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  • 12 Things Mentally Strong People Won’t Do

    04/19/19 12:27 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment

    Mental toughness is a virtue that helps all aspects of life. Athletes require it to overcome their physical pain and exhaustion and reach their fitness goals. And other people need it to get through a rough period at work. Or the general stressors of life. Here are twelve things that mentally strong people don’t do.

    Stay in their Comfort Zone

    Push yourself! Test your limits! Expand your boundaries and your point of view. You can’t determine what you need to improve or learn if you don’t challenge yourself. Give in to your fears.

    Stop Believing in Themselves

    Mentally strong people persevere—even after a failure, they keep going, focused on their goals instead of the setback.

    Hold Grudges

    A grudge is a waste of energy and time. It’s counterproductive since it actually adds stress, spikes our blood pressure, and contributes to heart disease.

    Live for Attention

    People who are mentally tough don’t rely on attention from others for their self-worth. They’re confident on their own, more focused on what needs to be done than their own egos.

    Act like Jerks

    People who act like jerks usually do so because they’re insecure and unhappy. Instead, they treat everyone with kindness, fairness, and respect, no matter what kind of mood they’re in.

    Hang with Negative People

    Attitudes are contagious. So, if you’re hanging around people who complain and wallow in misery all the time, eventually you’ll do the same. There’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negativity. Distance yourself from those people so you can focus on your own positive energy.

    Indulge in self-Pity

    When you feel sorry for yourself, you automatically label yourself a victim, thus surrendering any control you have in the situation. Instead, you control the narrative and you dictate what happens.

    Feel Entitled

    Mentally tough people know that the world doesn’t owe them anything. They have to work for what they get, and they alone are responsible for their successes or failures.

    Shut Down New Information

    People who have mental toughness are open-minded. Instead of being threatened by new ideas or information, they know that the truth is what matters. So, even if it means that they’re wrong, they will seek the truth because it means better quality output.

    Let People Rain on their Parade

    Happiness is a choice you make every moment of every day. You can’t control what other people say or do, but you can control how you react to it. Your self-worth has to come from within, not dependent on the opinions of others.

    Feel Jealous

    Jealousy isn’t an issue for people who are mentally tough because they understand that other people’s success doesn’t take away from their own.

    Dwell in the Past

    Past failure and success are important to learn from, but you need to move on from them. Aim for greater success, which means you’ll need to take risks.

    Choose a Staffing Partner that Truly Listens to You

    At Exact Staff, we know that developing effective staffing solutions requires an in-depth understanding of your needs. We’ll listen, ask the right questions, and then create a solution that offers 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.

The Guide to Utilizing Power Poses to be Successful in Life

04/18/19 12:27 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment

An effective power pose can mean all the difference in gaining trust from those around you, earning respect from the rest of your team, and communicating messages that sometimes words cannot.

After all, people make snap judgments about us based on first impressions when they first see us, which we’ve documented in our past article “Small Things People Use to Judge Your Personality”  

If you want to exhibit a demeanor based on self-confidence and authority, consider these tips on improving your power pose.

Use Your Facial Expressions

Experts claim it takes less than a tenth of a second to determine whether or not someone’s face is trustworthy. And that first impression is the one that stays with us despite the facts that try to sway our rational brains. So the best pose for your face is a genuine smile to show that you’re competent and trustworthy. But the smile has to be big and sincere—you can’t fake it. A tight-lipped smile that doesn’t show any teeth hints that you’re hiding something and a smile that drops the lower jaw is seen as fake.

Use Your Hands and Arms

Effective speakers use a lot of hand gestures as they talk, which makes them seem warm, agreeable, and energetic. Use your finger to count off numbers, squeeze your thumb and forefinger together to show something small, or emphasize an important point by extending your index finger and thumb and rotating your hand.

