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Exact Staff News

  • Five Ways a Leader Can Build the Perfect Team

    04/21/16 9:30 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    Ever wondered why some work teams soar and accomplish amazing things – while others stagnate and fail?

    That’s what Google set out to determine over four years ago. In their quest to build the perfect team, Google’s People Operations department launched Project Aristotle, investing millions of dollars and thousands of man hours to measure nearly every aspect of their employees’ lives, managers’ behavior and more. Their experts:

    • Reviewed a half-century’s worth of academic studies on team dynamics and performance.

    • Analyzed team composition, including members’ gender, interests, education and motivations, to identify patterns which influenced group success.

    • Even scrutinized employees’ lunchroom eating behavior, to see if and how social networks related to team performance.

    Did they uncover some “magic formula” for creating a high-functioning team? Nope. But, they did determine a fundamental (and somewhat common-sense) component to successful team-building: psychological safety.

    In plain English, “psychological safety” enables team members to feel comfortable opening up to other group members and taking reasonable risks – without fear of embarrassment, rejection or punishment.

    Makes sense, right? When team members feel secure with one another, they’re more likely to work well together.

    Take advantage of Google’s team-building revelation. As a leader, here are five things you can do to increase psychological safety – and create better teams:

    Encourage Team Members to Think

    Permit employees to express their opinions, offer new suggestions, challenge one another’s thinking, and even disagree with you. Welcome their involvement. Listen to their input. Take their suggestions seriously – and test out their best ideas.

    Be Willing to Give Up Control

    Work with your team to establish clear priorities, guidelines, measurable objectives and accountability. Then be willing to let go, allowing the team to direct their own activities (both individually and as a group). Empowering your team increases cohesion and ultimately supports success.

    Share the Big Picture

    Make sure your team understands how their work fits into and impacts other departments, your organization, your community and beyond. When employees know how and why their work matters, they feel inspired to do great things.

    Facilitate Interaction

    Encourage team members to talk openly with one another. Establish guidelines and routines for professional, friendly and detailed communication, regardless of the medium used. Do what you can to enhance the flow of dialogue among members and with you. The fewer communication “silos” you have, the more tight-knit your team will be.

    Make Failure Acceptable

    To foster great teams, build a culture in which acceptable risk-taking and failure are tolerated. As a leader, it’s up to you to create a “psychological safety zone” in which employees know they can try and fail – without being punished or fired. And when employees do make mistakes, use those missteps as opportunities to learn (experience is often the best teacher!).

    To Build Better Teams, Start by Choosing the Right Staffing Partner

    With a national presence, and a full complement of staffing and placement services, Exact Staff can rapidly deliver exceptional people to build your core team. Improve productivity. And seamlessly flex your workforce to match changing demands.

    What can we do for you?

    Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

Top Actions to Take with Your LinkedIn Profile

04/18/16 9:30 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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You’re a savvy professional. You already know that you need a strong LinkedIn presence to increase your visibility, grow your network, enhance your reputation and personal brand, and take your career to the next level.

But leveraging the full value LinkedIn offers as a job-search and career-building tool takes more than uploading a professional headshot and drafting a compelling headline. It takes consistent, intentional effort. If you’re ready to up your LinkedIn game, here are four smart action steps (read: habits) to take, starting today:

Make Regular Updates

As you broaden your skills, complete new projects and take on additional responsibilities, reflect those changes in your LinkedIn profile. Periodically update your Summary, Experience, Projects and Honors & Awards sections to reflect your career growth. Double-check your Privacy and Settings options to make sure that those updates get published, so recruiters see your growth, too.

Increase Your Profile’s “Searchability”

Aligning your profile information with LinkedIn Recruiter’s search fields naturally increases the chances that recruiters or hiring managers will find it. Edit your profile so that it addresses the following search fields recruiters commonly use: title, status, current company, location, industry, degree, field of study, function, seniority level, years at position, years at company, years of experience, all groups, interested in and when joined.

Add Media

Most people are “visual learners,” and we all process visual information much more rapidly than text. Grab potential employers’ attention – and hold it longer – by:

  • Adding thumbnail images of reports, published materials or other projects you’ve worked on.

  • Uploading slide examples of PowerPoint presentations you’ve given.

  • Linking to blog posts you’ve written or positive press you’ve received.

Direct People To It

Even if you build a phenomenal profile, the right people won’t necessarily find you. So draw a digital map for them! Get more people to check out your profile by:

  • Adding a link to your digital resume

  • Including a LinkedIn button in your email signature

  • Using a QR code (that links to your profile) on your business card, cover letters or even name badges at networking functions 

Need Help Refining Your LinkedIn Profile?

Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. We can help you identify your strengths, evaluate your career options, and strengthen both your resume and LinkedIn profile. 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.

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What to Do if a Conversation Turns Loud and Aggressive

04/15/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Is your workplace a hive of harmonious activity – or does it feel more like an episode of Hell’s Kitchen?

