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Exact Staff News

  • 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.

Interview Questions Managers Ask to Assess Your Personality

01/28/19 7:41 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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You’ve checked off all the hiring manager’s boxes: job skills, work experience, salary requirements and more.

There’s just one big question left in their mind:

Do you have the right personality type to thrive in the job?

Savvy employers know that creating a successful match between a candidate and an opportunity takes more than the right technical skills and experience; it also takes the right soft skills. In fact, if an interviewer sees you as a better cultural fit, or someone with stronger growth potential than other applicants, it could tip the scales in your favor.

Use this as an opportunity for you to separate yourself from the crowd!

In your next interview, don’t be another me-too candidate who describes themselves as a “team player with excellent communication skills.” Skip the clichés, and prepare unique, memorable answers to these personality interview questions:

  1. Tell me about the accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career. This conversation starter gives you an opportunity to describe your work habits and how you interact effectively with others.
  2. Tell me about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted – like a promotion you didn’t get, or a project that didn’t turn out how you had hoped. A potential employer will want to know how you handle adversity on the job. Do you blame others, deride yourself, or view it as an opportunity for growth? If you’re asked this question, be careful not to point fingers. Focus your response on what you learned from a personal or professional setback.
  3. What’s the best way to manage you? This question reveals how well you understand the keys to your own success. Additionally, it helps the interviewer grasp the communication styles, rewards, amount of supervision, and leadership styles that appeal most to you (thereby gauging your potential fit within the company’s existing team). Give some thought to these factors before you head into an interview, so you can distinguish yourself as a great cultural match.
  4. What was the last new task or skill you learned? How did you go about that? Employers ask this question to see how you view your own professional development. Craft a response that emphasizes your curiosity and commitment to continual learning.
  5. What would your best friend say is the best part about being your friend? This personality question invites candor, and it gives the interview a glimpse of how you might mesh with current employees. Be honest and describe the qualities that make you a good person and friend.
  6. If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be and why? This question may sound trite, but your response reveals a great deal about your personality, values and interests. Choose a public figure whom you admire and describe the qualities that you’d like to emulate.

Need help refining your interview skills?

Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. We can help you polish your conversational skills, plan responses to common questions, and prepare to knock your next interview out of the park.

And if you’re ready for a new opportunity to build your skills and advance your career, register with your local Exact Staff office today.

What’s the Best Way to Train Gen Z?

01/25/19 10:59 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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They’re young. Tech savvy. Socially conscious. Competitive.

And they’re driving sweeping changes in the workplace.

Now flooding into the workforce, post-millennials are prompting savvy business leaders to rethink every aspect of management, from job satisfaction to training. Unlike prior generations, Generation Z (also known as iGen or homelanders) doesn’t remember life without social media, ubiquitous connectivity and YouTube.

In light of their fundamental differences, what’s the best way to get roughly 67 million workers trained to do the jobs of the future? Our national recruiters share tips for effectively training Gen Z:

Understand – and Leverage – Their Core Values

Having grown up during a time of multiple environmental, social and financial crises, Gen Z is socially aware, fiscally conservative and committed to sustainability. When designing training initiatives for this younger cohort, emphasize your business’ mission, vision, values and purpose, and how employee training will help you achieve that purpose. Beyond explaining the purpose of the training itself, detail how each employee’s development helps the organization to achieve a mission that serves society.

Go High Tech

In this Kahoot! study, majority of trainers (62%) say homelanders prefer mobile apps for learning, and nearly half (48%) say online learning tools are favored. Not surprisingly, training with videos and social media is a great way to connect with Gen Z; 39% and 34% of trainers use these options respectively.

Be Authentic

More than prior generations, Generation Z is willing to integrate their work and personal lives. Since work is a big part of their identity, they want authentic employers – and authenticity in their training, too. So, when creating training scenarios, team-building activities and characters for eLearning content, make sure they’re as genuine as your organization is. Otherwise, you risk alienating this marketing-savvy and brand-wary generation.

