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Exact Staff News

  • The Truth Hurts – But It Will Make You a Better Person

    09/20/18 1:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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    Or are you an ostrich with your head stuck in the proverbial sand?

    There’s a reason so many idioms about “facing the facts” exist: Sometimes, it’s really, really hard to do!

    But as Eric Barker so astutely observed in his recent post, “4 harsh truths that will make you a better person,” denial is a just a form of existential procrastination – and ignoring reality won’t serve you well in your personal or professional life.

    Thankfully, “harsh truths” are a little less painful to face when you view them in the proper context. Below, we’ve summarized a few takeaways from Eric’s article, which make taking off your rose-colored glasses a bit easier:

    Harsh truth #1: You are going to die.

    You know this – but do you keep it in mind as you set your priorities and plan your activities? Instead of being depressed about the fact that you’ll eventually return to dust, use your mortality as a motivator. Remind yourself of the fact that you have about 30,000 mornings in your entire life. Make the most of every single one.

    Harsh truth #2: Anything that’s worth doing takes substantial effort.

    What do you want to do well? What do you want to truly be an expert in? If you want to be great at something, you can’t expect to just put in the time; you have to put in “deliberate practice,” which involves identifying your weaknesses, and then working incredibly hard to overcome them. An unexpected benefit of deliberate practice? According to one eight-decade study cited in Eric’s article, people who work harder actually live longer (which should make you feel a little better about harsh truth #1).

    Harsh truth #3: You’ll never be perfectly happy.

    Your brain just isn’t wired for it! In fact, the anticipation of happiness is incredibly strong, but true pleasure is not long-lasting. That doesn’t mean your life will be awful; it just means that you shouldn’t expect nonstop bliss. Instead of pursuing perfect happiness, work on creating happy moments. Accept that there will be imperfection, messiness and sadness in your life, too, and that you’ll work through those in pursuit of more happy times.

    Harsh truth #4: People will disappoint you.

    Again and again. Does that mean you should never trust someone? Never let down your guard and develop meaningful relationships? Never rely on another person for help? Nope, nope and nope. It means that you shouldn’t let the occasional disappointment shake your faith in humanity. Nobody is perfect, including you. As long as the good in a relationship outweighs the bad, focus on the happiness a person brings you and forgive them when they let you down.

    Have some feedback you want to share with us?

    As a national staffing service, Exact Staff knows that constructive feedback is an essential part of maintaining a productive business relationship. So, tell us what you think! Please contact our national staffing service with your comments, questions or suggestions.

Small Things People Use to Judge Your Personality

09/19/18 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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“Oh, I try to reserve judgment until I really get to know a person.”

“Me? I’m not judgmental by nature; I keep an open mind when I meet someone.”

Heard statements like these before – or maybe uttered them yourself? We all have! We’re humans, after all, and humans simply cannot keep from making snap decisions, often based on subtle cues.

And you can thank evolution for that. Our brains are hardwired to quickly interpret behavior and make sense out of situations, to determine if they’re safe or dangerous – and then respond appropriately.

So, if you think that new co-worker, potential client or business contact isn’t judging you – hard – think again. What cues are they using to size you up? You may be surprised at the big impact these small things have:

The quality of your handshake.

Jerry Seinfeld performed an entire monologue on handshake fails: from the “just the fingers” to the “late release.” Yep, there’s an art to executing a solid handshake; one that’s firm (not crushing) and brief (two to three pumps) conveys confidence and demonstrates trustworthiness.

Eye contact.

Making a great impression requires balanced eye contact. Stare too long, and you’ll come across as intimidating; stare at the floor, and you’ll appear insecure or aloof. Studies show that maintaining appropriate (not glaring) eye contact roughly 60% of the time is the “sweet spot” for conveying self-assurance, friendliness and enthusiasm.

Nervous habits.

