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Exact Staff News

  • Effective Ways to Approach Conflict and Difficult Conversations at Work

    11/29/17 7:45 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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    Disagreements. Squabbles. Confrontations.

    When people work with people, they disagree from time to time. But while a certain amount of “head bumping” is natural (even healthy), workplace conflict can quickly escalate into full-blown battles, leading to:

    • loss of synergy and productivity;
    • higher turnover and attrition (due to a toxic culture);
    • damage to your organization’s reputation and ability to recruit top talent.

    When turf disputes, policy disagreements or personality conflicts threaten an otherwise harmonious workplace, it can be tempting to sweep issues under the rug, point fingers or react emotionally. Defense mechanisms like these, however, can lead to disastrous consequences.

    But not on your watch.

    While conflict is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be destructive. In fact, with proper management, conflict can be quite healthy for a work group – fueling creative problem solving and improved work relationships.

    So, while you may not relish instigating an uncomfortable conversation to resolve a conflict at work, it’s best to grab the proverbial bull by the horns. Use Exact Staff’s suggestions to handle the situation professionally – and get the results you want:

    Be Direct, Yet Compassionate

    If the subject is serious, don’t beat around the bush. Skip the small talk and establish concerns from the outset. Remember, however, that feedback presented may be hard for the other person (or people) to hear. Lead the conversation by explaining that you want the best for all parties involved.

    Use Active Listening

    This key conflict resolution skill demonstrates that participants understand, and are concerned about, the other’s point of view. To employ active listening techniques, instruct everyone to:

    • Listen without judgment and reserve formulating responses until the other party has finished speaking.
    • Summarize and restate what the other person has said, probing for clarification.
    • Create responses with two components:  naming the feeling the other person is expressing, and stating the reason he feels that way (e.g., “It sounds like you’re irritated by John’s lateness.”).

    Keep Emotions in Check

    Don’t let frustration or anger derail efforts. If individuals start reacting emotionally, focus on solving the problem at hand. And if anyone loses their cool, take a quick break and remind participants that now is the time to stick to the facts and work on a solution – not vent.

    Never Assume

    Allow your employee(s) to present their side of the story and ask questions. By listening to what they say – without jumping to conclusions – you increase the likelihood that they’ll buy into the solutions you develop.

    Focus on Behaviors

    Keep the conversation centered on work behaviors, and never allow personal attacks, name-calling or sweeping generalities.

    Make Changes

    Once everyone has had a chance to present their side of the situation, discuss and commit to making changes necessary to resolving the conflict:

    • Have participants verbalize what others could do more of, less of, stop or start (again, focus on actions and behaviors).
    • Use an area of compromise as a starting point (i.e., is there some point on which everyone agrees?) If no area of agreement exists, focus on a common long-term goal and begin from there.
    • Determine what needs to be done, realistically, to achieve agreed-upon goals.
    • Come away from the discussion with concrete steps each participant will take toward resolving the conflict.

    Successfully managing conflict is far from easy, but the reward – a more harmonious work environment that frees employees to focus on doing amazing work – is well worth the effort.

    Need talented people who solve problems – instead of creating them?

    Exact Staff will refer candidates with the experience and soft skills to tackle your toughest problems and build a collaborative culture. Contact our national employment agency today to learn more.

     

The Right Words: Language that Inspires Courage in Employees

11/27/17 9:25 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Words are incredibly powerful. Whether spoken or written, the language you use when communicating with your employees can hearten or discourage; convince or dissuade; inspire or depress.

As a leader, you must choose your words with care and intention. While your actions undoubtedly speak volumes, what you say and write communicates how you feel about fundamental workplace values like respect, accountability and initiative – and plants seeds that take root in your team’s mind.

No pressure, right?

If you’re looking for compelling ways to share your enthusiasm, motivate, inspire or thank your staff, keep these pointers in mind:

Use “You” More than “I”

If you want to influence others’ thinking, you/your statements are much more persuasive for one reason: They refer directly to the listener! When communicating with your employees, don’t just share your perspective. Choose words that include your listeners and answer the unspoken question they’re thinking: What’s in it for me?

Incorporate Cause-and-Effect Keywords and Phrases

Persuading others to take action requires convincing them to agree with you, sharing your values, and/or accepting your conclusions. Cause-and-effect reasoning is an incredibly potent way to make your claims sound rational, by linking what happens first with what happens next as a result. Whether you’re aiming to motivate, convince or inspire, use these terms to make your case:

  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • Because
  • Consequently
  • Since
  • Therefore

Craft Sentences that Inspire Courage in Your Team

This Leadership Freak blog post contains fantastic examples of language you can use to encourage employees to do amazing things. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • You’re great at…
  • You’re making a difference when…
  • I notice…
  • If you weren’t nervous, what would you do next?
  • You’re on the right track.
  • Let’s give it a try.

