Recruit, Inspire & Retain

November 2006

Ideas for “Marketing” and Providing “Customer Service” to Current and Potential Employees

Great Training for Great Employees

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bullet FUN Days to Celebrate (Call/Email for Ways to Celebrate the FUN Days to Celebrate!)
bullet RECRUIT - Culture (and now that we have your attention...)
bullet Who’s Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet Your Personality Based On Ice Cream
bullet Cool Calls
bullet INSPIRE - Too Many Ideas to Give You Just One This Month
bullet TRAIN - Half a Billion Available to Help You Pay For Employee Training
bullet RETAIN - Timely Note Taking Makes Everyone Happy
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give


Complete the sentence: I hope I never again have a client/customer/member who (does this)

Instead I wish they would (do this)____________________.


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READERS! If you find an article worthy of Recruit, Inspire & Retain, please send it (with a note telling us where you found it)

We encourage you to use these articles in your own communications with staff and customers/members.

If this was forwarded to you, get your own copy FREE!


November 3 – Sandwich Day
November 4 – Candy Day
November 5 – Guy Fawkes Day & Doughnut Day (blow up a doughnut)
November 6 – Love Nachos Day & Saxophone Day (but don’t play your sax right after eating

November 7 – Election Day (vote early; vote often)
November 10 – Toothpaste Day, Headache Day, & Vanilla Cupcake Day
November 11 – Veterans Day & Sundae Day (buy a vet a BIG sundae)
November 12 – Pizza But No Anchovies Day
November 13 – World Kindness Day
November 14 – Pickle Appreciation Day, Guacamole Day, & Young Reader’s Day
November 15 – Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day & America Recycles Day
November 16 – International Day for Tolerance & Fast For A World Harvest Day
November 17 – World Peace Day, Homemade Bread Day, Take A Hike Day, & Coping With
                          Uncertainty Day (I’m not sure, but this seems to be too busy a day)
November 18 – Teddy Bear Day
November 19 – Pencil Day
November 20 – Peanut Butter Fudge Day
November 21 – World Hello Day
November 22 – “What Do You Love About America” Day
November 23 – Thanksgiving Day
November 24 – Espresso Day & You’re Welcome Day
November 26 – Cake Day
November 27 – Pie in the Face Day
November 28 – French Toast Day
November 30 – Computer Security Day & Clear Up the Clutter Day
December 1 – Eat a Red Apple Day & Pie Day
December 2 – Play Basketball Day
December 4 – Cookie Day & Wear Brown Shoes Day (they can’t tell me what to do—I’ll eat
                       cookies, but I’m wearing black shoes!)

December 5 – Blue Jeans Day & International Volunteer Day

Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.

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Culture (and now that we have your attention...)

You’ve heard the saying "Hire for attitude, train for skills." There’s a great reason to do this — hiring people with the attitude you need means you won’t have to help them find a new job outside your organization because you discover that though they have great skills, they don’t fit your organizational culture.

Finding people who fit your culture is crucial — and easy if you’ve taken the time to define what your culture is. Once you’ve done this you use it along with the job description to determine who you’re looking for, recruit for that and assess against it.

Write a current description of each. If you’re changing one of these, write in 2 columns  Current and To Be: 

1. Mission, Brand, Vision, Values



2. Fiscal Health



3. Organizational Structure



4. Policies/Procedures



5. Employee Paperwork




6. Compensation Package



7. Staff Development



8. Management Philosophy



9. Physical Work Space/Facility



10. Corporate Reputation




Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for help defining each of these 10.

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Recruiting, Inspiring, & Retaining The Best (2 tape set which some clients call "Consultant in a Box" – has a section on assessing your organization’s culture), by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Carolyn B. Thompson. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)
The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief (Chapter 4, specifically describes how to assess each of the 10 areas), by Carolyn B. Thompson & James W. Ware. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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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Fun Meter   *Whidbey Cruzers
*Doug’s Local #50

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Your Personality Based On Ice Cream

A national manufacturer of ice cream, Edy’, commissioned an ice cream flavorology study to determine how ice cream preferences relate to personality. The study, conducted by Dr. Alan R. Hirsch (M.D.) Neurological Director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, revealed that distinct personalities correspond with ice cream flavors.

