If you are a manager or are in a position where you oversee others at work, I am sure you have had occasions when you have been disappointed with employees not doing what was expected of them. Having this happen occasionally may not be too disturbing, but when it becomes a regular issue two areas need to be evaluated.

1. Has the employee been trained to do what is being expected of them?

2. Has the supervisor made it clear what the expectations are?

Often the problem arises from the area of the supervisor. They themselves know what needs to be done, but they fail in being able to clearly communicate all aspects of the expectations to the employee. They also have not fully trained the employee by bestowing the knowledge that the employee needs to complete the expectations.

I know personally, that there are times when I understand what needs to be done because of my experience, but I think that my staff members should also have the understanding, which they do not, because they do not have the experience. That assumption I make, as you know, gets me in trouble each time.

In Roger Connors and Tom Smith’s book “How Did That Happen” they state that “accountability always begins by clearly defining the result of what is expected.”

There are clues we as supervisors or managers can use to see how well we form expectations for others.

Answer true or false to each of the following statements.

1. You wonder why the people you depend on just “don’t seem to get it.”

2. You are often disappointed with the results people deliver and routinely ask the question, “How did that happen?”

3. The people you work closest with are not able to articulate what is most important to you with any degree of certainty.

4. You tend to understate what you are really asking people to do because you don’t want to strain relationships.

5. You tend to assume people already have the vision of what needs to be done and, as a result, don’t take the needed time to form specific expectations.

6. You often have to re-explain and clarify with people what it is you really want.

According to Connors and Smith, if you answer true to any one of these statements there is room for improvement in how you present what is expected to your employees.

Communication is the key factor in all misunderstandings or lack of understanding. In our busy work world’s we often will skip over important factors that employees need to be able to do what is expected of them.

Honest evaluation of ourselves as trainers and communicators of employee expectations is the key factor in successfully giving our employees what they need to be able to deliver the goods that are expected each time.