Placing your hands face down on the surface of the table asserts your confidence and authority. As does placing your hands on your hips with your elbows pointed out and your thumbs to the back. But when you move your thumbs to the front, you’re showing that you have questions and are seeking help, lessening any tension in the room. If you clap your hands together while you’re speaking, it tells your audience that what you’re saying in that moment is important.

Be Mindful of Your Feet and legs

The feet are the most honest indicator of what you’re currently feeling. Stand with a firm stance if you’re standing and want to convey that you’re in charge. Crossing your legs shows that you’re at ease because it’s impossible to run away. And jiggling or shaking your legs means that you’re happy—unless they suddenly started shaking mid-conversation. In that case, it means that you’re suddenly uncomfortable.

Use Your Head and Neck

People only touch their necks when they’re disturbed, threatened, or confused, so if you scratch or stroke your neck, it looks like you’re stressed and trying to calm yourself down. Raise your chin to show that you’re confident; lowering your chin shows that you’re unsure.

Pose Appropriately

Use your torso to show how comfortable you are. Turning your body towards someone shows that you trust them and are willing to make yourself vulnerable. But when you turn your torso away from someone, you’re implying that you don’t like them.

Need Highly Successful 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!

How to Save Money on Your Favorite Airline

03/29/19 11:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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No matter who you are, air travel is expensive!

Whether you travel regularly for work, you’re headed somewhere warm for spring break, or you’re planning your summer vacation, most of us will take a plane ride in the next six months. Here’s how to cut costs while traveling on your favorite airline.

Southwest Airlines

If you’re a frequent flier, Southwest is the way to go! Once you have enough points—1 point for each dollar you spend—you can earn discounts on flights. And you can hit up Companion Pass, meaning that a person of your choosing can fly for free. You can also join Click ‘N Save, their newsletter that clues you in on special deals and low fares.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit has a lot of little, extra fees that add up in a big way, but if you plan ahead, you can save some dough. First, print your boarding pass before you get to the airport. They charge $2 to print it at the kiosk and $10 to print it at the counter. And bring your own snacks! Once you board the plane, you’ll be charged between $1 and $10 for snacks and $1 to $15 for drinks. And finally, book your own flights—their Reservation Center charges you at least $35 per booking.

Delta Airlines

Delta posts their best deals on their Flight Deals and Offers Page. Even on a budget, it’s possible to check out cities all around the world. And Delta lets you rent a car and book a hotel at the same time you’re arranging your flight, and as long as you have a SkyMiles number, you’ll earn extra miles while you drive.

Hawaiian Airlines

Depending on when you fly, you can book some low airfare through Hawaiian Airlines. January, February and March seem to be the cheapest months to fly while June, July, August, and December are the priciest. Their special offers page shows you the best days to fly for the lowest prices to mainland cities.

Alaska Airlines

Discount codes are the way to go on Alaska Airlines. If you have a credit card through one of their partners, like Alaska Airlines Visa and World Elite Mastercard, you can save and store discount codes to use later. Their website also features deals and sales each week.

JetBlue Airways

Use the internet! JetBlue charges an additional $25 per person if you book your flights over the phone. Besides, their best deals are found on their Deals page, Best Fare Finder, and JetBlueCheeps. And if you’re among their frequent fliers, you can seize exclusive fares, upgrades, and perks.

United Airlines

If you sign up for United credit cards, either Chase United Explorer Credit Card or Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Business Card, your first bag can fly for free. You can also check their Special Flight Offers page for upcoming deals and low fares. Veterans and active service members can snag a 5% discount on airfare.

Need Highly Successful 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!

Things You Should Never Do Right Before Bed

03/25/19 11:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Sleep advice is everywhere.

It seems that everyone is preaching about the importance of sleep and it’s enough to make us anxious. Even if you’re laying in bed for the recommended 7 to 9 hours, you might not be asleep the whole time or getting the kind of sleep you need. Poor sleep is associated with all kinds of health problems, not to mention the effect it has on your ability to stay focused and motivated during the day. Here are things you should never do right before bed to get the best rest possible.

