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Providing “Customer Service” to Current and Potential Employees
Great Training for Great Employees
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QUESTION OF THE MONTH (QOTM)
are you doing for your staff to celebrate the December
We encourage you to use these
articles in your own communications with staff and
If this was forwarded to you, get your own copy
DECEMBER SPECIAL DAYS
Read A New Book Month
December 11-17 – Over-Tip Your Wait Staff Week
December 17-23 – Lipstick Week & Tell Someone They Are Doing A Good Job Week
December 5 – Blue Jeans Day & International Volunteers Day (I
volunteer to wear jeans!)
December 6 – International Bad Hair Day (shouldn’t it also be Good
December 7 – Hang A Wreath Day & Cotton Candy Day (try a wreath made
out of cotton
December 8 – Brownie Day (the dessert or the pre-Girl Scout?)
December 9 – Pastry Day
December 10 – Human Rights Day
December 11 – Radio Day
December 12 – Poinsettia Day
December 13 – Cocoa Day
December 14 – Deck The Halls Day
December 15 – Hanukkah & Lemon Cupcake Day
December 18 – Bake Cookies Day
December 19 – A Christmas Carol Day, Build A Snowman Day, & Chocolate Pizza
December 21 – Look At The Bright Side Day & Crossword Puzzle Day
December 22 – Christmas Tree Light Day & World Peace Day
December 23 – Popcorn Popping Day
December 24 – Eggnog Day
December 26 – Christmas
December 27 – Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, & Candy Cane Day
December 28 – Chocolate Day
December 29 – Bowling Day & Ice Skating Day
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 3 – Start Your New Year’s Resolution Day (they give you a day
off to recover and
reconsider), Drinking Straw Day, & Chocolate Covered Cherry Day
INC. for ideas on how to
celebrate any of these days.
Dear Interviewing Manager
|Dear Interviewing Manager:
I am your average job seeker, and I think you should know how
poorly I was treated during my recent scheduled interview with
your organization. Here are just a few of my observations.
I received incomplete information on
the phone when you scheduled the interview with me. Luckily, I
called back to find out how long the process would be. I had no
idea that your interview would require me to take an entire day
away from my work. (I had to take a day of vacation.)
You required me to bring a resume,
which I paid someone to prepare. Then you required me to
complete your entire application form. You made me wait nearly
45 minutes for my interview time, with no explanation or apology
for your tardiness.
You were rude and inconsiderate during
the interview. You never once asked if I needed a beverage, even
though you ate your lunch during our meeting. You also
interrupted our meeting by taking calls and visiting with
co-workers during our interview and never apologized for the
You seemed to be making up interview
questions on the spot, and you didn’t listen to my answers. You
were obviously distracted by the work on your desk. You also
asked questions that were not job-related. Why did you ask me
about my accent? How will it help your selection by asking me
what animal I’d most like to be?
The other managers who interviewed me
asked the same questions, which seems to me a waste of time, or
at least, a duplication of effort.
I received a "form" rejection letter
that had been poorly photocopied, with my name handwritten in
the blank. After giving a full day of my life (and vacation), I
I have been a customer in the past;
however, I will never purchase products or services from your
organization again. Further, I am also sharing my experience
with other professionals so they don’t waste their valuable time
exploring job opportunities with your organization. They deserve
better, and so did I.
Your average job seeker
Used with permission of our own Cathy Fyock
from Innovative Management Concepts, 11/04
If you think even 1 of the things in this letter happens in your
organization, call us right away for ideas on how to stop it. 800-469-3560,
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
A New Wellness Plan (NOT!)
"More companies are taking action against employees who smoke
off-duty, and, in an extreme trend that some call troubling,
some are now firing or banning the hiring of workers who light
up even on their own time. The outright bans raise new questions
about how far companies can go in regulating workers’ behavior
when they are off the clock..."
"Legal experts fear companies will try to control other aspects
of employees’ off-duty lifestyle, a trend that is already happening.
Some companies are firing, suspending, or charging higher insurance
premiums to workers who are overweight, have high cholesterol, or
participate in risky activities." — from USA TODAY, May 11, 2005.
Good morning. Welcome to United Glop Corp. We are delighted and, frankly,
astonished that so many of you passed our battery of pre-employment
screening tests. You certainly look like a fit and healthy bunch. See that
you stay that way.
