Okay so as leader, you have shared your vision for your company or department with those who work for you. They understand where you are going. You have done a good job of helping them see where they fit in the overall scheme of things. Now what?
Well, now it gets a little more complicated as you move from a general view of where you are going into something more specific. And that means working with each person to establish exactly what they are expected to accomplish.
Here are some ideas on what you will need to do to be clear about that. And you will need to be clear if you want good results.
1. Assess each person’s capability in relation to company goals. In other words, what can each person realistically contribute now? Is there a gap between what they can do currently and what you need them to do?
2.Consider the gaps and then take the time to understand what each person will need to fill them. Some people may need training. Some people may need resources. Some people may need you to address obstacles that get in the way of their ability to meet the challenge you set for them
3. Set and agree on realistic goals This means that you will agree to provide the appropriate conditions (see #2) for them to perform optimally and they will agree to complete the activities and projects required to help everyone move toward accomplishing the organizational, company or departmental goals. Be specific. Ensure you both have the same understanding of what is to be done.
4. Set reasonable time parameters for completing tasks and projects. Having a time frame for completing the work ensures that it doesn’t start to drift away from you and lose the clarity you need to be able to see exactly what you are accomplishing overall.
5. Inspect what you expect. Of all the points raised here, this one is the most important. If you fail to follow up, the work you do in setting goals and gaining agreement becomes merely an academic exercise without connection to anything of substance. And when that happens, people begin to look at the whole process with a certain cynicism that undermines the value of the process and all of the time you take to implement it. Not only that, but you run a very real risk of failing to accomplish what you set out to do. And that would be a shame.
What is your biggest challenge in setting expectations for others?
What do you do to meet it?