If your employees don’t know what’s expected of them and what their role are, then how do you expect them to know what you want them to do? It’s a communication thing again… but more than that it’s a way to involve and engage an individual into the team they are working in.
As a business manager how many times have you:
- hired someone and not really seen the best in what they promised at their interview?
- thrown a task out to the team and no-one picks it up?
- hoped people will get the gist of what you are saying and no-one has taken the ball and run with it?
- had to use your appraisal process to realign your employees to your vision over and over again?
The reasons behind why your expectations are not actioned is most of the time down to communication (or lack of it!)
We forget that everyone views things differently, and everyone has a different way of learning and developing and most importantly no-one really knows what’s going on inside your head as a manager (even though we expect people to!) That’s why documentation (job expectations), explanations and demonstrations are critical to the success of the team – first things first – get your job expectations right for each role in the business. Once you have these you will know what you are expecting from your employees and you can manage accordingly.
I am often asked to solve issues with ‘problem’ and ‘non-accountable’ employees and in many cases I find that its simply a case of making sure I give them focus or re-align the direction that they think they are working towards to the one they are expected to work towards. Simply ensuring they really understand what their responsibilities are in their role and documenting those into a job expectation.
We call them “Job Expectations” or “Position Expectations” for a reason… they do exactly what it says on the tin, they give the individual in the role your expectations of the position! There should be no reason why they are unable to deliver against their expectation. As their manager you have a manageable expectation that can be assessed during your review process (that’s another blog!)
Once you have issued new job expectations you must train and coach them on the key skills to deliver against them. Involve them and work with them to assess and set targets and goals. Normally the reason why teams aren’t working is that they really have no clue what they are meant be doing, or have no guidance on why they are not reaching their goals, so get to the bottom of the problem and get your team back on track… creating definition, direction and achievement goals and ultimately a smiley, positive spirited team where individuals who have failed or felt like failures before have the confidence to achieve their goals.
The “people layer” is where the difficulty comes in when looking at bulk explanation. Not everyone gets it in the same way, meaning you may have to explain or demonstrate something in a different way to each person, ensuring they don’t feel inferior or undervalued because they don’t understand first time round. Clearly defining roles for each person within your business is essential! Verbally explaining, having it written down and documented so that they can review at their leisure and by demonstrating the areas that need special attention (especially if you have a way you want things done!) is critical.
Without definition they are simply left to their own devices!