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  • Simple Ways to Generate Positive Energy in Your Organization

    03/23/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    Here are a few facts about energy in the workplace:

    • All people, objects and spaces have energy.
    • That energy can be shared, increased or drained.
    • For people, energy naturally flows toward meaningful action – and can be increased through focused, fulfilling work.
    • Leaders have a huge impact on others’ energy. They can ignite and fuel it, or suck it out of employees.

    Bearing these principles of workplace energy in mind, what can you do to generate more positive vibes in your company? Consider these options:

    Employ the Listen – Care – Challenge Model of Leadership

    In his Leadership Freak blog, Dan Rockwell shares this simple system to build positive energy in your team:

    • Listen to your employees. Ask questions to learn more about their concerns, needs, ideas and goals. Move beyond their complaints to reveal underlying aspirations and truly understand where they’re coming from.
    • Show employees you care. Respect their perspectives, challenges and aspirations by using phrases like “I see what you’re saying,” and “You seem excited about/troubled by this.”
    • Challenge employees. Encourage them to take action, solve their own problems and achieve more with questions like “What would you like to do about that?” and “What’s the next step?”

    Clean and Organize Together

    Like living things, objects and even entire buildings have energy vibrations. When you take proper care of those things and remove clutter, you welcome positive energy into your space. Plus, pulling together to improve your work environment increases feelings of camaraderie, which will improve the vibe.

    Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time to gut those desks, purge computer files, repair equipment, deep-clean work areas and implement new organizational systems. Make sure the exercise is a positive one by:

    • Scheduling it. Set aside ample time for employees to get the job done.
    • Explaining the benefits. A healthier environment, more space and improved efficiency are just a few.
    • Making it fun. Allow your team to dress down. Provide lunch for them. And if it’s possible, turn on some music to keep enthusiasm high.

    Banish Negative Vibes

    In this earlier post, we share six smart ways to eliminate negative talk and other toxic behaviors that can ruin the vibe in your otherwise positive organization.

    Hire Positive People

    Helpful, confident and upbeat people lift up your entire team. Strive to systematically replace negative employees with realists and optimists. Look for individuals who display a positive attitude, respect others and are upbeat even in tough circumstances.

    Want to Build More Positive Energy in Your Workplace?

    Exact Staff’s recruiting experts will refer candidates with the personality traits and soft skills to help you build a dynamic, high-performing and positive work environment. Contact our national employment agency today to get started.

Leadership or Forwardship: Which Does Your Business Need?

03/19/18 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Every once in a while, we come across a concept so revolutionary, we feel compelled to share it.

Today is one of those days.

A team member here at Exact Staff recently shared an intriguing article on the concept of “forwardship.” (If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry – it’s a new idea!)

Okay, so What is It?

In a nutshell, forwardship is the process of preparing an organization for changes in the marketplace, and of pushing through stagnancy and fear to act in ways that drive innovation.

In the article, the authors assert that leadership failures are often due to knee-jerk reactions to disruptors – things like technological advancements, economic shifts, widespread corporate uncertainty, and other “wild cards” that can swiftly pull the rug out from under a seemingly healthy business.

It got us thinking: Can a company prevent critical leadership failures by cultivating forwardship?

We believe so. Below, we share a few ways to step out of reactive, survival mode and truly “forward” your business:

Get Past Your Fear of Disruption

Change is inevitable. Businesses that merely react will find themselves continually racing to catch up with the competition – and in serious jeopardy. If you systematically challenge the status quo, however, you prime your team for innovation. Fear is to be expected, but teach your team to accept it, embrace it and act in spite of it.

Confront Your Boredom, Safety and Complacency at Work

Stagnation is the enemy of innovation. To drive your business forward, you must be willing to abandon tried-and-true practices in favor of potentially better – yet unproven – ways of getting things done.

Focus on Your Customers’ Problems – Not Just Our Own

Truly visionary organizations look beyond their own problems and ask: “What problems are we trying to solve for the customer?” and “How can we solve customers’ problems more efficiently and effectively?” Focusing on customers’ current and future challenges, needs, desires and problems is an effective antidote to organizational myopia.

Build the Right Culture

A culture based on traditional, top-down leadership doesn’t support forwardship. What does? A culture that:

  • supports the development of great ideas across teams, departments and organizational levels;
  • rewards calculated risk-taking and makes occasional failure acceptable;
  • tolerates healthy conflict;
  • prioritizes continual learning, professional development and mentoring.