Whether they begin with policy disagreements, personality clashes or simple misunderstandings, workplace disagreements can quickly escalate into full-blown battles without proper management. And the results can be disastrous, including:

  • Lowered productivity and morale;

  • Employee turnover;

  • Even costly legal action which can sabotage profitability and your company’s reputation.

In all fairness, not every workplace conflict leads to such dire consequences. Often, squabbles and disagreements are short-lived, and a certain amount of conflict is healthy and normal.

Still, it’s better to be prepared to effectively resolve arguments you find yourself in – instead of allowing your loud and aggressive conversation devolve into something more dangerous. Here are a few actions to help you halt, or even turn around, a serious argument at work:

Acknowledge Your Role

It takes two to fight; if you find yourself embroiled in something more than a heated professional discussion, stop in your tracks. Take a deep breath. And authentically take responsibility for your role in the conversation’s derailment. Even if you’re not the one who provoked the argument, be the bigger person and apologize for compromising your work values.

State Your Intentions

Make it clear that you don’t want to argue, but that you’d like to find a mutually beneficial solution – even if you don’t know what that is at the moment. Demonstrating a sincere desire to resolve the conflict will instantly relieve the tension in the air and shift momentum in the right direction.

Define Rules of Engagement for Moving Forward

Once you’ve both regained your composure, set ground rules for civil discussion (even if you continue to disagree):

  • Use “I” instead of “you” statements to keep the discussion from turning back into an argument Avoid pointing fingers or placing blame.

  • Focus on work behaviors; skip personal attacks.

  • Use a professional, calm tone when speaking. Yelling, sarcasm or even disrespectful body language (e.g., eye rolling, defensively crossing arms) should not be tolerated.

  • Take periodic time-outs, if needed, to stay calm and in control of your behavior.

Focus on Agreement

Naturally, people who argue fixate on what they disagree about. You can profoundly transform a negative conversation, however, simply by shifting the focus to areas of common ground. Take a moment to calmly and sincerely list your points of agreement. Then, use those as the foundation for resolving your differences. The road to resolution may still be bumpy, but civility and a sincere desire to work things out will keep you on track.

Need Level-Headed Team Players for Your Organization?

Contact your local Exact Staff office. As a national employment agency, we deliver hard-working, professional individuals who will mesh with your culture, focus on results, and work well with the other members on your team.

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If You’re Afraid, You Might be Innovating

04/13/16 6:28 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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What do BuzzFeed, Facebook and CVS Health all have in common?  

They were named as the top 3 most innovative companies for 2016 by Fast Company.

How did they do it?

They looked fear right in the eye.

Sound intimidating? It is! And that’s kind of the point. Innovation IS a scary thing – if you’re doing it right. Innovation requires you to:

  • Confront your (and your team’s) boredom, safety and complacency at work;

  • Disregard tried-and-true business practices in favor of uncertainty;

  • Question how and what your business does – to the point where you threaten the status quo;

  • Risk being rejected, ignored, isolated or being labeled a heretic by your peers and employees.

Sure, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it means relinquishing control and certainty. But unless you push yourself to the point where you’re afraid, you’re probably not really innovating.

Honestly, fear is what prevents most companies from being more innovative. Rather than pushing boundaries or risking rejection and failure, leaders continue to do things the same way, year after year. That may be easy and comfortable, but it also puts them at prime risk for becoming irrelevant, outdated or obsolete (which is even scarier than innovating!).

Moving Past Your Fear of Innovation

In this earlier post, we shared a few tips for fostering a culture that fuels innovation by:

  • Giving employees the freedom they need;

  • Challenging the status quo;

  • Making it okay to fail;

  • Fostering a more positive work environment;

  • Elevating employees’ thinking.

In addition to building the right culture, use these tips to push past the fear that may be holding you and your company back:

  • Build Diverse Work Teams

Hire people with a varying backgrounds, values and points of view. Doing so encourages respectful “bumping of heads” that challenges traditional ways of thinking in positive ways.

  • Cover Your Team’s Back.
    Build employee relationships based on trust, mutual support and shared confidence. Make it clear that you welcome your team’s ideas (even if they’re controversial) and that employees won’t be punished or ridiculed for making unpopular suggestions that threaten your company’s status quo.

  • Inspire Your Employees to Embrace Fear
    Lead by example! Share your experience with facing fear for the sake of innovation. Talk about your successes, your failures and what you learned in the process. When your team sees the benefit of pushing boundaries and asking tough questions, they’re more likely to try it (in appropriate ways) themselves.

Fuel Innovation with a Smart Staffing Strategy

As a leading national staffing agency, Exact Staff can provide the talented people and intelligent staffing solutions that will turn your great ideas into reality.

To develop the best strategy for your organization, we invite you to schedule a free workforce consultation with us. Together we can assess your needs, brainstorm options and design creative solutions to help you overcome whatever workforce or hiring challenges you face.

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