According to the official taster for Edy’s Grand Ice Cream, the flavorology research is fun "food for thought" to discuss around the dinner table. Before serving dessert, ask your family and friends to name their favorite ice cream flavor, then give them the scoop on their personality.

Pick your favorite ice cream flavors listed below and find out what it says about your personality.

  1. Vanilla

  2. Chocolate

  3. Butter pecan

  4. Banana

  5. Strawberry

  6. Chocolate chip


If you like vanilla, you are colorful, impulsive, a risk take who sets high goals and has high expectations of yourself. You also enjoy close family relationships. Gregarious, lives a hectic life. Easily suggestible, expressive, idealistic; a private person. (Prototype: lovelorn housewife.)
If you like chocolate, you are lively, creative, dramatic, charming, enthusiastic, and the life of the party. Chocolate fans enjoy being at the center of attention and can become bored with the usual routine. Seductive, well-dressed, extroverted, easily influenced, a follower, intuitive, enjoys intimate relationships. (Prototype: feminine woman, macho man.)
If you like butter pecan, you are orderly, perfectionist, careful, detail-oriented, conscientious, ethical, and fiscally conservative. You are also competitive, aggressive in sports, and the take-charge type of personality. (Prototype: executive, secretary.)
If you like banana, you are easy going, well adjusted, generous, honest, and empathetic. (Prototype: the perfect husband, wife, parent, or child.)

If you like strawberry, you are shy, yet emotionally robust, skeptical, detail-oriented, opinionated introverted and self critical. Easily made to feel guilty, cranky, pessimistic, low self-esteem. (Prototype: bureaucrat, journalist.)
If you like chocolate chip, you are generous, competitive, and accomplished. You are charming in social situation, ambitious, and competent. A visionary, a conqueror, enjoys being catered to, a go-getter, intolerant of defeat. (Prototype: industry leader, voted most likely to succeed in school.)

Compatibility Chart

The flavorology research also compiled a compatibility chart for ice cream lovers. If your favorite flavor is:

Vanilla—you are most likely to be compatible with someone whose favorite flavor is vanilla.

Chocolate—compatible with butter pecan or chocolate chip.


Butter pecan—compatible with butter pecan, chocolate, and chocolate chip.


Banana—compatible with all flavors.


Strawberry—compatible with chocolate chip.


Chocolate chip—compatible with butter pecan or chocolate.


Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS you see in TRAINING SYSTEMS' group training and conference bookstores? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of the topics you need.
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!

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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* Peggy Bartman after the IL Dietary Managers Association conference: "Robin was great! I heard nothing but good things from her two programs. I will send you any information that was noted on the evaluations for her so that your organization may share and grow from the experience as well. The workshop was a great success thanks to your efforts. I appreciate your flexibility and understanding. Look forward to future working together."
* Beth Allhands after participating in an IARF conference session: "I attended your session, ‘Communicating With Your Team So Each Interaction is a Success’ last week. It was the best one. I really enjoyed it and started using the information I received right away. I would like to give a mini in-service to my team. Would you please send a copy of the worksheets you used?"
* Christian Management Association Magazine published "Management Mistakes I Made With People",,PTID7419|CHID189312|CIID,00.html, by Carolyn B. Thompson, President of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.

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Too Many Ideas to Give You Just One This Month

Inspired to Serve
Staff who like to serve customers tend to serve customers better, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty to your organization. Here are 3 ways you can foster an environment that creates customer-focused staff:

Offer skill development. Staff who have the conversational skills to excel in their jobs feel more confident in taking care of customer needs.

Monitor, measure, and coach. Focus on the critical behaviors that make for a successful customer interaction and then monitor and measure for them, and coach your staff accordingly.

Recognize and reward. Customer-focused staff are motivated by knowing that they’re appreciated for providing exceptional service. Praise them often and provide meaningful recognition.

Keys to A Healthy Workplace
Constantly getting sick during the flu season? The real culprits may surprise you: your mouse and keyboard. A University of Arizona study shows that they harbor hundreds of times more germs per square inch than an office toilet.

U.K.-based Unotron offers a line of washable mice and keyboards. They can be submerged in water, doused with disinfectant, and left in a dish rack to dry. In fact, one of the company’s favorite trade show tricks is to drop them into a fish tank, after which they still function perfectly.