This orientation session will explain UGC’s risk management strategy with
regard to employee behavior on and off the job. It would be safest for you
to think of it as zero-tolerance policy. ‘Safety first’ is our motto. Make
Subsidizing the cost of employee health insurance is, of course, a
significant corporate expense. The cost will only increase if our carrier
ever finds itself obligated to pay a claim. However unlikely that may be
under the terms of our coverage—and we do urge you to read the booklet
carefully—fiscal responsibility demands that we do everything in our power
to minimize the risk.
As some of you may know, cutting-edge thought in the business,
government, and nonprofit sectors has concluded that concepts such as
‘personal’ behavior, ‘private’ lifestyle choices, and the ‘freedom to treat
yourself poorly’ are repugnant and obsolete. So-called personal behavior has
a direct impact on health-care costs. Enlightened thinkers understand that
when ‘free’ but foolhardy choices run afoul of actuarial tables or other
health-related statistics, the statistics win. Don’t even think about
telling us to mind our own business. Your business is our business.
Now, down to brass tacks. Smoking, obesity, and
inappropriate cholesterol levels are, of course, forbidden. So
are caffeine, sugar, alcohol, red meat, junk
food in any form, and chimichangas. Your blood and urine will be
tested twice a month on random days, so think twice about that jelly donut.
You will be weighed weekly. See page 72 of the employee manual for
your mandated weight and body-mass index.
As for risky activities, the list of forbidden ones begins on page 127.
Video surveillance in your homes will ensure compliance with the rules
pertaining to such things as nonskid bath mats, standing on
kitchen chairs to replace light bulbs, and running with scissors.
If you own an extension ladder, get rid of it.
Note that failure to buckle your seat belt is not only cause for
immediate dismissal but a crime punishable by the laws of this state. For
our purposes, the seatbelt rule will become irrelevant in January, when
UGC’s next major behavioral initiative takes effect—the one forbidding
employees and their insured dependents to operate or ride in private
motor vehicles. We are aware that our new policy is controversial. But
do you have any idea how many people are injured in automobile accidents
each year, despite the seat belts? Do you know what it would cost to
transport you to a hospital by ambulance, even if only to have you
It’s true that public transportation in our area is not everything it
might be, but with a little ingenuity you’ll manage. Please note the
exclusion in your insurance coverage for injuries sustained in
public-transportation mishaps. Note also that our rule against bicycle
riding will remain in effect; up against an SUV, those dorky helmets are
Arguing with company regulations is forbidden. In fact, arguing with
anyone about anything is forbidden. Arguments induce stress. Most
forms of stress are unhealthy and therefore prohibited. See page 213 for
exceptions relating to ‘good’ stress. They all apply to performing your job
here at UGC.
Quiet desperation is forbidden. Our insurance provisions are actually
quite liberal with regard to antidepressant medications. You’ll want to
Adapted from Training
Answer these all correctly and win a prize!
1. Listen to the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.
2. Embellish the interior passageways.
3. Twelve o’clock on a clement night witnessed its arrival.
4. The Christmas preceding all others.
5. Small municipality in Judea south of Jerusalem.
6. Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite in distinguished males.
7. Nocturnal time span of unbroken quietness.
8. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute
9. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted, metallic,
10. In awe of the eventide characterized by religiosity.
Email all 10 correct answers with your name and address.
Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS
you see in
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!
Tom Gosche, Business Network
International said: "I have
in my Favorites because I love to play with the ‘Have Fun Learning’
pointer! I go there pretty often to take a break"
November QOTM: Complete the
sentence: I hope I never again have a client/customer/member who
(does this)______________________________. Instead I wish
they would (do this) ____________________________________.
Answer from Ruth, County Training Officer: I hope I never
again have a client/customer/member who falls asleep in class. I
wish they would just go home!
CISPI published "How
the Words You Use Influence How Others Learn" by
President, Carolyn B. Thompson, in their Nov/Dec 2006 issue.
for a copy.
Participants in IARF conference session, (Communicating With
Your Team So Every Interaction Is A Success):
■ “Wonderful session! I can’t wait to take this back to my office!!”
■ “It was great to get everyone to kind of open up. And come out of
■ “Great speaker, fun, interactive, positive.”
■ “Best speaker that I experienced at the conference, loved the
handouts-useful!! Time flew by!
Great break-out work.”