Work on Work

It seems like a great idea to catch up on emails once you climb into bed, or even get a jump start on tomorrow’s tasks, but if you want to maximize your rest time, don’t. Just by putting yourself into a “work frame of mind,” you’re activating your brain and renewing any stressors that aggravated you during the day. Instead you want to feel nice and peaceful as your head hits the pillow.

Drink Alcohol

Though a glass of wine or a beer might help you relax as you unwind at night, it actually reduces your REM sleep. This is the sleep you need to feel fully rested in the morning, so you try to maximize it. Most people who have a drink or two before falling asleep report waking up throughout the night, often without being able to fall back asleep.

Drink Too Much Water

Nothing wakes you up in the middle of the night with as much urgency as a full bladder! Hydration is a big piece of good health, but sleep is just as important. Drink your water throughout the day and cut yourself off after dinnertime.

Use Your Phone

Screens—TV’s, phones, laptops, particularly the blue and white lights that they give off—prevent your brain from releasing melatonin, which is the hormone needed to fall asleep. So, though your phone is a good way to unwind and relax, it’s not helpful at inducing good, quality sleep.

Eat Sugar

You’ve eaten healthy all day long, don’t ruin it at bedtime! It’s tempting to grab a small piece of chocolate or have a bowl of ice cream when you’re watching your shows in the evening, but sugary, fatty foods may prevent you from entering a deep slumber and might even cause sleep interruptions. Not to mention the fact that chocolate contains caffeine!

Eat Spicy Foods

If you’re into spicier foods, reserve those meals for earlier in the day. Put hot sauce on your eggs at breakfast or stop at the taco truck at lunchtime. Spicy foods cause acid reflux and indigestion that sometimes can’t even be quelled with a handful of Tums.

Up Late Thinking About Hiring?

If you’re desire to grow your team is keeping you up at night, contact the experts at Exact Staff. With a skilled team of recruiters in place to help source and provide your organization with the best available talent, trust us with your hiring needs and get that sleep you deserve!

How to Clear Your Mind So You Can Do Your Best Work

03/22/19 10:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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It’s hard to focus when you’ve got a lot on your mind.

You sit down to be creative and all you can think about is that last argument you had with your spouse. Or that you must reschedule your dentist appointment. Or what you’re going to order for lunch. But there are ways around this—ways to clear your mind so you can concentrate on the project in front of you. After all, you don’t want to be known for handing in sub-par assignments. Here’s how to clear your mind so you can do your best work.

Sit and Think

Set aside a few minutes and just think. Clear off your desk so that only a notepad and pen sit in front of you. For the first minute or two, don’t write anything. Just take a deep breath and welcome any thought that comes into your head. If you want, carry on in this meditative state. Welcome a thought and then release it.

Make a List

Once you’ve meditated for a minute or two, start to write.

Go through your major categories of life and brainstorm your list of major thoughts for each one as though you’re pulling them out of your head to discard them. Later, that list could be your to-do-list.

First, your health and wellness needs—you’re dehydrated, your tooth is bothering you.

The next category is family and friends—your son’s birthday is coming up or you need to catch up with a friend.

Next, your personal belongings—you need to order a new suit or call a plumber about a leak.

Then tackle some thoughts about your work projects, your career goals, your finances, and any other major category in your life. As the thoughts leave your brain and land on your paper, you’re clearing your mind so you can focus.

Get Active

Go for a walk, or a run, or just do a few minutes of jumping jacks, squats, lunges, or push-ups. Your blood starts flowing, endorphins are released, your mood is boosted, and you forget about the stress. It’s the best way to activate your muscles and stimulate your brain.

Be Grateful

Take a few minutes to jot down the things you’re thankful for—good health, a great job, a warm house, or quality friends and family. By focusing on the positive, you automatically lower your stress and anxiety and allow yourself to focus on the tasks in front of you.

