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

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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

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

11

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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For instance, having your colleagues come to ask you questions to which you feel pressured to answer on the spot leads to you being continuously interrupted, which results in being less productive and feeling stressed or even getting a burnout, as you try to do everything in proper time.

The asynchronous workplace

When the employees are provided with control as to when they are willing to communicate with their co-workers, there are many advantages that emerge. 

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

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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.

Practical goal setting
  • Evaluate and reflect. Regularly write down where you are right now, and if you are happy with your current level of satisfaction.
  • Define your dreams and goals. What do you want? Schedule some quiet “dream time” and think about what really thrills you. Then prioritise those dreams.
  • Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive)
  • Have accountability. Find someone to hold you accountable to your goals.
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Ask For A Private Discussion

Instead of avoiding the person, seek to address the issue head-on because, if left unaddressed, it’s only likely to get worse. 

Ask for a private discussion with the other person to express what you’re experiencing as pleasantly and agreeably as possible to avoid damaging the relationship further.

Always Be Direct

All people deserve to be treated professionally and with dignity. Remembering that being direct is not in contradiction with professionalism is imperative. Be direct, brave and respectful.

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Communicate clearly and frequently

Communication is essential and comes first when setting expectations with your team.

Have a plan in place from the start to ensure your team understands what you are expecting from them.

For example, should they report every task they complete? Is there a set amount of time in which they should be able to reply to emails?

Roles and responsibilities documents

Your team will work as a unit if every member is aware of their own responsibilities and the importance of their work in the organization.

This can be accomplished by creating a document that describes their role in the company in detail.

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Hire the right people

Design your hiring process with remote candidates in mind. Look for 3 main things:

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Put extra effort into onboarding

Remote workers won’t have the opportunity to be involved in spontaneous conversations or team lunches, but there are other things you can do to help them settle:

  • provide info with new job critical stuff: team member introductions (personal bios, photos, advice for new employees), HR training links, task checklists, long-term goals, and more.
  • assign mentors to new hires, who schedule regular video check-ins, make themselves available on Slack and make new employees feel welcome.
Default working setups

Remote workers need a dedicated, quiet space to do their work, so it’s important to set some guidelines:

  • encourage workers to join coworking spaces;
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  • fast reliable internet access;

They can still work from a coffee shop every once in a while, but they need a good default setup. 

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Uncertainty Triggers Fear

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Two Tasks of a Manager
  • The first task for a manager is to be transparent, explaining to the team exactly what is known, and what isn’t known, and not to keep any team member in the dark.

  • The second task is to provide hope and a sense of possibility to the employees facing an uncertain future ahead.

Steel Yourself

Before any word is uttered to the employees, you need to understand your role and channel your leader 'avatar' in a time of crisis, as if preparing for a battle. Your steel nerves will be contagious(!) to your team members. You need to sound convincing, and it’s a good idea to follow the basics, like eating well, plenty of sleep and regular exercise.

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