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  • 3 Ways to Be a Leader People WANT to Follow

    12/28/16 7:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    Does your team follow you because they want to – or because they have to?

    It’s an important question. Leaders who truly inspire others in the workplace create a positive cycle of success and high performance in which people:

    • exert higher levels of discretionary effort;
    • feel empowered to do their jobs to the best of their abilities;
    • are invested in organizational outcomes;
    • remain loyal, even when times are tough.

    But managers who lead using fear tactics, micromanagement or manipulation? Although they may “get the job done,” their organizations typically pay a high price in terms of turnover, productivity and engagement.

    Here’s how to be a leader your team chooses to follow:

    Give your team what they expect.

    This Forbes article outlines seven things employees expect from their leadership. Here are the top four:

    • Specificity. Be direct and explain what you want in plain language.
    • Empowerment. Give employees the tools and freedom to make decisions and learn from failures.
    • Vulnerability. Don’t pretend you have all the answers; ask for help when and where you need it.
    • Honesty. Tell the whole truth – even when it’s tough. Rose-colored glasses undermine your ability to lead effectively. When things get difficult, be willing to look at cold, hard truths (about yourself, your team, your products/services and your competition). Only by acknowledging reality can you begin to change it for the better.

    Improve your “executive presence.”

    Being perceived as a leader – someone who has the ability to command a room and project gravitas – is essential to success in an executive role. Become a leader people truly want to follow by displaying confidence in these three components of “executive presence“:

    • Communication style. Speak with passion and energy, using decisive and clear language.
    • Nonverbal cues. Stand tall and make appropriate eye contact when addressing your team. If you’re sitting, place your elbows on the table and lean slightly forward when speaking.
    • Appearance. Although less important, employees and peers still expect executives to dress appropriately for the role. Unkempt attire or provocative clothing undercuts executive presence.

    Take a page from LeBron’s book.

    In “The Leadership Secrets of LeBron James,” we shared four essential components of LeBron James’ success (which you can incorporate into your own approach to leadership):

    • He acknowledges his failures.
    • He continually pushes himself to achieve higher levels of performance – even though he’s at the top of his sport.
    • He sets realistic expectations, although he always aims high.
    • He brings out the best in his teammates, much as a smart business leader adapts his management style to match each employee’s personality.

    Need team players to help execute your vision?

    Exact Staff is here for you. With offices nationwide, and a full complement of staffing and placement services, we can connect you with high performers to strengthen your core team. Improve performance. And execute your vision in 2017.

    What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

Perform, Lead and Succeed: 10 Inspirational Quotes

12/21/16 3:06 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Think inspirational quotes are corny? Cliché? A complete waste of time?

Maybe you just aren’t reading the right ones.

An insightful quote can motivate you to perform better, lead more effectively, or renew your enthusiasm for whatever it is you do. And regardless of industry, role or experience level, we all need occasional reminders to recalibrate our thinking and handle tough situations more effectively.

The following quotes have helped inspire us here at Exact Staff, and we hope they’ll do the same for you:

 

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

–John F. Kennedy

 

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
–Colin Powell

 

“Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: ‘Busy doing what?’”
–Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

 

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”
–Bob Dylan

 

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
–Tim Notke

 

“If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values; they’re hobbies.”
–Jon Stewart

 

“Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.”
–Tryon Edwards, American theologian

 

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
–Confucius

 

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
–Robert Jordan, author

 

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
–Henry Ford

What quotes motivate or inspire you?

We’d love to know – please leave your comment below! And if you need supplement staff to support your busy team, Exact Staff is just a phone call away!

Become a More Successful Leader by Developing this Habit

12/14/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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You keep your offices, your operations and your company finances in great shape.

What about your own body?

Great leaders – people like Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Barack Obama – have rigorous fitness routines for a good reason: they understand how important exercise is to being an effective boss.

Research supports what these professionals already know:

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise improves mood, combats chronic disease, boosts energy level and promotes better sleep.
  • A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that workers with poor health habits display subpar work performance more often than other workers.
  • This research summary prepared by the Illinois Department of Public Health cites substantial evidence of a relationship between physical activity and improved cognitive and executive functioning, as well as executive control.

Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, learning and decision-making. And that’s just the start! Responsible exercise habits also deliver the following benefits that will support your success as a leader:

Travel Stamina

Have to fly across time zones, dash through train stations or attend marathon conferences as part of your role? Being in great shape minimizes the impact of travel-related stress.

Increased Networking Opportunities

In decades past, important business deals were often struck late-night over clinking rocks glasses. But boy, times have changed. Now, you’re just as (if not more) likely to find professionals conducting business and growing their networks at the gym or sporting events.

Improved Appearance

Yes, it’s unfair – but it’s a fact of life. Research reported in the Economist demonstrates just how much physical attributes impact people’s perceptions of leaders. On the whole, our population is biased to favor tall, fit leaders. You may not be able to change your height, but you can absolutely tip the scales in your favor (pun intended) by improving your fitness.

What do you need to achieve as a leader?

Exact Staff delivers exceptional talent and innovative strategies to meet your local or national requirements. Whether it’s a single temporary for a day or an entire project team, we provide a range of staffing and placement solutions to increase productivity and performance.

What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

Prevent Burnout by Flipping Your Thinking

12/7/16 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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“Check out.”

“Disconnect.”

“Unplug.”

When it comes to preventing job burnout, conventional wisdom advises you to find ways of distancing yourself from your work. But while a hardcore “no work after 5 p.m.” policy or a two-week vacation may sound amazing, they’re not practical for most managers.

What’s more, work demands aren’t the chief cause of burnout. According to research cited in this SmartBrief article, poor relationships (e.g., passive-aggressive, rude or bullying behaviors) are the real problem. And it makes sense. A lack of real connection with important people inside and outside your office can drain your emotional energy, undermine your effectiveness and lead to feelings of depersonalization.

The best way to protect yourself from burnout? Flip your thinking. When work is overwhelming you, don’t disconnect; strengthen these three connections to recharge your emotional energy levels:

Reconnect with Yourself

It may sound cliché, but taking time to take care of yourself increases your emotional and physical well-being – making you more resilient to all types of stress. So treat yourself like a client or customer, and schedule regular time to do the things that make you feel more like yourself – whether it’s exercising, tackling nagging to-dos, pampering yourself, meditating, reading or growing as a professional. The activity itself is not as important as how much it allows you to press your personal “reset button.”

Nurture Relationships with Coworkers and Customers

Forced to work with difficult clients? Managing disengaged employees? Out of touch with your customers’ needs? Maybe it’s time to wrap your metaphorical arms around them. Strengthen transactional or dysfunctional work relationships by:

  • Asking important questions, such as “What are the biggest problems you’re facing?”
  • Making relationship “deposits,” by finding little ways to add value or make others’ jobs easier.
  • Spending time on the front lines. If your job has distanced you from the people who matter most to your business, make time to reconnect with them directly.

Strengthen Connections Outside Work

Demanding work schedules and increased use of technology are fueling an epidemic of loneliness in our country. The best antidote? Facetime with friends and family. You’re disciplined and intentional about giving clients, vendors and customers the time and attention they need. To, ward-off burnout, invest the same level of effort into strengthening personal relationships.

Want to be a more effective manager? Connect with the right staffing partner.

The right staffing partner can enhance your efficacy by delivering exceptional people to support everyone on your busy team and prevent burnout. With a national presence, and a full complement of staffing and placement services, Exact Staff can design the ideal solution for your business.

 

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Maximize Your Happiness by Avoiding These Pitfalls

11/28/16 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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It’s “the most wonderful time of the year.”

So why aren’t you happier?

Sure, the rush of the season makes it harder to unwind and enjoy the here-and-now. But are external factors like holiday stress making you unhappy – or are you your own worst enemy?

Twin research has proven that about 50 percent of your happiness is genetically determined, and that “life circumstances” (e.g., money, marital status, appearance) account for just 10 percent. So what’s the remaining 40 percent of your happiness level due to?

You guessed it: YOU.