Consider Gamification and Interactive Training Tools

Results from the Kahoot! study also showed that nearly half(48%) of Gen Z workers prefer gamification or game-based learning, and 1 in 4(25%) prefers training via virtual and/or augmented reality. When designing eLearning scenarios and assessments, consider the value of these emerging technologies for feedback, engagement and encouragement.

Break it Up

Sometimes characterized as impatient, iGen learns information best in shorter, smaller “bites.” To make training interesting and effective for this generation, replace long-winded lectures or classes with chopped up, bite-size info sessions; break down longer training documents into digestible clumps of facts, tips and tools.

Recruiting Generation Z?

Exact Staff can help. Whether your needs are local or national, temporary or direct, the Exact Family of Companies provides solutions to make recruiting the right talent quicker and more cost-effective.

Off-Hours: Hobbies of Highly Successful People

01/18/19 6:59 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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All work and no play?

It makes Jack a dull boy. And it zaps creativity, focus and performance on the job.

The most successful people in the world knows there’s more to life than eat-sleep-work:

  • Oprah Winfrey enjoys photography.
  • Elon Musk plays video games.
  • Richard Branson is passionate about yachting and hot-air ballooning.

While each of these high performers puts in long hours on the job, they also enjoy downtime pursuing hobbies and interests outside work. They realize that the way they spend their free time – during evenings, weekends and vacations – has a huge impact on their personal fulfillment as well as their career trajectory.

So…how are you spending your free time?

If you want to be more successful at work, be intentional about what you do when you’re not there. Put down the remote and take up one of these hobbies of incredibly successful people:

Work out. Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to improve your attitude, confidence, resilience and stamina – all of which prime you to perform at your peak.

Who’s want to sweat? Barack and Michelle Obama are proud gym enthusiasts, and these leading CEOs even do yoga with their employees.

Paint or color. Painting and other artistic pursuits have real work-related benefits that extend far beyond pure enjoyment and creation. Research suggests coloring has the potential to reduce anxiety, promote mindfulness and even help you organize your thoughts. Another study found that creating visual art can improve connections in the brain known as the “default mode network,” which is involved in focusing on internal thoughts and planning.

Who’s want to pencils and brushes? According to her husband, Kate Middleton, Duchess not there, enjoys coloring as a hobby; former US President George W. Bush is a prolific painter of landscapes and puppies.

Spend Time in Nature

Want to do better work? Stop breathing air-conditioned air and idling in a chair. Ambitious people connect with nature and the outdoors; they understand how activities like hiking, skiing and climbing restore their energy, creativity, focus and more.

Who’s an avid outdoorsman? Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reports dedicating his Saturdays to hiking.

Take Classes

Whether you take a workshop, class or pursue a certification, continual learning builds your skills, enhances your promotability and makes you a more interesting person.

Who’s hitting the books? After achieving childhood fame, actress Emma Watson chose to pursue higher education at Brown University.

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!

Crush It in 2019: Mindset Shifts That Drive Personal Growth

01/12/19 8:59 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Ready to overhaul your career, health, finances, relationships or any other aspect of your personal or professional life?

Start with Overhauling Your Mindset

The way you think about your life – your successes or failures, your powers or limitations –has a profound impact on what you ultimately achieve. Logically, you must picture what you want to do in your mind’s eye before you accomplish it.  

The really cool part? You control how you see the world (and yourself in it). With a ittle mental discipline, you can quickly change your frame of mind to drive tremendous personal and professional growth this year.

Here’s how:

Shift from “Going Through” Tough Times to “Growing Through” Them

Nobody’s life is a never-ending bed of roses; everyone must endure discouraging times,disappointments and failures. High achievers, however, realize that these experiencesaren’t merely to be endured; they’re sources of experience and growth.

If you’ve experienced setbacks in the past, consider what you can learn from them – and move on.

Shift from a “Lack” Mindset to a”Wealth” Mindset

Do you find yourself chasing a bigger paycheck, focusing on the big house you don’t have yet, or convinced that you’ll never be rich? If you want to change your circumstances, change your thinking.