Do Something Mindless

Straighten up your desk, fold laundry, sweep the floor, or sit and play a game that doesn’t require much thought. These simple actions give you the chance to sort your thoughts—your hands are busy while your mind wanders. As soon as you’re finished your mindless tasks, go back to work. Sit down and see what comes out now that your other distracting thoughts have been released.

Looking to Accelerate Your Career Growth Once Your Mind is Clear?

Check out this earlier post on how to earn a promotion, garner a raise or set the stage for a career transition:

How to Blow Your Boss’s Mind (in the Best Way Possible!)

Then contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. With a nationwide presence, we can confidentially represent you to employers who need talented, career-minded professionals like you. If you’re ready for a new opportunity to build your skills and advance your career, apply with your local Exact Staff office today.

8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 am

03/19/19 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Early risers are a virtuous people!

Research suggests that successful people get up and accomplish more in those first few hours of wake time than the rest of us do in an entire day. And the list of famed early risers is long—Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Vanguard chairman Bill McNabb, and Four-Star General Stanley McChrystal, not to mention world-class athletes who squeeze in their workouts before the sun comes up.

Here are eight things every person should do before 8am.

Get Enough Sleep

There’s no point in rising at 5:30am if you didn’t sleep until 2am. Seven to nine hours a night is linked to increased memory, a longer life, better focus, lower stress levels, and decreased risk of depression.

Give to Your Loved Ones

Sit down to have breakfast with your kids or leave a note for your spouse as you head out the door. If you start out your day by doing something thoughtful and kind for someone you love, you’ll experience more joy and you’ll probably see that act of love returned.

Pray and Meditate

Give thanks for the good things in your life! When you’re grateful for what you have, you change your focus. See the positive in the world and you’ll immediately see opportunity and abundance in front of you.

Do Something Great

You’re awake and the rest of the world is still asleep! The world is at your command, so do something brave. Send that email you’ve been hesitant about. Or tackle that one item on your to-do list you’ve been avoiding. Just do it!

Work Out

And nothing makes me feel more courageous than a successful workout. Regular exercise boosts your energy, decreases your stress and anxiety, and increases your clarity and creativity. It might be HIIT, weight training, yoga, or a long-distance run, but whatever you do, get your blood flowing!

Read Something Inspiring

Pick something motivating or informational and read or listen to it each morning to get your day started. It might be a biography of your hero, a book about psychology you’re interested in, or motivational quotes by successful professionals. You can do it during your commute, while eating breakfast, when you’re out for a jog, or while sitting peacefully.

Keep a Journal

Journaling is a great activity to keep you focused. Jot down your hopes and dreams, your to-do list for the day, or a list of your stressors and anxieties. By putting these things into words, you focus your actions for the day.

Take a Step

You probably have some long-term goals laid out for your personal life or your career—landing your dream job or buying a new home. Each morning, take just one step toward your big goals and sooner rather than later, you’ll be there! Don’t put it off for tomorrow when you can take care of it right now!

Build a Flexible Staffing Strategy

The right staffing strategy can help you seize opportunities and outpace your competitors. And with a national presence and a full complement of talent solutions, the Exact Family of Companies is the perfect partner to support your success in 2019 and beyond.

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

2 Words that Hold Your Career Back – and What to Do When You Hear Them

02/19/19 8:25 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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“Good job!”

On the surface, this phrase sounds positive – or innocuous, at the very worst. But when your boss uses it to describe your performance, they’re doing you a great disservice (especially when it comes to your career growth).

Here’s why:

Throwaway compliments like “nice work” do nothing more than encourage mediocrity and complacency. They’re the verbal equivalent of those participation trophies toddlers get on the soccer field. And if you think the work you’re doing really is good enough, you’re deluding yourself into believing that you have nothing to improve upon.

How’s that going to help you move ahead in your job?

So, if you’re hearing generic phrases like, “Good job” or “nice work” – and nothing else from your supervisor – it’s time to ask for something more.

Three Words that Drive Career Growth

“Can we talk?”

These three words can help you initiate a meaningful conversation with your boss to get what you really need to move ahead: specific, constructive feedback.