If you want to be happier, take charge with a two-pronged approach: actively develop habits that promote happiness, while avoiding these pitfalls that limit it:

Falling Victim to “Energy Vampires”

You may not be able to completely avoid people who are perpetually negative, resentful or hostile (especially if you’re forced to work with or manage them). You can, however, insulate yourself from their behavior – so they upset and drain you less:

  • Allow them to vent without taking their comments personally.
  • Resist the urge to react emotionally. Avoiding knee-jerk, defensive responses takes practice, but it is possible.
  • Listen with intent. Often, negative people simply need someone to empathize with them. Showing that you understand what they’re experiencing can quickly neutralize their toxic behavior.
  • Limit your contact. If the energy vampire is a teammate or employee, keep communications focused on work-related issues. If the individual is a friend or family member, try to associate in groups (and spend less time one-on-one).

Repressing Your Feelings

Continually holding in your feelings is like putting handcuffs on your happiness. While you certainly don’t want to erupt on impulse every time you’re upset (see above), you should find acceptable ways to express your emotions. Only by honoring your true feelings can you experience the catharsis they bring.

Trying to Buy Happiness

New cars. Expensive watches. Designer clothes. If you listen to media messages (especially during the holidays), you’d think that acquiring these things is the “magic bullet” to guarantee your happiness.

Buying stuff may produce a short-term “rush,” but it’s typically short-lived. And once that good feeling is gone, it’s replaced by disappointment – and a desire to buy more. A better option to maximize your contentment? Stop pursuing things, and start pursuing the relationships and experiences that will truly sustain your happiness.

Spending Too Much Time on Technology

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in 10 Americans suffers from some form of depression. One of the biggest contributors?  Too much screen time.

Technology can certainly make you feel more connected to the outside world – but if you’re habitually using it to distract yourself, or you focus too much on social comparisons, your smartphone could actually be making you miserable. Pay attention to how, when and why you use technology – and how happy or unhappy it really makes you.

Related Post: Prevent Negativity from Creeping Into Your Workplace

Want to make your organization a happier place to work?

Exact Staff’s experts can refer talented, experienced people with the personality traits and soft skills to help you build a more positive workplace. Get happier in 2017. Contact our national employment agency today.

Become a Better Boss by Doing These Unique Things

11/25/16 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Engaging in active listening? Check.

Following through on commitments? Check.

Leading by example? Check.

If you’re like most bosses, you’ve already mastered management fundamentals like these. But if you really want to grow as a leader in the year ahead, you need to set the bar just a bit higher.

Becoming a truly exceptional manager requires you to do things that most others don’t – unexpected behaviors that make a huge impact on motivation and performance. What are they? Below, Exact Staff shares a few unique habits that set great bosses head-and-shoulders above the rest:

Reframing

Problems, obstacles, challenges…whatever you call them, they can easily derail your company’s progress. A great boss knows how to bring a fresh perspective to issues, transforming problems into opportunities – and reshaping others’ mindsets and actions in the process.

Sharing Information

Exceptional managers are secure in their abilities and aren’t threatened by others’ expertise. As a result, they don’t hoard information; they share it freely! Sharing information allows great bosses to delegate effectively, empower team members and contribute to employees’ professional growth.

Respecting Others’ Time

Amazing bosses place as much value on subordinates’ time as they do on their own. They show up on time for meetings. They allot adequate time for employees to complete work. They get to the point quickly. In short, they engage in behaviors the make the most of everyone’s time – not just their own.

Persuading

“Command and control” management may produce short-term gains, but great managers have a knack for positively influencing others’ behavior with messages that motivate, reassure and (when necessary) redirect. Instead of merely wielding their authority to get the job done, they inspire action by communicating passionately and persuasively.

Making Failure Acceptable

Exceptional bosses create a “psychological safety zone” in which employees know they can try and fail – without being punished or fired. And when their employees do make mistakes, great managers use those missteps as opportunities to learn.

Showing Gratitude

In some managers’ minds, giving employees a paycheck is showing thanks enough for the work they do. Great managers, however, realize that staff members invest a huge part of themselves in their jobs – so they make a habit of thanking employees for their effort, perseverance and success.

Be a Better Boss in 2017

Exact Staff can rapidly deliver exceptional people to build your core team. Improve productivity. And seamlessly flex your workforce to match changing demands. Whether your needs are local, regional or national, our staffing and recruiting experts are ready to help you excel.

What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today!

Back to Basics: 3 Essential Leadership Questions to Consider

11/21/16 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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That hot leadership book you’re reading right now – you know, the one that promises to revolutionize the way you manage and inspire your team?

It probably has about as much staying power as Pokemon Go.

