Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in your office did things right? I believe they can. Leadership has a couple of key tasks to make that happen: set expectations and make sure they are followed. I spent this past week in Nebraska working with a multitude of people and the most common denominator I found was a frustration of having no expectations or having them but no one follows them. These two items go hand-in-hand.
Setting expectations is like letting everyone know the destination of the vacation. Once they know where they are going, they will know what to pack, which activities to expect, and anticipate having a great time. If you don’t know where you are going, you might pack your ski equipment for a trip to Hawaii. Instead of anticipation they experience anxiety. Expectations give people something to strive for – a target.
Once expectations are in place they must then be watched. Yes, I mean Big Brother is Watching. Many people will do what they find is the easiest for them to do, take the path of least resistance, and will not stretch if they don’t find the benefit for them. When you are measuring results, giving feedback, and letting people know where they stand in meeting the expectations, they then find moving toward the expectations becomes the path of least resistance. People will also find more satisfaction in their jobs when they know how they contribute and that their contributions are validated.
Set what you expect to get from your people. Let them know you are paying attention and appreciating their contribution to the success of those expectations. Let them know you don’t accept them not moving toward the expectations. We need consequences for non-compliance to make the expectations matter to the person doing the job. It adds credibility to the organization and the leadership. It fosters personal and professional success.