The key to successfully managing employees to be strong performers is ensuring they understand your expectations. Unfortunately, there tends to a disconnect between managers’ intentions and the effectiveness of their communication to employees. According to a Gallup study, only about half of all workers strongly indicate that they know what is expected of them at work. Ensure your employees truly understand your expectations of them with these tips:
● Provide All Details
Never leave any crucial details up for assumption when communicating your expectations to employees. Just because something is apparently obvious to you without being spoken, does not mean it is for your workers. Clarify all details, including deadlines, level of priority, when you want progress updates and desired results. Doing so upfront prevents any misunderstandings and gives employees the opportunity to work without having to second-guess themselves or come back to you with questions, interrupting their workflow.
● Offer the “Why”
Beyond just the details of your expectations of your employees (I.e. the “what”), solidify the importance of what they are taking on and offer the “why.” Discuss why certain aspects are important, such as how the task impacts other people and the consequences if it is not performed to the necessary standards. This gives crucial context to your employees to help them more fully comprehend your expectations.
● Get Their Input
Do not just talk at your employees when communicating your expectations. Make it a two-way conversation so you can be sure they understand, and answer any questions or address concerns they may have about the task. They can also let you know if your expectations may not be realistic for whatever reason, which gives you the opportunity to adjust accordingly if needed.
● Check-In Periodically
While you do not want to micromanage and be overly involved in every step along the way, you should make it a point to check in periodically to see how things are going. If you wait until a project is already late or a task has not been completed properly, you will have wasted valuable time. Prevent any issues by asking for updates occasionally to ensure you and your employees are still on the same page regarding your expectations.
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