Your business is your labor of love. You’re extremely passionate about it, not just because you want to make money but because you believe in it and you really want it to succeed. Unfortunately, it can often feel like your employees aren’t on board with your vision. They don’t have the same time, energy, and money invested into it that you have, so you can’t expect them to feel quite as strongly about it as you do. So how can you manage the expectations you have of your employees and build good relationships with them so that you can get the best possible work from them?
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
First, you need to communicate your expectations to your employees, and you need to understand that this kind of communication happens on both a conscious and unconscious level. You employees will respond to those conscious and unconscious communications and will perform in accordance with them.
So what does that mean? A manager who communicates clearly what they expect and when, and who shows confidence in their employees, will generally get good performance and quality work done in a timely manner. A manager who communicates vaguely and gives off an air of disappointment will generally get mediocre to poor performance. The quality of the work will suffer, and they can expect missed deadlines, as well.
So, as you begin working on managing your expectations of your employees, consider how you act around them and how clear you are about what you want and expect from them.
DON’T ASSUME THEY ARE ON YOUR WAVELENGTH
Next, remember that your employees may not be clued in on your vision for the company. Don’t just assume that because you have a vision they know what it is or what their part in it will be. This is another place where communication is key. Make sure that you have an open dialogue with your employees and that they feel free to come to you with honest questions and comments about what they’re doing and how the business is running.
When you express your vision to your employees, make sure that you don’t get too excited and start talking a mile a minute. You’re excited about your business, your new projects, and your new clients, and that’s great. But that doesn’t mean that you have to express all of your ideas and directions at light speed. Instead, take a breath and focus on clear, concise, and understandable speech patterns so that your employees don’t have to ask you to repeat everything you’ve just said.
FOLLOW UP WHEN EXPECTATIONS AREN’T MET
If you have one or more employees who aren’t meeting your expectations, don’t take it personally. There’s a good chance that there was a miscommunication somewhere along the line and that these people actually think that they’re performing to your standards and doing what you want. Approach your employees with kindness and be open to hearing their side of things. Make the correction and move on. If they still aren’t meeting your expectations after this, you’ll need to have another conversation about realistic expectations and some employees may need to be reassigned or dismissed.
Finally, when communicating what you want and need from your employees, don’t be afraid to get confirmation from them that they understand what you’ve asked for. Get them to parrot back the information you’ve given them, and then you can make corrections or let them get to work.
With these tips, you should have a lot easier time managing the expectations you have of your employees and getting the results you want and need for your business.