Do you tap your fingers on the table? Absentmindedly play with your hair? Bite your nails? Research suggests that repetitive, nervous habits indicate perfectionist tendencies, and that perfectionists display them when they’re bored or frustrated. Pay attention to small, repetitive behaviors you engage in, to make sure you aren’t unintentionally offending people you meet.

Phubbing.

“Phone snubbing” is the act of ignoring someone in a social situation by busying yourself with your phone. And it instantly turns people off. If you continually check your phone when you meet someone, they may assume you lack manners, attention, listening skills and/or willpower. Our advice? If you want to make a good impression, put your phone away and focus on the person in front of you.

Monopolizing a conversation.

If, when introduced to someone new, you spend the first five minutes prattling on about yourself, that individual will likely think you’re self-absorbed – maybe even obnoxious. Instead of focusing on yourself, ask questions about the person you’ve just met. Then, strike a healthy balance of give-and-take in the conversation. You’ll come across as an interesting person who’s attentive, smart and a good conversationalist.

Snap judgements and first impressions are inevitable, but they’re not the basis for sound hiring.

What is? A proven, disciplined and comprehensive assessment process – which happens to be our strong suit! Whether your requirements are local or national, temporary or direct-hire, we’re here to deliver the exact talent solution you need. How can we help you? Contact the Exact Family of Companies today.

Phrases a Boss Should Continually Tell Their Employees

09/17/18 3:00 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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When you address your employees:

  • Do your words motivate or intimidate?
  • Is your criticism constructive or merely negative?
  • Are you inclusive or authoritarian?

Obviously, you want to aim for the former in each of these examples. Because, as we mentioned in an earlier post, the language you use at work can inspire, inform, persuade and instill trust with employees – or make you sound rude and utterly clueless.

People are your single greatest asset in the workplace. Make sure you continually utter phrases like these to show employees how important they are to your success, every day:

“You did a good job.”

Verbal positive reinforcement is a potent form of employee motivation. It’s also simple to do and completely free! Make a habit of privately and publicly recognizing employees for their hard work; doing so sends a clear message that they are valuable members of your team.

“I trust you.” Fostering trust with your employees builds great relationships, great service and a great bottom line. In this earlier post, we explain how and why to use this phrase regularly with your team.

“I made that mistake. I’m sorry.”

Nobody is perfect – not even the boss. The most effective leaders are honest, humble and unafraid to admit when something is their fault. So if you mess up, fess up. You’ll build greater mutual respect and organizational trust in the process.

“What do you think?”

Employees want to know that their ideas matter – and that their boss values their opinion. When you have a problem to solve or a new initiative to tackle, ask for your team’s input and feedback. Use the simple tips our team shares in this earlier post to improve your active listening skills and let employees know you believe in them.

General Tips for Using Language to Motivate Others at Work

Use the word “you” more than “I.”

Words that refer directly to your listener are much more influential than self-centric pronouns (e.g., my, mine, I), because it forces you to answer your employees’ unspoken question: What’s in it for me?

Use employees’ names.

Personalizing conversations show that individuals, as well as their beliefs and opinions, are important to you. Using a person’s name also demonstrates that you’re a genuine, caring person who pays attention.

Use cause-and-effect phrases.

Language that clearly connects action (or lack thereof) to consequences is incredibly powerful at creating change, because it makes your claims sound logical and objective. Here are a few to add to your arsenal: accordingly, as a result, due to, consequently, since.

Need motivated temporary, project-based or direct employees?

Contact Exact Staff for reliable individuals who display a great attitude and deliver the measurable results you need. Whether your requirements are local or national, simple or complex, we’ll deliver the exact talent and solutions you need.

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Best Productivity Hacks for Your Small Business

08/29/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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When you’re a small business owner, your time is valuable – and extremely limited! The same goes for your team. Employees wear multiple hats, and their list of to do’s likely grows by the minute.

Too bad you can’t grow more time to get everything done.

Or can you?