The simple truth is, sound leadership principles have remained pretty much the same for decades (some would argue centuries!). So instead of keeping up with those trendy management fads that “everyone else is trying,” you might be better served by going back to the basics. Below, Exact Staff shares three questions for reflection to remind yourself what great leadership has always been about:

Do I see myself as others do?

Does the way you view yourself align with how your direct reports, peers and superiors see you? If you want to be an effective leader, it must.

Take the time to get back in touch with who you are as a person. What makes you happy, frustrated, motivated? How would you describe your personality? You might even want to take a personality inventory for a more objective self-analysis.

Then, get feedback from others in your organization and compare their assessment with your own. If significant gaps exist, consider why that might be. Take steps to address areas of discrepancy, and you’ll become an even stronger leader.

Do my daily actions communicate what I value?

What inspires you? What are you truly passionate about? At the end of the day, what do you stand for? If you know the answers to these questions, you’ll know what drives your behavior as a leader.

Strong leaders’ values are communicated through their actions. Reflect on the things that are important to you – whether it’s collaboration, diversity, innovation, compassion or other values – and consider whether or not your behavior evidences them.

Who do I want to be as a person – and as a leader?

Leadership is a journey, not an event. So even if you have years of experience managing others, it’s in your best interest to periodically reflect on the kind of leader you want to become. Consider:

  • the qualities you want to exemplify as a leader;
  • areas for your professional development, to better align who you are (and how others perceive you) with who you want to be;
  • the legacy you will leave (i.e., how others will remember you);
  • and who can help you continue to strengthen your leadership skills.

There is always room to grow as a leader. Take the time to consider these “back to basics” questions, and you’ll discover ways to make lasting improvements in your abilities.

Want to be a better leader? Choose the right staffing partner.

Exact Staff’s national staffing and placement services can make you – and your entire organization – more productive, flexible and effective. Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

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How to Start Pivoting Your Organization

11/18/16 8:20 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : News | Leave a Comment
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It’s one thing to realize that your business needs to alter its course.

Figuring out exactly how to successfully change direction? Well, that’s something entirely different.

A few weeks ago, we shared three reasons you should consider pivoting your business:

  • Managing the increasing rate of change in our world
  • Creating new opportunities to drive revenue
  • Fueling innovation

But deciding that your business should fundamentally shift its strategy is just the start. Once you’ve committed to making a pivot, how do you begin changing direction? Below, our experts share three tips for starting to pivot your organization:

Make customers’ needs your beacon.

What are your customers’ biggest pain points? What will they require tomorrow? What wants can your organization fill that your competitors can’t? It’s your job to listen to, understand and even anticipate your customers’ needs. The reason is simple: if customers don’t want or require what you have to offer, your sales will fall flat (in fact, it’s the reason the vast majority of startups fail).

For your pivot to be successful, you must shift to align with your market. Perform your due diligence to ensure you head in a direction that provides opportunity for today – and tomorrow.

Communicate planned changes internally.

There’s no way around it; a pivot will definitely disrupt your business. To minimize the stress, extra work and turnover it can create, communicate everything to your employees.

  • Explain your reasons for the shift and the benefits you all stand to gain. Logically, people execute better when they understand what they’re doing and why it needs to be done.
  • Be honest about changes and expectations. Your team will respect your candor. And ask for their feedback! More open dialogue can increase trust and loyalty, creating a higher-performing group.
  • Work together to set short-term goals for the pivot. Along the way, provide lots of feedback, to keep employees on track and motivated. Celebrate milestones to maintain momentum.

Rollout new offerings to current customers first.

As you develop new products or services, be sure that your existing customer base knows why you’re making changes. Then, find a few early adopters who are willing to help you test out your new offerings and provide feedback.

By bringing customers into the development process, you can:

  • Test and tweak your product/service to make sure it’s on the mark;
  • Develop success stories, case studies, testimonials and other tangible/measurable results to offer potential new customers third-party validation.

Need to pivot your business? Exact Staff is prepared to help.

Whether you need to test new concepts, hire innovative thinkers or enhance your team’s flexibility, Exact Staff can provide talented people and intelligent staffing solutions to help you turn on a dime.

Call to discuss your plans – we’ll help you stay on course.

