Recruit, Inspire & Retain

November 2004

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

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What’s Missing in Your Job Descriptions Is Causing You to Hire the Wrong People

Are job descriptions pieces of paper OR are they essential tools for hiring the right people? If yours are the former, here’s how to make them the latter!

Essential Tool for Hiring the Right People
The key to making the job description an essential tool, no the essential tool, is for it to be a specific description of the tasks and needs of the job. Most of ours are not only general, but are not reflective of the current job.

By following the steps below, you’ll have job descriptions that you can literally use as your guide for finding the right person (ads or word of mouth) and for setting up the assessment methods to determine if the person is the right fit for the job. You can then use this job description as a checklist during the assessment and after the hire as the training tool & the performance appraisal. Quintuple duty! What are you waiting for?!

1. What to Include
Be Sure To Include Organization-Wide Duties:
● Meet the objectives of the organization (mission, vision, values, yearly plan)
● Resolve problems constructively
(Offer at least 1 solution any time I present a problem. Take problems, complaints and upsets to the person(s) with whom I can resolve them, at the earliest opportunity. Avoid criticizing or complaining to someone who cannot do something about my complaint, and direct others to do the same.)
● Go for excellence (Support others and be supported in participating at the highest level of excellence.)
● Learn from experience (Do my best to learn from my experiences & those of others.)
  Job Title
  Major Duties (be sure to include organization-wide duties - see box @ right)
  Specific Tasks (Frequency - Routine/Variety/Repetitive)
Supervised By (Title/Characteristics of Individual)
  Supervisor's Philosophy (Close/Independent/Methods)

Supervises (No./Characteristics of Individuals)

Co-Workers (No./Team/Individual/Social Interaction Expected)


Compensation Plan

Career Growth Opportunities

Safety/Ergonomic Issues

Ability to Restructure Job/Environment to Fit Employee

Stress Situations

Education Required

Certificate/Licenses Required

Specific Experience Required

Specific Skills & Level Required (Read/Write/Math/Decision Making/Interpersonal/ Organization/Planning/Memory/Other)

Physical Abilities (Demand Characteristics)

Working Conditions (Temp./Inside/Outside/Height/Damp.)
2. How to Discover Each
  The most accurate job descriptions are done by a person in the job (before they leave), people who interact with that job and the supervisor. Have each make a list of every task and it’s specific results done by a person in that job/will be done (if a new job) from the time the person in the job starts each day until the time they finish. It’s best to write the list while watching the job or doing their own job as it interacts with the job for which they’re developing the job description. They’ll miss things if they try to create the list apart from the actual actions/skills, attitudes and use of the knowledge – most of us just do too many things on autopilot to remember it all.
3. How Often to Review
  Every time someone leaves the position, have them update the job description to reflect the current tasks and needs of the job.
  Job Analysis at The Speed of Reality, by Darin Hartly
  Job Analysis, by Jai V. Ghorpade

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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


* Conference participants who bought Fun Meters in the conference bookstores at the Playing For Keeps Conference & the IL Activity Professionals Association Conference
* Staff at Wedgewood Christian Services who are learning how to budget. The Fun Meters say: “Budgeting Can Be Fun!

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“If you give a person a fish, you feed them for a day. If you teach them how to fish, you feed them for a lifetime.”

We read these TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. posters in training, at conference bookstores, and at conference keynotes, but what do we do with the message? Think about the poster:

◙ Of course, once the person learns how to fish, they must actually fish if they are going to feed themselves.

◙ It can be extended so that subsequent generations also learn how to fish and therefore are able to feed themselves:

1. I learn how to fish and can feed you and me.
2. I learn how to teach fishing. I help you to learn to fish and you can feed yourself.
3. I help you learn how to teach fishing.
4. You help them learn how to fish, and you can feed your community.
5. You help them learn how to teach fishing, and together we can feed the world.

Thanks to Sacin Karve, Training & Development, Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd, Mumbai, in the Coaching, Training & Development listserv!


Here are the answers you’ve been waiting for from last months’ quiz.

“10% Inspiration...90% Perspiration.”  Thomas Edison
“Believe in yourself and in everything you can be... not only will you be happy, but you will be able to appreciate the good qualities of the people around you.”  James Garner
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Be true to yourself. The rest will fall in place.” Whoopi Goldberg
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” Oprah Winfrey
“Each person plays to make the other sound great. You are playing for the other.” Yoyo Ma
“Humor is just truth - only faster.” Gilda Radner
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.” Bill Cosby
“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do...The hard part is doing it!” Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.
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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Why Does TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Sell Books & Fun Stuff?

Ever wonder why TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., a customized training company, sells books, CDs, journals, jars of quotes, computer FlipCards, and other already existing things? “Those aren’t customized”, you think to yourself.

When TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. uses the word customized, we mean customized! We mean it in every part of the process of helping an organization achieve a certain level of performance:
1 Determine performance needs for your organization and learners (job specific & interpersonal skills).
2 Design & Develop training to achieve performance (group, self study, video, CBT, web, OJT).
3 Deliver your highly interactive training.
4 Reinforce the learning on the job and Measure return on your training investment.
We know you know what customized means in Design & Develop, Facilitate, and Reinforce & Measure.

