Is It Okay to Have Expectations?February 13th, 2014 by DWM Magazine
Have you ever wondered what makes a good company even better? What is the key to organizational success and a healthy bottom line? You might be surprised at the answer being the same for all three questions: people. But not just any people, rather, committed and productive people. That was easy. Not so fast … is it hard to find committed and productive people today? Well, yes … and no.
Let’s say for the sake of this conversation, that you already have the team in place. They are, you think, committed and productive. So we should be okay then, right? Well, how do you retain them? How do you develop them even further?
Research shows that people who have clearly defined, well-communicated expectations have better attitudes and enjoy greater job satisfaction than people whose expectations go unspoken or unrealized.
That is where you, as a leader, have to make sure that you truly know and understand your team. Did you know that there are 10 expectations that affect today’s employment relations? They are: structure, environment, balance, autonomy, stability, recognition, teamwork, diversity, expression and career growth. Whether spoken, or unspoken, a “psychological contract” of needs and expectations exists between employers and employees that affects job satisfaction and performance. We need to move in the direction of better understanding these needs and expectations in our team if we want to be successful. If there is mutual mystification, there will be trouble. Mutual mystification is when the employer and the employee have different needs and expectations, yet neither share them with the other.
You run a huge risk as the employer, in not understanding the expectations of your team. The employer might have an expectation that the employee starts every day at 8:00 am and ends every day at 5:00 pm. The employee might need to start late due to family needs, but plans on working more than the 8 hours to cover the time. Then the employer comes in at 8:00 am every day and sees that the employee is not there and becomes frustrated, even though the work is getting done and the employee is putting in more than 8 hours. Both are right, and both are wrong in that no one knows much about the other person.
In looking at the 10 expectations, most people have three of them that are more important to them than the others. It is safe to say that the more the three important expectations are not being met, the more dissatisfied they are and the sooner they will leave. So take a moment and think about the work expectations that you have on you, then:
- Discover them.
- Explore them.
- Communicate them.
- Manage them.
- Improve them.
- Enjoy them.
Please let me help you with this. If this is something that you want to learn more about, please email me and I will send you a copy of a sample report that can be generated for you, one of your team or your entire staff. It is a great way to discover which expectations are the most important to you, and will help you to communicate your expectations to others.
Let’s work on decreasing the work expectations gap, which is looking at which expectations are important to you and comparing that to how much you feel the expectations are being met.
Don’t pass up this opportunity to learn more about yourself and your team!