Other washable mice and keyboards are made of molded rubber, which makes them difficult to use. Unotron’s products protect each key and button individually, allowing for a typing experience that’s indistinguishable from that of a regular mouse and keyboard.

According to Ella Havard, the company’s vice president of sales, "Each key assembly is sealed and welded so it protects against dust, liquid, and debris." Learn more at

From Profit 11/06

Nap to Win
According to a 2002 study from the National Institute of Mental Health, an afternoon nap can help reduce brain burnout and enhance your ability to process information. But weary workers might worry about raising a few eyebrows for lowering their lids at work. Enter Metronaps. The New York-based company rents ergonomic Metronap Pods at $14 for a 20-minute sleep session—complete with a soundproof enclosure, privacy visor, and lemon-scented wake-up spritz. Not located near the company’s Empire State Building sleep center? Starting at $7,950, your company can purchase a Pod and build your own state of the art nap room.

From Profit 11/04

Make a Comment/?

Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Wellness in the Workplace: How to Plan, Implement & Evaluate a Wellness Program, by Marlene Sherman.
Customer Service Training 101: Quick & easy Techniques That Get Great Results, by Renee Evenson.
Order by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)

Tools: Recruit Inspire Train Retain

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Half a Billion Available to Help You Pay For Employee Training

Employee training can be a hard sell sometimes. Even though having a well-trained workforce is widely known to be a key driver to a company’s success, too often the training program is viewed as an expense rather than an investment.

What if you could cut that training investment in half? What if the training department could actually generate revenue? It is possible—if you know what training incentives your state has to offer and how to get through the application and approval process to maximize your award.

From Fortune 500 corporations to small & medium sized organizations, every year more than a half billion dollars is awarded to organizations throughout the United States to offset the cost of training new and existing employees. In 2005, there were more than 150 incentive programs available at the state level, solely for training employees.

How Much Could a State Grant Be Worth to My Organization?
Each state has its own economic development goals and most provide financial incentives to organizations whose training programs support these goals. There are dozens of variables to consider, and predicting the benefit of state training incentives to an individual organization takes a bit of time and analysis, but the likely payoff is well worth the investment. If your organization plans to roll out a training program next year, now’s the time to look into the funding available from your state.

Typically, qualified training costs include instructor salaries, employee wages during training, development of training programs (internal and external costs), materials and supplies, instructional media, equipment used for training and reasonable travel costs.

What Types of Training Are Included?
Almost any industry can win a training grant. Criteria focuses more on supporting the types of training the state wants to promote for its workforce than on the type of industry.

Different industry types require different kinds of training, but there are commonalities among states as to what qualifies for incentives. Typical qualified training may include: new technology, new equipment, software implementations and upgrades, total quality management (including Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, ISO etc.), teambuilding and leadership. In some states, training incentives are linked to job creation, so states are looking to stimulate training in the area of basic job skills.

Some programs require training to take place at a state technical college. In some cases, the state will use the college’s staff to design, develop and deliver the training specifically for your organization needs. In most cases however, your training can be developed and delivered by any qualified source, including your organization’s own in-house trainers, outside training vendors, local university staff or via e-learning.

Is Federal Funding Also Available?
On the federal side, money is dispersed to each state under the Workforce Investment Act for that state to use in its programs as it sees fit.

In most states (with the exception of Georgia), a organization needs to have a Training Plan in place to submit for state approval before the state will consider its application for funding. The plan needs to outline number and nature of training programs and projected cost. If the application is successful, the grant or tax credit is awarded at that time but usually not paid until the training has been completed. So to ensure receipt of the award, applicants need to pay careful attention that, for the most part, the actual training follows the plan, and that documentation is in place to show adherence.

Why Don’t More Organizations Take Advantage of These Incentives?
Most organizations are simply not aware that these incentives are available. And those organizations who are actually aware of the programs are often daunted by the paperwork and labor-intensive procedures they expect are required to receive government awards.

It is true that every state’s program is different, and each has its own unique requirements, so the investment of time and energy to take advantage of the grants can be significant, especially with multi-state rollouts. Training managers will spend time on paperwork and deal with officials in each state and local employees to coordinate a successful campaign for state funding.

