December, 2001

Give the Gift of Knowledge to your Staff & Colleagues -
Gift Certificates for Books, Tapes & Fun Incentives,
available at http://store.fastcommerce.com/trainingsys


Recruit People Who Can Adapt * Office Memo Re: Conduct
During the Christmas Season * Having a Hard Time Making
Sales or Production Targets - It May Be the Staff *
Cool Calls * How Training Systems Creates Your Highly
Interactive Self-Study * Use Training to Cope with Rampant
Employee Turnover, Advancing Technology, Downsizing &
Competition * TRAINING SYSTEMS, Inc. Associates Tell Us
* It’s Been a Tough Year - You Can Still Brighten
Things Up By Spreading Joy * Places to Go, Things to Do

SPREAD IT AROUND - click FORWARD in your e-mail and
introduce others to Recruit, Inspire & Retain, and
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site, http://www.trainingsys.com./rir/search.html


Recruit People Who Can Adapt
~Change is everywhere, everyday, in every job - so it’s
crucial to get people who are adaptable for all your
jobs. A December 2001 Fast Company Magazine article on
successful companies listed these Lessons of Adaptation
(based on Charles Darwin’s “Natural Selecting for the
Origin of the Species”):
* Successful adapters see the world with fresh eyes.
When the environment shifts around them, they are among
the first to respond to changes. As Darwin pointed out,
competition is keenest between closely allied forms in
nature. Successful adapters are quick to differentiate
themselves from their closest rivals.

* Adapters are often quicker to locate and exploit new
sources. They find ways to coexist where possible and
to outrun, outmaneuver, or outfight competitors where
necessary. When landscape-altering events sweep across
the environment, some species win simply by making do
with what’s at hand. Efficiency can be the best
survival strategy.

* Successful adapters have a more refined capacity to
intuit the dangers and opportunities in their
environment and to act decisively.

* They know that adaptation is never over. Natural
selection, wrote Darwin, “is a power incessantly ready
for action.”

~Use contract, interim or temp people to get the job
done. TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. can get your HR & training
professionals job done (800-469-3560) or for other
jobs, we can refer you to agencies who can help.

#”Behavior Based Interviewing”, by Terry Fitzwater

#”Get the Best”, by Cathy Fyock
both resources are available at

Get more tips on recruiting great employees at http://www.trainingsys.com and then click on RECRUIT TIPS.

Have a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention
idea or question? Send e-mail to rir@trainingsys.com
and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer)
in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training,
& Retaining Great Employees at http://www.trainingsys.com


*Humor & Health Associates is using Fun Meters in an
upcoming training session with one of their clients.

Fun Meter Buttons, available at



To: All Employees
From: Management
Subject: Office conduct during the Christmas season

Effective immediately, employees should keep in mind the
following guidelines in compliance with FROLIC (the
Federal Revelry Office and Leisure Industry Council).

1. Running aluminum foil through the paper shredder to
make tinsel is discouraged.

2. Playing Jingle Bells on the push-button phone is
forbidden (it runs up an incredible long distance phone

3. Work requests are not to be filed under “Bah humbug.”

4. Company cars are not to be used to go over the river
and through the woods to Grandma’s house.

5. All fruitcake is to be eaten BEFORE July 25.

6. Eggnog will NOT be dispensed in vending machines.

In spite of all this, the staff is encouraged to have a
Happy Holiday.


#BUY PACKS of inspirational posters at
do a Product Search for POSTERS, then look for
Training Room Posters (30/pack).



Having a Hard Time Making Sales or Production Targets -
It May Be the Staff
Staff are squabbling, pointing fingers, forming
cliques, and generally tearing apart their work groups.
Uh, could this be the reason we’re not making our
targets? Hey, I know, this might be what’s having an
impact on efficiency!

Try this idea shared by Michael Cook:
^Our boss, whom I considered only marginally effective,
finally realized something fairly radical needed to be
done, so she scheduled and held a one-day, off-site
team-building workshop. Now, for some of you, that
might not seem like such a big deal, but for this firm,
this was radical. I worked there nine years, and this
was the only such event I ever attended--and I know of
no others that were held anywhere else in this 300+
person firm. Basically the thinking was, if you are
already in trouble for not having your people bill
enough, why take *ALL* of them off the clock--AND pay
them--for a full day?!? But she did.

As you might expect, we were all very nervous when the
day started. Didn’t know what to expect. Everyone
eyeing everyone else warily–but with no eye contact.
Trying to decide whether we would really participate,
or sit back and see what happens. Folks whispering in
the corners with the their “allies” in the intra-unit
wars. You know the bit.

After some introductions and chit-chat, the
consultant-leader split us up, randomly into groups of
4 or 5 & told us to, “Write down two or three things
you like or admire about everyone else in your group.
They can be about anything at all; don’t have to be
necessarily related to work, although they can be. Only
one rule, they must be *sincere*. When we’re done, you
will be reading/telling each person what you wrote, out
loud for the rest of your group to hear.”

