Your Employees Aren’t Mind Readers

Ever go to the ice cream shop and have the service crew just fill your cones with random flavours that might be popular but that you certainly didn’t ask for? If you don’t have clear expectations for your employees then this is exactly what you’re going to end up with.

Being left in the dark about what’s really expected from them by their managers leads to employee anxiety and lack of motivation. If you’re looking for a way to increase productivity and get employees fully engaged in their workday, start by looking at yourself as a leader. Do you have clear expectations of your employees? Do your employees know what these expectations are, or do you expect them to use a crystal ball and guess? This is especially critical during this pandemic time where you don’t see your team as often (and we know that many people switch off their cameras or are distracted during virtual meetings).

Let Your Expectations Be Known

Employees aren’t mind-readers, but they do honestly want to know what you expect from them. Did you know that approximately 50% of workers state they have unclear job expectations from management?  Human beings have an intrinsic desire to do well at their job, but they can’t do this without knowing what you want. 

Job descriptions outline tasks in a pretty cold and nondescript way. That isn’t enough to tell an employee how to gauge if they are doing a good job. It’s easy to clear up this confusion. 

First, ask yourself what makes an average, good and great employee in your eyes. Write these things down so that they are concrete in your mind. Meet with employees to make your expectations known. 

Using Clear Expectations To Motivate And Promote 

There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a bonus or a promotion, knowing you performed all your job responsibilities but having no idea if you met your boss’ expectations because you haven’t a clue what they are. 

Employees will be far more motivated when they know they are meeting outstanding job performance standards and working towards a bonus, raise, or promotion. Make sure all your employees know what you consider to be poor, average, and outstanding qualities. If certain conditions have to be met for a bonus or other praise, don’t keep it a secret. 

Everyone knows you need to get your mom a gift for Mother’s Day. If you show up with flowers and she was expecting jewellery, then both of you are going to feel let down. Wouldn’t it be easier if she had told you upfront she was expecting a grand gesture this year? 

Make Yourself Available To Direct Reports 

The final puzzle piece to making sure everyone is on the same page regarding job performance expectations is to have good communication. Don’t expect to drop your expectations and run; you’ll need regular check-ins to ensure everyone understands their performance goals. 

Employees excel with managers who have open-door policies and regularly have conversations about their performance. You don’t want the only time you talk to your direct reports about performance to be when there is a problem; keep lines of communication open at all times to create a comfortable work environment that keeps production high.