Here’s how to get it:

Be Positive

Whining that you “never get feedback” won’t set the right tone. Instead, let your boss know that you’re looking for ways to improve your performance and grow in the organization – and that their input would be very helpful.

Schedule Time

Asking your boss for feedback will require work on their end. Explain what your goal is (e.g., to earn a promotion), and that you’d like to know what you’re doing well, what you could improve, and how you can prepare to succeed. Schedule a sit-down meeting to speak with your boss, free from distractions.

Steel Yourself

You’re asking for feedback – so prepare yourself to hear things that sting, or with which you might not agree. Guard against defensiveness; temper your emotional response and pay attention to the substance of any critical messages. Listen with curiosity and try to understand your boss’s comments from their point of view.

Focus on Positive Change

Write down the feedback you receive – both positive and constructive – and discuss how you can use it to learn, improve and grow. Find out whether your manager can help you create a plan of action and/or ways to measure progress. Remember that feedback won’t help your career unless you use it change your behaviors and habits.

Looking for more ways to accelerate your career growth?

Check out this earlier post on how to earn a promotion, garner a raise or set the stage for a career transition:

How to Blow Your Boss’s Mind (in the Best Way Possible!)

Then contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. With a nationwide presence, we can confidentially represent you to employers who need talented, career-minded professionals like you. If you’re ready for a new opportunity to build your skills and advance your career, apply with your local Exact Staff office today.

A Simple Trick to Dramatically Boost Workplace Creativity

02/18/19 11:17 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Employees struggling to get the creative juices flowing?

Encourage them to fantasize more (stay with us on this one for a minute before jumping to conclusions!). 

Research presented in this Ladders.com post points to some promising links between breaking a sweat and coming up with breakthrough ideas. In fact, fifty-three percent of Americans surveyed use workout time to fantasize or daydream – thinking about books they’d like to write, devices they plan to invent, or even behavior they want to model.

Cardio and Creativity Just Go Together

Although a cardio workout engages your body, your brain is free to wander. And often, to escape the discomfort your body is suffering, your brain distracts itself by focusing on more pleasant, novel thoughts.

Research shows that acute, strenuous physical exercise activates mechanisms in the brain which facilitate information processing. In other words, working out promotes better cognitive function.

As we mentioned in this earlier post, “How Daydreaming Can Improve Productivity,” daydreaming engages the same brain processes associated with imagination and creativity, and it’s in this engaged state that you may make sudden connections and have profound insights. Since cardiovascular exercise primes your brain for this type of activity, it’s an ideal time to problem-solve and innovate.

How Can You Apply this Concept to Boost Creativity?

Admittedly it takes a little creativity to combine work, exercise and intentional fantasizing, but here are two suggestions to get your team moving – and your creativity flowing:

Have Walking Meetings

Take a walk outside to discuss an idea with a team member, instead of shutting yourself in a conference room. Build in quiet periods during your walk, so you can each let your thoughts wander.

Try a Workout Brainstorming Session

If it works for the size and culture of your company, head to the gym to develop potential solutions to a business problem. Since employees may be at different fitness levels, make sure the physical activities you choose are safe, appropriate and inclusive.

Looking for More Creative Approaches to Help You Solve Tough Problems?

Our national staffing and placement agency provides a full complement of solutions, across a wide range of disciplines, to help you get the most from your team and your career.

Meaning and Purpose: How to Find It in Work

02/15/19 6:02 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Know someone who has an incredibly fulfilling career? A person who never seems to have a bad day, is passionate about their work, and truly enjoys their job?

Don’t envy them; be them – by finding the meaning and purpose in your work.

In this earlier post, we explored this concept in depth, citing neuroscience research which demonstrates that meaningful work fuels long-term fulfillment on the job – and can increase your engagement by an astounding 250 percent!