Hire the Right People

In this earlier post, we reviewed the dangers of “groupthink,” the practice of thinking or making group decisions that discourage creativity and dissent, for the sake of harmony. If you’re seeing too many heads nodding in agreement around the office, you might be stifling innovation – and threatening your company’s survival. Instead of hiring “yes men,” hire people who collaborate well, think outside the box, share their opinions (even when they are unpopular), value constructive conflict and thrive in empowered environments.

Leadership or Forwardship – Which Does Your Business Need?

Both! And Exact Staff can provide the talent and solutions to help you improve both. With a national presence, the Exact Family of Companies is the ideal partner to test new concepts, hire innovative thinkers, enhance your team’s flexibility – and help you prepare for what’s next.

To develop the best strategy for your organization, we invite you to schedule a free consultation today.

Work/Life Balance is Starting to Blend Together – and that might be alright

03/16/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Half a trillion dollars (yep – trillion, with a “t”).

That’s the estimated annual cost of work stress to U.S. employers, according to this 2017 Mental Health America study.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This eye-opening survey includes dozens of disturbing statistics that quantify the extensive impact job stress has on today’s workforce:

  • One in three (33%) of respondents report missing work because of stress.
  • Among those reporting they “always or often” miss work due to workplace stress, over half (53%) miss six or more work days each month.
  • 81% of respondents say the stress from their job affects relationships with friends or family.

You’re smart. You don’t need statistics like these to convince you that job stress is bad for your employees and your business. What you do need are practical tips for helping your staff manage the daily stress that’s an unavoidable part of their job.

And that’s exactly what we share here:

Provide Resilience Training

Bring in a consultant to teach your staff how to reflect and become more self-aware. By training your employees to become more mindful, they will more clearly recognize the specific causes of their stress and plan appropriate coping strategies to manage it – like eating well, exercising and getting adequate sleep. Increased awareness, coupled with healthy stress-management habits, will help your employees to bounce back from stressors.

Find the Humor in Stressful Situations

When it comes to combatting stress, a good laugh can be the best medicine. The next time you see a coworker struggling with a tough work situation, find an appropriate way to break through with laughter. Share a funny joke or story (as long as you’re not laughing at some else’s expense) or frame the situation differently to provide some perspective. Humor may not change your employee’s predicament, but a good laugh can definitely lighten their mood and improve their mindset.

Share the Best Productivity Habits

Boosting productivity is essential to helping employees achieve their work goals. And logically, they’ll feel less stressed when they check more things off their to-do list. In this post, our team shares 5 productivity hacks that will give your team a little more breathing room each day.

Help Employees Achieve a Healthier Work/Life Mix

As technology blurs the boundaries separating home and work, it’s becoming tougher for employees to completely disconnect at the day’s end. In this earlier post, our team shares tips for facilitating a healthy work/life “blend” that’s sustainable and promotes peak performance.

Offer Flexible Work Options

Make it easy for your employees to take the time away from work they need to stay focused, productive and balanced. Implement a formal program that allows employees to design their schedules to accommodate their personal lives. Popular options include flextime, job sharing, telecommuting and extended leaves.

Provide Adequate Staffing Support

All employees need time off to recharge, refocus and recover from work stress. Make sure your business is prepared to handle short- and long-term absences with support from Exact Staff. Whether you require a single temporary for a day, an entire project team for a month, or a strategic staffing program to increase work flex, we provide a range of staffing and placement services to combat work stress and create a healthier bottom line.

Eliminate These Stress-Inducing Habits

03/12/18 2:40 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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When you feel uptight or anxious, sometimes there’s a clear culprit – like that traffic jam that’s making you late, or those three cups of coffee you just chugged.

Other times, the reasons may not be so obvious.

Could Your Daily Routine to Blame?

Seemingly innocuous habits, like the ones listed below, can heighten your baseline stress level and contribute to chronic fatigue, tension and diminished performance. If you want to make every day more successful and less hectic, eliminate these common stress-inducing habits:

Related post: 4 Habits to Dramatically Improve Your Life

Bad Sleep Habits

Hitting that snooze button four times every morning? Getting in bed with your phone or laptop? Tsk, tsk – you know better. Banish tech at least 30 minutes before you go to bed and set your alarm for the time your feet should hit the floor. Otherwise, you’re robbing yourself of the great night’s sleep you need.

Addiction to Your To-Do List

Your to-do list can be an effective tool to keep you focused and your activities prioritized. But if you’re continually checking, re-checking and rewriting it throughout the day, that hypervigilance can make you feel more worried than accomplished. Be realistic when you create your daily to-do list and use it the way it’s intended – as a periodic reminder, not a taskmaster. And give yourself a little pat on the back as you cross things off!

