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Why is Grace leaving? (Review).

* Keeping the Good Ones, video, 2001, 25 min., Media Partners Corp. (800-408-5657, www.mpcfilms.com), $695. Other material: leader guide, participant workbook, pocket cards.

Despite economic ups and downs, retaining your best people remains critical to corporate success. Considering the long-term labor shortages driven by demographics, every manager should give serious attention to the issue.

The video Keeping the Good Ones is built around a low-key but engaging story. The owner of a small hotel loses his star employee, the assistant manager, right before the hotel is to host its first convention. The boss cannot believe that Grace is leaving. He finds out he's the only one who's surprised. Although he's basically a decent guy, the owner is like a lot of bosses: he's too busy with tasks to pay much attention to people.

Grace gives the boss a few lessons, starting with recognizing people, not just employees. Meanwhile, with Grace leaving, the boss learns some lessons himself through awkward and sometimes painful trial and error.

The lessons the boss requires concern the reasons high-performing employees leave a job and what a leader or manager can do to prevent flight. The answer would be described by the hardheaded as "touchy feely." That just means the hardheaded have turnover problems! You need to offer

yourself as a person

your time

your genuine appreciation

The video recommends practices such as the "Take 10 Check-in' (a trademarked name!). The participant workbook provides a long list of topics you can use for check-ins. Advice like this can come off as mechanical and insincere, but everything depends on how the advice is followed.

The actors carry this show with convincing, sympathetic characters. Some of the characters flirt with stereotypes like the twenty-something hiphop dude with fuzzy dice hanging from his rearview mirror; yet the actor fills out the role with qualities that blur the stereotype. The actor who plays Grace (no credits are given in the show so I don't know her name) does especially good work in bringing her role to life.

Visually, this video "reads" as a high-quality short feature, which is just what training videos need to be these days. Images are crisp, colors are rich, and the sets are realistic. The lighting is outstanding.

The program weaves together the story and instruction better than most training videos I've watched. The instruction comes out of the mouths of the story actors. In some videos, when characters have these didactic moments, the transition is about as graceful as an elephant walking through a vegetable garden. In this show, what the characters know or learn comes across naturally and credibly - thanks to a good script and a skilled director and the actors.

The leader guide is brief yet contains everything a leader guide should have to support the facilitator. The participant workbook is fat at 94 pages, not counting forms, and is produced like a real paperback, not a faintly printed staple bound set of sheets. It may have too much material. For example, some of the objective tests seem of dubious value.

Recommendation

Employee retention as a training topic may fluctuate with short-term economic shifts. It shouldn't. Keeping the good ones is a critical success factor, and it isn't heavily dependent on financial factors. Keeping the Good Ones is an excellent training package. It makes the watchable moment a teachable moment by training through an enjoyable story.

Bill Ellet is editor of Training Media Review.
Keeping the Good Ones product rating


Holds viewer interest ****
Acting/Presenting ****
Diversity *** 1/2
Production quality ****
Value of content ****
Instructional value ****
Value for the money ****
Overall rating ****


Outstanding ****

RELATED ARTICLE

Very good ***1/2

Good ***

Above average **1/2

Average **

Below Average *1/2

Poor *

NA Not applicable

NR Not rated (usually not enough information)
COPYRIGHT 2002 TMR Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Ellet, Bill
Publication:Training Media Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:627
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