How to Get Their Attention Off Their Blackberrys
The recent emerging Technology Conference in San Diego—a lively gathering
of geeks and entrepreneurs building companies and tools for the Web—took
"The Attention Economy" as its theme. Naturally, several speakers emphasized
ways that companies could prosper in the scrum of technologies targeting our
minds, eyeballs and wallets. But one of the most interesting talks came from
a former Apple and Microsoft executive named Linda Stone. Her emphasis was
less economic than social. It was a plea to consider an epidemic she
identified as continuous partial attention (CPA).
She couldn't have picked a more perfect audience. During the
presentation, the faces of at least half the crowd were lit with the spooky
reflection of the laptops open before them. Those without computers would
periodically bow their heads to the palmtop shrine of the BlackBerry. Every
speaker was competing with the distractions of e-mail, instant messaging,
Web surfing, online bill paying, blogging and an Internet chat "back
channel" where conference attendees supplied snarky commentary on the
speakers. Stone nailed the behavior so precisely that some audience
members actually raised their faces and started listening intently.
Stone first noticed the syndrome a decade ago when she was creating a
product for Microsoft that let people interact in a "virtual world." She
found that her test users wanted to fade in and out while conducting other
activities. This turns out to be the way most of us work—and live—today.
With an open communications channel the e-mail keeps flowing, the instant
messages keep interrupting and the Web feeds keep coming. CPA stems from
our desire, Stone says, to be "a live node on the network."
If you keep your balance, such bifurcation can be useful. Last
week I visited the Google offices in New York City and saw that a lot of the
engineers there each had two large monitors, spread before them like
butterfly wings. On one side was the code they were crunching and on the
other were applications like e-mail, messaging and Web surfing. Sometimes, "Googlites"
use that pane to conduct persistent conversations with collaborators on the
But there's a problem in the workplace when the interruptions intrude on
tasks that require real concentration or quiet reflection. And there's an
even bigger problem when our bubble of connectedness stretches to ensnare us
no matter where we are. A live BlackBerry or even a switched-on mobile phone
is an admission that your commitment to your current activity is as fickle
as Renée Zellweger's wedding vows. Your world turns into a never-ending
cocktail party where you're always looking over your virtual shoulder for a
better conversation partner. The anxiety is contagious: anyone who winds up
talking to a person infected with CPA feels like he or she is accepting an
Oscar, and at any moment the music might stop the speech.
In her talk, Stone was careful to acknowledge the benefits of perpetual
contact. But her message is that the balance has tilted way too far toward
distraction, creating a sense of constant crisis. "We're not ever in a place
where we can make a commitment to anything," she explained to me when I
called her a few days later. "Constantly being accessible makes you
inaccessible." All so true. But during our conversation, some auditory
clues led me to ask her one more question. "Linda," I asked, "are you taking
this interview while driving your car?" She admitted that she was. But as
long as she didn't have to slam the brakes or dodge a pedestrian, I had her
continuous partial attention (CPA).
From Newsweek, 3/27/06
Unplug to Connect?
And here's what Yankelovich MONITOR
® says to restaurants:
Trend: Nearly half (49%) of
Today's Consumers say they often feel something is missing from their lives.
One reason could be that they are so busy multi-tasking that they don't
focus on any one experience. Technology may be the great enabler, i.e.,
videotaping/photographing events to the point of not experiencing them;
blogging and not really living; text messaging during meetings or dinners.
The strong majority (76%) of today's Consumers feel that we have become too
dependent on technology.
that make it easy for guests to power down, connect with each other, and
enjoy the moment may become welcome sanctuaries. Consider pushing technology—wireless
signals, beepers/pagers, electronic order pads, etc.,—back
behind the scenes. Think about a communal table or encouraging bartenders to
stimulate good conversation. Find ways to discourage cell phone/PDA
use—create zones to take or place calls or send messages; offer to field
guests' important calls via a special number. Make taking photos of special
occasions part of what you provide.
technology out of the guest experience isn't for every restaurant and is a
bit risky, given its availability elsewhere. You may need to find a polite
middle ground. Test the waters and see how guests react; some may not be
ready to kick the habit.
Prisoners of Technology, by Lisa J.