And in this recent SmartBrief article, Rodger Dean Duncan shares tips from prominent thought-leaders on how to discover real fulfillment in your work. Here are a few of their best ideas:

Live Your Personal Core Values at Work

Instead of trying to live up to others’ expectations, commit to acting on your core values every day. While you may not always be able to control what you must do each day, you can always stay in charge of who you are and how you behave – especially when work is challenging.

Treat Every Day as the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

We all get the same 24 hours in a day, and none of us can change what’s happened in the past. But by renewing your commitment to doing your absolute best each morning, you greet the day with a clean slate and a fresh sense of purpose.

Connect the Dots

Clarify for yourself how your work affects your department, your organization and the world at large. When you envision the impact of your daily routine in this larger context, you find greater meaning in performing otherwise routine tasks.

Focus on Your Gifts

Make a list of things you’re good at and look for patterns: What energizes you? What do you naturally enjoy most? Identifying your strengths, and then analyzing how those talents benefit others (e.g., fellow team members, clients, customers, vendors and beyond) amplifies the meaning of what you do.

Team Members Lacking Passion or Inspiration?

Give them more time to focus on meaningful, purpose-driven work. With a full complement of national staffing and placement solutions, Exact Staff is here to support your core team’s success. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.

Smart Tips for Improving Workplace Relationships

02/8/19 3:30 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Not feeling camaraderie, goodwill and teamwork in your office like you used to?

Might be time for a workplace relationship reboot.

Like all interpersonal connections, sustaining healthy relationships in the workplace takes consistent effort. Left unaddressed, small disagreements, miscommunications or slights can do more than just irritate your staff; they can destroy teamwork, corporate culture and trust – and drive great people out the door.

Go on the Offensive!

If you’re seeing unnecessary drama or are sensing that employees are mentally checking out, be proactive and positive. Use these simple tips from our national employment agency to improve relationships in your workplace:

Be Direct (but Kind).

Too often, tension builds because someone wants to avoid having an awkward or unpleasant conversation. But without honest communication, the offending employee may never even know that their behavior is causing issues – and the elephant in the room will only get bigger.

Speaking the truth is the best way to help another person understand and adjust. Before approaching someone:

  • Clarify your intention. Think of what you want the positive outcome to be – and use that to guide the conversation.
  • Don’t wait. Initiate a conversation as soon after an incident as possible, as long as you’re calm.
  • Be discrete. Never bring up a sensitive issue in public.
  • Be kind and empathetic. Consider the other person’s feelings when making your case.

Try Role-Playing

If two employees are having trouble getting along, ask each to view the situation from the other’s perspectives by pretending they’ve been asked to resolve the problem. By broadening their perspective and asking for their help in developing solutions, you effectively break the cycle of pettiness and negativity.

Train Your Team in Active Listening

Role-playing is much more effective when participants employ active listening techniques. This key communication skill demonstrates that participants understand, and are concerned about, the other’s point of view. In this earlier post, we review active listening fundamentals and explain how to use the technique to guide difficult conversations at work.

Stop the blame Game

When problems crop up, some people naturally go on the defensive. If this is a pattern in your office, bring up the topic for discussion. Remind employees that pointing fingers fuels drama, and that responsible employees own their mistakes, focus on developing solutions, and try to learn from missteps so that they don’t happen again.

Share Resources

Quite honestly, some people are not great at developing healthy workplace relationships simply because they haven’t been taught how to. One remedy is to give these employees resources they can use to curb negative thinking, communicate in constructive ways, and model positive behaviors.

For example, share and discuss these earlier posts as a team:

Happy People Have These Habits

Effective Ways to Approach Conflict and Difficult Conversations at Work

How to Prevent Negativity from Creeping into Your Corporate Culture

Need More Positive Relationships in Your Workplace?

Hire smarter. Strive to systematically replace toxic employees with more positive high-performers. Look for individuals who communicate directly, respect others and are upbeat even in tough circumstances.

Exact Staff’s recruiting experts are here to source and refer candidates with the personality traits and soft skills to help you build healthy workplace relationships. Contact our national employment agency today to get started.

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