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Getting the best work from your employees is a hallmark of a good leader. But, in order to get their best work you need to communicate your expectations effectively.
When your expectations aren’t clear it creates inefficiency in the workplace. Your employees aren’t entirely sure what they’re supposed to be doing and spend more time trying to figure out what to do than they spend actually doing it. These inefficiencies lead to underperforming and frustrated employees.
Use the four tips below to communicate your expectations more effectively so your employees can focus on doing their best work.
1. Be Clear, Direct And Repetitive
Communicate your expectations in a clear, simple and direct way. Effective communication is based on simple language, clear directives and message repetition. If your employees only hear your expectations once, they will forget them. Be sure to reinforce your expectations regularly.
A good way to make sure they understand your expectations is by tracking employee progress during monthly check-ins with your team. During the check-in focus on expectations that have been exceeded instead of expectations that haven’t been met. Be clear about what expectations were exceeded and what the employee did to exceed them. In doing so, you’re reminding other employees what you r expectations are and clarifying the behaviors needed to reach them.
2. How, What And Who
Always be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. Business moves fast and goals are constantly evolving. Make sure your employees know what your goals are, how you’re going to reach those goals and who is responsible for doing what.
When you’re explicit in your goals and how you plan to achieve them your team has all the tools and information they need to be successful. Without clear directives, you’ll end up with a ton of great ideas that never work due to poor execution.
3. Provide The Right Work Environment
The work environment you provide your employees must be consistent with your goals. If you want to elicit certain behaviors, you need to reward those behaviors.
For example, if you want employees to take risks and experiment, you need to recognize the employees who do. You set the tone by rewarding the behaviors you want to see in the workplace. By combining clear directives and a culture that rewards employees who meet those directives, you reinforce what you want to accomplish and how to get it done.
4. Get To Know Your Employees
Just like you, your employees have professional goals and needs. Take some time to get to know them. Doing so will provide insight into how to motivate them and make sure they understand what you expect. Understanding what motivates individual employees makes it easier to shape their behavior to improve their performance.