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Employee motivation without breaking the budget

It’s the second week of our first Bingo Game and the response was AMAZING! Very exciting!

We apologize to anyone who had difficulty getting on our website last week. Our hosting site conducted an upgrade, which caused some technical problems.

We have had so many great comments from people about employee motivation! Here is a small list of ideas that people have suggested to motivate your employees without causing a budget crisis.

  • Encourage comments from external and internal customers. Post this praise for everyone to read and address problems immediately.
  • Remind staff how their work matters to customers and encourage positive interactions.
  • Call an employee into your office just to say thank you without discussing any other issue.
  • Write a thank you card or e-mail.
  • Post a bulletin board for employees to share news, hobbies, and recognition.
  • Reserve the best parking spot for an employee-of-the-month. Let staff decide how the spot is earned.
  • Add a note to an employee’s paycheck highlighting something great he/she did that week.
  • Join in and work with an employee who is under pressure. Ask how you can help and work side-by-side with them to complete the task.
  • Create a change of pace by giving employees a chance to work on exciting projects or learn new skills.
  • Help build skills with a training library filled with books, tapes, DVD’s and other resources that employees can check out.
  • Delegate worthy projects, not just menial tasks, to increase trust and pride with everyone
  • Create light-hearted awards that recognize something unique about each person such as, "Best Screen-Saver," or "Best Joke Teller," and present the awards at a staff meeting or lunch.
  • Ask an employee who is proficient in a certain area to train others or make a presentation at a staff meeting.

If you have any ideas about how to have more fun at work or how to motivate employees, please let us know! If you use any of these ideas, we would love to hear how they worked out. Have a great week and be sure to have fun!

This week’s Bingo Number: G53

Posted under What’s New, Training Ideas by Stewart on Feb 11, 2009 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

Bingo Game for Enterprise Media Customers and other FUN stuff

It’s the New Year and despite the outlook on the economy, we are determined to still have some FUN!

If you haven’t received an email from us about this, please let us know. Anybody can play our Bingo game and no purchase is necessary. Just let us know that you would like to participate and we’ll send you a Bingo card. Then, check out our blog on a weekly basis to obtain that week’s Bingo number. Keep track of your numbers and if you hit BINGO, you will receive a FREE Enterprise Media Training DVD!

Even if you don’t win BINGO, you still win. You can use your card to qualify for a discount of $50.00 off the purchase of any Enterprise Media Training DVD during or after the Bingo game.

So that is our FUN way of saving money and interacting with our customers. What are yours? We are looking for your ideas on how to have fun in the office, the sales floor, and with your customers. We will post up the best ideas on our blog as we receive them. If you see your idea posted, then you will receive FREE overnight shipping on your next order!

See! This is FUN! Please email us at, call us at 1-800-423-6021 or fax us at 617-354-1637 to get your Bingo card, share your ideas or just check-in.

This weeks BINGO number is: 42

Posted under What’s New by Stewart on Feb 05, 2009 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

Talent: The Key to Rebuilding Ford's Brand? Tom Peters might agree.

As many of you know, Tom Peters speaks constantly about finding, cultivating and keeping talented people. Tom defines Talent pretty broadly. He says you shouldn’t always assume that a 4.0 grade point average is the answer. You should find people who think creatively, work well with others, and are innovative. This process works for the best baseball teams and symphony orchestras, so why shouldn’t it work for your organization?

To prove his point, Tom often uses former GE CEO Jack Welch as an example. Welch oversaw huge growth and success during his tenure at GE. Welch was a talent fanatic, and his obsession paid off in spades!

I thought about Tom’s ideas, as I was reading an article in Business Week about Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company’s new Marketing Czar. Farley, a veteran from Toyota, is trying to revive the Ford brand ("brand power" is another of Tom Peters’ favorite topics).

One of Farley’s comments struck me (and I thought it could easily have come from Tom Peters mouth). The article was talking about pulling together a team of top people. The team could come from anywhere and have a variety of skills: Here is the paragraph:

In early December, Farley sat down with Toby Barlow and George Rogers, respectively executive creative director and CEO of Team Detroit, the WPP agency that handles Ford’s ad business. Farley got right to the point. "Do you guys play Fantasy Baseball?" he asked. Both men had heard of the virtual leagues put together by baseball fanatics, but neither belonged to one. Farley said he wanted Team Detroit to put together a kind of fantasy league, scouring the planet for the most forward-thinking and creative talent. Farley didn’t care where the people came from. They could come from WPP, PR firms, universities, or digital agencies. They could be freelancers. They could be from Detroit or Dubai. "Team Detroit should be like a general manager of a baseball team," he says. "I’m looking to them to find me the best players for every game."

