Set High Expectations with Your Employees in These Three Areas

Set High Expectations with Your Employees in These Three AreasIn MAP’s 2.5-day executive workshop, we encounter many managers who don’t understand their boss’s expectations of them. Although these are clearly capable employees, they’re really frustrated because they have no blueprint for success. Why? They’re clueless about what success looks like—the expectations for it have never been clearly outlined and communicated by their boss. Operating without this information, these managers feel insecure, upset, and powerless about their jobs. They feel that if they only knew what their leader expected, they could then determine how to manage it effectively. In striving to be an effective leader in your organization, realize that one of the marks of exceptional bosses is the ability to deliver consistent feedback and set high expectations that challenge their employees to deliver remarkable results.

Want to achieve greater results? Here are three areas when you need to set high expectations:

1. Improving performance.

Expectations need to be defined and communicated relative to both numbers and competencies. So make sure managers and others who report to you know what you expect in terms of “hard” goals, e.g., targets for revenue, profit, sales. Meanwhile, be equally clear about what success looks like in regard to other key aspects of the job, such as what the job demands in terms of communication, teamwork, problem solving, or self-initiative, for example.

2. Delegating responsibility.

At MAP, we’re big on coaching our clients how to delegate effectively so they can focus on the vital few versus the trivial many—the 20% of activities that drive 80% of results. One of the keys to effective delegation is making sure there are expectations tied to what’s being delegated. When you plan to hand something off, set clear expectations about what you want and make this your starting point in the process. Fail to outline this from the get-go, and it’s likely that your delegation efforts will eventually fail, too, leaving everyone involved disappointed. Building in solid expectations that are supported by a feedback loop is a surefire way to make delegation a win-win for all.

3. Aligning values to behaviors.

Every workplace has values—whether clearly defined or implied. One company may value integrity, loyalty, and self-discipline while another might value courage, frugality, and self-discipline. Whatever your company’s values are, make sure the job expectations you outline for your people specify and support behaviors that will align with and reinforce those values. For example, if teamwork is one of your company’s core values, maybe you’ll set the expectation that executive staff must collaborate with managers and front-line employees on major decision-making opportunities. Perhaps you’ll also require team huddles every morning to check in on daily goals and performance. The clearer your expectations are relative to your company values, the greater your odds of communicating what success looks and fueling its success.

What are you doing to set clear expectations for yourself, your team, and your organization?

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