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Exact Staff News

  • Writing Email Subject Lines? Here’s What NOT to Do

    05/29/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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    Fact: People judge books by their covers…

    …and emails by their subject lines.

    You may have great news to deliver. An unbelievable offer to share. Or an urgent request that can’t be ignored. But none of that matters if your recipients never open their emails from you. And the secret to getting your emails opened? You guessed it: writing compelling subject lines.

    So, give your digital correspondence a fighting chance! Improve the likelihood your readers will notice, open, and read your email by avoiding these top email subject line mistakes:

    SCREAM TYPING.

    Typing in all caps is the visual equivalent of yelling, and it turns readers off. What’s worse, all caps can even trigger certain SPAM filters and prevent your messages from ever making it into inboxes.

    Using exclamation points!!!!!!

    You probably wouldn’t include six exclamation points in a subject line (at least we hope you wouldn’t), but research presented in this Yesware eBook shows that emails with just one exclamation point had a 6.4% lower open rate than average (45.5% vs. 51.9%), as well as a 7.6% lower reply rate than average (22.2% vs. 29.8%).

    Failing to convey the good stuff.

    Have something promising or exciting to say? Don’t save it for the body of your email; tease it in your subject line. Remember, most people only scan their inbox. Positive words stand out.

    Making false promises.

    Be sure that you can make good on anything you commit to in your subject line (or anywhere else in your email, for that matter). False promises will irritate your audience and undermine your reputation.

    Beating around the bush.

    People are busy and aren’t likely to take the time to decode vague subject lines. Include the essentials in a clear, attention-grabbing way.

    Droning on and on.

    Think about how ruthless you are when you open your email in the morning. Would you take the time to read a subject line with a dozen or more words? Keep your subject line as short as possible and get to the point – quickly. As a best practice, limit your line to 50 characters (so it displays well on mobile, where most email is opened).

    Only writing a single word.

    Single-word subject lines read as suspicious and/or lazy. Brevity is important but be sure to provide adequate context.

    Forgetting to front-end-load essentials.

    Have an important question to ask or critical piece of information to share? Encapsulate and include it in the subject line.

    Not writing in active voice.

    Active voice (i.e., when the subject of the sentence performs the action described by the verb) leads to more clear, concise and impactful subject lines.

    Including sensitive information.

    You never know who will have access to your intended recipients’ email, so err on the side of caution.

    Looking for more email tips? Check out this earlier post:

    Secrets to Writing Clear and Effective Emails

    What can Exact Staff do for you?

    Whether you want to improve focus, save time and money, relieve administrative burdens or grow your core team, our national employment agency is here to help. Drop us an email or give us a call today.

The Key to Stop Wasting Time in Unproductive Meetings

05/25/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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We’re a productivity-obsessed nation, always looking for new ways to save precious hours and accomplish more in less time at work.

One of the biggest workplace productivity saboteurs? You guessed it: meetings.

Every year, businesses waste $37 billion (yep, with a “b”) on unproductive meetings. Middle managers report spending 35% of their time in meetings, and upper management spends a whopping 50% of their work week attending meetings.

Whether your company schedules too many of them, or they just last too darn long, meetings rob you of time you could be spending on your core responsibilities. Can you just skip the ones you don’t feel like attending? Banish meetings altogether? Probably not. But there is hope! Today, our team shares a few expert tips to combat meeting overload and make them worth your time:

Improve meeting planning.

Distribute a clear agenda (at least 24 hours in advance) with discussion items, required preparation and a rough timeline, so that everyone gets the greatest return on their invested time.

Block time.

If you attend multiple, regular meetings in a single day, those 15- and 30-minute chunks of “dead” time between them really add up. When you plan multiple meetings, schedule them back-to-back to minimize wasted time.

Banish devices.

Ask participants to put away their phones, so eyes and attention don’t stray every time they light up.

Be ruthless about timing.

Everyone appreciates it when meetings begin and end according to schedule. To keep participants from derailing conversations or endlessly droning on, try using a countdown clock. It sends a clear message that the end of the meeting is a deadline, and it gives you a polite excuse to interrupt, redirect and get attendees back on track.

Schedule breaks.

Any meeting longer than an hour should include a break. Require participants to get up, stretch and move around. Give them five minutes for a phone check or bathroom visit, and then engage them for another five in something fun to break the tedium before refocusing on the task at hand.

Selectively uninvite yourself.

While your attendance at certain meetings is likely mandatory, that may not always be the case. Over time, routine meetings may lose their effectiveness and your attendance may not be essential. Periodically evaluate whether you absolutely need to attend recurring meetings – and respectfully uninvite yourself to ones you can skip.

Need a hand getting it all done?

Give Exact Staff’s experts a call. We provide a full complement of national staffing and placement services to save time. Banish busywork. Keep you focused on essential priorities. And accomplish your goals. Give us a call to find out what we can do for you.