BYTE-ing Satire: A Lighthearted POKE in
Technology’s Eye, by Joel Klebanoff
or calling 800-469-3560. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)
Are You Ready for the Next Wave of
Margaret Driscoll, Market Development Manager, Workplace Learning
Product, IBM Lotus Software, says:" I spend numerous hours each month
speaking with training and human resource managers, attending professional
meetings, and monitoring industry literature. During all of these
activities, learners don't get the attention they need. Discussions tend to
focus on technology, return-on-investment, and strategic planning. When the
discussion turns to learners, it's usually in the form of an academic dialog
about creating personalized learning plans according to specific learning
style schemes such as Myers-Briggs typing or Gardner's emotional
The first challenge trainers must address is how to develop training
strategies to address a workforce that is more age, language, and life-style
diverse than ever before. The next wave of learners will challenge our
fundamental assumptions about how, where, when, and to whom we deliver
Shifting demographics causes many changes in workplace training. The U.S.
BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) forecasts a labor shortage by 2010.
Three trends, retiring baby boomers, a decline in births, and anticipated
business growth, will create this shortage. The BLS predicts that there will
be 10 million more jobs than workers who can fill them.
The labor shortage's impact on workplace training becomes even more
significant when seen in light of U.S. population trends. The U.S. Hispanic
population is expected to increase by 63% between 2000 and 2020 to 55
million. Additionally, the proportion of married-with-children households is
falling while the proportions of single-person and unrelated persons
households are rising. In addition, more workers will elect part-time
positions due to childcare needs and life style choices.
A second change to watch is how the Internet enables learning. The
Internet has breathed new life into self-directed learning. In a 2001 study
done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, adults and teens were
asked how they use the Internet. Do they use it to teach themselves new
things or to answer a specific question? The study found that 80% of all
Internet users use the Internet to answer a specific question. More
surprising, the study found that during a typical day, 16% of adult Internet
users go online to answer a question. With this in mind, training
organizations should consider leveraging learning strategies that take
advantage of informal, self-directed, and collaborative learning.
Lastly, globalization continues to increase, meaning that workers
that need training are located in offices from Palo Alto to the Philippines.
In 1975, there were about 7,000 multinational companies in the United
States. In 2002, there were approximately 40,000. In this type of economy,
speed and flexibility are competitive advantages, and training is critical
to fostering innovation and increasing productivity. Going forward, training
organizations must also address the demands of a global workforce and the
24/7 environment in which this group will operate.
From Learning & Training Innovations, 7/03
7 Demographic Trends Driving Employees
Communication: How to Engage Changing Global Workforce, by Matthew
Davis, Catherine Jordan & Julie Weissbach
Employee Training & Development,
by Raymond Andrew Noe
Order by emailing
or calling 800-469-3560. (10% off by mentioning “RIR”)
Retaining the Right Employees
Retaining the right employees in the right place is the secret of any
organisation's success. Usually the employees are loyal to their
organisations. But they become unhappy job-hoppers when they feel that they
are not valued and not given enough challenges and opportunities.
It is true that everyone is looking for better prospects and the present
organisation is often only a pole-vault to jump into better pastures. From
the CEO to the frontline executive staff, all are waiting for the right
opportunity to migrate. Employee turnover is costly and it makes the
organisation less efficient and productive. If we want to retain the top
performers we need to know why people leave. The reasons for leaving may be
For many young and bright employees of today money is not a concern.
They are looking for more than compensation packages and benefits. They
want challenges and job satisfaction. If you want to retain them, offer
them not money but challenges and risks. They thrive on challenges and
love risks. They look for job satisfaction and contentment in their
work. Job satisfaction comes out of their relationship with the
management; it’s the effect of good work environment and is the fruit of
their commitment to a vision.
Lack of Opportunities and
Lack of Management
SupportOne of the main reasons why people quit is the lack of support from
the top management. The top management itself is often not aware of what
is going on and not sure of what decisions to be taken. The victims of
their poor communication and management are always those at the bottom.
The only thing they communicate well is to tell the employees that they
are responsible for every failure. If you want your employees to be
loyal to you, support them when they need you. Be visibly present by
their side in their struggles and appreciate their victories.
Lack of Monetary AwardsFor many people today telling, "I don’t care about money but I need
challenges" is a fashion. Most of the employees are there with you
because of the rewards you give. When they feel that they are paid less
than what they deserve, when they feel that you are not faithful to your
promise to increase their package, when they feel that you don’t reward
hard work and commitment, it’s time for them to bid you goodbye. Better
compensation and benefits will always keep them by your side.