Skipping Meals

According to the World Health Organization, consuming the right foods can improve brain power by as much as 20 percent. Furthermore, healthy morning eating habits can reduce sick days, boost morale and even reduce accidents at work.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or are “just too busy” to take the time to eat, skipping meals only makes you drowsy, hangry and more stressed. In this earlier post, we share 4 power foods you should eat in the morning to stay focused and productive.

Bad Hiring Habits

Still posting dull job descriptions with drab lists of responsibilities? Relying on outdated recruiting tactics? Leaving candidates hanging? Dragging your feet during the hiring process? Any of these habits can undermine hiring success – and stress everyone out.

Exact Staff is Here to Make Things Easier

With offices across the country and a full complement of staffing and recruiting solutions, we take the stress out of staffing your business. Whether you need temporary staffing support or are growing your core team, make a habit of calling Exact Staff.

Feeling Overwhelmed? These Tips Will Help Change That

02/23/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone:

  • A Families and Work Institute study cited in this ABC News article showed that more than half of U.S. employees feel overworked or overwhelmed at least some of the time.
  • Research compiled by The American Institute of Stress show that job stress has escalated progressively over the past few decades – contributing to increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.

And we pay a big price for that stress – over $300 billion annually for U.S. businesses – due to accidents, absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, workers’ compensation awards and more.

As a nation, we’re stressed out. Burned out. And feeling generally overwhelmed by the lives we lead.

Where did things go so wrong? And more importantly, what can you do to alleviate that awful feeling that you’re being crushed by the weight of your work?

There’s no “quick fix,” but small changes can have a big impact on your ability to relax, focus and cope more effectively. Here are a few ideas to try:

Don’t Believe the Hype

“I’m soooo busy.” “I’m buried.” “I have too many plates spinning.” You probably hear phrases like this all the time at work, right? Have you ever considered why? As a society, we’ve been programmed to associate busyness with success. In a weird way, stress has become a status symbol: If you’re busy (or present yourself as such), people assume you’re smart, competent and worthy of admiration.

Don’t buy into it! Change your self-talk, as well as how you speak to others about your workload. Unless you relinquish the notion that overwhelmed = successful, you’ll never be able to make the changes you need.

Record and Prioritize

Get all your to-do’s out of your head – and onto some form of list, whether you choose a cloud-based organization tool or a low-tech notebook. Writing down everything that’s on your mind instantly reduces your worry and is the first step in getting organized.

Then, get ruthless. Accept the fact that you probably won’t accomplish everything on that list, today, without help. Decide what’s most important, what can wait and what you need to delegate. Resolve to tackle your highest priority items first.

Adopt Better Productivity Habits

Boosting productivity is essential to achieving work goals. And when you check more things off your list, you’ll be less overwhelmed (no surprise there, right?). In this post, our team shares 5 productivity hacks that will give you a little more breathing room each day.

Improve the Way You Start and End Each Work Day

If your office looks like a bomb hit it when you leave in the evening, guess what? You’re going to walk into that same whirling vortex of entropy the next morning. If you’re looking for tips to make your day more sane and productive, bookend it with the habits we share in this earlier post, “How Successful People Begin and End Their Workdays.”

Make Time for Yourself

One of the best ways to combat feeling overwhelmed is by carving out time to do things that you truly enjoy – whatever those may be. And when you schedule time for yourself, make it non-negotiable. Do what you must to feed your spirit and take care of yourself.

Are you or your staff members overwhelmed at work?

Adequate staffing levels can alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed, improving focus, productivity and engagement throughout your organization.

Whether it’s a single temporary for a day or an entire project team, Exact Staff delivers exceptional talent to meet your local or national requirements. What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

How Filler Words and Tiny Pauses Keep Conversations from Going off the Rails

02/16/18 3:21 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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In this earlier post, “Words and Phrases Smart People Never Use in Conversation,” we explained why filler words like these can make you sound less intelligent than you really are.

But hold on a second (well, 200 milliseconds, to be exact). According to N.J. Enfield, a professor of linguistics at the University of Sydney, filler words and tiny conversational pauses are actually important communication tools.

Yep, you read that right.

