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  • Capitalize on Emerging Trends to Position Your Business for Success in 2019

    12/27/18 7:45 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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    Will your business ride a wave of success in 2019 – or get caught in the undertow?

    The answer depends on how quickly your organization capitalizes on emerging trends in your industry.

    It may sound brutal, but it’s true: With change occurring faster than ever, what worked yesterday might not cut it tomorrow. Business leaders who anticipate, identify and seize the best new opportunities for their organization will reap the rewards.

    So grab your surfboard, jump on and use these tips to position your business for an amazing 2019:

    Become nimbler. Organizational agility helps your business adapt to its changing environment, by deftly executing initiatives in support of your overall strategy. It’s what allows your business to:

    • respond quickly and effectively to urgent issues and risks;
    • stay profitable in turbulent markets;
    • identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities – before your competitors do.

    In this earlier post, we share four ways to help your organization adapt and respond more quickly to whatever comes your way.

    Look around the next corner. To seize new opportunities, you must identify them early. Consider changing circumstances which may impact your industry and external business environment, such as:

    • Technological advances
    • Social, political and legal changes
    • Economic challenges or opportunities
    • Demographic changes and/or changes in customer expectations

    Examine each of these “big picture” forces regularly to uncover key opportunities for your organization. To find the insight you need:

    • Attend industry events. Conferences, expos and seminars are ideal places to learn what’s coming next.
    • Explore trends in other industries. Talk to business associates and broaden your network to gather diverse perspectives and insights.
    • Read the right publications. Entrepreneur, Inc., FastCompany, The Economist and more can be used to explore emerging trends.

    Ask the right questions. Look at your track record to learn from what worked (and what didn’t). Here are just a few to consider:

    • What products/services were most successful – and why?
    • What was easier/harder to sell this year compared to last –and why?
    • What do clients/customers want that you haven’t offered up until now – and why?
    • What new products/services can you create that will be irresistible?

    Take action. Once you’ve gathered available intelligence (about your organization, your industry, external factors and trends) and laid out your options, consider the following 4-R questions to determine your best course of action:

    • What will you regret if you fail to take any action at all?The higher the potential regret, the sooner you should make a choice.
    • How tough will it be to reverse course? The easier a decision is to repeal, the faster you should make it.
    • What will the repercussions be? The broader the impact, the more carefully you need to tread.
    • How will the decision impact your organization’s resilience?Give more weight to decision options that will build your company’s ability to bounce back.

    Want to capitalize on emerging trends impacting your industry?

    Build a Flexible Staffing Strategy

    The right staffing strategy can help you seize opportunities and outpace your competitors. And with a national presence and a full complement of talent solutions, the Exact Family of Companies is the perfec partner to support your success in 2019 and beyond.

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

Keep Your Team Motivated and Productive During the Holidays

12/22/18 3:30 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Take a look around your office. Are your employees:

  • Making a final push to hit year-end targets…or spending too much time shopping online at Target?
  • Planning for a great 2019…or just planning their family gatherings?
  • Working industriously…or as distracted as Buddy the Elf?

It’s the holidays. House guests, unfinished shopping, parties and pending vacations can derail your employees’ focus and productivity – during whatmay be your busiest time of the year.

As a manager, it’s your responsibility to help keep your team motivated and productive this holiday season. Use these tips to make it truly “the most wonderful time of the year” in your organization – without being a scrooge:

Get Organized

If the holidays aretypically your busy season, organize vacation and time-off requests ahead oftime – to ensure you can honor requests and still get your work done.

Set a Good Example

Part of being agood manager is leading by example – even during the holidays! If you’retempted to come in late or do a little gift shopping at work, remember thatemployees take their cues from you. Make sure you follow the good advice yougive them:

  • Stay focused on hitting your goals and keep your productivity bar set high.
  • Take good care of your physical and mental health.
  • Balance work priorities with fun and family time.
  • Take a little extra time to express thanks to everyone who contributes to your team’s success.

Beat Stress Before it Beats Down Your Team

If things get crazy in your company at year’s end, proactively foster apositive, fun work environment to nip performance issues in the bud:

  • Deck the halls with some festive décor.
  • Motivate with vibrant music.
  • Have an ugly holiday sweater contest.
  • Create a work tradition of exchanging small gifts or hosting a cookie swap.
  • Take 5-minute “fun” breaks to re-focus and recharge employees – especially when work is stressful.