Lack of Career
Development PossibilitiesNo one likes to be in the same place for long. People long for new
experiences, changes, and growth. Once they know that their present
organisation doesn’t provide them opportunities for their career,
personal, and professional growth they feel suffocated in that rigid
system. In such a dissatisfied atmosphere they long for liberation and
when the right opportunity comes they pack up and leave you.
Lack of Visionary
ManagersThe supervisors are one main reason why many employees leave.
Supervisors and managers are often shortsighted and fail to place the
right employee in the right place. They make a highly talented person
become a failure and the employee alone is made accountable for the
losses. The management should consist of visionary people who are able
to assess the potentials and strengths of the employees and give them
the right opportunities and right challenges where they can excel. It
must create a positive work environment where people are rewarded and
recognized, where free and open communications exist and where people
feel excited and thrilled to work.
Lack of Friendly
AtmosphereOften our workplace is so boring with so many serious people around.
The workplace should be a home where people smile, relax, and enjoy
working. Every morning the person should long to come to work. A
friendly and homesy place is a must if you want to retain your staff.
The management is so much caught up in the web of profit and revenues
that it looks at people only as a means to higher profits and forgets to
look at them as persons. Listen to the employees, respect them, and make
work fun for them if you want them. Provide an employee-friendly
environment where they can participate in decisions making, execution,
Lack of FreedomIf the employee can’t express his ideas and thought freely in the
organisation, he won’t last there. We must create an atmosphere where
people feel free to contribute their ideas, criticize the existing
systems, and try out alternatives to make their work more productive and
satisfying. There should be freedom for him to use his talents and
skills. There should be freedom to make mistakes.
We need to invest in building up retention if we want our organisations
to be successful. We have recruited the best talents; now it’s our duty to
inspire and retain them for the health and success of our organisations.
From Joshy Thomas’ post to the Training Ideas listserv
Handle with CARE: Motivating and Retaining Employees, by
Retaining Your Employees: Using Respect, Recognition, and Rewards for
Positive Results (Crisp 50-Minute Book), by Barb Wingfield and
Emailing.(10% off by mentioning “RIR”)
January 11-14, 2007
International Alliance for Learning, Omni Hotel, Austin,
February 26-28, 2007
Training Magazine’s Training 2007 Conference & Expo, Disney's Coronado
Springs Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, FL,
March 12-15, 2007
Christian Management Association 2007 Conference, Palm Springs
Convention Center, Palm Springs, California,
March 12-14, 2007
Employment Law & Legislative Conference, Capital Hilton, Washington,
March 19-21, 2007
SHRM Global Forum® Conference & Exposition, Hyatt Regency Century
Plaza, Los Angeles, California,
June 24-27, 2007
59th Annual SHRM Conference & Exposition, LasVegas Convention Center,
Las Vegas, Nevada, http://www.shrm.org
July 29-31, 2007
World Future 2007: Fostering Hope and Vision for the 21st
Century, Hilton Minneapolis and Towers Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota,
Set a reminder to visit
daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms.
|Celeb Trend: Doling
Out the Dough
In Celebuland, everything is bigger: bigger sunglasses,
bigger houses, and, particularly notable at this time of year,
bigger donations to charity. Angelina Jolie reportedly gives
away a full one-third of her yearly earnings. Add Brad and
you've got the Jolie/Pitt Foundation, a charity juggernaut
that'll fork over another $2 million to Doctors Without Borders
and Global Action for Children. Other
can't-keep-it-in-their-wallets stars include Sandra Bullock, who
shelled out a cool million to the Red Cross not once, but twice:
after 9/11 and again for tsunami victims in 2005. And the most
charitable celeb of all, Bono, has likely lost count of what
he's donated (not to mention all the cash he's helped raise) to
stop AIDS and poverty in Africa. Are you ready to dig a little
deeper this season? Get in on Bono's act at
joinred.com, where you can
buy products from Motorola. Converse, Gap, and other companies
that benefit the Global Fund, a charity for African women and
children suffering from AIDS.
89% of U.S. households give to charity.
Global Volunteers (http://www.globalvolunteers.org)
by type of work project
by country and date
by service program conditions
Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people
through partnerships with law enforcement organizations,
PCs, cell phones, printers, CDs diskettes, etc., with GreenDisk. For
$29.95, they send a 70-pound-capacity box.When it’s full, you download
postage from their website and ship it back. Your “junk” then goes to
workshops for the disabled and are refurbished.
PCs to National Cristina Foundation,
PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their
websites for details.
other places to recycle old PCs:
local Electronics recyclers at
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