When interviewed by The Atlantic’s Julie Beck, Enfield elaborated on how little words and short silences act as “traffic signals” to keep dialogues from going off the rails. Here are a few interesting takeaways from the interview:

  • When one person asks another a question, it takes approximately 200 milliseconds for them to respond – which is faster than the half-second it takes the human brain to retrieve the words needed to respond! In other words, humans put the conversational cart before the horse, relying on contextual cues (e.g., tone, content of speech) to anticipate when it’s their turn to talk next.
  • Conversational minutiae – things like filler words and pauses longer than 200 milliseconds – are indispensable tools that keep the wheels of the “conversation machine” greased and steer communications in the direction people want them to go.
  • If there’s more than a 200-millisecond delay from when one person stops speaking and the other responds, it’s a sign that the person responding either:
    • is having trouble finding the right words to say – typically because the question posed is difficult;
    • is delaying their response, because it’s likely not what the speaker wants to hear.
  • Words like “mmhmmm” and “uh-huh” can greatly smooth the operation of the conversation machine. One study showed that distracting listeners from using these words appropriately caused the speaker to circle back more and repeat themselves when telling a story. In essence, offering a reassuring “mmhmmm” to a speaker makes them a more proficient, fluid storyteller.

Should you eliminate words like “uh” and “well” from your vocabulary?

Unless you habitually rely on them to introduce or bridge ideas, probably not. Instead, pay attention to how you use filler words, or ask someone you trust for their candid feedback. If you find that your speech is riddled with “ums,” for example, try mixing things up a bit – or opting for the occasional pause to keep your conversations on track.

Need temporary employees or new hires who are articulate and professional?

Exact Staff moves beyond job descriptions to uncover what candidates truly need to thrive in your organization. Whether your requirements are local or national, temp or direct-hire, we’ll deliver the exact talent solution you need.


Three Important Things Great Leaders Do Every Day

02/9/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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At Exact Staff, we’re continually searching for ways to improve the effectiveness of our organization’s leaders. And when we find great new ideas, we share them here!

Over the years, we’ve written dozens of posts to help you grow as a leader by:

In today’s leadership wisdom post, we’re sharing three more fundamentals from Mary Ann McLaughlin, Managing Partner with Butler Street.

After being flooded with advice and information while attending a three-day leadership conference, McLaughlin had an epiphany. While each of the speakers in the presentations she attended had a slightly different approach and message, she realized that leadership success boiled down to these three basic elements.

Clear, Written Goals

The most effective leaders use SMART goals to keep their sights on the future and aligned with their organization’s big picture. In this post, we review how you can create Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based goals to achieve more.

Action Plans

Leadership success is the direct result of intentional decisions, choices and actions. Those who are most effective at leading others make every move in support of their overarching goals. They make plans, they follow through on their commitments, and they make adjustments – not excuses – when they miss the mark.

Disciplined Habits

What separates great leaders from wannabes? Disciplined leadership habits, even in the face of distractions, crises or triumphs. Successes and failures come and go. Opportunities and threats continually evolve. Markets, industries and economic conditions can change on a dime. Great leaders are consistent and disciplined in how they conduct themselves, no matter what the world throws their way.

Every leader has a unique approach, and each takes a different path to success. Regardless of their personality, background or management style, however, all leaders can become more successful with the right goals, action plans and habits.

Want to be a better leader – or hire better leaders for your team?

 Choose the Right Staffing Partner

A national staffing and recruiting partner like Exact Staff can improve your leadership effectiveness by delivering the exact staffing solutions you need – exactly when you need them. Ready to get started? Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

These Phrases Make You Sound Clueless at Work

01/26/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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The language you use at work can inspire, inform, persuade and instill trust – or make you sound utterly clueless.

Which side of the communication fence do you stand on?

The truth is, all of us are occasionally undisciplined in our word choices. But if you’re habitually using any of the following words or phrases, you could be making yourself sound less intelligent than you are, and even undermining your career success:


You know that colleague who just received a promotion for incessant cursing? No, you don’t – because that person doesn’t exist. Vulgar language does more than dumb you down; it also offends others. Just don’t do it.


Words like “whatever,” “like,” and “totally” were cool for about five minutes in the 1980s. Like the mullet, they have not come back in style – nor do they make you sound intelligent.

Overuse of Jargon

Appropriately using industry terminology is one thing; littering your vocabulary with meaningless business jargon is another. Eliminate these cringeworthy phrases from your lexis – and instantly boost your perceived IQ:

  • Deep dive
  • Maximizing ROI
  • Drill down
  • Value added
  • Close the loop
  • Secret sauce

“Can’t” and “Don’t”

While you can’t eliminate these words from your vocabulary (see what we did there?), you should minimize their use, especially when describing your commitments to others. Besides being negative, these words subtly imply inability or unwillingness to do something.

For example, instead of telling someone, “I can’t get that report to you until next Tuesday,” say, “I will have that report to you by next Tuesday.” The messages are subtly different, and the latter makes you sound more responsible, confident and capable.

Texting Acronyms

OMG save them for your smartphone.

