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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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