Wow. Stunned silence. Remember, this is a group of
competitive, bickering high-achievers at an boutique,
pricey, Washington DC area consulting firm. Many of us
didn’t like one another--at all.

And, I’m in my boss’s group! After a few more minutes
of silence, and realizing that we couldn’t get out of
the assignment, people started writing stuff, and then
more stuff, and more stuff, and more stuff....When we
thought about it, none of these people were evil, or
out to “get us” or miserably incompetent, or any of the
other things we secretly accused each other of.
Basically, they were nice people with different ideas.
For example, one of the things I said about my boss--as
did just about everyone else in my group--was how much
personal courage it had taken to recognize we had a
problem, schedule the day, and subject herself to the
same scrutiny as the rest of us.

Wow again! You want to start a team-building day
spectacularly? Have 4-5 people tell you what a great
colleague you are to have around the office! How they
like your sense of humor, the professional way you
dress, your stupid on-the-door jokes, your daughter’s
goofy finger paintings, the home-made cookies you
brought in, your candy jar, your careful attention to
detail, your commitment to quality, your ability to
schmooze clients--whatever. The exercise was so great
we begged the consultant to let us do it again, so we
made up new groups of our own choosing--that itself was
VERY interesting--and we did it again. By the end there
were lots of tears and hugs (which NEVER, EVER, EVER
happened in this place--not in macho DC), and we felt
GREAT!! Double great! The rest of the workshop, a
fairly straightforward brainstorming/planning day of
what-do-we-do-to-get-out-of-this-mess was highly
productive, and fun even. I made *friends* out of
co-workers that I had worked with for years. Really

Would this work in every case? Don’t know. But it did

Thanks to Michael Cook, now from Colleague Consulting,
for telling us this really useful example from his past

#Call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. at 800-469-3560 if
you’d like to facilitate a similar outcome.
#”Training Methods That Work”, by Lois B. Hart,
available at
http://store.fastcommerce.com/trainingsys (10% off
by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)
#”25 Activities for Teams”, available at Pfeiffer
& Co., 619-578-5900.



“Thanks, Carolyn, What a great card! You always do such
thoughtful things! When I grow up I want to be you! We
will keep you posted on the Army training.” e-mail from Rizzo & Associates



STEP 1: determine specific things employees need to
know and be able to do after using the paper-based
manual, video, CD-Rom, audio, Web-based training. Then,
the best methods for learning (games, role-play - yes,
in a self-study! - info gathering, reference).

STEP 2: select the organization staff who have the
information and forms Training Systems needs.

Step 3: get information from them, ask them questions
to clarify, and/or watch them do the job.

STEP 4: design & develop manual; write script, prep
people who’ll be in video, shoot & edit; design &
develop the CD-Rom or Web-based.

STEP 5: organization reviews & approves.

STEP 6: all materials produced for pilot, pilot runs &
needed changes are made.

STEP 7: final materials are produced and organization
rolls out to all employees = Knowledgeable Employees!


Use Training to Cope with Rampant Employee Turnover,
Advancing Technology, Downsizing & Competition
Here’s how our colleagues do it:
Gartner Group, Stamford CT - Clark Aldrich says to use
simulation based on content in a computer based format
(CD-Rom or Web).

Quisic, LA - Suzanne Biegel says to use the principles
behind experiential learning to create a series of
simulations where learners can interact with
characters, solve problems and face consequences. She
says, “...people will learn much better if they’re
enjoying the experience, that’s why we create engaging
characters and make the training as close to the real
world as possible - but just a little outside, so
learners aren’t confronted with the same barriers while

Dell Computer Corp, Round Rock TX - John Cone says,
“Learners must be in a position to make decisions about
what they need to know based on job requirements,
company expectations and skill assessments. If we think
we are in control we’re mistaken.”

Games2train.com, NY - Marc Prensky created a video game
for software training that puts the learner in the role
of an intergalactic space agent on a mission to save
the universe. The agent’s only tool is a mechanical
design software program he has to learn in order to
build the instruments he’ll need to complete the
adapted from Training Magazine, November, 2000

#CourseBuilder design/development software
follows the same principle as “Creating
Highly Interactive Training Quickly &
Effectively”...Accelerated Learning! See all the
components at
(10% off by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)
#Digital Game-Based Learning by Marc Prensky,
McGraw-Hill, http://www.books.mcgraw-hill.com
#Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly &
Effectively, by Carolyn B. Thompson, available at
http://store.fastcommerce.com/trainingsys (10% off
by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)
#Toon Ups - animated desktop tips on sales &
customer service tips, available at

Get more tips on helping great employees learn at http://www.trainingsys.com, click TRAIN TIPS.