Verbal Redundancies

When you piggyback two words with overlapping meanings, it indicates that you don’t really understand their meaning. Here are a few examples you should drop from your vocabulary:

  • Close proximity
  • Estimated at about
  • Past experience
  • Very unique
  • Whether or not

Need Intelligent, Articulate Candidates?

Exact Staff’s experts carefully screen candidates to identify smart professionals who will thrive in your organization. Whether your requirements are local or national, temporary or direct we’ll deliver the exact talent and solutions you need.



Productive Mornings Start with Great Nighttime Rituals

01/22/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Ever have one of those mornings when you’re feeling positive, full of energy, focused and ready to tackle whatever work throws your way?

We think you need more of those.

Sure, it helps to have a solid morning routine. But if you want to make dramatic improvements in your happiness and productivity in the a.m., change what you do the night before.

What, exactly, should you do differently at the end of your workday to set yourself up for morning success? Here are a few suggestions:


Tempted to check work email right before bed? Don’t. The last thing you need is to be lying in your bed, planning your response to a client or worrying about a message your boss sent. And honestly, you shouldn’t just unplug from work, you should unplug from EVERYTHING. As you may know, the blue light emitted by monitors and phone screens disrupts your circadian rhythm – making it harder to fall asleep.

Establish a time buffer between when you disconnect and when you lay your head on the pillow. You’ll fall asleep faster and with a clearer mind.

Put More Weekend in Your Weeknight

Weekends are great for a reason: We spend more time with our family and friends, doing things we love. So, if all you do is nightly couch-surfing Sunday through Thursday, change your routine. You don’t have to go out to extravagant dinners seven nights a week. Simply making mid-week plans to spend two hours with someone you love will make you happier at bedtime – and in the morning, too.

Skip the Tube Time

Watching a few hours of TV at night may numb your mind, but it doesn’t do much to help your brain recover or make you feel better about yourself. Research, however, shows that actively engaging in a hobby – doing things you’re good at, and trying to become better at them – significantly increases happiness and success.

Reflect on Your Day

Start a (paper) gratitude journal. At the end of the day, write down three things for which you’re thankful. No matter how small they are, habitually recalling these positive experiences will help you escape the mental torture of reliving negative things that occurred during your day. Over time, you will rewire your brain to become more optimistic at day’s end. That good feeling will set you up for better sleep and set the stage for a better morning.

Looking for Other Ways to Boost Productivity?

Exact Staff is here to support you. Whether your team is up against a deadline, planning your next big project, or ready to grow, our national employment agency provides a full complement of staffing and placement services to help you get more done (which makes everyone happier).



Secrets to Writing Clear and Effective Emails

01/19/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Email. Whether you love it or abhor it, two things are true:

It’s an indispensable part of business.

And it isn’t going by the wayside anytime soon.

Yet, as ubiquitous a form of communication email is, many professionals are bad at using it – sending dense blocks of text, spamming inboxes with unnecessary “Reply All” emails, leaving out essential pieces of information…you get the picture.

If you know someone whose email communication skills could use a little polishing, share these secrets to writing clearer, more effective messages:

Have a Singular Purpose

The best emails have one goal or ask one question. Instead of sending someone your stream of consciousness, organize your thoughts first. Choose an overarching purpose for your communication, and distill your message into one salient point. If you struggle to do this, it’s a sign that you may need to have a real-time conversation with the person you’re messaging.

Be Brief

Do you relish reading five long paragraphs of text in an email? Neither do your recipients. Keep your message as short as possible and get to the point – quickly.

Front-Load Essentials

Have an important question to ask or critical piece of information to share? Put it at the beginning of your email or even in the subject line.

Use Formatting Tools

Most email clients have robust features (e.g., numbered lists, highlighter tools, font families) you can use to organize your information and call attention to important details. Remember, recipients may only scan your email – make it easy for them to find what they need.

Write in Active Voice

Clarity is essential in email. Active voice (i.e., when the subject of the sentence performs the action described by the verb) leads to more concise, effective and confident communications.

Respect Conversation Participants

Before you automatically hit “Reply All,” consider whether everyone truly needs to read your response. Likewise, be sure to CC or BCC individuals who need to be kept looped into conversations. A few moments’ thought can go a long way toward improving the flow of information.

Don’t Include Sensitive Information

What would happen if a co-worker forwarded the content of your email without reading it carefully? In situations where you must email confidential or otherwise sensitive information, clearly mark it as such.

The moral of today’s post? Think before you type. A little mental discipline – and application of these email tips – can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your emails.

What Can Exact Staff Do For You?

Whether you want to improve focus, save time and money, relieve administrative burdens or grow your core team, our national employment agency is here to help. Drop us an email or give us a call today.