Why setting expectations is critical

One of the top reasons for unhappiness in the workplace is communication issues with one’s manager/supervisor.

Managers tend to make incorrect assumptions that employees have all of the information needed about what needs to be done, without having to communicate it clearly to them. Yet, employees will have a different idea of what is required.

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It’s crucial for your team to know exactly what is expected of them.

The unwritten rules about the level of quality expected in the work, and the depth of knowledge that needs to be displayed, are what defines a successful work project.

What are the boundaries of an employee’s responsibilities? What are and what aren’t the roles of the job?

Communication is one of the most critical components of organizational life, and it is far too important to leave to chance.

What’s the preferred way of communicating, both formally and informally? What should be the frequency of communication? What are the protocols for communication at different levels – while reporting to the manager or even upper management?

When working closely together with multiple people on multiple tasks, it’s important to keep track of your time and that of the others working with you.

It’s the responsibility of the manager to make sure that the organizational principles, behaviors, values, and overall expectations are clarified.

All employees bring their past experience and habits with them. If those experiences and habits differ from the organizational culture, non-clarification can lead to poor performance.

  • Does your team know what’s expected of them?  Let your team paraphrase what has been told to them. 
  • Have you told your team what they can expect from you?  They need to know how and when to reach out to you, and that you are accessible to them as a knowledgeable resource. 
  • Do employees know what is expected of each other? It’s important that everyone knows how their work affects their colleagues and how to work in tandem to achieve team/organizational goals.
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