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Seven Steps to Setting Clear Expectations

Give context

Having clear expectations is one side of the coin. Understanding the bigger picture, the context and intention, will make it easier for people to commit and follow.

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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.

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?

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.

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.

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.