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Steps to Manage and Communicate Expectations to Your Employees

December 29, 2022
HR Toolkit
Steps to Manage and Communicate Expectations to Your Employees

As a manager, you need to set clear communicate expectations for your employees. If your employees are falling apart in their work, you might not be that great at communicating your expectations.

However, you don’t need to worry, this can change with a bit of consideration and practice.

Do you want to eliminate unnecessary work at your workplace? Set clear communicate expectations with your workforce and make a difference. But How?

Let us know the answer through this blog. In this blog, we will see the expectation definition, the benefits of setting expectations, and know how to set clear expectations for your employees.

Let’s dive in!!!

If Employees are Falling Apart, Re-work on Communication!

Whether you acknowledge it or not, communication is an integral part of a leader’s success.

Communicating expectations effectively is a critical element of what it takes to be a great leader. Without clear communication, your employee would not be able to know in which direction to go.

But it isn’t as easy as it seems. One survey from Harvard Business Review found a severe gap in communication between managers and employees. 91% of the employees said ineffective communication prevents great leadership. However, by proper analysis, and with UBS HR Toolkit’s Letter of Expectation format, you can have a clear path to communicating your expectations.

Do you want to lead a high performing team 1

Most of us view communication skills as simply that—skills that need to be developed, practiced, and invested in. Companies are moving quickly in the current environment.

Numerous companies are swiftly changing their priorities in order to respond to shifting personnel, employment, and economic conditions. A flexible and adaptable workforce is more crucial than ever, which implies that communication is as crucial.

Let’s discuss how crucial it is to communicate expectations in detail.

Why are Setting Communicate Expectations Important in the Workplace?

To curate an environment of trust and accountability in the workplace, it is important to clearly set expectations with your team.

Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of setting communicate expectations.

1. Eliminates Uncertainty

Employees cannot know what you expect from them until you don’t communicate properly. After all, people cannot read minds.

Don’t think something is obvious. Something that looks red to you may look blue to a color-blind person. If you think that something goes without saying, say it anyways – in case the other person needs to hear this.

By doing this, you’ll clear up any doubts and misunderstandings among your team and enable them to get on with their work without having to guess what your goals are. By clearly stating your expectations, you can prevent many misunderstandings and costly errors.

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2. Release Stress and Boost Satisfaction

One of the biggest stressors at work is not fully understanding your roles and responsibilities in general.

You yourself have felt this kind of anxiety at your workplace – when you don’t know what you’re doing, but you feel like you should know. Therefore, you don’t ask for clarification and keep working just like you are on top of your work.

When there are significant changes at work, the stress caused by ambiguous communicate expectations grows more intense. According to a survey, 31% of workers said that a change in the job is the most stressful because of bosses’ imprecise expectations.

3. Increased Engagement

The freedom in structure is enormous. Although this claim may seem contradictory, research shows that creativity is considerably more highly developed in organized external situations.

Clear expectations put out the parameters for employees’ creative play and relieve them of the cognitive burden of preparation.

Without having to micromanage anyone, this framework enables you and your team to unwind knowing that everyone is moving in the correct direction.

4. Improves Overall Team Communication

As per the research done by Gallup, communicating expectations clearly is essential for employee engagement. This research says that employees whose job description is the same as the work they do daily are 2.5 times more likely to engage.

By stating the expectation clearly, you allow your employees to relax and focus on the task at hand.

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5. Employees are given autonomy within a defined framework

Setting straightforward expectations is good for overall team communication. Want to know how? Imagine the below scenario:

John from the Customer Happiness team didn’t approach an irate client, because he believed Maya should handle it. As a result, the client stopped using their service and wrote a negative review.

Chaos reigns as the team leaders want to punish John, John is irate with Maya, Maya is on the defense, and everyone else on the team is taking sides!

If only everyone had been aware of their roles, the team conflict might have been averted.

Miscommunication is less likely to occur when everyone’s responsibilities on the team are understood.

How to Set Expectations for New and Existing Employees in the Workplace?

1. Determine your expectations

Before you talk to your staff members, you first yourself need to know what are your realistic communicate expectations from them. For instance, you may expect your employees to do the following:

  • Complete the projects within the deadline.
  • Come to work on time.
  • Having a positive attitude.
  • Taking initiative for new projects and coming up with new ideas for the benefit of the company.
  • Follow the dress code.
  • Follow up with clients within 2 business days.
  • Respect each other.
  • Show professionalism while talking with clients or co-workers.

