1. Make expectations crystal clear
Expectations should be simplistically and clearly defined and communicated both verbally and in writing. This is because this will set the tone on what your employees need to do or achieve. Strong and effective leaders lay out the foundation on exactly what success looks like.
2. Explain to your employees WHY
Explain to your employees why what they’re doing matters. Your employees need to understand how their work helps to achieve the greater business goals. For example, an employee may look at proofing a document as a junior task or a waste of time. But once you provide the business context, telling the employee that the client relies on the company to provide error-free work, the employee can better understand the importance and take pride of their work on hand.
3. Empower your employees
One of the best gifts you can give your employees is to set them up for success. You can do so by empowering them with the right set of skills, knowledge and resources to accomplish their work on hand, or get them to where they want to in the future. For example, you may have an employee tasked to create a new logo, but he isn’t skilled at Photoshop. He may need to take on enrichment classes, or obtain support from the designing team to enable their work. It’s your job as a manager to make sure the employee knows how to access the support needed to execute the work.
4. Measure success
What are expectations when you’re not going to measure them? Or, how do you know if your employees have met their expectations set? This is why you need to have tangible evidence. Success measurement may differ from one role to another. However, the key is find several short-term or smaller steps within the overall plan that can be quantified.
5. Carve out the time to engage with your employees
Setting expectations should not be a one-way thing. You want to actively engage with your employees to understand what they can, and want to do. Therefore, we cannot stress enough how important regular check-ins are to employees. You should also take note of your tone as this is crucial! The more supportive and encouraging you can be, the better relationship you will forge. We suggest setting regular (weekly/monthly) one-to-one session with your employees. Treat this blocked time as high priority and don’t cancel it just because there are other pressing issues as much as possible. This will result in larger payouts in the long run as it shows your employees how much you value them, how much you care for them and their career/personal development.
When setting expectations with employees, it is KEY to remain flexible. Just as business landscapes fluctuates, your employees might face fluctuating emotional issues back at home. In unfortunate situations that happens to your employees, you may choose to raise or lower the bar. Setting clear and realistic expectations, and discussing them every month, is a sure-fire way to keep the lines of communication open. With this kind of personalised attention, you’d soon be able to realised a lower turnover down the road!