Category Archives for Uncategorized

6 Ingenious Uses for Your Old Training DVDs

6 IngeniousDVD_BillboardThe days of training your employees with DVDs are long gone, which means you’ve likely got a collection of them saved up from over the years. As you switch over to online access and e-learning, bring new life to your training DVDs with these repurposing projects!

1. Smash Them to Make a DIY Mosaics

Consider breaking up those training DVDs and create something beautiful — like a mosaic bird bath, table top or picture frame. If you’re feeling retro, glue DVD fragments to a large Styrofoam sphere for a do-it-yourself disco ball. Either way, you’ll get more use from your new piece of art while still accessing all your employee communications online.

2. Create a Unique Office Art Installation

If you’ve developed an attachment to your training DVDs and want to leave them whole, consider creating a large-scale art installation in your office that pays homage to the technology that’s brought you this far. Impress your team with your cultural appreciation and artistic awareness, and say you were inspired by this artist who takes other irrelevant media, like VHS and cassette tapes, and turns them into something more beautiful.

3. Make Crafty Coasters

Coat your old DVDs in fabric or decorative paper and top that with a thin layer of waterproof sealant for a customized coaster. They’ll stick up to scratches, dents and dings better than they ever did as DVDs. Then enjoy sipping on a cocktail by the pool as you reminisce with friends, swapping stories about the good ol’ days when DVDs were the best way to connect with employees.

4. Recycle Them

A company called GreenDisk will take care of all your “obsolete accessories” with full-service “technotrash disposal.” You can even rent a box from them for your office so your whole team can get rid of their own outdated disks, drives and non-digital remnants. They’ve been irrelevant for a while — give your training DVDs one last time to set a trend, they’ve had a good run.

Some specialized recycling companies can even grind and repurpose used DVDs into plastics for automotive parts and office equipment, so your training DVDs might end up back in your office, but in the form of something you’ll actually use.

5. Make a Chandelier

Create a show-stopping ceiling light by stringing anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred of your old training DVDs together and affixing them to a circular metal ring with fishing line. Run a simple light kit into the center and hang your art piece from the ceiling. Your new chandelier will reflect both the light in the room and how far technology has come since you last used your training DVDs.

6. Relieve Some Stress

You’ve got a lot of pent up frustration from your training DVDs; they’ve been difficult to access since you bought them a decade or two ago, they’re not always available and you’re fed up. Show them you’ve had enough by smashing them with heavy objects or throwing them off tall buildings (and picking up and properly disposing of the remains, of course — see #5).

Whatever you decide to do with your old training DVDs, it’s time to toss them and access your training tools online, anywhere you want, anytime you need, 24/7/365. ProofBox provides videos, websites and eLearning in one simple package, available instantly to you and your employees in your go-to e-library. It’s the most powerful, practical and engaging way to train your employees and improve employee communication. Plus, you won’t have to buy any more external DVD drives as they phase out.

How to Perfect Your New-Hire Onboarding Process


Having a plan for a new hire’s first day helps ease new employee jitters while helping him successfully integrate into the company culture. Because worker emotions run high during the first few days at a new job, this time is crucial for employee retention and relationship building. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that up to four percent of workers decide to leave the company after a disastrous first day. To make sure you don’t lose a carefully chosen new member of your team due to lack of planning, follow the steps below.

Prep Before A New Employee Arrives

Don’t wait until an employee’s first day to get all of the essentials in place. Make sure your HR department has all of the paperwork and orientation videos in place to communicate the company’s mission, employee benefits and essential training information. Talk to your company’s IT department to make sure that a computer, phone and workstation are ready to use on the first day. If your company employs security, contact them to ensure the new employee can easily gain entrance to the building.

Introduce Your Employee the Right Way

Before the employee starts, email your team an introductory email that includes the new hire’s picture, recent resume highlights, contact information and a description of his or her role within the company. Finally, when you introduce the new hire to employees face-to-face, briefly explain the new worker’s strengths and what that person will be doing.