2. Break down your expectations into actionable items.

It’s not enough to expect your employees to do a great job.

What is meant by a great job?

What exactly does a job well-done look like for each member of your team?

How can your employees strive toward it?

What are the steps they can take to achieve a great job?

Obviously, this does not mean that you need to tell every minute detail on how to perform a task. Breaking down your expectations means providing general steps which are understandable enough for an employee to be clear on their responsibilities.

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3. Explain the reasoning behind your expectations

Once you have explained the what and how it’s now the time for why.

Research shows that employees are more engaged when they know the meaning of their day-to-day work. It is important to show why it is important to do what you expect from them.

Start by outlining how each participant’s contribution to a project advances the project’s completion as a whole. However, you should also assist them in comprehending the significance of their work in relation to the purpose and vision of the business.

Employees will be more motivated to put extra work and thought into a task if they understand the motivation behind it.

4. Overcommunicate

If you have a history of getting frustrated over employees for not understanding your instructions properly, you are probably doing something wrong. Employees missing vital information or not understanding the expectations might mean you have not been as clear as you may think.

Don’t get afraid to overcommunicate what you want from them. This doesn’t mean that you should spoon-feed them everything – but ensure repeating the vital information several times.

If you want your team to have all the necessary information on hand at all times, you can create a letter of communicate expectations, or you can share it in your team’s communication channels.

5. Personalize

One of the greatest communication skills of a great leader is to actively listen to the employees’ requirements and respond accordingly.

One of the best ways to set and communicate expectations to the employees is to consider their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify the best role for each team member and the best way to communicate it to them.

As a good manager, you should know how your team members function and understand that not everyone responds the same to the same communication style.

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6. Provide Resources

You cannot expect your employees to fulfill work requirements until you provide them with the required resources. This is especially true if you are delegating the responsibilities to the new joinees, as they may not be having the information about all the company resources they have at hand.

When communicating tasks to the employees, ensure adding links to the internal materials or the websites they may find useful.

7. Include people in the expectation-setting process

You should always consider a person’s individual strengths when setting up communicate expectations. But, you should also consider their opinions otherwise, you may risk setting up the wrong expectations about their work.

When you involve employees in the process of setting goals, it creates a sense of accountability and motivates them to do their best. It is said that the employees who work with high-involvement companies are much more engaged as compared to the low-involvement companies.

Just like any other process in your company, setting expectations must be a collaborative process to some extent.

Communicate Expectations

Note: This letter will be useful to you! You can edit it, as your needs and requirements.

8. Make sure that everyone has understood what you expect from them

When they aren’t even in the same book, managers and employees can mistakenly feel they are speaking the same language. When the damage is already done, you can think you and the other person have a mutual understanding only to discover that you don’t.

It is best to ask everyone to repeat what they have understood you to have said if you are unsure if you have been clear. When the instructions are complicated or unusual, this step is especially helpful.

9. Communicate Often and Regularly

It takes more than one step to set expectations. If you establish the conditions and then check in to see if the employee meets them the following time, you might be in for a surprise.

In the interim, a lot of things could occur, including:

  • Employees who struggle because expectations are unclear.
  • Employees who misinterpret the goal and fail the assignment.
  • Conflict at work because of ambiguous employee roles.

You must therefore constantly check in on your team to see how they’re doing and to determine whether or not they are on the right road.

10. Put everything in writing

No matter how sure you are that everyone knows what is expected out of them, you cannot be so sure until you put and share everything in writing with the team.

By documenting your communicate expectations, you seal the deal and leave no room for confusion and errors. If someone wants to re-check your expectations from them, they can just refer to the letter of expectation.

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Summing Up – Clear Communicate Expectations, Clear Minds!!

Hopefully, the above blog will help you understand the expectation definition and also help you in the process of setting communicate expectations for your employees.

By setting up the expectations clearly, you are helping your employees be more productive and put your mind at ease. Download the letter of expectation template from the UBS HR Toolkit, this will reduce your work to an extent.

Also, manage and track whether your employees are fulfilling your expectations the way you wanted with the help of UBS HRMS Software. Get in touch to know more.

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Alpesh Vaghasiya

Alpesh Vaghasiya

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