Savor Slow Days

If you experience a slow-down at to work, use it to your motivational advantage. Allow staff to knock off a little early to do last-minute shopping or spend a little extra time with family. Giving a little time off when it’s slow makes employees more likely to work harder – and stay a little longer – when things do get busy.

Ask What Kind of Carrot to Dangle

Not entirely sure what will really motivate your team this season? Stopsecond-guessing yourself. Just ask them! And then implement what you can. Your employees will appreciate the gesture and wantto perform their best for you.

Looking to keep y our work teams working at their peak this holiday season?

Provide the support they need! Your staffers work hard all year long. Encourage them to take their unused vacation time, and contact Exact Staff to provide temporary support and ensure adequate coverage.

With a full complement of staffing and placement services, the Exact Family of Companies can help your team stay focused, happy and productive – and prime your organization for an amazingly successful New Year.

If You Want People at Work to Trust You, Never Say This

12/15/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Hearing the words “trust me” at work can inspire confidence and hope – or just make you want to roll your eyes.

Why is the phrase so meaningful when one person utters it – and yet utterly meaningless when someone else says it?

Some are just better at building trust than others. As we mentioned in this earlier post, fostering trust requires you to:

  • treat employees as equal partners;
  • be honest, accountable and solutions-oriented;
  • always honor your commitments.

It also takes consistent, effective communication with direct reports, peers and senior management. Which brings us to the point of today’s post: Just what should you say – and avoid saying – to strengthen others’ trust in you?

Language that Destroys Trust

This post on TheLadders.com shares phrases that undermine trust:

“I’m not sure, but…”

(Variations: “only a thought,” “hard to say,” “this might be a silly question, but…”)

While you never want to instill false confidence, phrases like this make you sound as if you have no real grasp on what you’re discussing. If you want to make a compelling case, steer clear of throw-away phrases that convey a false sense of humility.

“Sort of”

(Variation: “kind of”)

This phrase does little more than confuse others, by implying that you either really don’t want to come out and say what you mean, or simply don’t know what you’re saying. Neither instills trust! Don’t unnecessarily soften or muddle your language at work. Be clear, direct and transparent.


(Variations: “possibly,” “basically,” “potentially”)

Qualifiers like these dilute the impact, clarity and accountability of what you need to communicate. Add any of them to a statement, and you’ll reduce powerful language to wishy-washy nonsense that smacks of indecision.

Language that Builds Trust

Here are a few powerful phrases you should use instead:

  • “You can trust me on this.” Don’t be afraid to state the obvious, if it’s true.
  • “Yes. Absolutely!” Give a clear, affirmative response when it’s appropriate.
  • “I will.” Phrases like this reveal your confidence in your abilities, accountability and willingness to help.
  • “Here’s what this means for you…” Others will instantly trust you more when your language demonstrates that you have their best interests at heart.
  • “That’s a great suggestion – let’s do it.” Acknowledging someone else’s idea and committing to it shows that you know your own mind – but also value others’ input. Making someone else feel important instantly builds their trust in you.

Build a trusting, high-performance workplace with Exact Staff.

With a full complement of national staffing and placement solutions, Exact Staff provides precisely what your organization needs to increase trust – and fuel performance. To find out how we can strengthen your workplace, schedule a free consultation today.

7 Things Smart People Don’t Do

06/9/17 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Looking for ways to be smarter and more successful at work?

Of course, you are – otherwise, you probably wouldn’t have clicked on this post title. So, let’s get to the good stuff…

Smart, successful, high-performing people operate differently from their “average” counterparts. And in many cases, it’s what they DON’T do that gives them their edge. If you want to handle situations of all kinds more effectively, steer clear of these don’ts:

Don’t Pretend You Have All the Answers

Nobody does! Smart people are not afraid to occasionally be vulnerable. They ask for help when and where they need it. Instead of being a know-it-all, rely on your team for insights and suggestions for tackling tough problems.

Don’t Let Other People Bring Them Down

High achievers won’t let anyone else’s opinions or achievements diminish their own happiness. True, it may be impossible for you to completely insulate yourself from negative people’s actions. And it may be necessary for you to measure your work performance against your peers’. But you don’t have to let your sense of pleasure and satisfaction be controlled by others. Be the master of your own happiness!

Don’t Sugar-Coat the Truth

High performers are direct and tell the whole truth – even when it’s tough. Shine a light on the cold, hard facts about yourself, your team, your products/services and your competition. Only by acknowledging reality can you begin to change it for the better.

