Community of Practice”, Chicago, IL, 

American Society of Association Executives Management & Technology Winter Conference, Washington, DC, 

February 23-25, 2004
The 2004 Outsourcing World Summit, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 

Life Writing Month

National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month 

November 8-14
National Pursuit of Happiness Week

November 18-25
Game and Puzzle Week

November 24-?
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Week

13 National World Kindness Day
14 Educational Support Personnel Day
15 America Recycles Day
17 National Homemade Bread Day
17 National Chocolate Celebration Day
23 National Buy Nothing Day
23 You’re Welcome Giving Day
29 National Computer Security Day
30 Stay Home Because You Are Well Day


Freecycle Network
The goal of the Freecycle Network is to reduce waste by connecting individuals who are throwing away goods with others who are seeking them. Everything posted must be free. The URL for Chicago is There are now over 25 cities hosting a Freecycle Network, including Tokyo! The Chicago one started about a month ago. There are already 133 members and 46 posts. Cool! runs volunteer U.S. camping programs to repair national parks and other wilderness areas in the 50 states.

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