What Drives Employee Engagement? Part 1: Understanding Expectations

Posted by April

Jul 31, 2013 5:18:00 PM

Employee Engagement Expectations

Are you a person that loves your job? Are you the type of person who can’t wait to be back in the office immediately after you leave that day? While for some this may be the case, for the majority of the work force, the answer to the aforementioned questions would be “no.”

According to a recent Forbes article, 70 percent of employees are anxious at work, more than 50 percent of employees said they were not excited about their job, and 18 percent said they were not happy with their position

(forbes.com, “Disconnected from your Job? So are Two-Thirds of your Fellow Workers,” June 2013). This not only hinders the productivity of the employee, but can also hurt the work of fellow colleagues. In some cases there is that nagging boss that won’t let employees work independently. That could hinder job performance because the employees feels their supervisor doesn’t trust their work or capabilities, which is very discouraging. There are also employees that don’t take the initiative to better themselves by seizing opportunities that may arise since they feel their supervisor won’t recognize their efforts.

Throughout the next several posts, I will be talking about the importance of both employers and employees making an effort to engage and be engaged in their job. With supportive managers and driven employees, a work place can be engaging because of the following:

  • Understanding Expectations
  • Grabbing opportunities as they come
  • Receiving recognition
  • Having an encouraging support system at work
  • Sharing feedback and progress on a regular basis

Today I will discuss the importance of employers setting expectations and employees really understanding expectations.

When a new person is hired for a specific job, it is the expectation of the supervisor that the new employee will produce quality work in a timely manner. If, for whatever reason, expectations are not discussed at the get go, then there are bound to be issues between the supervisor and employee.

Managers: always ensure that your employees know what you expect of them. There are certain goals to be met at your company, so explain to your new hire the mission of the company and current goals of the position. Whether it is to have five new clients each week or simply to ensure that current clients needs are met and are happy with their services, make sure you explain that. There is nothing clear about translucent expectations.

Employees: if you are uncertain of your place at the company, take time to communicate this to your supervisor. To be happy in your position and to produce results, you want to be clear about where you fit. Being confident in your work makes for a more successful workplace and with that also comes timely results.

Both Supervisors and Employees: setting expectations and actually understanding the expectations are based on concise communication and asking questions to clarify any misunderstandings. Once it is clear what your job consists of then you will be able to do your job to the best of your ability.

To sum it up, there are 3 reasons that understanding expectations will produce more engaged employees.

  1. There is no confusion or uncertainty about the mission or the goals or the company. It’s hard for employees to buy into the company’s mission or goals when they are kept in the dark. Always communicate these goals up front.
  2. Knowing expectations will increase the confidence of employees’ work; they will know what’s being measured and where they fit in the company instead of assuming (and we all know what happens when you assume).
  3. Explaining expectations concisely will produce more timely results from employees, which results in happier managers and customers.

By communicating expectations thoroughly, employers can anticipate higher employee engagement.

Performance Management

Topics: Employee Engagement