There are still only 24 hours in a day – but with these productivity hacks, your small business can make huge gains in speed and efficiency, and get more out of every minute of the work day:

Empower Team Members

Micromanagement is a notorious productivity killer. Make sure your employees have the tools, training, guidelines, resources, autonomy and authority to accomplish their work free from micromanagement – then let go of the reins! When you trust and equip your employees to do a great job for you, their motivation and performance will soar.

Conquer Your Inbox (And Teach Your Team to do the Same)

Would you believe people spend an average of 13 hours per workweek reading, deleting, sorting and sending emails? Who has time for that? In this post, we share practical tips to stop the flood of unwanted emails, batch your email-checking, and free up more time for meaningful work.

Remember Parkinson’s Law

According to this law, work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If you give someone an hour to complete a task, they’ll get it done in an hour. And if you give them an hour and a half, they’ll probably take the full hour and a half to complete the exact same task.

The point is, the length of time it takes to complete a task is largely a matter of perception. So, when it makes sense, put time constraints on daily tasks. In this post, we share specific tips for adding structure to your small business to dramatically improve productivity.

Use the Right Apps

Without the right tech, your small team can easily get distracted, disorganized and overwhelmed. Here are a few apps to help you and your employees work smarter – and more productively:

  • Asana. This online hub provides a central dashboard, allowing team collaborators to communicate and check on projects to cut down on calls and emails.
  • Toggl, Timecamp and Hours. If you bill work hourly, these apps all make it effortless to track billables.
  • Nimble. This popular CRM app allows you to organize contacts. Once you’ve entered someone’s email, the system is smart enough to recognize social media handles, segment lists, set follow-up reminders and more.
  • Square. This app uses a credit card scanner that plugs directly into your smartphone or tablet – allowing you to take a credit card payment anywhere, without a cash register.
  • Evernote. Organize everything you write – from simple notes to robust reports – in one place to facilitate sharing across small teams and devices.

Read Up!

We’ve published a ton of great content to help small employers like you improve productivity. Here are a few to check out, and be sure to browse our archives for more useful ideas:

Supercharge the Efficiency of Your Small Team

Driving Team Productivity Starts with the Right Software

Struggling to Get it All Done?

When you need extra help to hit deadlines, tackle special projects or free up more of your time for high-priority work, Exact Staff is here for you. We can’t grow time, but our national staffing and placement services will help you get more done, every day.

How can we be of assistance? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

Improve Your Life with These Everyday Tips

08/24/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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If you could improve one aspect of your life, what would it be?

Your finances? Relationships? Health and fitness? Career?

No matter what you’d like to change about yourself, it won’t happen overnight – and it won’t happen by accident – but there is a simple formula for success:

Small Habits + Consistency = Meaningful Change

Lasting improvements in any area of your life will take hold by consistently implementing everyday tips like these:

Take Responsibility for Where You Are Now

Admit your mistakes and own your role in your current circumstances. Being honest with yourself is the first step to heading in a different direction.

Believe It

Believe in yourself, that you’re capable of change, and that today will be better than yesterday. Having confidence in your ability to change is essential to achieving it.

Face Your Fear

Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of making the wrong choice, or fear of the unknown, you must face it to conquer it.

Love Yourself

Take time every day to care for yourself by going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, meditating or engaging in any other form of nurturing. The more you love yourself, the more positive your outlook will be, and the better equipped you’ll be to handle the stress of change.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Your brain and body repair themselves when you sleep in ways that aren’t possible during waking hours. In this post (link to “Here’s Proof that Sleeping in on the Weekend Can Add Years to Your Life) we explain proven benefits of getting more sleep.

Exercise Daily

Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to improve your attitude, confidence, resilience and performance – all of which will prime you to make other positive changes in your life. In this post, we share key benefits of frequent exercise.

Laugh More

When it comes to alleviating stress, a good laugh can boost your mood and improve your mindset. Life is short. Learn how to laugh at yourself and find ways to inject more humor in your life. Try watching stand-up comedians or sitcoms, or follow humorous accounts on social media.

