Individual applies for a job based on a job description that defines work tasks and skills, individual is hired, new hire orientation occurs including a whirlwind overview of the company and a quick review of a 100 + page employee handbook. They start work.
Several months (or in some cases years) the manager reports that the individual is not doing what the manager “expects” (examples: attendance, cellphone usage, responding to customer calls, timeliness for meetings, helping co-workers, Internet usage, professionalism, etc.). Occasionally, the issue has been addressed with the employee and the employee simply is unwilling to alter the behavior. However, many occasions the infraction is a “pet-peeve” of the manager and when investigated we find the manager has never truly addressed their specific expectations with staff.
A very good exercise for managers is to document in writing their top 10 or so job expectations for employees. These expectations have to be in line with overall company policy, but these are the specific “pet-peeves” of the manager. The manager should share the document with current staff and then use with new staff. Obtaining each employees agreement and signature helps as the employee is given opportunity to raise questions.
In general, employees that clearly understand their supervisors expectations will perform within those guidelines and if not they cannot use the excuse “I didn’t know”. Defined expectations also assist the manager when expectations are not met as the manager knows it has been communicated and agreed upon with the employee.
Attached is a sample “expectation” document that can be shared and used as a guide.
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