Enlist a Mentor or Buddy to Help New Workers

Depending on your company culture and the new employee’s position, locate a mentor or peer to ease that person’s first few days at work and provide a shadowing opportunity if necessary. Make sure that the person chosen knows exactly what procedures to demonstrate, advice to give and other essentials to cover.

Make Time to Discuss Initial Goals

Rather than stuffing the employee’s first day full of paperwork, set aside some time to discuss professional goals for the upcoming weeks. Give your new employees some projects that s/he can immediately begin, but also discuss big-picture goals to help your newest team member understand how they fit within the company. Cover preferred communication methods and set performance expectations early. Plan to revisit this conversation in a few days to chart the employee’s progress, and answer any questions the employee may have formed after reading through HR paperwork and working with his or her colleagues.

For more information on how to successfully onboard employees to boost retention rates and productivity, visit Projections for a free report and orientation checklist.




Management Tips for a New Employee’s First Day

4 Tips for an Employee Orientation that will Keep Your Company Union-Free

new employee orientationIf you are a business owner interested in keeping your company union-free, you should begin every new hire’s employment with a consistent employee orientation. New employee orientations can be a meaningful, educational and effective approach to ensuring staff are well-informed and productive from Day One. Plus, the right message, delivered during new employee orientation can help your company remain union-free.

Distribute Company Materials

Begin by distributing handbooks or other company materials that outline the operating philosophy for your company, but don’t expect new hires to absorb it all. The handbook should include a union position statement, outlining the Company’s union-free operating philosophy. Explain the benefits of a workplace that is union-free, so your new employees understand the reasons behind it. Don’t expect new hires to immediately understand and embrace this way of thinking – it may be new to them! But help them understand how it serves every employee, and let them know that they can expect to grow from the way the Company operates. Providing new hires with a handbook allows them to go back and reference the information you’ve talked about later, and it ensures they receive a clear, concise explanation.

Employee Orientations

Emphasize an Open-Door Policy

Introduce your company’s open-door policy at your company orientation, and communicate with new employees that they can always come to management with any ideas, worries or concerns. Introducing the idea of an open-door policy at orientation ensures new hires are aware of the company’s caring, welcoming nature from the get-go; it also lets them know they have a resource available, should they have new ideas or feel they need support or guidance.

Encourage Individuality!

A key part of remaining union-free is ensuring every employee knows that their individual and unique talents are valued. To ensure your employees stay happy, talk to them during their orientation about expressing their individuality and maintaining their own voice. They should enter into their new position with the understanding their opinions and beliefs are valued and heard. Staff should also know each individual person is an important member of the business, and understand that third party intervention is unnecessary when everyone feels valued.

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Communicate Clearly

From the first day on the job, employees should have a good idea of your company’s culture and values. Communicate these clearly to your new employees, and speak in a way that reflects the day-to-day tone and vibe of your company. Getting everyone on the same page ensures employees will be satisfied with the work conditions and environment, and it will avoid surprises as new issues crop up along the way.

Communicating your union-free philosophy in a respectful and straight-forward manner can begin on day one of employment, with a consistent (and affordable) video message. Make sure your message is relatable, with a messenger that employees can identify with. Have a mostly Spanish-speaking workforce? Delivering your union-free philosophy in their first language sends a message that you value your employees’ unique contribution to the company. Consider creating a customized orientation video, which can be even more powerful, and will help you build your union proof culture for years to come.

How to Downsize Your Workforce – Without Destroying Staff Morale

Downsize Without Losing MoraleDownsizing is a negative, stressful and potentially disastrous process that may result in long-term damage to your business. Unfortunately, a business may have to downsize in order to survive and remain viable. Organizations will consider downsizing as an option when two big companies merge, the economy slows down or due to negative market or low sales growth. Besides cost to the business’s own bottom line, downsizing has a negative impact on the employees that are retrenched, as well as the employees that remain. However, by focusing on the employees that are still with you, through careful planning, clear and concise communication and a lot of empathy, downsizing can be managed effectively without leaving your team lacking motivation.