NEW FEATURE AT OUR WEBSITE! In addition to Train Tips,
you can now get new ideas for learning methods you can
use right away. Click TRAIN TIPS, then LEARNING

She’s back! Paula Feeney, our expert in manufacturing
and Keppner Tregoe troubleshooting process.

Welcome to:
* Karen Price - a topnotch training designer
* Roz Trieber - the funniest training facilitator we
* Chad Ritchey - his imitations of famous people really
cement the learning


It’s Been a Tough Year - You Can Still Brighten Things
Up By Spreading Joy

1. Smile - at strangers in the street, at the person
next to you on the train, at the person behind the
checkout counter.

2. Buy ten copies of your favorite book and pass it on
to your colleagues.

3. When you’re driving, let someone pull out of a
parking lot or side street in front of you when it’s
not their turn.

4. At a meeting or networking event, find someone who
looks shy or uncertain and start a conversation.

5. If you find yourself thinking unkind thoughts about
someone, try wishing them joy instead.

6. When you’re sitting in a crowded bus or train, move
over to make room for another rider before they ask.

7. Bake cookies and drop them off at your local
firehouse and police precinct.

8. Offer to take along an elderly neighbor, who no
longer drives, the next time you go to the store.

9. Invite someone who doesn’t have a family, or whose
family is far away, to a holiday meal.

10. When you’re shoveling snow, do a neighbor’s
sidewalk too.

11. Leave a bottle of your favorite scented hand lotion
in the restroom at work for everyone to use.

12. Meditate on how you can contribute to world peace -
and do it. (“Pay It Forward” - watch the movie)

13. Bring flowers to work and pass them out to

14. On a cold day, bring a cup of good hot coffee for
your favorite newspaper vendor or school crossing

15. Keep your voice at a low volume that won’t carry
through walls when you make phone calls at work.

16. Leave surprise coupons for an ice cream cone on a
work neighbor’s desk after the completion of a tough

17. Coordinate monthly Lunch ‘n Learns.

18. Say congratulations when someone celebrates a
significant life event, such as getting engaged or
buying a new home.

19. Always ask at the start of a phone call or before
you enter an office, “Is this a convenient time to
talk?” It may not be.

20. Alert others when you need some uninterrupted time
by taping a PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB sign on the back of
your chair.

21. Keep a bowl of candy on your desk.

22. If you pass the copier or office fax and see papers
with a work neighbor’s name on them, deliver them.

23. Clear off your table after eating in the employee

24. Make http://www.hungersite.com your homepage. Every
time you go on the web you’ll see a little map of the
world where people need food. Click a button and you’ll
see advertisers who donate food staples. Click and the
advertiser donates. All this charitable action costs
you only a few keystrokes.

25. Get together with a group of people and come up
with ten more ways to spread joy; just thinking about
it together will be a surefire joyous occasion.

#”Live Life Laughing”, by Rosalind Trieber,
#”Motivation in a Jar” (each jar is packed with
300-400 ideas, each on a separate pieces of paper,
including Gratitude, Attitude, Prosperity
#”Making Humor Work” by Terry Paulson,
all 3 are available at
http://store.fastcommerce.com/trainingsys (10% off
by typing “RIR” in Special Instructions)

Get more tips on retaining great employees by clicking http://www.trainingsys.com and clicking RETAIN TIPS.


Put the TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. site on your Windows
taskbar! Right click blank area of taskbar, select
Toolbars/New Toolbar, in new Toolbar box, enter http://www.trainingsys.com.

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The Holiday Season
*Provide MADD ribbons to your office
*Record a phone message about safe and sober driving
during the holiday season.
*Set up a MADD ribbon distribution box in your office.
*Display drunk driving statistics in your office.
*Pass out MADD ribbons as people leave any meeting to
drive home.
To get the ribbons, call 1-800-Get-MADD or visit their web
site at http://www.madd.org

January 20-22, 2002
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Conference,
Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, http://www.mpiweb.org

January 29-30, 2002
HR Measurement 2002 Conference, Orlando, FL, http://www.iqpc.com/HR2002/TAN

February 1, 2002
Recruitment & Retention Consultants, a division of
Some ideas:
*Treat your employees as well as you treat your customers.
*Make new employees feel welcome and comfortable by
implementing new employee orientation so they can do their
job successfully.
*Start an awards program, like “Most Creative Use of
*Learn something about your employees, remember it and
mention it later in a conversation.
*Make sure your staff are properly trained for their jobs.
More tips available at http://www.trainingsys.com

February 1-4, 2002
Association of Applied Therapeutic Humor, Baltimore, http://www.AATH.org

February 18-20, 2002
Training 2002 Conference & Expo, Georgia World Congress
Center, Atlanta, GA, http://www.vnulearning.com


Copyright 2001 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights


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**We’ll be back next month with more great tips, ideas,
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inspire, train, & retain great employees!

**Visit us at http://www.trainingsys.com soon!

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