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  • Maximize Your Happiness by Avoiding These Pitfalls

    11/28/16 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    It’s “the most wonderful time of the year.”

    So why aren’t you happier?

    Sure, the rush of the season makes it harder to unwind and enjoy the here-and-now. But are external factors like holiday stress making you unhappy – or are you your own worst enemy?

    Twin research has proven that about 50 percent of your happiness is genetically determined, and that “life circumstances” (e.g., money, marital status, appearance) account for just 10 percent. So what’s the remaining 40 percent of your happiness level due to?

    You guessed it: YOU.

    If you want to be happier, take charge with a two-pronged approach: actively develop habits that promote happiness, while avoiding these pitfalls that limit it:

    Falling Victim to “Energy Vampires”

    You may not be able to completely avoid people who are perpetually negative, resentful or hostile (especially if you’re forced to work with or manage them). You can, however, insulate yourself from their behavior – so they upset and drain you less:

    • Allow them to vent without taking their comments personally.
    • Resist the urge to react emotionally. Avoiding knee-jerk, defensive responses takes practice, but it is possible.
    • Listen with intent. Often, negative people simply need someone to empathize with them. Showing that you understand what they’re experiencing can quickly neutralize their toxic behavior.
    • Limit your contact. If the energy vampire is a teammate or employee, keep communications focused on work-related issues. If the individual is a friend or family member, try to associate in groups (and spend less time one-on-one).

    Repressing Your Feelings

    Continually holding in your feelings is like putting handcuffs on your happiness. While you certainly don’t want to erupt on impulse every time you’re upset (see above), you should find acceptable ways to express your emotions. Only by honoring your true feelings can you experience the catharsis they bring.

    Trying to Buy Happiness

    New cars. Expensive watches. Designer clothes. If you listen to media messages (especially during the holidays), you’d think that acquiring these things is the “magic bullet” to guarantee your happiness.

    Buying stuff may produce a short-term “rush,” but it’s typically short-lived. And once that good feeling is gone, it’s replaced by disappointment – and a desire to buy more. A better option to maximize your contentment? Stop pursuing things, and start pursuing the relationships and experiences that will truly sustain your happiness.

    Spending Too Much Time on Technology

    According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in 10 Americans suffers from some form of depression. One of the biggest contributors?  Too much screen time.

    Technology can certainly make you feel more connected to the outside world – but if you’re habitually using it to distract yourself, or you focus too much on social comparisons, your smartphone could actually be making you miserable. Pay attention to how, when and why you use technology – and how happy or unhappy it really makes you.

    Related Post: Prevent Negativity from Creeping Into Your Workplace

    Want to make your organization a happier place to work?

    Exact Staff’s experts can refer talented, experienced people with the personality traits and soft skills to help you build a more positive workplace. Get happier in 2017. Contact our national employment agency today.

Become a Better Boss by Doing These Unique Things

11/25/16 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Engaging in active listening? Check.

Following through on commitments? Check.

Leading by example? Check.

If you’re like most bosses, you’ve already mastered management fundamentals like these. But if you really want to grow as a leader in the year ahead, you need to set the bar just a bit higher.

Becoming a truly exceptional manager requires you to do things that most others don’t – unexpected behaviors that make a huge impact on motivation and performance. What are they? Below, Exact Staff shares a few unique habits that set great bosses head-and-shoulders above the rest:

Reframing

Problems, obstacles, challenges…whatever you call them, they can easily derail your company’s progress. A great boss knows how to bring a fresh perspective to issues, transforming problems into opportunities – and reshaping others’ mindsets and actions in the process.

Sharing Information

Exceptional managers are secure in their abilities and aren’t threatened by others’ expertise. As a result, they don’t hoard information; they share it freely! Sharing information allows great bosses to delegate effectively, empower team members and contribute to employees’ professional growth.

Respecting Others’ Time

Amazing bosses place as much value on subordinates’ time as they do on their own. They show up on time for meetings. They allot adequate time for employees to complete work. They get to the point quickly. In short, they engage in behaviors the make the most of everyone’s time – not just their own.

Persuading

“Command and control” management may produce short-term gains, but great managers have a knack for positively influencing others’ behavior with messages that motivate, reassure and (when necessary) redirect. Instead of merely wielding their authority to get the job done, they inspire action by communicating passionately and persuasively.

Making Failure Acceptable

Exceptional bosses create a “psychological safety zone” in which employees know they can try and fail – without being punished or fired. And when their employees do make mistakes, great managers use those missteps as opportunities to learn.

