How to Set Clear Expectations for Your Team

How to Set Clear Expectations for Your Team

According to a recent study from Gallup, almost 50% of U.S. employees would state that their performance expectations at work are unclear. Why is this so detrimental, you ask?

As a leader, identifying your expectations is the very first step in setting your team up for success. Unfortunately, many team leads and managers make the mistake of assuming that they and their employees are all naturally on the same page. They seem like good people and hard workers, so they must be aligned with the business’s goals, right? Wrong.

Let’s take a look at what it means to define expectations for your team and why this is so important.

Setting Expectations for Your Team

If you have even just one person reporting to you, you are a leader. This means that you are responsible for conveying what you need from them, what success looks like in their role, and what they can do to reach the goals you’ve defined. 

Some examples of expectations you can set for your team include:

  • Meet your deadlines
  • Display a positive attitude at work
  • Be respectful to all team members and clients/patients/customers
  • Be punctual
  • Work with integrity
  • Hit “x” numbers by “y” date
  • Reach out to your superior with any questions or concerns
  • Be open and receptive to feedback from your superior
  • Be willing to help other team members; be team-oriented 

When Should You Set Team Expectations?

Setting team expectations should happen as early as the interviewing process. Before you bring a new person on, you will want to vet them to make sure they have what it takes to align with the culture you have defined for your team and the goals you have set in place.

When you are interviewing each individual, don’t just focus on the technical skills that would be required of them in the role. Clearly communicate the “non-negotiable” behaviors you are looking for in the workplace and how you will measure them. Managers and employers who assume these behaviors are implied find themselves with a mismatched group of individuals that struggle to work together, rather than a cohesive team. 

Why Is It Important to Set Clear Expectations at Work?

The main purpose of setting clear expectations is to ensure that your team is prepared to move towards a specific goal and knows how their performance is measured along the way. 

Businesses with unclear expectations usually experience the following consequences:

  • Low employee engagement and buy-in
  • High employee turnover
  • Loss of top talent
  • Strained team relationships
  • Poor company culture
  • Failure to meet goals and benchmarks
  • Negative impacts to the bottom line

Do You Need Help Setting and Communicating Expectations for Your Team?

You might be the perfect candidate for executive leadership coaching. Take my free leadership assessment here to find out. 

About Dr. Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC.

Do you want to increase your impact? Do you want to increase profits under your leadership? Do you want to develop and use your abilities to the fullest to better connect with and lead others? Executive Leadership Coaching covers these bases. Dr. Jerrund Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC, has more than 30 years of successful executive leadership coaching in the United States and internationally.

As a licensed pharmacist, he is particularly passionate about helping develop effective leaders in the healthcare community. Dr. Wilkerson has coached and trained thousands of managers and leaders. He is a certified coach and member of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.

CLICK HERE to learn more.