Don’t Dwell on Problems

Successful people know that their emotional state is determined by where they focus their attention. Instead of fixating on problems (which perpetuates negative emotions and stress), focus on actions that will improve yourself, your circumstances and your team’s performance.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

Smart people have fears and self-limiting beliefs like everyone else – they just don’t let those thoughts prevent them from doing the right things. The next time fear prevents you from acting, determine if that fear is legitimate – or if it’s really due to a limiting belief – and unnecessarily holding you back.

Don’t React

Failing to prepare is the same thing as preparing to fail. Smart people spend an appropriate amount of time planning, thinking and preparing in advance. Dedicate time each day, week, month, quarter and year to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you need to tackle next. If you create a calendar with prioritized short-term and long-term goals, you’ll spend less time reacting – and more time accomplishing your objectives.

Don’t Staff Your Business Alone

Work with a national staffing service to access the right professionals, right when you need them. With offices nationwide, and a full complement of staffing and placement services, Exact Staff can connect you with other smart, successful people to support or grow your core team. How can we help? Give your local Exact Staff office a call today.

What can we do for you?

Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.



Great Organizations Know the Best Plans Can Go Awry

05/26/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

–Robert Burns, “To a Mouse”

Is the language in this excerpt archaic? Yep. Are there mice in your organization? We certainly hope not.

Verbiage and rodents aside, Burns’ message is timeless and universal:

Regardless of your organization’s size, industry, competition or market, the best-laid plans often go awry.

Great leaders realize this – and plan accordingly. What are their secrets to successful business planning? To find out, let’s examine two aspects of planning which frequently “gang a-gley” for other organizations:

Ignoring the Big Picture

Too often, leaders plan from the inside out: they review their organization’s performance over the past year and look for opportunities to tweak processes and make incremental improvements. By looking backward and inward, these leaders are being reactive and tactical.

High-performance leaders view their organizations through a strategic, forward-looking lens. When planning, they think beyond their own business, considering the ways the economy, competition, industry trends, customers, technological advancements and other external factors could impact them. By taking this “Outside in” approach, these leaders better understand the dynamics, relationships, threats and opportunities around them. Over the long-term, deeper insights help the best leaders create more strategic, flexible and realistic plans.

Failing to Prioritize

Most organizations have a list of business goals, but a list will only take leaders so far. Without clear prioritization – and a method for communicating and cascading those priorities – a list of goals is worth little more than the paper on which it’s printed.

Great leaders’ plans do more than just outline the steps to achieving a goal; they clearly prioritize the actions which will accomplish those objectives. What’s more, that prioritization is pushed down through the entire organization by:

  • “connecting the dots” (i.e., clearly explaining how individuals’ daily actions help achieve high-priority goals for the entire company);
  • ensuring that performance management and reward/recognition models align with delivering on key priorities;
  • making sure that all employees have the resources (i.e., time, tools, training and authority) to perform successfully.

Plans Changed?

We can help you adapt and thrive. With a full complement of national staffing and placement solutions, the Exact Staff family of companies offers the resources and expertise to effectively execute your business plans, even when things change in your organization. To learn how we can help, schedule a free consultation today.

Stop Hiring Clones!

07/22/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Want to make your business stronger? More agile? More resilient?

Stop hiring clones!

Scientific research provides support for the very real (and troubling) tendency managers have to select candidates who are similar to themselves in terms of leisure activities, social markers and personal tastes. Even when companies have high levels of demographic diversity, they still often have deep-seated homogeneity when it comes to the ways employees think and behave.

Why? Because our brains prefer the familiar. And without a rigorous, objective set of criteria against which to judge a candidate’s merit, we tend to favor people like ourselves.

While hiring people who mesh with your company’s culture and share similar interests is comfortable, it can also be dangerous. Over time, a company comprised of people who think and act in the same ways experiences less constructive conflict – and as a result, less innovation.

So if you want to strengthen your organization, stop hiring people exactly like you – and do these things instead:

Broaden your definition of diversity.

Typically, employers think of diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, age, gender and/or sexual orientation. Take things a step further by also seeking out candidates who are diverse in terms of their skills, attitudes, interests, experiences, backgrounds and beliefs.

Guard against “mirror bias.”

As the name implies, this is the tendency of interviewers to favor candidates who remind them of themselves – regardless of those candidates’ skills and experience. Without proper training, interviewers often seek out evidence supporting their initial reactions to candidates while filtering out conflicting information.  As a result, perceptions turn into reality, and talented individuals are removed from consideration simply because they’re too different.