Read or Listen to Inspiring Content

If you want to improve your life, learn from others who have already succeeded at improving theirs. Countless self-help books and motivating podcasts are just a click away; find something that resonates with you and commit to 15 minutes of reading or listening each day.

Related Posts:

Habits to Dramatically Improve Your Life

Habits of Happy People

Want to dramatically improve your work life?

Get the staffing support you need. The Exact Family of Companies provides the resources and expertise you need to:

  • hire proven performers who can support your success;
  • offload non-critical activities to free up more of your time;
  • meet pressing deadlines;
  • alleviate overwork and the stress it causes.

What can we do for you? Give Exact Staff a call.

Are we True Blue: Adopt These Success Habits of Authentic People

08/20/18 12:30 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Ever met a “social chameleon”?

You know, one of those people who acts one way around a certain group of people, but entirely different around another?

Now here’s a tougher question: Have you ever been a social chameleon?

To a certain extent, all of us wear “masks” in social situations. We often feel a need to behave in a way that’s appropriate for a particular situation, or we may worry that our “real” self isn’t good enough for others.

But while subtly adapting to a social situation may be beneficial, completely changing your personality based on whom you’re with is disingenuous. And over time, people will see through your façade, labeling you as phony, untrustworthy or inauthentic.

We’re guessing those aren’t labels you want.

As the title of this post suggests, people are naturally drawn to authenticity. Individuals who are true to themselves and comfortable in their own skin make others feel comfortable. Safe. Valued. If you’d like to amp up your authenticity, try implementing these success habits authentic people have mastered:

They stand up for what they believe in – even when it goes against the grain.

Honesty with themselves and others is non-negotiable for authentic people. They’re unafraid to live with the repercussions of staying true to themselves.

They foster deep, genuine connections.

Idle chatter is a waste of time for authentic people. Instead, they focus on being present during conversations and using active listening skills to understand others, find common ground and build meaningful connections. If you’d like to hone your abilities as an active listener, use the tips in this earlier post.

They’re unafraid to show their flaws.

Authentic people realize that perfection is unattainable, and that trying to perfect a flawless image (in words, deeds or appearance) is inherently disingenuous. They dare to embrace their imperfections and make themselves vulnerable in the process. And if showing their flaws means someone doesn’t like them? Authentic people take it in stride.

They cut loose negative people.

Truly authentic people won’t tolerate the baggage toxic people bring to relationships, nor will they invest energy trying to change them. If an authentic person can’t completely remove a negative individual from their life, they’ll emotionally insulate themselves as a form of protection.

They make lemonade.

Ever-practical and realistic, authentic people face facts. When faced with a challenging situation, they don’t sit around and whine; they look for solutions while making the best of their circumstances.

Need authentic professionals to grow your team?

Serving organizations across the nation, Exact Staff can quickly connect you to a wide range of talented people with the right skills, experience and personality to thrive in your organization. Just give us a call!

See It, Do It: Using Visualization to Achieve More

08/17/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Athletes and performance artists use visualization techniques to prepare for competitions, mentally rehearse difficult performance situations, and improve execution for one reason:

It works!

And not just on the field or the stage. In fact, smart professionals practice visualization techniques to maximize their performance in the workplace.

Why is visualization so effective?

By definition, visualization is the mental ability to conceive imaginary or recalled scenes. Pretty innocuous, right? But when you visualize yourself performing something successfully – whether it’s giving a sales presentation, interviewing for a promotion, or performing a complex audit – your brain releases dopamine. This neurotransmitter (which is part of the reward system in your brain) allows you to not only see a reward (i.e., a positive outcome) in your mind’s eye, but to move toward it.

Phrased more simply, when you visualize your success, your brain stores that information as a real success.

Phrased even more simply, if you can see it in your mind’s eye, you can do it!

