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Are You Setting Expectations For Employees The 'Right' Way?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/12/05/are-you-setting-expectations-for-employees-the-right-way/

forbes.com

Are You Setting Expectations For Employees The 'Right' Way?
If your employees aren't sure what's expected of them, it not only impedes progress, it can also lead to high levels of frustration. Members of Forbes Coaches Council offer tips for setting expectations in a way that informs and motivates your employees.

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Communicate Early And Often

An effective leader communicates early and often. 

Don't assume that your team understands your expectations. Instead, proactively communicate your expectations. Empower them to make decisions without ambiguity.

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Come To A Democratic Decision

The right way to set expectations is to sit down with your employees and discuss everyone’s needs and expectations. Then come to a mutually agreed solution.

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Focus On The ‘What,’ Not The ‘How’

An good approach for employees to best meet expectations is to focus on “what” your desired outcome or vision is. It allows employees to feel more invested in the process toward completion.

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Their Expectations Of You

Expectations go both ways.  Describe the outcome you want to create for you and your employees by identifying expectations.

State your expectations and desired outcome, then invite them to share their expectations and how they’ll affect those same outcomes.

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Clarify Your Thoughts First

Clarify Your Thoughts First

Clarify your expectations and communicate them simply. Then, check that your employees understand your expectations and are able to meet them.

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Set Both Foundational And Personal Expectations

There are core values that apply to everyone and everything. They need to be set clearly and early.

Then there are personal expectations that are unique to the employee. They need to be set in partnership with the employee. It should be set in a way that meets their goals.

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With Clarity Comes Focus

To build buy-in from your employees, you need to be clear and specific. Ask clarification questions, check for understanding and encourage an open and honest discussion. 

When employees know what’s expected, they don’t waste time or energy. Instead, they maximize their time and skills.

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Align Tasks With Organizational Goals

The object of setting expectations is to ensure employees feel connected, empowered and inspired to perform at their peak.

Engage them with the organizational mission, priorities and goals. Then get their feedback and support for the “what” and the “how” to accomplish those.

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Understanding of responsibility

Ask how employees will hold themselves accountable.

  • Help your employee understand how their responsibility/work aligns to the goal.
  • Ask them how they will hold themselves accountable.

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Set S.M.A.R.T. Expectations

S.M.A.R.T. — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based.

Ensure employees know why the goals are in place and what happens when they are or are not met.

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Make Sure Teams Have What They Need

You cannot delegate accountability. 

  • Set clear expectations of the outcomes you are looking for.
  • Ask if they have everything they need to be successful.

When they say yes, then they have understood and agreed to take accountability to meet those outcomes.

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Setting employee expectations

A recent study reveals that almost half of all U.S. employees are unsure of what's expected of them.

Setting clear employee expectations can benefit your business. Management must co...

Employer/Employee expectations

Employee expectations to maintain:

  • Displaying a positive and respectful attitude
  • Working with honesty and integrity
  • Performing their work to a reasonable standard 

Employees expectations;

  • Proper training, support and leadership from management and access to resources
  • Timely and accurate payment of wages
  • Safe working environments
  • Explanation of responsibilities, company policies and procedures
  • Regular feedback from supervisors or managers.

Team expectations

Team expectations refer to the behaviors that occur while working together on tasks. 

  • Respect and courtesy to everyone.
  • Be accountable for your work.
  • Be reasonably flexible about task assignments.
  • Be willing to lend a helping hand.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Work safely together.
  • Be open to constructive feedback.
  • Be self-motivated and reliable.
  • Share ideas for improvement.
  • Be cheerful, positive and encouraging to other team members.

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Fully Understand The Expectations

"To minimize over-analysis, understand what the expectations are. What exactly is the information you need to provide or deliverables that you need to meet? Are you overproducing? We are of...

A 'Recover And Release' Mindset

"The recover mindset happens after you complete your work and you review it for errors and realistic value. Once corrections are made, move into the release stage, where you let it go and are OK with what results from it. Your realistic view of its value will be the reminder you need to draw from to free yourself from continuing to overanalyze." - Lisa Guice, Lisa Guice Global-Vision, LLC

Consider Your Constraints

"In the business world, decisions need to be made in a certain time with a certain budget. Remember your work is not about being perfect, but providing the best insight you can within the constraints you have. That gives you a lot of room to work and permission to not be perfect." - Larry Boyer, Success Rockets LLC

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 al...

Work

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

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?