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Establishing Clear Performance Expectations

Home / Leadership and Management / Seminars and Workshops

Management training shows how to establish, write and communicate clear job performance expectations effectively and create a solid basis for appraisal and performance management efforts.

Setting Performance Expectations is one of the most difficult jobs for most managers simply because few managers or supervisors ever receive this type of in-depth training.

A mutual understanding of what managers expect from employees is essential for improved performance, employee success and good employee relations overall.

Without clear job expectations, employees can:
  •  Waste effort due to a lack of priorities
  •  Waste time with unnecessary work
  •  Endure increased stress due to uncertainty

With clear job expectations, employees can:
  •    Understand what is important and what they should be doing
  •    Understand why they are doing their work
  •    Know how they are doing and when to ask for support
  •    Recognize where performance improvement can occur

Too often, performance problems revolve around this question and this answer: 

Boss:  “Why isn’t my employee doing what needs to be done?”
Employee:  “But, I thought I was doing a good job.”

Poorly defined performance expectations leave the employee questioning how to achieve job performance goals, having no way to track their efforts to meet job expectations. The result is both employees and their managers becoming frustrated. The manager is frustrated because the employee is not doing the things that need to be done. The employee is frustrated because they think they are doing the best they can and the boss is still not satisfied with the work they are doing.

When results are easy to measure (for example: parts per hour or sales volume per month), defining expectations seems fairly straight forward. But what about adding in error rates, new customers, profit margins on sales or other issues?  All of a sudden, it gets more complicated.  

Now, add in the more subjective, but extremely important, performance criteria such as interpersonal skills, team work, quality customer service and others.  How can managers effectively communicate these expectations? 

If managers cannot effectively communicate all job expectations,
they cannot expect the employee to meet those expectations.

This workshop is designed to be a one-day productive session. Participants will be asked to bring position descriptions to the session and will actually write performance expectations for the job during the session. Not only will the attendees learn how to write performance expectations, they will see how the performance expectation is used as a powerful performance management tool to motivate employees to higher levels of performance.

Who Should Attend

Managers and supervisors who need to write clear performance expectations in order to increase the performance from their employees.

Overview of Concepts and Deliverables Provided

Assessing Performance
3 Critical Questions:

  • What are the key performance expectations?
  • What are the objectives?
  • How will results be measured?
Defining Expectations
  • Sources of accountability
  • Expectation lists and samples
Writing Job Expectations to get what you want
  • Focus on specific results
  • Crisp concise statements
  • Stated directly
  • Identified as significant
  • Prioritized
  • Limited in number
  • Communicated
Written in Objective Terms
  • Action verb
  • Results statements
  • Time targeted
  • Standard of performance 
Communicate Measurements of Output
  • Quality
  • Quantity
  • Timeliness
  • Cost

Making it work when the standard seems subjective

Define successful performance

Meeting with employees to discuss expectations
  • Make it positive
  • Communicate expectations
  • Why it is not necessary or advisable to establish exactly what unsatisfactory or outstanding performance looks like at the beginning of the performance period
  • End with mutual understanding and direction

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