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  • Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Fear Pivoting Your Business

    10/24/16 9:30 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    Does the term “business pivot” strike fear in your heart – like a scary scene in a Halloween movie?

    It’s understandable. Fundamentally shifting the strategy you use to achieve your company’s mission may require big changes – in thinking, operations, offerings or even personnel. But knowing when and how to change direction can be the difference between failure and tremendous success.

    If you’re afraid to even consider pivoting your business, here are three reasons to get over it:

    The rate of change in business continues to increase.

    The ways in which we accomplish work has changed dramatically in the past decade. And given the increasing pace of major advances in technology, the rate at which industries change will only continue to increase. To stay competitive, your organization must keep an eye on emerging trends and pivot accordingly. If you get “stuck,” your current business model may not be sustainable for long.

    Pivoting creates opportunities to drive revenue.

    As your business and the markets in which you operate evolve, you must define and measure the metrics most relevant to your growth. What you learn from those numbers may necessitate re-evaluating your offerings and core focus. Strategically pivoting toward new services, new products or new markets allows you to capitalize on opportunities as conditions change.

    Pivoting can fuel innovation.

    Fear of failure (on both an individual and organizational level) often prevents companies from being more innovative. Maintaining the “status quo” may be more comfortable, but it also puts your business at greater risk for becoming irrelevant or obsolete.

    While you don’t necessarily need to jump on the bandwagon every time something changes in your industry, you should continually and systematically test different concepts and ideas. Finding an innovative way to target an audience or a new way to deliver your services could reinvigorate your business – and catapult you ahead of your competitors.

    Related post: If You’re Afraid, You Might be Innovating

    Considering a major shift in your business? Ensure success with a smart staffing strategy.

    Whether you need to test new concepts, hire innovative thinkers or enhance your team’s flexibility, Exact Staff can provide talented people and intelligent staffing solutions to help you turn on a dime.

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

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Happy People Have These Habits

10/21/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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If you look up the definition of “happy” online (and we did), you’ll find synonyms like:

  • Cheerful
  • Merry
  • Joyful
  • Carefree
  • Untroubled

Brings a smile to your face, right?

But while defining happiness is pretty simple, knowing how to achieve it is much more difficult.

Where’d that smile go?

Before it completely fades, remember this: nobody has a monopoly on happiness. And gaining it doesn’t cost a thing. By developing the following habits, and focusing your energy in the right places, you can make your life more positive and satisfying:

Be kinder to yourself.

You probably have no problem finding amazing qualities in your friends, family and co-workers – but when is the last time you appreciated a great quality in yourself? Make a daily habit of writing down three things that you did well or that demonstrate one of your positive qualities. In just a few days, you’ll have evidence you can use to replace negative self-talk with kinder thoughts about yourself.

Surround yourself with optimistic people.

Happiness is contagious – but so are things like anger, negativity and pessimism. So if you want to be happier, spend more time with people who are upbeat, content and joyful. Obviously, it’s unrealistic to completely avoid exposure to negative people, but you can minimize the effects of “Debbie Downers” by refusing to engage in their patterns of thinking.

Get your Zzzzs.

According to the American Psychological Association, getting an extra 60 to 90 minutes of sleep per night improves memory and mood, enhances concentration, strengthens the immune system, and reduces the risk of being killed in an accident. Who wouldn’t be happier if they were healthier, more focused and, you know – alive?

Make your social feeds more positive.

We all have those Facebook friends who continually rant, complain and air their dirty laundry online. And most of us follow accounts that routinely post negative content.  Ask yourself, “Why am I following this person/organization/news source?”

With our population spending more time on social media, our feeds have a huge impact on our overall happiness. So make sure you’re bringing positivity into your consciousness! Selectively unfollow people or accounts that bring you down. Then, search for ones that you find inspirational and uplifting.

Related Post: Prevent Negativity from Creeping Into Your Workplace

Want to make your organization a happier place to work?

Choose the right staffing partner. As a national employment agency, Exact Staff can design intelligent staffing solutions that:

  • Offload repetitive and low-level work that distracts you and your staff;
  • Alleviate overwork and the burnout it causes;
  • Improve your team’s focus, productivity and effectiveness;
  • Allow you to confidently tackle new or pressing projects.

Ready to get happy? Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

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The Leading Strategy to Evaluate Your Leadership Performance

10/14/16 1:57 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

As a leader, you regularly evaluate the performance of your team. But when’s the last time you evaluated your own performance – specifically in the area of leadership?