An abundance mindset shifts from “I could never afford that” to “how can I afford that,” and spurs you to tap your creativity and imagination to create wealth. If you truly believe you earn more, you’ll find a way to do it.

Shift from “Seeking Entertainment” to “Creating and Learning”

Most of us go through life distracted: at work, at the gym, even when we’re spending time with loved ones. Instead of prioritizing deep focus and learning, we numb our minds with content from social feeds, TV shows and alcohol.

If you want to improve any aspect of your life, stop anesthetizing yourself with meaningless, passive entertainment. Prioritize learning and creating. Spend more time thinking, doing and furthering your personal development.

Achieve More with Exact Staff

Serving organizations across the nation for more than 20 years, the Exact Family of Companies provides a full complement of staffing and placement solutions to fast-track projects, delegate non-core tasks, and keep you focused on high-priority work.

What do you want to achieve in 2019? We can provide the exact talent to get you there!

Capitalize on Emerging Trends to Position Your Business for Success in 2019

12/27/18 7:45 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Will your business ride a wave of success in 2019 – or get caught in the undertow?

The answer depends on how quickly your organization capitalizes on emerging trends in your industry.

It may sound brutal, but it’s true: With change occurring faster than ever, what worked yesterday might not cut it tomorrow. Business leaders who anticipate, identify and seize the best new opportunities for their organization will reap the rewards.

So grab your surfboard, jump on and use these tips to position your business for an amazing 2019:

Become nimbler. Organizational agility helps your business adapt to its changing environment, by deftly executing initiatives in support of your overall strategy. It’s what allows your business to:

  • respond quickly and effectively to urgent issues and risks;
  • stay profitable in turbulent markets;
  • identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities – before your competitors do.

In this earlier post, we share four ways to help your organization adapt and respond more quickly to whatever comes your way.

Look around the next corner. To seize new opportunities, you must identify them early. Consider changing circumstances which may impact your industry and external business environment, such as:

  • Technological advances
  • Social, political and legal changes
  • Economic challenges or opportunities
  • Demographic changes and/or changes in customer expectations

Examine each of these “big picture” forces regularly to uncover key opportunities for your organization. To find the insight you need:

  • Attend industry events. Conferences, expos and seminars are ideal places to learn what’s coming next.
  • Explore trends in other industries. Talk to business associates and broaden your network to gather diverse perspectives and insights.
  • Read the right publications. Entrepreneur, Inc., FastCompany, The Economist and more can be used to explore emerging trends.

Ask the right questions. Look at your track record to learn from what worked (and what didn’t). Here are just a few to consider:

  • What products/services were most successful – and why?
  • What was easier/harder to sell this year compared to last –and why?
  • What do clients/customers want that you haven’t offered up until now – and why?
  • What new products/services can you create that will be irresistible?

Take action. Once you’ve gathered available intelligence (about your organization, your industry, external factors and trends) and laid out your options, consider the following 4-R questions to determine your best course of action:

  • What will you regret if you fail to take any action at all?The higher the potential regret, the sooner you should make a choice.
  • How tough will it be to reverse course? The easier a decision is to repeal, the faster you should make it.
  • What will the repercussions be? The broader the impact, the more carefully you need to tread.
  • How will the decision impact your organization’s resilience?Give more weight to decision options that will build your company’s ability to bounce back.

Want to capitalize on emerging trends impacting your industry?

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 perfec partner to support your success in 2019 and beyond.

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

Keep Your Team Motivated and Productive During the Holidays

12/22/18 3:30 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Take a look around your office. Are your employees:

  • Making a final push to hit year-end targets…or spending too much time shopping online at Target?
  • Planning for a great 2019…or just planning their family gatherings?
  • Working industriously…or as distracted as Buddy the Elf?

It’s the holidays. House guests, unfinished shopping, parties and pending vacations can derail your employees’ focus and productivity – during whatmay be your busiest time of the year.

As a manager, it’s your responsibility to help keep your team motivated and productive this holiday season. Use these tips to make it truly “the most wonderful time of the year” in your organization – without being a scrooge:

Get Organized

If the holidays aretypically your busy season, organize vacation and time-off requests ahead oftime – to ensure you can honor requests and still get your work done.