Make sure that interviewers and hiring managers alike understand the negative hiring impact mirror bias can create. Teach them to guard against premature judgments, and to wait until all the evidence is in before making a decision about a candidate.

Standardize hiring.

Structured processes, standard questions and objective evaluation criteria all protect your organization from the negative effects of interviewing biases. To further enhance results, require interviewers to support their candidate evaluations with specific examples – as opposed to opinions or “gut feelings.”

Choose the right staffing partner.

With a national presence, and a full complement of staffing and placement services, Exact Staff can rapidly deliver exceptional people to build your core team: diverse, independent thinkers who mesh with your culture, but who also bring complementary experience and fresh perspectives to tackle your toughest challenges.

What can we do for y-ou?

Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

What to Do if a Conversation Turns Loud and Aggressive

04/15/16 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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Is your workplace a hive of harmonious activity – or does it feel more like an episode of Hell’s Kitchen?

Whether they begin with policy disagreements, personality clashes or simple misunderstandings, workplace disagreements can quickly escalate into full-blown battles without proper management. And the results can be disastrous, including:

  • Lowered productivity and morale;

  • Employee turnover;

  • Even costly legal action which can sabotage profitability and your company’s reputation.

In all fairness, not every workplace conflict leads to such dire consequences. Often, squabbles and disagreements are short-lived, and a certain amount of conflict is healthy and normal.

Still, it’s better to be prepared to effectively resolve arguments you find yourself in – instead of allowing your loud and aggressive conversation devolve into something more dangerous. Here are a few actions to help you halt, or even turn around, a serious argument at work:

Acknowledge Your Role

It takes two to fight; if you find yourself embroiled in something more than a heated professional discussion, stop in your tracks. Take a deep breath. And authentically take responsibility for your role in the conversation’s derailment. Even if you’re not the one who provoked the argument, be the bigger person and apologize for compromising your work values.

State Your Intentions

Make it clear that you don’t want to argue, but that you’d like to find a mutually beneficial solution – even if you don’t know what that is at the moment. Demonstrating a sincere desire to resolve the conflict will instantly relieve the tension in the air and shift momentum in the right direction.

Define Rules of Engagement for Moving Forward

Once you’ve both regained your composure, set ground rules for civil discussion (even if you continue to disagree):

  • Use “I” instead of “you” statements to keep the discussion from turning back into an argument Avoid pointing fingers or placing blame.

  • Focus on work behaviors; skip personal attacks.

  • Use a professional, calm tone when speaking. Yelling, sarcasm or even disrespectful body language (e.g., eye rolling, defensively crossing arms) should not be tolerated.

  • Take periodic time-outs, if needed, to stay calm and in control of your behavior.

Focus on Agreement

Naturally, people who argue fixate on what they disagree about. You can profoundly transform a negative conversation, however, simply by shifting the focus to areas of common ground. Take a moment to calmly and sincerely list your points of agreement. Then, use those as the foundation for resolving your differences. The road to resolution may still be bumpy, but civility and a sincere desire to work things out will keep you on track.

Need Level-Headed Team Players for Your Organization?

Contact your local Exact Staff office. As a national employment agency, we deliver hard-working, professional individuals who will mesh with your culture, focus on results, and work well with the other members on your team.


IRS Alerts Payroll and HR Professionals to Phishing Scheme Involving W-2s

03/14/16 4:05 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

IR-2016-34, March 1, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued an alert to payroll and human resources professionals to beware of an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees.

The IRS has learned this scheme — part of the surge in phishing emails seen this year — already has claimed several victims as payroll and human resources offices mistakenly email payroll data including Forms W-2 that contain Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to cybercriminals posing as company executives.

“This is a new twist on an old scheme using the cover of the tax season and W-2 filings to try tricking people into sharing personal data. Now the criminals are focusing their schemes on company payroll departments,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees, check it out before you respond. Everyone has a responsibility to remain diligent about confirming the identity of people requesting personal information about employees.”

IRS Criminal Investigation already is reviewing several cases in which people have been tricked into sharing SSNs with what turned out to be cybercriminals. Criminals using personal information stolen elsewhere seek to monetize data, including by filing fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

This phishing variation is known as a “spoofing” email. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the “CEO” sends an email to a company payroll office employee and requests a list of employees and information including SSNs.

The following are some of the details contained in the e-mails:

·         Kindly send me the individual 2015 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.

·         Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary).

·         I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

The IRS recently renewed a wider consumer alert for e-mail schemes after seeing an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents so far this tax season and other reports of scams targeting others in a wider tax community.

The emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. The phishing schemes can ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics. E-mails can seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.

The IRS, state tax agencies and tax industry are engaged in a public awareness campaign — Taxes. Security. Together. — to encourage everyone to do more to protect personal, financial and tax data. See IRS.gov/taxessecuritytogether or Publication 4524 for additional steps you can take to protect yourself.

This article was originally published at www.irs.gov

How to Get Employees to Accept Feedback

01/15/16 8:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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They get defensive.

They call in sick on performance review days.

They nod their heads and promise to change, but keep on doing the same things in the same way.

Let’s face it – some employees just don’t want your management advice or feedback. And if you share it, they’re not likely to take it to heart. Why are they so resistant? Sometimes it’s because of management mistakes like these:

  • Only providing negative feedback.
  • Criticizing behaviors or performance without sharing practical suggestions for improvement.
  • Sharing negative feedback in public.

But other times, the blame rests squarely on employees’ shoulders. When an employee resists or dodges you, how can you get him to accept your feedback? Use these tips from Exact Staff to make your employee less defensive and more receptive to changing his behavior:

Try taking a break from giving performance-related feedback.

If an employee is tuning you out, take a step back. Instead of commenting on his job performance, focus on how he actually processes the feedback you give him.

Explain the importance of accepting feedback.

Your employee may not actually realize that part of his job is to listen to constructive criticism – and then adjust his behavior accordingly. Make sure you “connect the dots” for him. Clearly explain the impact his resistance has on you, his work team, the organization and his own job security.

Stay neutral and open-minded.

Keep your demeanor calm and professional. Withhold judgment and interpretation until after you get his input. And most importantly, don’t tell your employee that he’s being defensive – it’ll only make him more defensive!

Be specific.

It’s tough to share negative feedback. But when you do, be sure to give specific examples to support the point you want to make. Instead of saying, “You’re not living up to your end of the deal,” say, “When you cross your arms and stare at the ground when I attempt to discuss an issue with you, it gives me the impression that you don’t care about your work. Can you help me understand this behavior better?”

Agree on a plan.

When you request a behavior change about how your employee handles feedback, be open to counter-offers. Once you agree on a goal, secure a commitment. Try saying something like, “The next time I have constructive feedback to offer and you have a different perspective, tell me that in our meeting. I’ll listen to your side, and together we’ll work out a plan. Does that work for you?”

Have some feedback for us?

At Exact Staff, we understand and appreciate the importance of constructive feedback in maintaining a productive business relationship. Please contact our national staffing service with your comments, questions or suggestions.


3 Pieces of Advice from Our Team on Making 2016 a Fresh Start

12/11/15 3:26 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
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2016 is almost here – and with it comes the chance to make a fresh start for your company.

No matter what sort of business challenges you struggled with last year – hitting production goals, managing turnover, controlling expenses – the New Year brings new opportunities to reinvent your organization, re-energize your team and turn over a new leaf.

Don’t miss your chance! If you’re ready to shake things up, here are 3 pieces of advice from the Exact Staff team to help you make a fresh start in 2016:

Get out of your box.

The same approaches, the same products and the same services will yield (you guessed it) the SAME RESULTS. The best way to get out of your rut? Try something different! Here are two suggestions for you and your team:

  • Get outside your comfort zone. You never know where your company’s next great idea or source of inspiration may come from. It could be from reading a new book, visiting a museum, attending a thought-provoking presentation, taking a class or even talking to a stranger. Challenge your employees to try new things – it’s a sure-fire way to get their creative juices flowing and spark innovation.
  • Test a new idea. Should you expand your offerings? Enter a new market? Diversify your business? You’ll never know unless you try. Exact Staff can provide project support to try out a new idea or free your core team to test new concepts.

Make it okay to fail.

To make a new start, you need to take risks. So build a culture that supports calculated risk-taking and outlines parameters for doing so. And when your employees fail, don’t punish them. Support them, learn what you can from their mistakes, and use that knowledge to create a roadmap for future success.

Don’t let perfection paralyze you.

Striving for excellence is admirable, but if pursuit of perfection blinds you to pursuing other smart opportunities, it can actually thwart your growth and change. Be smart about what things actually require “gold plating” in your business – and then create guidelines for areas of your business in which “great” is good enough.

Make your fresh start a success with help from Exact Staff.

No matter what you want to achieve in 2016, Exact Staff can help you get off to a great start. Whether you need short-term assistance, project professionals or talented people to grow your core team, we have the resources and national reach to help you attain your business goals.


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