Make Every Morning Great! Adopt These Habits of Successful People

05/23/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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It’s cold. It’s raining. You’re tired. And in 45 minutes, you’re headed into another day of that firestorm/3-ring-circus you call work.

The question is:

Is it going to be a great morning or a fantastic one?

That’s not a misprint; it’s an example of choosing a positive outlook to improve your experience – and it’s just one of the tricks successful people have mastered to make every morning exceptional. If you want to get off to a great start each day, adopt these habits:

Discipline your thinking.

If you expect to have a rotten morning, guess what? You will. But if you expect to have a wonderful morning – despite any challenges work throws your way – guess what? You will! Disciplining yourself to adopt a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity, helps you insulate your mood from what happens around you. It’s not just a saying; attitude IS everything.

Eat well.

Research has shown that consuming the right foods can improve brain power by as much as 20 percent. In this earlier post, we share 4 power foods you should eat in the morning to kickstart your day and supercharge your productivity.

Get moving.

Successful people understand the vital link between exercise and work performance, and research proves there’s a relationship between physical activity and improved cognitive and executive functioning. If you want to be a better leader, manager and person, exercise before starting your workday.

Wake up earlier.

Whether you use the time to share a conversation with a loved one, meditate, cook a nutritious breakfast, plan your day or grab a workout, an extra 30 minutes can dramatically improve your morning routine. Just be careful not to short-change your sleep; every great morning starts with a great night’s sleep.

Practice gratitude.

Gratitude is antithetical to anxiety, anger and fear. And you don’t have to be Tony Robbins or a yogi to realize the benefits of this practice; you just need to take a few moments to reflect:

  • Start a gratitude journal. Each morning, write down one thing for which you’re thankful.
  • Make the first email you send each morning a positive one, thanking a friend, relative or coworker for a kindness.
  • Take a gratitude walk. Get outside (even if it’s just for 5 minutes) and observe what’s around you: the sights, scents and sounds, and even the feel of the wind, snow or rain on your face. Be present in the moment, breathe and give thanks for the promise another day holds.

Make every workday great – with the right staffing support.

Exact Staff delivers exceptional talent and innovative strategies to meet your local or national requirements. Whether it’s a single temporary for a day or an entire project team, we provide a range of staffing and placement solutions to increase productivity and performance – and make every day great.

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

Collaborating in Business Without Consensus

05/21/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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“Innovate or die.”

It’s more than a cool catchphrase. Factors like rapidly advancing technology and intense global competition make it extremely difficult to keep up with the accelerating rate of change in business today. Maintaining the status quo, or even striving for incremental improvement, is no longer enough to stay at the leading edge of your industry.

“Yes men” won’t drive the innovation your organization needs to thrive.

Groupthink is extremely dangerous. It can suppress innovation and lead to strategic mistakes and missed opportunities. To keep your business from becoming irrelevant or obsolete, you need a diverse team – people with varied talents, perspectives and backgrounds who aren’t satisfied the status quo and challenge one another’s thinking. Their new ideas and insights are essential to push boundaries and drive your business forward.

How to Keep Conflict from Paralyzing Your Organization

As a manager, it’s your job to make sure the members of your dynamic teams can effectively collaborate with one another – even when they disagree. Otherwise, the dissent can bring projects to a screeching halt and effectively kill innovation.

In this earlier post, we offered suggestions for channeling workplace conflict constructively. But when employees have fundamental disagreements, don’t trust or simply don’t like one another, what are your options? Author Adam Kahane shared these three “stretch strategies” in a recent strategy+business post, to help teams move forward and collaborate without consensus:

Accept the plurality of the situation

Make sure everyone on the team realizes that you don’t have to agree on a solution to make progress. Individuals can work alongside one another toward the same overarching goal in different ways, and for different reasons.

Keep experimenting

Acknowledge as a group that succeeding in an effort isn’t necessarily about coming up with the ideal solution; it’s about continually trying new tactics in pursuit of one. Even if you can’t solve a problem, you should still aim to stay “unstuck” and moving forward.

View yourself as part of the problem

Progress is impossible until team members recognize that they are a part of the problem they’re trying to solve. As their manager, help them understand they role they play in creating or fueling the issue. Only by shifting their perspective can they become part of the solution.

Nothing is perfect in business; we sometimes have to work alongside people we don’t care for agree with. But as a leader, it’s your responsibility to help employees rise above differences to achieve shared goals. The ability to collaborate without consensus is essential to moving forward, driving innovation and ensuring your organization’s long-term success.

Need innovators? Independent thinkers? Exceptional collaborators?

Exact Staff can deliver the high performers you seek for assignments and projects or to grow your core team. What can our national staffing agency do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

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