Showing Gratitude

In some managers’ minds, giving employees a paycheck is showing thanks enough for the work they do. Great managers, however, realize that staff members invest a huge part of themselves in their jobs – so they make a habit of thanking employees for their effort, perseverance and success.

Be a Better Boss in 2017

Exact Staff can rapidly deliver exceptional people to build your core team. Improve productivity. And seamlessly flex your workforce to match changing demands. Whether your needs are local, regional or national, our staffing and recruiting experts are ready to help you excel.

What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today!

Back to Basics: 3 Essential Leadership Questions to Consider

11/21/16 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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That hot leadership book you’re reading right now – you know, the one that promises to revolutionize the way you manage and inspire your team?

It probably has about as much staying power as Pokemon Go.

The simple truth is, sound leadership principles have remained pretty much the same for decades (some would argue centuries!). So instead of keeping up with those trendy management fads that “everyone else is trying,” you might be better served by going back to the basics. Below, Exact Staff shares three questions for reflection to remind yourself what great leadership has always been about:

Do I see myself as others do?

Does the way you view yourself align with how your direct reports, peers and superiors see you? If you want to be an effective leader, it must.

Take the time to get back in touch with who you are as a person. What makes you happy, frustrated, motivated? How would you describe your personality? You might even want to take a personality inventory for a more objective self-analysis.

Then, get feedback from others in your organization and compare their assessment with your own. If significant gaps exist, consider why that might be. Take steps to address areas of discrepancy, and you’ll become an even stronger leader.

Do my daily actions communicate what I value?

What inspires you? What are you truly passionate about? At the end of the day, what do you stand for? If you know the answers to these questions, you’ll know what drives your behavior as a leader.

Strong leaders’ values are communicated through their actions. Reflect on the things that are important to you – whether it’s collaboration, diversity, innovation, compassion or other values – and consider whether or not your behavior evidences them.

Who do I want to be as a person – and as a leader?

Leadership is a journey, not an event. So even if you have years of experience managing others, it’s in your best interest to periodically reflect on the kind of leader you want to become. Consider:

  • the qualities you want to exemplify as a leader;
  • areas for your professional development, to better align who you are (and how others perceive you) with who you want to be;
  • the legacy you will leave (i.e., how others will remember you);
  • and who can help you continue to strengthen your leadership skills.

There is always room to grow as a leader. Take the time to consider these “back to basics” questions, and you’ll discover ways to make lasting improvements in your abilities.

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

Exact Staff’s national staffing and placement services can make you – and your entire organization – more productive, flexible and effective. Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

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How to Start Pivoting Your Organization

11/18/16 8:20 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : News | Leave a Comment
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It’s one thing to realize that your business needs to alter its course.

Figuring out exactly how to successfully change direction? Well, that’s something entirely different.

A few weeks ago, we shared three reasons you should consider pivoting your business:

  • Managing the increasing rate of change in our world
  • Creating new opportunities to drive revenue
  • Fueling innovation

But deciding that your business should fundamentally shift its strategy is just the start. Once you’ve committed to making a pivot, how do you begin changing direction? Below, our experts share three tips for starting to pivot your organization:

Make customers’ needs your beacon.

What are your customers’ biggest pain points? What will they require tomorrow? What wants can your organization fill that your competitors can’t? It’s your job to listen to, understand and even anticipate your customers’ needs. The reason is simple: if customers don’t want or require what you have to offer, your sales will fall flat (in fact, it’s the reason the vast majority of startups fail).

For your pivot to be successful, you must shift to align with your market. Perform your due diligence to ensure you head in a direction that provides opportunity for today – and tomorrow.

Communicate planned changes internally.

There’s no way around it; a pivot will definitely disrupt your business. To minimize the stress, extra work and turnover it can create, communicate everything to your employees.

  • Explain your reasons for the shift and the benefits you all stand to gain. Logically, people execute better when they understand what they’re doing and why it needs to be done.
  • Be honest about changes and expectations. Your team will respect your candor. And ask for their feedback! More open dialogue can increase trust and loyalty, creating a higher-performing group.
  • Work together to set short-term goals for the pivot. Along the way, provide lots of feedback, to keep employees on track and motivated. Celebrate milestones to maintain momentum.

Rollout new offerings to current customers first.

As you develop new products or services, be sure that your existing customer base knows why you’re making changes. Then, find a few early adopters who are willing to help you test out your new offerings and provide feedback.

By bringing customers into the development process, you can:

  • Test and tweak your product/service to make sure it’s on the mark;
  • Develop success stories, case studies, testimonials and other tangible/measurable results to offer potential new customers third-party validation.

Need to pivot your business? Exact Staff is prepared to help.

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.

Call to discuss your plans – we’ll help you stay on course.

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