How to Set & Manage Expectations - Part 2
"Expectations are a form of first-class truth; If people believe it, it's true." – Bill Gates
Previously covered in Part 1
In the first part of our article, we looked at how to better understand our roles as leaders and what we mean by expectations and communication.
In the second and final part of the article, we will look at some easy ways of setting and managing our expectations and also dealing with explicit expectations.
How to successfully agree on and monitor your expectations with your team.
It is important to remember that setting and managing expectations is merely laying out the framework on what you believe will be necessary. This will allow your team to build upon your instructions and thereby meet your expectations in their day to day duties or when working on specific tasks and projects.
Communicating with your team
As many of us are now working remotely, the importance of regular and clear communication is vital. Good communication will ensure that your team succeeds and is also essential for your business to survive and grow. Whether you and your team are working in the office or from home, your initial discussions should be structured clearly and concisely.
- Inform specifically what you are relying on them to do. Make individuals responsible for the tasks and the team accountable for project success. Agree on timelines for tasks, how and when progress should be reported and who it should be conveyed to. If your expectations are clear, your team will believe that success is achievable and they will buy into the ownership of their tasks and deadlines. Communicating clearly at the outset will save a considerable amount of time moving forward.
- Accountability and responsibility should be discussed and agreed. Everyone in the team should be completely aware of their areas of responsibility. Team members should be advised of the importance of their tasks in relation to the overall success of a project. Each person needs to understand how their duties link to the functions for which their colleagues are responsible. For important projects and discussions, it is an excellent idea to produce a formal management document that describes each person's role in the project and summarises the group and project objectives. This document can be used as a helpful prompt as the project progresses.
- Deal with explicit expectations. Always define your behavioural expectations. This is vital to key business projects. Ensure that your team understands what will and will not be allowed during the time that the project is underway concerning:
- Lateness for meetings
- Tasks and deadlines need to be precise. Everyone needs to know that they should make good use of their time. Make it clear that effective use of time is essential to you, the success of the project and the growth of the company. It can be helpful to consider tracking the amount of time that an individual spends on their areas of responsibility. A daily update that lasts no more than 15 minutes can also keep everyone on track.
- Encourage a team effort. Your colleagues should be encouraged to work with and help each other to achieve their individual goals. However, they must know that you are happy to help anyone should they need your support. A team effort builds trust in each other. The key is to encourage "project ownership" from the team and for them to learn the differences between individual success and team success. A team effort will benefit every individual, the project and the company.
These simple guidelines will hopefully help you to successfully manage a team project and encourage your colleagues to have trust in you as their leader.
We will be producing more articles that include leadership tips. Please remember that Monarch Personnel can help your organisation to evaluate your team and potential new colleagues, to determine whether they have the mindset to set and manage expectations within your organisation successfully. Contact us to learn more about why mindset matters or sign up for our newsletter to receive all articles containing our leadership tips.