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  • Boosting Employees’ Productivity? It’s as Easy as Changing Their Mind

    10/29/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    Improving productivity in your organization isn’t just a “nice thing to try”; it’s a business imperative. From coast to coast, employers are frustrated with the gap between what great people can and do accomplish on the job.

    Case in point? A March 2018 VitalSmarts study found that:

    • A whopping 88% of managers have at least one high-potential direct report who doesn’t live up to that potential on the job.
    • 70% of managers currently have at least one high-potential employee they’re considering terminating because their performance is simply unacceptable.

    Don’t Let Your Team’s Potential Go Unrealized!

    How can you take promising professionals from “good” to “great” on the job? It may be as simple as changing their mindset about productivity.

    While most ideas for boosting productivity and performance focus on actions and habits, small shifts in the way your employees think about getting work done can help them be much more effective. This Fast Company post provides four ways to change employees’ minds about productivity – and elevate their performance:

    Shift from Chaos to Choice

    Organizational and priority-management skills are essential for helping professionals stay in control of their workday – especially when things become overwhelming or unexpected problems arise. When team members feel like they don’t have a moment to catch their breath and catch up, remind them to be deliberate, take stock of their situation, and use techniques like prioritization, list-making and delegation to get back on track.

    Shift from To-Dos to Agreements

    Instead of viewing work tasks as a never-ending barrage of to-dos, help employees cultivate an “agreement mindset” about their responsibilities. When people think of tasks and projects as agreements, it: gives them a greater sense of control in taking on the activity; helps them become more discerning about what they can and should take on; and provides a professional way to “renegotiate” when they’re concerned about their ability to get something done.

    Shift from Performance to Outcome

    If employees are “stuck in the weeds” at work and not delivering the result you need, they may be too focused on process (e.g., checking off to-dos, following steps, tracking analytics, etc.). Help them tweak their mindset by reminding them about why they’re doing something. By keeping the desired outcome at the heart of their activities, they’ll stay motivated about achieving the right results.

    Shift from Urgency to Impact

    Busy work. Fire-fighting. Addressing other people’s priorities. With all this reacting, how can employees to get meaningful work done? Train them to organize their work so that they accomplish at least one “high impact” objective each day. In this earlier post, “Success Habits: Brilliant Rituals High Performers Follow” we share practical ways your team can accomplish more by changing the way they plan and spend their time.

    Want to help your superstar employees realize their potentials?

    Exact Staff is here to help. Serving organizations across the nation, we provide a full complement of staffing solutions to fast-track projects, delegate non-core tasks, and keep your team focused on high-priority work. Just give us a call!

How to Blow Your Boss’s Mind (in the Best Way Possible!)

10/26/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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You show up 15 minutes early each morning.

You’re loyal and hard-working.

You meet your deadlines and annual objectives.

Coworkers think you’re great to work with.

Well, guess what? Nobody’s impressed by that. This is your job, and if you’re merely fulfilling the basic requirements, don’t expect anything more than the basic paycheck.

If you’re interested in garnering a promotion, earning a raise or laying the groundwork to make a career transition, you need to do more.

You need to really blow your boss’s mind!

Sure, you could demonstrate your Mongolian throat-singing skills (if you have them). Yes, you could hire an 80’s hair band to put on an in-office concert (as long as you’re prepared to write a big check). But that kind of “razzle dazzle” miiight not hit the right note. If you really want to position yourself as an indispensable employee – one worthy of more money and responsibility – use these tips to impress your manager the right way:

Be one step ahead.

Learn everything you can – about your company, its competitors and your industry. Follow thought leaders and influencers online. Learn more about the trends impacting other departments – not just your own. Instead of being the person who “will get back to you on that,” come to meetings with answers and solutions already in hand. Your boss will appreciate your passion and proactivity.

Push yourself beyond your comfort zone.

You may be great at your job, but that’s not enough to merit advancement. If you want to level up, ask for stretch assignments. Pursue training opportunities on your own (and do it on your own time). When your manager sees that you want more challenge, you aren’t afraid to try new things, and you’ve taken the initiative to improve your skills, they’ll be more likely to consider you when a growth opportunity arises.

Build relationships outside your department.

Individual relationships with peers and senior managers are essential to getting interdepartmental work done quickly and successfully. Be a bridge builder before you need those connections. That way, when your boss presents a complex project that requires cross-team collaboration, you’ll be able to make their day by saying, “I know (name) in (department). Why don’t I take care of this for you?”

Be clear about your intentions.