Also, because training has to take place as originally planned, organizations have to be reasonably sure on the front end that the training program they propose won’t significantly change course.

How Can I Minimize the Effort and Maximize the Return?
Many states allow multiple-year contracts. This allows a organization to go through the application and approval process once to receive a grant to cover up to two years of training.

Also, if a organization has multiple locations in the same state, it can usually group its activities together and receive one large award.

Alternatively, many corporations work with a organization that specializes in training cost recovery. These organizations already have relationships in place with state officials and expertise in leveraging each program to minimize hassle and maximize return.

Where Do I Start?
A good starting point is your state’s Web site. This will provide you with information on the various programs available. Talk with the local state officials responsible for administering and approving your local program for important details, nuances and particulars that could help with your application approval.

Adapted from an article by Peter Green, VP Business Development At Wallace. Reprinted with permission from May 2006 online edition of Chief Learning Offer. ©2006 MediaTec Publishing, Inc.

Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. or call 800-469-3560 and we’ll be glad to help you write the Training Plan you need in order to apply for funding.

Approaches to Training & Development, by Dugan Laird, Elwood Holton & Sharon Naquin
The Accidental Trainer: A Reference Manual for the Small, Part-Time or One-Person Training Department, by Nanette Miller.
  Order by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)

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Timely Note Taking Makes Everyone Happy

Employees are being asked to do more with less and in less time. The consequence is high turnover, burnout and poor results. It’s important for us to understand the challenges these employees face and to ease their burden.

However, during times when the budget is tight organizations find it hard, if not nearly impossible, to justify spending money on things that don’t directly improve the bottom line.

Luckily we have found a solution that does just that...
1. Make employees feel appreciated
2. Help employees get more done in less time
3. Make employees feel productive

...Enter Dial-A-Note. Have you ever been in your car and come up with a brilliant idea or “things to do”? Imagine being able to say the notes form your client interaction right into a phone instead of trying to remember them when you write your weekly project report. Even better, imagine being the recipient of great project reports that come on time! Imagine saying in to the phone a letter, an email, a memo or even meeting notes immediately after the meeting. Within two hours your Notes are in your email Inbox typed and edited, also attached in a Word document.

What’s more, you can even have the Dial-A-Note system sync directly into your membership database or CRM tool (think ACT or so not only do the finished documents arrive by email, but the notes (about a sales call, while serving a client, from a board meeting, etc.) are also placed directly in the internal database so detailed and accurate details are immediately stored. On top of that, your staff can use this system from any phone! You can see we love this tool!

The result? Employees have the right tool to get more done in less time – happy, productive employees stay and the organization retains more accurate, more detailed client information than ever before.

Dial-A-Note - visit, or call Kate at
(203) 618-1811.

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November 29-December 1, 2006
Training Magazine’s Instructional Design Institute & Classroom Instructor Institute, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, FL,

January 11-14, 2007
International Alliance for Learning, Omni Hotel, Austin,

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Set a reminder to visit daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms.

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More than 18,000 service men and women have been injured in the war, and more than 2,600 have given their lives for our freedom. Many of the wounded are young and face an entire lifetime of “healing” and coping with disabilities. Regardless of partisan or political views, our country recognizes the need to aid our service men and women who endure great sacrifice to protect our freedom.

You may have heard about it or seen it in the media, now you can order the 2007 America's Heroes Reconnaissance Marines Calendar for yourself and/or all your friends. 100% of the proceeds go to our wounded heroes and their families as directed by those who have been awarded the Purple Heart. Order at

Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Donate Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people through partnerships with law enforcement organizations,

Recycle 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.

Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation,; Goodwill,, Salvation Army,

Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.

Several other places to recycle old PCs:,,

Find local Electronics recyclers at and

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Copyright 2006 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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**We’ll be back next month with more great tips, ideas, success stories, and information to help you recruit, inspire, train, & retain great employees!

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RECRUIT, INSPIRE & RETAIN is a free e-zine of TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC., published 12 times/year. Editor: Carolyn B. Thompson, Data Entry: Patti Lowczyk (Lowczyk Secretarial), HTML: Debbie Daw ( Visit us at soon!
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