Visualizing success is one of the most powerful performance-improvement tools you’ll ever have. And it’s always available to you – and completely free! Today, we’re sharing four tips to help you use this technique to achieve more:

  1. Start with relaxation. If you’re nervous or anxious, mental images quickly break down. For your images to be as vivid and influential as possible, precede your visualization practice with a few minutes of relaxation exercises in a quiet room, free from distractions.
  2. Clarify the outcome you want. Visualizing yourself successfully achieving a goal forces you to get serious – and specific – about what you want. Move beyond a vague notion (e.g., “I want to be rich”) and detail what that outcome truly looks like to you:
    1. Paint a mental portrait of where you want to be.
    2. Determine what you need to do to get there.
    3. Imagine yourself handling objections, overcoming obstacles or managing other potential roadblocks to your success.
    4. See yourself performing all the steps from start to finish, imagining what you will experience and how you will achieve your goal.
    5. If your goal is large or long-term, create a series of visualization sessions, each devoted to achieving a specific milestone along the way.
  3. Stay mentally strong. When uncertainty rears its ugly head (it will), anticipate, embrace and move through it. Note when you feel uncertain, and consider the root cause of your doubts. The better you understand the “why” of your self-doubt, the better equipped you’ll be to nip it in the bud.
  4. Stay positive. The strongest memories we have are associated with powerful emotions. To make your visualization more effective, channel positive emotions like joy, satisfaction, enthusiasm and pride when you practice. Imagine exactly what you will feel like when you achieve your goal. Over time, you’ll feel better prepared to handle situations in the real world, because you’ve already mentally associated those situations with positive emotions.

Visualizing better work performance?

Exact Staff can help you move from “nice idea” to reality. Offering a full complement of national staffing and placement solutions, our team is here to support your success by:

  • offloading non-core activities that distract you and your staff;
  • alleviating overwork and the burnout it causes;
  • improving your team’s focus, productivity and effectiveness;
  • allowing you to confidently tackle new or pressing projects.

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

Doing This in the First Five Minutes of Networking is a Game Changer

07/30/18 2:35 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Your eyes glaze over.

Your attention wanders.

And after about three minutes, you want to throw up your hands, yell “I can’t take it!” and run out the front door.

What happened? You were attacked by a conversation bully. You know, one of those people who dominates the entire conversation, blathering on (and on and on) about themselves, their job, their company, their achievements…

…and learning absolutely nothing about you.

It happens all the time. And when it comes to professional networking, it’s the biggest blunder out there.

What? You say this doesn’t happen to you all the time?

Then (gulp) maybe you’re one of “those people” (in which case, you REALLY need to keep reading).

Regardless of how you use business networking events – to identify new business opportunities, broaden your circle of influence, recruit candidates, solicit advice for solving a challenge you’re experiencing – you’ll dramatically improve your results if you do this one simple thing:

Ask questions!

In the first five minutes of a networking conversation (or any conversation, for that matter), using active listening skills to pose thoughtful questions is an absolute game changer. Here’s why:

  • You’ll keep them engaged. The best small-talkers are perceived as interesting because they: stay in the moment; focus attention on the person they’re talking to; and show a genuine interest in learning about them.
  • People often feel awkward talking to strangers. If you gently guide the conversation with questions, they don’t have to figure out what to say next – which puts them more at ease.
  • You’ll identify all kinds of “openings” to form the basis of a strong business relationship. Maybe you’ll discover a common interest or client. Maybe you’ll be able to connect the individual to someone who can help them with a problem. Maybe you’ll even find your next business deal or the perfect job candidate for a position you’ve been struggling to fill. But you’ll never know unless you ask!

At your next networking event, try spending the first five minutes of each conversation listening more than you speak, and asking open-ended questions to learn about others. You’ll have more meaningful conversations that uncover more opportunities and ultimately lead to more meaningful connections.

Want tips for becoming a better listener?

This earlier post shares Three Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills.

What are you trying to achieve? What challenges are you facing? How can Exact Staff help?

We listen, ask the right questions, and then create solutions that offer the workforce flexibility, support and access to talent your team needs. What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

Here’s Proof That Sleeping in on the Weekend Can Add Years to Your Life

07/23/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Does being a sack hound on the weekend make you lazy – or extend your life?

