What's the value of clear expectations? #33 Mentorship Lessons

Over the years I have conducted 100’s of interviews and when I have asked, name a criticism or weak point of previous bosses, 1 out 3 interviewees say, “Unclear expectations of the role in the hiring process and when in the role.”

This is backed up in a Florida State University study, less than 20 percent of employees are certain they know what is expected of them at work each day, with the majority reporting varying levels of clarity concerning responsibilities, ranging from “some” to “complete” ambiguity.

Are standards of performance and expectations clear at your workplace? Ask 10 staff members what the performance standards are or what are the expectations of the role and see what you get. It may surprise you.

Why have clear expectations?

  1. Reduce the stress of managers and staff thus a better culture.
  2. They become the foundation of successful on boarding
  3. Staff know precisely what the company and manager deem important
  4. Remove the need for close supervision.
  5. It enables performance appraisals to be based on accurate, relevant performance based data: not behavior, opinion, and hearsay.

Keep in mind expectations and standards of performance must be clear and specific.

What if your company does not have clear standards of performance?

Here are 3 steps you can take.

  1. Get clear on what is expected. The next time you get an assignment at work. Don’t let your boss rush you out the office. If something doesn’t seem clear right away, ask about it now.  Don’t leave the meeting until you have both agreed on exactly what it is you will be doing
  2. Divide the task into parts and schedule check in phases. There is nothing like completing a major project and find out in the end you did it wrong. This allows your manager to readjust to ensure a successful completion of the project.
  3. Ensure acceptance. If your boss did not sign off on phase 1 of the project don’t move forward until they do sign off. Yes you are forcing them to micromanage you bit, but you are also helping your manager be clearer on their instructions.

A final thought.

Ask yourself “Would I like my employees to achieve more?” If your answer is “Yes”, look to your performance standards and expectations. If they’re not clear, measurable and definitive, you can’t expect your employees to perform to their potential. Without clear expectations and standards, they won’t know exactly.

Tony Jalan

Equipping, Educating, Empowering, and encouraging others to become better leaders!

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