Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are frustrated by the output of your employees? Perhaps they don’t seem to achieve the goals that you have in mind for them. This is not uncommon but often is the result of them not having had clear expectations from the start.

Setting clear expectations for your employees is imperative if you want to lead a successful team and also ensure that each person is accountable for their actions. If you want to be able to have a team that delivers effectively and also be trusted to work from home as we evolve in this area, you have to know that you can trust them to be in tune with you.

Before you can set expectations for your employees, it is important that you have a clear understanding of what these are for yourself.

Whatever you want to set the standards on, be it work performance, culture, values or simply dress code, you need to be clear in your own mind what is acceptable to you.

If you are remotely uncertain of your own boundaries, it will be impossible to set the tone amongst your people and this will lead to a mixed and sometimes unwanted response. Here are 5 top tips in Setting your Employees Expectations when it comes to work performance…

1. Define the employee’s role and Key Performance Indicators

Clearly explaining and defining an employee’s role from the start sets their expectations. This should happen before an individual is even offered a role.

An initial explanation of their role and what they will be doing day to day can be invaluable when establishing what a new employee should anticipate. It should also be in writing so it can be referred to continuously.

You should know what acceptable but also successful performance generates in terms of results and also what actions should be being taken consistently to achieve this.

This knowledge can easily be gleaned by measuring some data on existing employees for a while and then use this to create a road map for people to follow in order to hit their objectives.

2. Connect them with the company culture

If an employee is truly engaged with the culture and the vision of the business, they will naturally be more inclined to meet the goals set for them.

It is especially important to ensure this happens quickly for new employees who can sometimes struggle to connect with the company culture and fit in with the existing team.

One way you can ensure the transition into your team goes smoothly is to assign them an established member of staff to act in a mentor type role and demonstrate the behaviours you want to emulate.

If this wouldn’t work for your team, scheduling regular team meetings can work effectively or even a team social outing. This establishes personal connections within the team to be strengthened outside of the office environment and allows the new employee and existing team to bond. A regular team meeting which consists of sharing results and thoughts can encourage a culture of accountability.

3. Create opportunities

Often employees have the desire to climb the career ladder and gain new qualifications and skills. 

By providing opportunities to learn and grow in their own role, they feel supported by you and your company. These opportunities motivate employees to work harder as they have a specific goal to work towards. 

This avoids employees limiting their expectations and becoming demotivated. Furthermore, this fulfils the more ambitious employees’ expectations. 

However, be careful not to overpromise and underdeliver. This can destroy trust that has been built and may cause them to leave your company.

4. Transparency and appreciation

Honesty is vital to build trust with your employees and manage their expectations. By having an open and transparent approach, employees will not only question themselves less, but trust you more.  By leaving little room for questioning, employees have a strong foundation to build reasonable expectations.

Although transparency is effective, giving regular positive feedback is an amazing motivator for employees. If an employee knows they are doing a good job, they are more driven in their role and feel more secure in their position. This ensures they do not set their expectations too low as this can negatively impact their work life.

5. Communication

Communication is the most effective way to set and manage expectations. 

By communicating exactly what your employee can expect, and what is expected of them, you leave no room for questioning and guarantee you and your employee are on the same page. Furthermore, a conversation about expectations with your employee ensures their expectations are fulfilled. 

The best way to consistently monitor and manage your employee’s expectations is to regularly schedule a meeting with them (monthly or every other month is a good timescale) in order to adjust expectations and avoid keeping them in the dark.

This is an in depth topic and work performance is obviously a primary, critical area to get right but expectations need to be clearly set around so many aspects to day to day business life.  

Establishing employee expectations from the start is critical for future success. This plays a big part in our recruitment process because we strive to find long term employees for your business.