Your manager is busy attending to their own priorities; don’t assume they understand your career intentions. If you want a promotion or raise, and you’ve gone above and beyond to merit one, don’t be afraid to ask for it (again, the right way):

  • Have something specific to propose, even if it’s just a list of the types of responsibilities to take on.
  • Explain the reasons you deserve more (not just want more).
  • Be confident, but humble.

Looking for a better job?

Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. We can confidentially represent you to employers, showcasing your strengths and making a strong case for your candidacy. If you’re ready for a new opportunity to build your skills and advance your career, apply with your local Exact Staff office today.

“Back Pocket” Phrases You Should Never Stop Saying

10/22/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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“There’s no place like home.”

When things got crazy in Oz, Dorothy repeated this magical phrase to return to the comfort and safety of her home.

She was onto something there.

When life gets hectic or stressful, people often unintentionally isolate themselves, lose patience and lose their ability to enjoy simple activities.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Keep your mental “back pocket” full of positive, inclusive, life-affirming phrases like these, and pull one out the next time you’re tempted to snap or take a raincheck. They may not teleport you home, but they’ll definitely make you feel a lot better:

“Let’s go out to lunch.”

Slaving away at a desk for eight or more hours straight is enough to make anybody surly. Even when your schedule is packed, make time to get out of the office and socialize with friends, family, co-workers or customers. The change of pace and scenery will help you press your reset button and have a more productive afternoon.

“Yes, I can help you get that done.”

Both personally and professionally, the more you give in life, the more you get. You may be legitimately busy, but before you automatically turn down someone’s request for help, consider the upsides of making time to lend assistance.

“I was thinking of you and just called to catch up.”

Texting is quick – and all those emoji and .gifs make it fun and entertaining to correspond with people you value. No chat, text or messaging app, however, can compete with the impact of a phone conversation. The next time you grab your phone to type, press the call button instead. Strike up a real conversation with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and find out what’s new in their life.

“You have my full attention.

Screen, screens, screens – they’re everywhere, and they make it tough to focus fully on any one person or task. The next time a family member, friend or co-worker needs your attention, give it to them. 100%. Besides making you calmer and more efficient, giving your undivided attention to someone sends the message that they’re truly important.

“That’s fine; I can wait.”

When you’re under intense pressure, up against a tight deadline or just have a million things to do, waiting for someone or something can frustrate you. It’s not entirely your fault; our society has become conditioned to expect immediacy in every aspect of life. But patience truly is a virtue, and it’s something you should practice daily. When you feel yours wearing thin, say, “No rush,” (or a similar phrase) with kindness in your voice. Just because you want something now doesn’t mean you’ll die without it.

Are these phrases revolutionary? No. But they can dramatically improve your quality of life – especially when life gets crazy.

Related post: These Phrases Make You Sound Clueless at Work

Is your work life a little hectic these days?

Exact Staff offers a full complement of staffing and placement solutions to help you maximize productivity, hit pressing deadlines and free-up time to focus on your top priorities.

Whether your requirements are local or national, temporary or direct, trust our experts to deliver the exact talent and solutions you need.

The One That Got Away?

10/19/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed

by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.

Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


The author of this quote may be dubious (it’s commonly – yet improperly – attributed to Mark Twain), but its relevance to your career isn’t. Twenty years from now, you’re much more likely to regret the career opportunity that you let slip away, than the work mistakes you actually made.

And there’s more than a “warm and fuzzy” quote to back this notion up.

An article recently published by the American Psychological Association (APA) examined six studies that explain why “not taking that job” may wind up being your biggest career regret. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Your most enduring regrets more often stem from discrepancies between who you are and the person you wanted to become (i.e., your “ideal self”), not who you think society and expectations said you should become (i.e., your “ought self”).
  • This imbalance is due, at least partly, to the fact that we cope with regret in different ways. In general, we are quicker to act with ought-related regrets (i.e., ones related to duties and responsibilities) than we are with ideal-related regrets (i.e., ones related to goals and aspirations).
  • Consequently, ideal-related what-ifs are more likely to remain unresolved, leaving you more likely to regret not being all you could have been more than all you should have been.

The Career That Got Away

Left unattended, your discontent over passing on what could’ve been your dream job will likely linger. You may wind up with unresolvable regrets, because you cannot take back or fix something you never actually did.

Our advice? Throw off those bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor of your mediocre job. Explore. Dream. Discover. Actively seek out opportunities to realize your full career potential. In today’s job market, these opportunities are more plentiful than ever. And the Exact Family of Companies is ready to help you seize the right one.

Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent today – you won’t regret it!

Combining in-depth interviews, personalized assessments and 20 years of recruiting success, we’re the ideal partner to help you:

  • identify your strengths;
  • evaluate your career options;
  • find assignments and full-time positions that align with your career goals and aspirations.

Search jobs here.

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