Reviving Ford’s brand will be a huge challenge and who knows if Farley can achieve his goal. But if you ask me (or Tom Peters), he is certainly going about it in the right way. The idea is simple: good people can find answers and help keep your organization ahead of the pack.

You can read the entire article in Business Week by clicking here.

Posted under Talent, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Tom Peters by Stewart on Jul 31, 2008 | Comments: 1 | Post a comment»

A cost analysis of your training expense...errr...rather a "non numbers" discussion of how much you're spending and for what benefit?

As customers tell me all the time, training is expensive. Of course, everything is expensive these days and costs are continuing to rise! So that raises the question, can you afford to train your employees? I think the better question is this; can you afford NOT to train them?

I was sitting here at my desk in true accountant style, just having heard a customer tell me for what feels like the hundredth time this week "It’s simply not in budget for us this year". I blink in silence after I hang up. Why? Because I’m remembering the awful customer service I received from a retailer the last time I purchased a $1,200 mattress set. I won’t ever go there again. That just cost them another $1,200 sale. The average cost of a training video on customer service is $895. I put on my accountant hat and think - that seems worth it.

Putting that can you figure the average cost of training? The simple, easy, back of the envelope way is to take the cost of the training and divide that by the number of employees you are training. If a training video costs $895 and you are training 30 employees, then your cost of training per employee is $29.84. Let’s say $30 to keep it simple. Now - is that worth it? What is your average sale? If you are training employees in a grocery store - it’s certainly worth it where the average sale is more than $30.00. So...if your average sale/contract/transaction/what-have-you revenue stream comes in higher than that per person cost - you’re a winner! It makes sense! Run it by your controller or CFO - they’ll agree. If that ONE employee who sat in on the training session then walked out and completed a new sale/contract/transaction/what-have-you - you have just recouped the cost of training. You can’t afford NOT to.

Let’s get away from retail/sales/customer service though. The average cost of hiring and training a new employee to replace the one who just can’t seem to get along with the rest of the team or has poor communication skills can be in the thousands of dollars. How about the employee who was woefully unaware of how poorly his email joke would go over and your company now has a lawsuit? We all know how expensive a sexual harassment lawsuit can be.

Using videos in your training turns out to make sense. It helps your team deliver important messages in a fun and engaging manner. It can also help to inspire and motivate while you’re teaching. Simply put, video training is a very economical choice.

Posted under Corporate, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Training Ideas by Stewart on Jul 22, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

What's Hot and What's Not?

I have noticed a lot of articles in magazines outlining what is "hot" and what’s "not hot." These articles can be on a variety of topics like fashion, automobiles, home furniture, or movies...

We have also found over the years that certain topics are hot in our industry while others become much less popular. So what is hot and what’s not hot in training videos and DVDs? Here is a list that we’ve pulled together. Most of the trends come from our own discussions with our customers, but we’ve also had some informal chats with other distributors as well.


Communication - we have seen a big increase in customers who are seeking communication training in all forms. They are particularly interested in programs that will help people work well together on teams.

Working with people from different generations - Generational conflicts must be on people’s minds. We have seen a real increase in the past few years in training tools to help employees from different generations work better together.

Customer Service - This topic is a perennial HOT area. Many of our customers regularly train on customer service and they are always looking for new customer service training programs. Fortunately, there are a number of terrific programs in this area.

Motivation - I think motivation has picked up recently because of the challenging economic situation. Our customers are always looking for ways to inspire and motivate their associates.

Change - Recently we’ve seen this topic shoot up in interest. Our training customers need tools to help employees understand the changes that are happening. They also need tools to help every employee navigate these changes.


Quality - About a decade ago, quality training was very hot. We have seen interest in quality drop way down over the years.

Innovation - We used to get a lot of requests for programs focusing on creativity and innovation. Our customer’s interest in this training area has also fallen off in the past few years.

Sexual Harassment - When the State of California mandated Sexual Harassment training for every employee, this topic was very HOT. Recently however, customer interest in this topic has also diminished... That is until sexual harassment cases make the evening news again.

Posted under Lists, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Training Ideas by Stewart on May 22, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment» X

Fresh, delicious, crisp...

Yes, we do still include a popcorn package with each DVD purchase. It’s our way of saying "thank you" for being our customer!