How to Clarify Expectations with Employees

How to Clarify Expectations with Employees

Recently I wrote about the importance of defining rules for your business, and how as business owners we often fail to provide employees with clear expectations of the work they are supposed to do. At times, we even treat our employees as if they have the ability to read our minds.

So how can we communicate and clarify our expectations to our employees to make sure we’re both on the same page? One idea is to use what I refer to as an Employee Work Agreement, and creating one might be easier than you think.

Creating a Promise to Do Work

If you have ever hired a contractor to perform some type of work, in most cases before the work even begins you sign some type of a contract. The contract spells out things like the type of work to be performed, when it will be done, and how it will be done. In other words, the contract is really an agreement, or a promise of the work that is to be performed. What if you could use this model with every employee that you have?

Establishing Clear Expectations

Creating an Employee Work Agreement is a big step in creating clear expectations between you and your employees, and eliminating frustration and confusion. You can structure your Employee Work Agreement in a number of different ways, but here are a few elements to consider.

Primary Outcome – the work your employees do produces some type of outcome, and every employee should have a clear understanding of what that outcome is. Clearly define their primary outcome.

Work Listing – This is a list of all of the work they are performing and accountable for within their job position.

Work Expectations – Do you have specific expectations for how the work is to be performed? This is a good place to spell this out. Make this as clear and concise as possible. This is also the place that you as the employer can tell the employee what they can expect from you.

Get it in Writing – To make sure your employee understands and agrees to perform the work as described in the Employee Work Agreement the final step is for you both to sign it. Just like signing a work contract, by having both parties sign this agreement it creates a greater importance and establishes a form of mutual trust.

Eliminating Misunderstandings of Accountability

When an Employee Work Agreement has been created and signed by you and your employee, it helps to eliminate any misunderstandings of accountability. It provides a greater sense of clarity and a confidence of knowing the work will be performed as you expect it to. It may take several revisions or tweaking before you have a final copy, but the results will be worth it.

To Your SUCCESS,

Daryl Murrow

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