Share Inspirational Quotes in Your Communications

If you think they’re corny or cliché, you just haven’t found the right ones. Insightful quotes can motivate your team to perform better and renew their enthusiasm for whatever it is they do. In this post, “Perform, Lead and Succeed: 10 Inspirational Quotes,” we share wisdom that’s inspired us here at Exact Staff (and we hope they’ll do the same for you).

 

How do you inspire courage, action and bold thinking in your employees?

We’d love to know – please leave your comment below! And if you need supplemental staff to support your busy team, The Exact Family of Companies is just a phone call away.

Strategies of Uncommon Wisdom Fuel Top Performance

11/24/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Leading a team to consistently perform at its peak is a common goal for managers – and a common theme to posts you’ll find on our blog.

We’ve written about the topic frequently over the past year or so, sharing great advice from a variety of sources. Here are a few of our favorite installments:

3 Ways to Be a Leader People WANT to Follow

3 Important Things Great Leaders Do Every Day

5 Ways a Leader Can Build the Perfect Team

In today’s leadership wisdom post, Exact Staff shares six of Larry Sternberg’s strategies to maximize performance by leveraging the talents and efforts of your staff:

Accept Employees as They Are

As a leader, your efforts should focus on optimizing your team’s performance – not changing who they are. Identify and develop individuals’ strengths, and be willing to tolerate some undesirable behaviors.

Shift Your Team’s Thinking from “What” to “Why

Everyone in your organization can explain what they do, but do they know why they’re doing it? Periodically remind employees how their work impacts their department, your organization and the world around you. When people understand how their daily responsibilities contribute to the greater good, they’re more likely to exert discretionary effort to achieve greater results.

Don’t Micromanage

Resist the urge to seize control of your team’s work. Provide the tools, training, guidelines and resources employees need to do an amazing job for you. Then let go of the reins. Give your staff the autonomy and authority to accomplish their work free from micromanagement – and their performance will soar.

Be a Staunch Optimist

Don’t settle for SMART goals; dream bigger. Help your employees achieve their full potential by setting BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals) – and then sharing your optimism to keep their efforts on track.

Spend More Time on the 20

The Pareto Principle dictates that 20 percent of your effort will yield 80 percent of your results. Apply that same principle to managing your people. Spend more of your time developing the top 20 percent of your team, understanding what makes them successful, and recognizing the great results they deliver.

Hire People Who Can Replace You

Your efforts to fuel your team’s performance will dramatically accelerate your own career growth. Make it easier for senior leaders to promote you by training your staff to take over your responsibilities. Coach and mentor a handful of exceptional performers who can keep driving the success you’ve worked so hard to create – so that you can move onto bigger and better things.

Optimize Your Team’s Performance by Providing the Support They Need

The right staffing partner keeps your core employees focused and motivated to do their best work – no matter what comes your way. With a national presence and a full complement of staffing and placement services, Exact Staff is ideally suited to be the partner you need.

How can we help? Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

Things That Make Great Leaders Unforgettable

11/20/17 3:58 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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Think back over your career to this point.

What boss or manager made the biggest impact on you – and why?

Maybe they were an amazing coach. Perhaps they brought out great qualities in you that you didn’t realize you had. And maybe you just found them to be incredibly inspirational. Regardless of the specific reason this person made such an impact on you, you’ll always remember them.

What Makes Certain Leaders Unforgettable?

Today, Exact Staff shares management qualities that sets some bosses head-and-shoulders above the rest:

They Make A Great First Impression

Instead of using introductions to promote their status, experience, knowledge or accomplishments, an unforgettable boss focuses their attention on the people they’re meeting. By showing that they value others’ opinions, care about their interests, and want to support their success, great bosses instill trust and make a fantastic initial impression on those they meet.

They Share Their Passion

A boss who is bored with their job, their company or their life? They aren’t likely to make a lasting impact on you (let alone on their organization). Unforgettable leaders are passionate about what they do. They have a strong conviction about what they want to accomplish. They share their enthusiasm. And they make everyone in their charge want to come along for the ride.

They Change People for the Better

Great leaders see the hidden potential in their employees – and know how to help them realize it. Over time, the best bosses help team members to acknowledge, embrace and develop great qualities in themselves, and create meaningful, lasting improvements.

They Lead by Example

Traditional “top-down” management styles are going by the wayside because they’re proving less effective with younger generations entering the workforce. Today’s unforgettable leaders don’t rely on mandating and controlling. Instead, they emulate the behaviors and qualities they want to see in their employees – and they’re willing to roll up their sleeves to help get a job done.

They’re Human – and Unafraid to Show It

People work with people, and being occasionally vulnerable makes a leader more relatable, approachable and genuine. Showing vulnerability is a humanizing way to break down barriers and build relationships. It isn’t a sign of weakness, but a memorable way for leaders to show employees that they’re needed and that their help is valued.

Find the Great Leaders and Managers Your Team Needs

Whether you’re up against a pressing deadline, tackling a critical initiative or growing your core team, Exact Staff’s national network of offices can connect you with unforgettable talent to strengthen your organization. Improve performance. And achieve more in 2018.

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

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