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Gens X, Y, Z?, V? and C?

A few weeks ago I came across an online discussion about motivation and communication between "The Boomers" and "Generations X and Y" and the significance of it.

I became intrigued. I am a Gen Xer myself and have integrated nicely with other Xers, Boomers, Yer’s, etc. I have read a lot of source material on generational differences and how it effects communication between different age groups. We all have access to the human resource trainers, sociologists’, psychologists’, and management guru’s reports and studies on this phenomenon. But I remained curious so I went out in search of "more."

I found that there is yet another Generation - Generation V (virtual) that exists only in virtual worlds such as "Second Life" and "World Of Warcraft". This generation may change how we market some of our products and services - for them, we’ll be marketing to people’s avatars instead of their emails. There is also a brand new generation - Generation C, which is still under debate but essentially is a generation comprised of the people who are "creating, producing and participating in news in a connected, informed society."

The interesting observation is that Gen V and Gen C are not based on when a person was born, but rather on their online habits. So, are they really considered new "generations?" Also, are the overall generational assumptions valid? Are Xers’s impatient? Do Gen Y’s always have an IPod in their ears at all times?

I went out in search of this information - and what I found was two fold: 1. There is very little input from real people into this subject matter and 2.What does exist is hard to find.

So I have pulled together a quick list of real people’s blogs, postings, etc. on the Gen X, Y, Z. I have also added another one that is not a real person’s blog, but rather a link to the two - hour special that was on PBS called "Millennials."

What are your thoughts? Is all this generational gap stuff true? Or are we trying to make communication easier by putting people into categories? And will these generational categorizations really help us all understand and communicate better?

Technology Demands and Generation Y - from a working Computer World Gen X Manager:

Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association Office:

HRM Today’s Blog:

Generational gap blog (the entire blog is dedicated to real people and the generational gaps):

A blog from a Generation Xer:

Generation Xer’s blog and his take from the real estate market:

As seen on 60 minutes: millennials

Additional article:

Additional article, very good summary information on the generations

BINGO number: B9

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

Employee motivation idea!

Here is a great, FREE, employee motivation idea that was posted on LinkedIn

"Create a simple online program where employees can award other employees "stars". You can create a simple form for this using google docs.Whenever an employee "catches" another employee doing something they can award a "star" by filling out the online form.

Employees have a limited number of stars they can award per year, but can award more then one star at a time if they feel that they should. As employees hit levels (50, 100, 200) provide appropriate rewards.It’s simple to do and allows everyone in the organization to get involved! "

If you have an employee motivation - please let us know!

Posted under What’s New, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Training Ideas by Stewart on Feb 27, 2009 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

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»

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!