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  • Do Your Best Employees Have One Foot Out the Door?

    06/20/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers, News | Leave a Comment
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    “Mentally Checked Out.”

    “Headed to an Interview with a Competitor.”

    “Just Got Off the Phone with a Recruiter.”

    “One Foot Out the Door.”

    Wouldn’t it be great if employees who are disengaged or actively seeking work elsewhere would walk around your office with signs around their necks?

    Oh, to dream…

    Most of the time, employees attempt to conceal their job-seeking behavior. Who can blame them? Until they have solid offers in hand, they need to maintain the status quo and not rouse any suspicions.

    But while you’ll unlikely see anything as obvious as a sign around the neck, it pays to pay attention. Employees who are on the job hunt often display subtle differences in behavior which a trained eye can spot.

    Could your top employees already have one foot out the door? Here are a few telltale signs:

    Less time on Facebook; more activity on LinkedIn.

    Noticed that a key employee recently uploaded a new headshot? Updated his professional accomplishments? Garnered several new recommendations? While this isn’t necessarily cause for concern from an avid LinkedIn user, any marked increase in activity could signal an employee is prepping his profile for a recruiter’s scrutiny.

    Increased focus on the short-term.

    Did that formerly ambitious team member fail to “step up to the plate” when creating 2017 plans? Has he neglected to ask about his annual bonus? Is he skipping the next company get-together? When an employee is planning to leave you, his thoughts and activities shift to the short-term. Keep an eye out for employees who have taken their eye off your company’s (and their position’s) long-term horizon.

    They become ultra-efficient.

    High performers typically do great work all the time, so this may be a tough sign to spot. However, if a good employee suddenly starts doing a really GREAT job – tying up loose ends, finishing key projects, and then gathering key metrics about them – put him on your radar. He may be prepping for a positive reference from you and want to leave on good terms.

    Even if employees aren’t exhibiting any of these signs of disengagement, you should still be proactive in your retention activities. One of the best ways to keep top employees happy is by building a great workplace culture – and that starts with a smart staffing strategy.

    Offering a full complement of staffing and recruiting solutions, Exact Staff is uniquely equipped to support your core team – and create a positive work environment:

    • Recognize a deserving employee’s accomplishments by treating him to a paid day off. We can provide a replacement worker for the day!
    • Bring in temporary workers during your busiest times, to alleviate the stress on your direct employees and keep them working at peak efficiency.
    • Offload low-priority tasks to qualified temporaries, freeing your best employees to learn, grow and further their careers within your organization.
    • Allow us to recruit exceptional full-time candidates whose work ethic and attitude complement your culture.

    Ready to get started?

    Contact Exact Staff today.How_Can_We_Help

Are You Overlooking this Key to Workplace Productivity?

06/17/16 9:30 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
–James Humes, author and former presidential speech-writer

Clear communication – speaking, listening, writing, understanding and resolving conflict – is essential to building and maintaining a successful business. When you communicate with your staff effectively, you:

  • Facilitate collaboration, teamwork and knowledge transfer
  • Prevent unnecessary mistakes and misunderstandings
  • Increase efficiency and productivity

Are you making great communication enough of a priority? As a leader in your organization, it’s up to you to keep your skills strong – and overcome areas of weakness. If it’s been awhile since you’ve examined your communication skills, take a quick inventory of your proficiency in the following areas:

Verbal Skills

The ability to clearly explain requests, instructions and ideas – as well as your underlying reasons for them – is critical to leading, motivating and orchestrating the activities of your employees. Polish your verbal communication skills by:

  • Organizing your thoughts first. While most daily verbal interactions are not scripted, give thought to planned conversations so you present your ideas in a logical way.
  • Checking understanding. Repeat and paraphrase what you say, and then ask questions to be sure that your message is understood.
  • Practicing frequently – whether it’s giving a quick summary at a meeting or presenting at an industry conference.

Written Skills

To make your reports, emails, memos and other forms of written communication more effective:

  • Choose your words carefully. Context, semantics and diction dramatically impact the meaning of what you write.
  • Choose the right format for your message.
  • Provide complete information the first time.
  • Review every word you write with a critical eye, to make sure it conveys exactly what you mean.

Non-Verbal Skills

Posture, eye contact, intonation and body language have as much impact on your communication as the words you use. When speaking with employees, make sure that your non-verbal cues support what you’re saying – otherwise, you run the risk of sending mixed messages which can easily be misinterpreted.

Listening Skills

The ability to understand others is just as important as saying the right thing. As a leader:

  • Listen as much as you speak.
  • Ask questions that elicit productive responses.
  • Encourage others to share their ideas – including dissenting opinions and criticisms.
  • Pay attention to what others don’t say – not just what they do say.

Adapting Your Message to the Audience

Should you speak to a client the same way you’d speak to an entry level employee? Obviously, it depends! In every communication, make sure that you consider your audience – their background, beliefs, expectations and level of sophistication – when crafting your message. Doing so ensures that your message will be understood and interpreted as you intended.

Looking for other ways to ramp-up productivity?

Exact Staff is here to support you. Whether you’re up against a deadline, tackling a big project, or want to build your core team, our national employment agency provides a full complement of staffing and placement services to help you get the most from your workforce.