It’s what customized means in Determine Needs that’s what sets TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. apart from other customized training companies. When Determining Needs for your organization & learners, we’re helping you find the way to achieve the specific performance that’s:
Fastest, Most Effective, Least Intrusive to getting the rest of the job done and Least Expensive

Many times, the way to meet all 4 of these (not just 1 or 2 of them) is an already existing thing – a book, an off-the-shelf video or computer-based program or a reference tool like the computer FlipCards. When we discover these we want to have resources to either recommend or to go get them for you.

Customized starts in Determining the Need!

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Getting Along With Others = Inspiring

How well do you get along with other people? All the literature on Emotional Intelligence tells us it’s a key factor in inspiring others – our co-workers, our staff, our customers, even our boss!

Benefits of High Emotional Intelligence
communication improves
the employee feels fulfilled/happier
motivation improves
interpersonal relationships improve
people are more involved with their work, and they are more responsible and autonomous
the climate in the workplace improves
our power of attraction (especially our charisma and our leadership skills are enhanced)
the effectiveness and efficiency of both people and teams increase
the processes of change and of constant improvement are speeded
the relations between the organization, its clients, and the general public improve
as well as improving the cost-effectiveness of the organization, no end of small, subtle changes for the best occur

Take our Get Along assessment and the first 10 submitted will not only get the ideas promised but get those ideas in a phone call, along with the opportunity to ask questions/get answers to improve your Get Along skills.

Call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. at 800-469-3560 for more ideas on improving your staff’s Emotional Intelligence.

Make a Comment/Question

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Emotional Effectiveness SkillMap. (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions) Or e-mail
Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Coleman

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50 (or close to that) Reasons to Help Staff Achieve Performance

I know I’m preaching to the choir with this one, but a lot of you express interest in tools for convincing others (learners, your boss, your board, department managers & supervisors, the accounting department, etc.) that training is a good Return on Investment. My goal was 50 reasons to give them, but you’ll see I didn’t quite make it.

Email additions to me at and I’ll post them in the Training Tips section of our website.

Why help staff learn a new procedure, new product/service, fix a performance problem, or learn their new job?:

  1. Increased production

  2. Decreased staff turnover

  3. Increased quality

  4. Decreased staff absenteeism

  5. Reduction in errors

  6. Decreased number of days positions unfilled

  7. Increased number of customers

  8. Reduction in amount of supervision required of staff

  9. Decreased loss of customers

  10. Decreased complaints

  11. Decreased costs

  12. Decreased legal action

  13. Decreased sales expenses

  14. Decreased training time

  15. Increased profits

  16. Decreased supervisory time

  17. Increased sales

  18. Decreased overtime

  19. Decreased process time

  20. Decreased repair time

  21. Increased order response

  22. Increased safety

  23. Decreased employee grievances

  24. Meet/exceed customer expectations

  25. Increased employee self esteem and confidence (if they can do their job they feel better about themselves)

  26. Increased teamwork

  27. Reduced rework

  28. Reduced materials loss/waste

  29. Reduced equipment maintenance/repair

  30. Increased employee retention

  31. Easier to attract the employees needed

  32. Increased employee communication

  33. Ability to beat competition

  34. Faster problem solving

  35. Increased customer trust

  36. Increased customer referrals

  37. Increased vendor loyalty

  38. Achieve yearly strategic plan

  39. Increased employee’s pay in pay for performance system

  40. Increased self-directed learning

Remember, email your additions to this list. We’re shooting for 50!

Need examples of companies who’ve used these reasons to make a business case for training & development? Email or call
TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  and we’ll send you examples.

Ten Steps to Determining the Return on Your Training Investment (worksheets for planning and/or measuring the ROI), by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  (10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions) Or e-mail
Measuring the Impact of Training, by Richard Chang

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Act in an Un-Organization Way to Retain Employees

The new Escape gas-electric Hybrid was the most complex project in Ford’s history. To pull it off, the company had to act in some very un-Ford-like ways.

In the Spring of 2003, Phil Martens saw trouble down the road.

As head of product development for Ford, he was supervising the creation of what could be one of the most important vehicles in company history. While the car wasn't due to come out until the Fall of 2004, the team needed to be in launch mode right then to stay on schedule. It wasn't. It was still pulling marathon hours just trying to get the thing running properly.

The hybrid team was packed with PhDs, but for all of their technical prowess, the brainiacs had one weakness: little launch experience. Martens needed someone to crack the whip without destroying morale, someone to persuade the scientists to stop perfecting and start finishing the vehicle. That someone was Mary Ann Wright -- part spark plug, part disciplinarian, and all Ford.

A self-described "car nut," Wright, had launched Sables, Tauruses, and Lincolns. Her discipline is legendary. Twelve-plus-hour days. Five hours of sleep. Four a.m. workouts.

