Do your employees know what is expected of them?
By Mike Hill, Mobius VP Senior Consultant and Employee Experience subject matter expert, and author of Measuring to Manage
Gallup research suggests that only about half of all workers know what is expected of them at work.
Clear expectations – or a lack thereof – have the power to make or break an employee’s performance and the overall performance of your organization.
The goals for your employees should be measurable, realistic, attainable and have a deadline. As I mention in my book Measuring to Manage, these goals should be written down (eliminates confusion) and signed by both the employee and the supervisor.
Let me emphasize the importance of having the goal(s) be measurable. When goals are measurable, the employee and the manager know exactly when performance is meeting, exceeding, or not meeting expectations. Performance is assessed by objective measurements not subjective guessing.
The desire for clear expectations is shared across generations, from millennials to traditionalists. All workers, regardless of generation or stage in their career, want to know what’s expected of them in the workplace. Lack of clear expectations can cause anxiety and confusion in your employees. Anxious and confused employees are not high producers.
It’s tough for employees to meet performance goals when they don’t know exactly what’s expected of them. Ask the employee for input on their goals. You might just find, like I did, that many times they set higher and more challenging goals for themselves than you would have expected.
After setting the goals, it then becomes the manager’s responsibility to help employees achieve their goals. Managers need to set clear expectations, hold employees accountable for meeting them and respond quickly when employees need support.
Knowing what is required of them, helping them to achieve their goals, and providing ongoing feedback makes for an employee experience that produces the best performers.
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