The communication structures that are put in place during downsizing play a vital role in the success or failure of the process. Custom-created video messages, websites, individual letters and notice boards are effective tools that can be used to communicate with the workforce.

Engage with Employees

The downsizing process can negatively impact the trust in and loyalty towards a company, so it is crucial that a company engage with employees during this time. When engaging with employees, a company can explain the decision, the process that will be followed and alternative options.

Investigate Alternative Options

Employers are responsible for the well being of their employees, and it is therefore important to investigate any alternative options that may impact on the downsizing process. Flex time, short term contracts, reduction in salary, limited benefits and the outsourcing of non-core functions can reduce the number of employees that will lose their jobs.

Share the Operational Vision

It is only natural that the employees that remain with the company will be concerned about job security. Sharing the operational vision of the company with employees will allow them to understand where the company is heading. In addition, employees can then commit themselves to the tasks that are required in order for the company to survive and grow.

Provide Assistance

The employees that remain will look closely at how the company deals with the employees that are retrenched. If the company offers the affected staff assistance with finding new jobs, or retrenchment packages that exceed the minimum requirements, it will positively impact the morale of the remaining staff.

Staff morale is a vital component of a successful business, and the morale of employees requires special attention when a company downsizes. Effective communication that is clear, concise and addresses all of the concerns that employees may have is crucial to the success of the process. Indeed, companies that show openness throughout this process find that they retain loyalty and trust, and that employees are more supportive of the transition.

Projections, Inc. has been in the business of helping employers communicate in times of crisis and transition since 1979. Take advantage of our knowledge and create a powerful custom video or employee-focused website. Want to see examples or a case study? Just let us know!


Top 5 Ways to Hire Great Employees for Retail

A lot of time, effort and expense goes into training employees, so it only makes sense to put together a strong, dedicated team that helps improve sales and the business overall. You can hire employees like this by following a few simple steps.

1. The Application Process

Tailor your job posting to be more than just a generic recruitment ad. Get the message across about your company culture, and perhaps even provide a link to a pre-hire orientation video.

Don’t just pick any applicant who appears to have sufficient retail experience. Experience doesn’t necessarily mean that the applicant is a capable and professional worker.

Look for applicants who appear to be motivated and outgoing — two big pluses in the retail market. A motivated employee is one who is more likely to engage customers and make sales.

2. The Interview Process

The interview is your first opportunity to gauge how the applicant might perform in a retail setting before you make the decision to hire them, so be aware of not only how they answer questions but also how they appear and sound when doing so. Present them with situations that may arise in a retail setting and ask them how they would handle it.

This is also your opportunity to tell applicants more about your company and explain your company philosophy, so that you can better discern who would really be motivated to work for you.

Employee Orientation

3. Training Your Employees

Even if those you have hired have previous retail experience, chances are there are ways in which you expect them to act and perform in your own establishment. This is another area in which pre-hire and post-hire videos come in handy. Welcoming new employees to a small lunch with other members of the team can also break the ice, as well as show them that you value them as a part of the team.

4. Showing Appreciation

Employees who don’t feel appreciated not only become unmotivated, they eventually leave, too. Show appreciation through recognition of good workmanship and incentives. Consider online training to give your managers and supervisors better leadership skills, if you feel it might help you improve manager-employee relations.

5. Provide Reviews

Providing regular feedback and performance reviews gives you the chance to tell employees how they are doing. It is also a great opportunity to give additional praise for any instances in which they excelled, and to offer encouragement and advice.

While the above process isn’t necessarily a foolproof plan for building a great retail team, it certainly improves the odds of hiring and retaining excellent employees. You can also improve your current team’s motivation and morale by re-applying steps 4 and 5.

Ready for a great pre-hire and new hire orientation presentation? Contact Projections to see great samples and inspiring ways to get started.