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Exact Staff News

  • Driving Performance with Commit and Stretch Goals

    09/28/16 7:45 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    Use a “pay for performance” plan?

    A two-pronged goal-setting strategy may make sense for your team.

    In this thought Leaders post, author Mike Figliuolo explains two distinct types of goals – commit and stretch – and the role each plays in driving exceptional performance (especially when money is a primary incentive). Here’s a quick summary of the main points he makes:

    • When you set incentives, directly link the goal to the reward. Clearly define what employees will get if they attain certain levels of performance.
    • Work with your employees to set two goal levels: “commit” and “stretch.”
    • “Commit” level goals are ones employees need to deliver, no matter what. At this level, employees are just doing their jobs – and there should be zero bonus associated with hitting them. As a rule of thumb, “commit” goals are comparable to 70% effort.
    • “Stretch” level goals are exactly what they sound like. Attaining them takes substantially more time and effort. So when employees hit them, they should receive 100% of their bonus.
    • To maximize performance with this goal-setting model, create a sliding bonus scale that corresponds to the gap between the “commit” and “stretch” goal. For example, if an employee achieves a target halfway between his “commit” and “stretch” goal, he should receive 50% of his bonus.

    Does this strategy mean your SMART goals are irrelevant?

    Absolutely not. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based) goals are still indispensable in helping your work teams stay on track. In fact, you can use the SMART goal-setting approach to define both “commit” and “stretch” goals. For more information, read our earlier post on setting SMART goals to drive growth in your business.

    And no matter what type of goal-setting approach you use, keep the following tips in mind:

    • Get everyone involved in goal-setting – from front-line employees through senior level executives.
    • Communicate goals clearly. The better individuals and teams understand what they’re trying to achieve – and how their daily efforts impact goal attainment – the harder they’ll work.
    • Revisit goals frequently. Meet monthly with personnel who are accountable for reaching your goals. If progress is on track, that’s great; but if progress is behind schedule, discuss the reasons and create a plan to get back on track.

    Need high performers to fuel your organization’s growth?

    Whether you’re launching new products or services, targeting new industries or increasing market penetration, Exact Staff can supply exceptional talent for your local or national staffing needs. Contact a recruiter today to discuss your requirements.

Do These Three Things – BEFORE Crisis Strikes

09/27/16 3:04 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Accidents. Judgment errors. Cyber attacks.

Nothing tests your organization quite like a crisis.

And unfortunately, no business is immune. Regardless of your location, size or industry, your company WILL be forced to deal with major problems.

So consider this question:

If disaster were to strike today, how prepared is your organization to handle it?

Not surprisingly, the businesses that weather disasters best are the ones that anticipate crises and have clear plans for effectively managing them. Start before disaster strikes! Use these tips to create a crisis management plan that will help your business survive an upheaval:

Assess your vulnerabilities.

Determine the most likely crises your organization may face. For each potential crisis, map out the best-case and worst-case scenarios. Consider the resources you have to address each crisis, as well as those you might need to acquire. Finally, detail plans to address each type of disaster – including keeping the lines of communication open and maintaining “essential” business functions, whenever possible.

Create crisis communication plans.

Designate a “crisis communicator” to share internal information with employees, keeping up-to-date throughout a crisis. In addition, appoint a “crisis spokesperson” who will serve as the primary point of contact between your company and the media. Then:

  • Gather accurate, up-to-date contact information for each employee, as well as at least one emergency contact per employee. Update the information at least once per year.
  • Detail your plan for “talking in” – so employees can get important information, share critical information with you, and get questions answered quickly.

Audit your communication channels.

If your organization is like most, you use multiple social media accounts, websites, contact lists (e.g., customer, vendor, media contact, etc.) and other public-facing communication channels. As part of your crisis communication plan, compile a list of all these communication channels, including key contacts for each. Then, detail steps for “talking out” – so you can proactively communicate with the media, monitor social channels and release coordinated, consistent information.

Once you’ve completed these steps, commit to regularly reviewing and updating your plan. As your company and the threats to it evolve, so must your response plans.

Ensure the safety of temporary and contract workers when crisis strikes.

When it comes to protecting temporary and contract employees, your staffing partner can be a tremendous resource. Contact your local Exact Staff office today to schedule a location tour and discuss how our national employment agency can keep contingent employees safe at your location.

Three Reasons Your Employees Should Shadow One Another

09/26/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Want to make your work teams more nimble?

