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How to Set Expectations and Get the Performance You Want From Your Team

Effective leadership begins with conveying crystal-clear goals

By | Brenda Neckvatal |

There is one challenge I see rising and experienced entrepreneurs alike consistently face, and that is how to get underachieving employees to perform better to avoid going through the difficult termination process. In most cases, I’ve found that the root of the situation is lack of clear performance expectations. A 2015 Gallup poll of 2.2 million employees in 550 organizations bears that impression out: it revealed that only half of surveyed staff members understood their job responsibilities fully.

The ability to set and communicate expectations is important for any leader, because it sets the stage for a more productive and less ambiguous work environment. Effectively establishing these not only helps build trust with employees, it also makes them feel valued — because the simple fact is that they usually want to be led… not let loose to produce work and merely hope that it’s satisfactory.

Results vary wildly when expectations are not clearly set; one employee may feel underpaid from having to replicate work or complete tasks more than once because the desired end result wasn’t clearly defined, others may feel overworked and behind, or underutilized and unappreciated. In addition, your needs as a leader aren’t being met, because staff members aren’t meeting expectations. Not a good environment to foster, even if it was done so unintentionally.

Here’s how you can start to reverse the trend and move forward.

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