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Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Fear Pivoting Your Business

10/24/16 9:30 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Does the term “business pivot” strike fear in your heart – like a scary scene in a Halloween movie?

It’s understandable. Fundamentally shifting the strategy you use to achieve your company’s mission may require big changes – in thinking, operations, offerings or even personnel. But knowing when and how to change direction can be the difference between failure and tremendous success.

If you’re afraid to even consider pivoting your business, here are three reasons to get over it:

The rate of change in business continues to increase.

The ways in which we accomplish work has changed dramatically in the past decade. And given the increasing pace of major advances in technology, the rate at which industries change will only continue to increase. To stay competitive, your organization must keep an eye on emerging trends and pivot accordingly. If you get “stuck,” your current business model may not be sustainable for long.

Pivoting creates opportunities to drive revenue.

As your business and the markets in which you operate evolve, you must define and measure the metrics most relevant to your growth. What you learn from those numbers may necessitate re-evaluating your offerings and core focus. Strategically pivoting toward new services, new products or new markets allows you to capitalize on opportunities as conditions change.

Pivoting can fuel innovation.

Fear of failure (on both an individual and organizational level) often prevents companies from being more innovative. Maintaining the “status quo” may be more comfortable, but it also puts your business at greater risk for becoming irrelevant or obsolete.

While you don’t necessarily need to jump on the bandwagon every time something changes in your industry, you should continually and systematically test different concepts and ideas. Finding an innovative way to target an audience or a new way to deliver your services could reinvigorate your business – and catapult you ahead of your competitors.

Related post: If You’re Afraid, You Might be Innovating

Considering a major shift in your business? Ensure success with a smart staffing strategy.

Whether you need to test new concepts, hire innovative thinkers or enhance your team’s flexibility, Exact Staff can provide talented people and intelligent staffing solutions to help you turn on a dime.

Give us a call to discuss your goals – we’ll help you achieve them.

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Happy People Have These Habits

10/21/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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If you look up the definition of “happy” online (and we did), you’ll find synonyms like:

  • Cheerful
  • Merry
  • Joyful
  • Carefree
  • Untroubled

Brings a smile to your face, right?

But while defining happiness is pretty simple, knowing how to achieve it is much more difficult.

Where’d that smile go?

Before it completely fades, remember this: nobody has a monopoly on happiness. And gaining it doesn’t cost a thing. By developing the following habits, and focusing your energy in the right places, you can make your life more positive and satisfying:

Be kinder to yourself.

You probably have no problem finding amazing qualities in your friends, family and co-workers – but when is the last time you appreciated a great quality in yourself? Make a daily habit of writing down three things that you did well or that demonstrate one of your positive qualities. In just a few days, you’ll have evidence you can use to replace negative self-talk with kinder thoughts about yourself.

Surround yourself with optimistic people.

Happiness is contagious – but so are things like anger, negativity and pessimism. So if you want to be happier, spend more time with people who are upbeat, content and joyful. Obviously, it’s unrealistic to completely avoid exposure to negative people, but you can minimize the effects of “Debbie Downers” by refusing to engage in their patterns of thinking.

Get your Zzzzs.

According to the American Psychological Association, getting an extra 60 to 90 minutes of sleep per night improves memory and mood, enhances concentration, strengthens the immune system, and reduces the risk of being killed in an accident. Who wouldn’t be happier if they were healthier, more focused and, you know – alive?

Make your social feeds more positive.

We all have those Facebook friends who continually rant, complain and air their dirty laundry online. And most of us follow accounts that routinely post negative content.  Ask yourself, “Why am I following this person/organization/news source?”

With our population spending more time on social media, our feeds have a huge impact on our overall happiness. So make sure you’re bringing positivity into your consciousness! Selectively unfollow people or accounts that bring you down. Then, search for ones that you find inspirational and uplifting.

Related Post: Prevent Negativity from Creeping Into Your Workplace

Want to make your organization a happier place to work?

Choose the right staffing partner. As a national employment agency, Exact Staff can design intelligent staffing solutions that:

  • Offload repetitive and low-level work that distracts you and your staff;
  • Alleviate overwork and the burnout it causes;
  • Improve your team’s focus, productivity and effectiveness;
  • Allow you to confidently tackle new or pressing projects.

Ready to get happy? Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

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