The Importance Of Setting Expectations

The perceived success or failure of a project or a certain operations function depends largely upon the people who manage the project and their expectations of it. Sometimes a project may be considered a success even if it did not meet all the goals, while other times it may be marked as a failure despite all of prior goals being met. This kind of uncertainty has led many employees feeling frustrated and disengaged from their organisation and if this continues to persists it will ultimately end up with employees tendering in their resignation. According to a survey done by Gallup, as many as 50% of employees say that they don’t really know what’s expected of them in their job and this number is worrying.

In any work place setting everyone has expectations be it spoke or unspoken, realistic or unrealistic. These expectations that people hold are very important especially now in a multi-generational environment because these expectations affects the way people react to not only each other but also to the changes that is bound to happen as time progresses. It is therefore important that now more than ever that managers not only master the art of conveying their own expectations but also master managing the expectations of the other people that are part of the team.

Here are a few basic ways to set and manage expectations in any organisation:



When starting anything be it a new fiscal year or welcoming a new member to the team it is good to communicate those expectations to everyone involved. This expectations should go much further than just the normal setting of KPI but also what you personally expect from them and should they find difficulty in achieving those goals what do you expect them to do.

These expectations need to be specific for example if you expect the team to produce good quality reports every week, it is best if you specify what is your level of good, give them a sample of what you expect and let them know how you would like to see things done.



When communicating it is essential to be honest and clear, sometimes we may find it difficult to convey our expectations in a direct manner –it could be for a number of reasons, but your employees will thank you for being honest about what you expect.



It is good to have high expectations on what you want your team to achieve but this needs to be done with the right amount of empowerment as well as support. People believe that the Gen-Ys are those who would likely shy away from doing something difficult, however what they actually shy away from is an unrealistic expectation.


Show them in ways how it is achievable and reassure them that you will be giving them the support needed to pull through and achieve the expected outcomes.



Once the expectation have been communicated, there needs to be accountability in tracking and flexibility in reviewing the progress made by the team. There needs to be an avenue or platform for the team to share experiences on what is working and what needs to be pivoted.

This could come in a form of bi-weekly huddle session, weekly lunches as a team or even something as simple as a share platform like meistertask or trello for everyone to not only keep each other accountable but also help each other achieve their goals.

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