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How to Set Clear Expectations With Your Employees

There are so many elements around this huge topic of communication and one part of it centers around setting clear expectations. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 2019, 50% of employees did not know what was expected of them. That is crazy if you ask me!!! I can only imagine what this number looks like right now in the world of remote work environments. Every leader can do their part in changing this statistic. A lack of clear expectations causes lower levels of productivity, overall confusion, lack of motivation, and disengaged employees. Who wants to be and work in that type of environment? If you want to change that scenario, then there are important steps that you need to take to communicate your expectations, expectations of the project or task, and what is expected of others. Here are three steps you can take to set clear expectations: 1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE CLEAR FIRST. Before you can communicate any new idea well, it is imperative that you are certain of what your own expectation truly is. So, before bringing a new thought or task to the table, take the time to jot down your ideas as concisely as possible. Include a step-by-step approach if you think that there is a good method to executing this specific task to reach the desired result. Essentially, have the entire scope of work well thought out before you even call the meeting. 2. CONSIDER THE "WHY" OF IT. This is an easy piece to leave out, but I urge you not to. We often do a good job of explaining the "what" and "how" of a new undertaking, but spend less time and energy examining "why." Expressing the "why" to your team will help the desired outcome be more clear and lead to fewer deviations in the process because no matter what steps anyone might take the end result will be directed toward the same goal. 3. GET VERBAL CONFIRMATION FROM YOUR TEAM. In coaching, we use a technique called Active Listening. Part of Active Listening is repeating back to a person what they have just said. This provides a sense of assurance to the person that they are truly being heard and understood. It's the same concept here. Have your team explain the expectations that have been set back to you, so that you can feel confident that everyone is on the same page. This will reduce confusion moving forward. As a side note, during this discourse, a team member may offer new thoughts and ideas toward the completion of the new task at hand. Be receptive. As long as the "why" is still being met, an alternative approach may be most efficient. Setting clear expectations not only helps productivity run more smoothly with less backtracking, but it will also help your team feel more engaged and confident - which are the stepping stones to positive morale and efficiency all around. If you are finding that setting expectations is a challenge, then take a moment to learn more about this topic on my video here.


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