Set a Good Example

Part of being agood manager is leading by example – even during the holidays! If you’retempted to come in late or do a little gift shopping at work, remember thatemployees take their cues from you. Make sure you follow the good advice yougive them:

  • Stay focused on hitting your goals and keep your productivity bar set high.
  • Take good care of your physical and mental health.
  • Balance work priorities with fun and family time.
  • Take a little extra time to express thanks to everyone who contributes to your team’s success.

Beat Stress Before it Beats Down Your Team

If things get crazy in your company at year’s end, proactively foster apositive, fun work environment to nip performance issues in the bud:

  • Deck the halls with some festive décor.
  • Motivate with vibrant music.
  • Have an ugly holiday sweater contest.
  • Create a work tradition of exchanging small gifts or hosting a cookie swap.
  • Take 5-minute “fun” breaks to re-focus and recharge employees – especially when work is stressful.

Savor Slow Days

If you experience a slow-down at to work, use it to your motivational advantage. Allow staff to knock off a little early to do last-minute shopping or spend a little extra time with family. Giving a little time off when it’s slow makes employees more likely to work harder – and stay a little longer – when things do get busy.

Ask What Kind of Carrot to Dangle

Not entirely sure what will really motivate your team this season? Stopsecond-guessing yourself. Just ask them! And then implement what you can. Your employees will appreciate the gesture and wantto perform their best for you.

Looking to keep y our work teams working at their peak this holiday season?

Provide the support they need! Your staffers work hard all year long. Encourage them to take their unused vacation time, and contact Exact Staff to provide temporary support and ensure adequate coverage.

With a full complement of staffing and placement services, the Exact Family of Companies can help your team stay focused, happy and productive – and prime your organization for an amazingly successful New Year.

Secrets to Having More Energy

12/14/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Tired of feeling tired?

You could blame the weather. You could blame the coming winter solstice. You could blame the holiday frenzy…

…or you could actually DO something about it.

If you want to greet every work day full of energy, try these tactics:

Create meaning in your work.

Neuroscience studies demonstrate that pursuing meaning – not merely happiness – is the key to long-term fulfillment and engagement on the job. In fact, Tom Rath, author of Are You Fully Charged?, shares research concluding that the “odds of being completely engaged in your job increase by more than 250 percent if you spend a lot of time doing meaningful work throughout the day.”

If your work isn’t especially meaningful right now, look for ways to tweak, expand or evolve your role in the year ahead to:

  • directly impact your organization’s mission and vision;
  • make a difference in the lives of customers, clients or the world at large;
  • better support internal team members’ success.

Improve your interactions with others.

Positive interactions – ones that foster a sense of belonging and connectedness with co-workers – can energize you and improve your overall sense of wellness on the job. Try these tips:

  • Make friends. While it’s important not to overshare or engage in office gossip, build relationships with your co-workers. Research from Gallup shows that people who have a best-friend relationship at work are a whopping 7 times likely to be engaged in their job!
  • Be positive. As a rule of thumb, strive to make 80% of what you say, do or share positive, even when things are tough at work.

Adopt habits of successful people.

The most energetic, productive and successful professionals have mastered tricks to make every day great.

  • Eat well. Consuming the right foods can improve brain power by as much as 20 percent. In this earlier post, we share 4 power foods you should eat in the morning to kickstart your day and supercharge your energy level.
  • Get moving. Research proves there’s a relationship between physical activity and improved cognitive and executive functioning.
  • Discipline your thinking. It’s not just a saying; attitude IS everything – impacting your focus, motivation and your energy level. Adopting a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity, helps you insulate your mood from what happens around you.
  • Wake up earlier. An extra 30 minutes can dramatically improve your morning routine. Just be careful not to short-change your sleep; a high-energy day starts with a great night’s sleep.
  • Practice gratitude. Gratitude is antithetical to anxiety, anger and fear, and it takes just a few moments of reflection to center yourself – and boost your focus.

Maximize your team’s productivity and energy levels with the right staffing support.

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

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

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