Still thinking? Then you definitely want to read this post.

Merely having the responsibilities of a leader doesn’t necessarily make you an effective one. To understand where you’re successful – and where you could improve – you need to do some regular evaluation.

The Young Entrepreneur Council recently asked members how they assess their own leadership performance. Below, we’ve shared a few of the most unique:

Take a vacation.

Effective leaders empower their teams to handle things in their absence. They also have put resources, processes and policies in place to support that empowerment. If you come back from your trip to find business running as usual, you’re doing your job well. But if your inbox and voicemail are overflowing with unresolved issues and urgent requests? That’s a sign that your leadership skills need improvement.

Ask your peers.

The best feedback on your performance may come from others in similar roles. Join a business group (or start your own!) to share goals, evaluate one another’s performance and exchange best practices for strengthening leadership skills. Then, hold one another accountable for growth in areas of weakness.

Invert your review chart.

Instead of evaluating your team, turn the tables. Ask your immediate reports to review you – providing feedback about your accomplishments, areas for growth and transformational moments. Use their input as a starting point for open dialogue to improve your leadership skills, while strengthening both loyalty and culture.

What else can you do to evaluate your performance as a leader?

Consider how well you’ve integrated these essential habits. In this earlier post, “3 Important Things Great Leaders Do Every Day,” we shared several practices common among great leaders, including effective communication, resiliency and delegation. Conduct a quick personal inventory in each of these areas, to make sure they’re daily habits. If they’re not? Use the tips in the post to tweak your behaviors – and become an even better leader.

Want to be a better leader? Choose the right staffing partner.

The right staffing partner can improve your effectiveness, by:

  • supporting your busy team;
  • taking on pressing projects;
  • improving productivity;
  • and flexing your workforce in response to changing demands.

Contact your local Exact Staff office and let us know what we can do to help.

 

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Want to Increase Engagement? Go with the Flow

10/7/16 9:30 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Ever experienced focus so intense that you:

  • Accomplish an amazing amount of high-quality work in a short period?
  • Are impervious to distractions?
  • Feel virtually unstoppable?

Then you’ve been in a state of “flow.”

Flow is a state in which you feel and perform your best. And it’s more than just a catch-phrase; studies validate its benefits in the workplace:

  • McKinsey research cited in this Forbes.com post indicates that when employees are in a state of flow, they’re 5 times more productive than normal.
  • According to research cited in this Harvard Business Review post, flow has been tied to improved performance by increasing both concentration and motivation. And it’s no surprise. With an average of 87 interruptions in a typical work day, and an average of 23 minutes to get back on task, it’s a wonder any of us accomplish anything at all!

What impedes flow in the workplace?

Bureaucracy. Cumbersome, restrictive workplace policies and processes. Lack of direction and communication. Frequent, unnecessary interruptions. In other words, anything which prevents people from doing their best, most important and most impactful work.

And how can you improve flow to drive engagement?

Not all workplace interruptions are bad; policies, processes and hierarchy are not necessarily the enemy, either. By the same token, locking your employees in quiet rooms to work isn’t a panacea, either.

So where should you focus your efforts to enhance flow – and increase your team’s engagement? Here are a few practical tips:

  • Get your whole staff on board with the idea. Flow may be a new concept for many of your employees. Explain what it is, why you’re promoting it, and how they stand to benefit.
  • Establish clear goals for your organization that cascade down into projects and positions. Then, work with each employee to create actionable objectives to achieve their goals. When individuals know what to do, as well as how their work fits into your organization’s “big picture,” it gives their work more focus and meaning.
  • Embrace a “hacking” mindset. While not every initiative is suitable for this approach, look for opportunities where unconventional problem-solving methodologies could be applied. Create shorter, more tangible challenge-and-reward cycles for these projects to drive focus and teamwork.
  • Limit distractions. Create practical policies that encourage employees to intentionally minimize interruptions (email and phone calls are huge culprits). In this earlier post, we provide great tips for getting twice as much done in half the time.
  • Eliminate unnecessary meetings. Meetings can be a huge time-suck that disrupts all participants’ flow. But when meetings are essential, improve planning to increase efficiency. Distribute a clear agenda in advance with discussion items, required preparation, and a rough timeline, so that everyone gets the greatest return on their invested time.

Bottlenecks and open positions hindering your organization’s flow?

Exact Staff provides flexible access to the talented people you need. Whether you need to temporarily increase your capacity or grow your core team, our workforce experts are ready to meet your local or national staffing needs.

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