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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

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 communicate their expectations verbally and in writing. This can reduce or eliminate confusion and increase the levels of success.

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IDEAS

Psychologist Kurt Lewin developed his framework in the 1930s, and it provided the foundation of many of the approaches that followed afterwards

  • Autocratic leaders make decisions without consulting their team members, even if their input would be useful.
  • Democratic leaders make the final decisions, but they include team members in the decision-making process.
  • Laissez-faire leaders give their team members a lot of freedom in how they do their work. They provide support with resources and advice if needed, but otherwise they don't get involved.
Goal setting gives focus

Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. 

Setting goals provides long-term vision in our lives.

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