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Happiness: Your Career’s Secret Weapon

06/14/16 4:14 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers, News | Leave a Comment
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He seems to have it all – a great job (with an impressive title), and even better career growth prospects. And, not surprisingly, he wears a big old grin on his face, every day.

What’s his secret? How’d he get so happy? Does he have something you don’t?

If you find yourself looking around your workplace, proverbial nose pressed against the glass, you’re not doing yourself any favors. The fact is, you can’t become happier and more successful in your career by comparing yourself to others.

You have to harness happiness for yourself.

Happiness and a great attitude about your work create an amazing, self-reinforcing, upward spiral of growth. The happier you are, the more you’ll attract positive, career-building opportunities; the more opportunities you have to grow in your chosen career, the happier you’ll be.

How can you get started on the path to greater happiness in your career? Try these ideas:

Realize there’s no linear path to career success.

That guy you’re comparing yourself to (the one who seems to have it all)? To an outsider like you, his climb up the ladder may seem straight. But what you don’t see are all the mistakes, stalls, poor decisions and obstacles he likely dealt with along the way.

Be realistic about what success looks like from the inside. And then let yourself off the hook. Despite your diligence and best-laid plans, things will go wrong. Career plans will fall apart. Heck, you may even find yourself fired from a job through no fault of your own. But while you may not be able to control what happens to you, you can control how you respond. Resolve to be kinder to yourself, view setbacks as temporary, and correct your career course when you get off track.

Let go of irritations.

Frustrated that you got passed over for a promotion? Resentful of a team member who doesn’t pull his weight? Envious of another employee’s job title? Get past it! Harboring negative feelings undermines any chance you have of increasing your happiness at work. Change what you can about yourself and your work situation. Speak up and ask for what you deserve. Let go of petty frustrations which fuel a negative mindset – and make more room for positive thoughts.

Inventory what makes you happy in your career.

Beyond earning a paycheck, what motivates you to work hard? If you haven’t already, take some time away from work to consider what drives you from within. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are you energized by working independently or as part of a group?
  • Do you enjoy creating things? Diagnosing problems? Fixing things? Using your hands or your mind?
  • Do you prefer to be the leader or a follower in work situations?
  • What are your favorite aspects of your job? What responsibilities do others have that you’d also like to have?

Understanding your motivations and preferences can give you tremendous insight as to the best path for your future career growth. Not surprisingly, sources of motivation also tend to be sources of happiness in your career.

Pursue what makes you happy at work.

Moving forward, seek opportunities that align with your natural motivators:

  • volunteer for projects and “stretch” assignments in your areas of interest;
  • inquire about cross-training to develop new skills which you find appealing;
  • ask to shadow someone with your dream job;
  • find a mentor to help you translate what drives you into tangible job responsibilities.

Want to be happier in your career?

Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. We can help you identify your strengths, evaluate your career options, and find assignments and full-time positions that align with your goals – and make you truly happy on a professional and personal level. Search jobs here.

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Want to Succeed in Your Career? Plan to Fail!

06/7/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers, News | Leave a Comment
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Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

But when it comes to your career success, perhaps the better spin on this famous quote is:

“If you want to succeed, plan to fail!”

Huh?

Think about it for a minute. How many of us take an absolute linear path to success? The answer is “zero.” No matter what field you’re in, and no matter how talented you are, stuff happens:

  • Your company may reorganize, close down or change directions.
  • You may be unjustly passed over for a raise, promotion or new job.
  • Economic changes, employment conditions and even individuals can create obstacles to your career growth.

The truth?

Threats to your success are everywhere. Whether you’re trying to land a new job or advance within your current company, circumstances and events are frequently outside your control. But while you may not be able to control what happens to you, you can absolutely control how you respond to it.

And the better prepared you are, the more effectively you’ll respond.

So if you want to succeed in your career, prepare to fail. Here are three tips you can use to identify potential threats to your success, so you can respond in a constructive way:

Check Your Ego

When it comes to failure, your ego may be your own worst enemy. Defense mechanisms like denial and “mental editing” could keep you from viewing tough situations objectively – and from ultimately developing he best responses to failure.

Brainstorm the Ways You Could Fail

While a “doom and gloom” approach sounds unhealthy for your mindset and your career growth, a little “disaster scenario” planning is actually quite positive.

Imagine yourself pursuing your career goal (whatever that may be). What missteps could you make? What external forces could jeopardize your ability to attain your goal? What else stands between you and success? Create a list of scenarios that could throw you off course or prevent you from achieving important milestones along the way.

Create “If-Then” Response Plans

For each of the threats and obstacles you identify, detail options for course correction. In other words, create a response plan that addresses each of the ways you could fail to achieve your goal. Here’s an example:

Goal: find a job with target employer

Potential threat: receive no response to job application

If-then response: If no response is received after two weeks, then:

  • Call HR to find out about the job’s status.
  • If the job is still available, find out the name of the hiring decision maker.
  • Reach out via email to the decision maker, restating your qualifications and desire for the job. Request an in-person interview.

Planning for failure sets the stage for more effective response and course-correction – and ultimately, greater career success!

Plan to Succeed with Exact Staff

Whether you want to improve your work situation, explore a new career or land a job with your target employer, Exact Staff can help. Search jobs in your area or contact an Exact Staff recruiter to get started.

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