Protect your organization from essential knowledge loss?

Create happier, more engaged employees?

Have them regularly shadow one another. Job shadowing is a proven development tool that affords both employers and employees a wide range of benefits. If you don’t have a formal program in place already, here are three reasons you should:

Increase Agility

When employees cross-train, they gain new skills and expand their scope of knowledge. More versatile employees provide your organization with increased flexibility to:

  • Handle big projects
  • Shift gears to address changing demands
  • Seamlessly cover unexpected absences
  • Pursue new lines of business or test new service concepts

Facilitate Knowledge Transfer

When employees leave you, they take much more than their personal belongings – they take ideas, proprietary information and other critical knowledge about your products/services, processes and customers.

Shadowing combats the “brain drain” turnover creates, by proactively facilitating knowledge transfer. To maximize the long-term value shadowing creates, have employees document the information, processes and best practices they learn.

Grow and Engage Your Team

For new hires, shadowing is a great way to improve confidence. By seeing and experiencing situations and processes first-hand, they can quickly acquire new skills, “learn the ropes” and become productive and independent, faster.

And for existing employees, shadowing builds relationships. Strengthens inter-departmental ties. Helps you develop your internal talent, without investing in outside training. It also provides opportunities for employees to uncover new ways to grow within your organization long-term.

Want to give it a try?

Set your program up for success by starting early.

Incorporate shadowing and other cross-training opportunities into your onboarding process. New hires will feel more welcome and experience a quicker ramp-up.

Formalizing Your Efforts

  • Create a company-wide roadmap for shadowing, including lateral, vertical and inter-departmental shadowing opportunities.
  • Set targets for annual, semi-annual or quarterly shadowing opportunities, depending on the needs of individual positions.
  • Require managers to incorporate shadowing into employees’ individual growth plans.

When Job Shadowing isn’t Enough.

After implementing a shadowing program, some businesses find a lack of internal talent with adequate growth potential. That’s where Exact Staff can help.  We can recruit, screen and identify individuals with the skills, competencies and behavior traits to thrive long-term in your organization.  Contact your local Exact Staff office to learn more.


How to Get Employees to Change Direction

09/23/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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In the workplace, why are people so resistant to change?

Here are three key reasons:

  • An “If it isn’t broke, why fix it?” mentality.
    People are naturally comfortable with the knowledge and skills they possess, as well as the ways they perform work. This provides them with a sense of competency, and change forces them out of their “comfort zone.”
  • Fear of failure.
    Most people shy away from new responsibilities, projects or ways of accomplishing work because they don’t want to mess up and look bad (and really, can you blame them?). Beyond the embarrassment factor, people also naturally fear the consequences of failure – things like receiving a poor performance review, being passed over for a promotion, missing out on bonus money, or even losing their job.
  • Protection.
    Sometimes, managers (either knowingly or unwittingly) protect employees’ patterns of behavior and shield them from consequences. When change isn’t required, most people will stay the course.

How can you get people to overcome their fear and resistance – and make changes for the better? Try these tactics:

Reduce the fear of failure.

Build a “psychological safety net” by creating a secure environment for learning, risk-taking and change. Make it clear to employees that it’s okay to fail during the change process – without fear of embarrassment, rejection or punishment.

Make what’s unfamiliar, comfortable.

Habits are familiar. Established work routines are familiar. People like what’s familiar. When you take that away, and replace it with something new, they become uncomfortable and resistant.

Whenever possible, implement change incrementally. Along the way, check in with team members to address the anxiety they may be experiencing – because the simple act of talking about what makes one uncomfortable can reduce that discomfort. As what’s unfamiliar becomes more comfortable, resistance will lower and momentum will increase.

Stop protecting employees.

If you make excuses for people, you merely validate their behavioral “status quo” – and nothing is likely to change. Instead of protecting them, start asking them some tough, but vital, questions:

  • By holding onto your own ways, are you selling yourself short – and missing out on big opportunities?
  • How could you challenge yourself to grow?
  • What are you so afraid of?

Address the proverbial elephant. Ignite desire for change by creating dissatisfaction. Press your team for improvement by challenging their old ways. Be supportive, yet persistent, and you’ll get even the most resistant employees to change for the better.

Time for a change?

With a full complement of national staffing solutions, the Exact Staff family of companies offers the resources and expertise to drive change in your organization. To learn how we can help, schedule a free consultation today.



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