Concerned about alienating her new team, Wright asked Martens to play the heavy. "We are going to deliver on time," he told the team. "You have to throw out all the processes and tools that you'd normally use on a normal gas engine and reinvent the way you do it. Anything you need you'll get." The group's reaction? "You could have heard a pin drop," Martens recalls.

How They Did It? — Staffing & Management Tools
To develop its unconventional vehicle, Ford created an unconventional team. Typically, researchers and product engineers didn't work closely together. At Ford, in fact, they worked in different buildings.

The Escape Hybrid team office feels ordinary, but for Ford it is revolutionary. Engineers and scientists work in adjacent cubicles. "Before, it might have been a half mile apart, but even one building away is a barrier compared with what we have now," says a team member. "It makes a huge difference." Group lunches in the nearby cafeteria evolve into meetings. Hallway chats lead to impromptu problem solving. Once, a couple of engineers at the soda machine discovered a discrepancy in a power-train specification and corrected the issue before the code was written. With thousands of tasks on the to-do list, preventing a problem is as sweet as solving one.

The hybrid group has become the envy of other Ford engineers. "I have engineers who say, 'I wish I could be on that team,' " says Craig Rigby, a technical support supervisor. "Then I tell them the hours." As a way of motivating his weary team, development manager, Patil, would remind them how fortunate they were. "This was a product that if you did it right, it was going to do a great deal for customers and the company and the country and the environment," he says. "You rarely get a chance to go after something like this in your career. It's what I call the nobility of the cause."

After telling the team they were going to deliver on time, Martens gave the team a rare gift: no outside interruptions. From May through December, it wouldn't have to do management reviews and other presentations. Martens would check in periodically and test-drive the latest prototype so he could keep his bosses informed.

Once the team was shielded from top management, productivity soared. "People who'd been saying, 'I don't know how we can get there,' said, ‘We can get there.’" During this "dark period," Martens says, "I allowed them to be entrepreneurial, and they doubled their productivity."

Early this year, as the August 2004 deadline for production approached, Martens continued streamlining the bureaucracy. If the team requested a technical expert or piece of equipment, it got it. No formal requests or delays waiting for approval. "People knew they couldn't say no," says Wright. When the language barrier was impeding work with the Japanese battery supplier, a Ford battery expert fluent in Japanese was dispatched to Japan within 24 hours. Decisions that normally would take days were made on the spot.

Launch mode meant acting as an even more integrated team. During the design phase, small groups had focused on each system to master its separate technology. Now the challenge was orchestrating the interaction between systems. "I told them, 'If one person is struggling, we're all struggling,' " says Wright. She could be tough, but Martens believed she was what the team needed, just as Patil and his more collegial style had been effective in development. She was the hybrid team's second motor; if Patil's job was to inspire invention, hers was to wrap it up.

Letting go didn't come naturally to scientists. Take Sankaran, for example. One of his goals was eliminating extraneous engine noise. Like a conductor with extraordinary hearing, he could detect an occasional, almost imperceptible high-pitched tone even though the transmission met the noise requirements. Technically -- officially -- it was good to go. But, Sankaran says, "as an engineer I wanted to say, 'What are the physics behind this sound? I can do better.' " Ultimately, though, he was persuaded to let it go by taking consolation in another of Wright's reminders: "This isn't the only one we'll do." There will be more hybrids down the road.

If the Hybrid turns out to be everything it's cracked up to be, if it avoids recalls and begins to restore the luster of Ford's once golden reputation, then the members of the hybrid team will have earned a new title: not simply researchers and engineers, but Escape artists.

Selections from Fast Company 10/04 Ford’s Escape Route

Work Concepts For The Future, by Patricia Estess, email or call 800-469-3560
Fast Cycle Time: How to Align Purpose, Strategy & Structure For Speed, by Christopher Meyer

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Buy The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief from our online TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. catalog or by E-mailing or calling 800-469-3560.

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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 11: Sundae Day
November 13: World Kindness Day
November 17: Word Peace & Homemade Bread Day (if everyone spent their time making bread, there’d be no time to make war!)
November 19: Pencil Day
November 25: Thanksgiving!
November 30: Computer Security Day

November 14-17, 2004
TechLearn Exploring Learning and Technology Conference, Marriott Marquis, New York, NY, 

November 15-18, 2004
IQPC’s Corporate University Week 2004: Driving Business Strategy Through Learning, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, Orlando, FL, 

December 1-3, 2004
IAEM’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, San Antonio, TX,

December 5-7, 2004
ASAE Great Ideas Conference, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando, FL, 

January 5-8, 2005
The Special Event Conference Trade Show, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL,

February 13-15, 2005
ASAE Great Ideas Conference, The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, Phoenix, AZ, 


Give School Supplies to Children in Iraq
When Andy’s mom asked her sergeant son stationed in Iraq what she should send, he told her to send school supplies. The school children in Iraq are in dire need.
Send supplies to:
Andrew M. Pelc
(Command Group)
APO AE 09356

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