According to the results of a 13-year study of sleep habits published by the Journal of Sleep Research, it’s the latter. The study reported the following:

  • For people 65 and under, weekend sleep can make up for sleep deficits accrued during the week.
  • People who slept fewer than 5 hours per night during the week faced a 52% higher mortality rate. However, those who gained 2 hours’ sleep per night on weekends lived just as long as those who consistently slept 7 hours per night.

Afraid to turn off the alarm clock on the weekend?

If you create a sleep deficit for yourself during the week, you no longer have to feel guilty about sleeping in Saturday and Sunday. First, the results of the study above (which followed 43,000 people) prove that catching up on your Zzz’s each weekend can add years to your life. Second, sleep deprivation is an illegal method of torture outlawed by the Geneva Convention (it’s literally a form of torture!). And finally, study after study confirms what most people already know about sleep loss:

  • It diminishes your ability to focus and block out distractions.
  • It reduces your ability to solve problems and make effective decisions.
  • It slows your reaction time.
  • Besides that, being sleep deprived just makes you feel lousy.

Get more sleep on the weekends!

If changing your sleep habits doesn’t come naturally to you, read this earlier post for tips on how to make a new habit stick and consider these ideas:

  • Figure out how much sleep you really need to feel good and perform at your best. Then track your hours each week to determine if you’re behind.
  • Make sleep a priority. Stop scheduling early morning activities on the weekend. And if you can’t, get creative to share “early rising” duties with your significant other, friends or family members.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. If you associate Friday and Saturday nights with rich food and alcohol, change your routine for a few weekends and see if you sleep longer and/or more soundly.
  • Unplug. The blue light emitted by screens of all types can make you restless. Turn off your technology an hour before bed to help you fall asleep faster.

Then, contact Exact Staff. With a national presence and a full complement of staffing and placement solutions, we can help you better you plan your hiring and staffing needs, offload non-core business activities, and assume time-consuming hiring activities. We’ll help you lighten your load – and sleep a little better.

“Big Sister” Is Listening: How to Delete Alexa’s Recordings of Your Private Conversations

07/16/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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George Orwell’s fictitious Big Brother may not truly be watching you…

…but Amazon’s very real Alexa is definitely listening to you. All the time. And recording everything she hears you say.

Kinda creepy when you think about it.

Even worse? A Portland woman claims that the Echo virtual assistant took things a step further, recording a private conversation between her and her husband – and then sending the recording to one of the husband’s employees.

Kinda extremely creepy.

While an Amazon spokesperson explained the incident away as an innocent series of voice recognition mistakes, news like this makes it clear that you need to protect yourself if you use voice recognition technology in your home.

What is Alexa listening to – and recording? And how can you erase her “memories” of your conversations? It’s pretty simple if you have the Alexa app:

  1. Open your Alexa app and click “Settings.”
  2. Scroll down and select “History.” You’ll see of all your voice interactions listed.
  3. From this list, you can review Alexa recordings. Be sure to listen to those with “Text not available.”
  4. From there, you can select any recordings you’d like to delete by choosing “Delete Voice Recordings.”

If you don’t want to use the Alexa app, here are the steps to delete all of your interactions, using the Amazon website:

  1. Navigate to the Amazon website, and then go to “Manage Your Content and Devices.”
  2. Select the “Your Devices” tab.
  3. From the list of devices registered to your Amazon account, select your Alexa device.
  4. Select “Manage voice recordings.”
  5. Select “Delete.”

“Alexa, create a new reminder.”

Voice recognition technology is amazing, but it’s far from perfect. If you want the convenience this tech offers, understand that it comes with risks – and schedule regular reminders to delete your virtual assistant’s recordings of your conversations.

Have something we need to hear?

As a national staffing service, Exact Staff understands and appreciates the value of constructive feedback in maintaining a productive business relationship. So, tell us what you think! Please contact our national staffing service with your comments, questions or suggestions.