Sometimes the fundamentals of business are the same whether you are looking internally or externally. Unfortunately sometimes we don’t realise it! We work hard on making sure our customers know what they can expect of us, when we will do things, when we will do it by, who will do it etc. We put this information into writing and ensure that their expectations of us are clear. If we have expectations of them, we make them clear as well – for example, when we expect them to pay the invoice by! It makes sense and makes for good and happy customers!
The same can be said for our own team members. Often when dealing with performance issues in business, what I see is a mis-understanding in regards to what is expected of the team member with a differing expectations on both sides of the equation.
So like with our customers we need to work on expectations with our team. So how do we do this?
First, there is the basic aspects of establishing the expectations of their behaviours and performance. These are the sort of things that are covered in employment agreements, position descriptions, policies and procedures. Not only do they cover the idea of what the job is, they also lay out the your expectations of what is acceptable in regards to dealing with other team members, management, customers and others. To have these documents in place puts you one step ahead in the expectation management game.
The next step is ensuring you have good strong two-way communications structures in your business. Regular meetings with your team and feedback sessions (formal or informal) are good ways to begin this process. Having a regular, proactive and systematic performance management and development systems also aids your aims in this area by putting in place forward looking goals and targets for your team.
Ensure your team are aware of your goals for the business. Unless it is commercially sensitive, don’t leave them in the dark about where you are taking the business and make sure they know how they can help you achieve this. Think about how you can bring them into the game.
Finally – do you know their expectations of you?? What is it they want out of work? What gets them to work every day? By finding out about these expectations, you can find ways to encourage them to achieve their own goals – its not only about your success, its about their’s as well….
So think about how you can become an expectation manager with your team!