well do your employees understand what's expected
of them, and how well do you or they manage those
expectations to increase performance and meet
Effectively managing staff and communicating each
employee's role are perhaps two of the most difficult
tasks you will face as an entrepreneur or executive.
Performance expectations based on performance
may appear bipolar depending on whether the employee
knew what was expected of them. Many good-hearted
managers are well-intentioned professionals who
advanced into management based on their own job
performance. As a result, unless they receive
proper training or coaching, these managers lack
many of the skills required to skillfully manage
employees and positively impact performance and
productivity. To add fuel to the fire, many companies
lack the tools necessary to adequately address
an employee's work performance because job descriptions
are either dated or may not exist at all.
of both job expectations and the knowledge it
takes to communicate the expectations can take
its toll on properly managing employees because
employers constantly must redefine employee roles.
In a perfect world, the astute employee would
know what's expected, and would turn those expectations
into increased performance, and, ultimately, an
increase to your company's bottom line.
how can you redefine employee roles to increase
performance? Perhaps it's best to follow Stephen
Covey's advice and begin with the end in mind.
However welcome or dreaded, a well-delivered performance
review is a good indicator of not only expectations,
but how well the employee is progressing within
his or her role. The evaluation also is a good
time to set next year's goals and expectations.
are five ways to establish expectations and align
employee roles with performance.
Maintain an Updated Job Description With Written
Expectations. It is difficult for you to create
an evaluation without a benchmark. It is even
tougher for an employee to self evaluate on an
ongoing basis if s/he has only a vague idea of
what results s/he should achieve. A job description
and a statement of written expectations provide
the criteria to perform the employee evaluation
while leaving the employee with a clear set of
can a job description do to help define roles?
2. Meet One-to-One With the Employee. Periodic
(monthly or quarterly) meetings can help you and
your employee monitor progress and performance.
For example, a short, scheduled meeting provides
the time to review past objectives and professional
development. You become more aware of the employee's
strengths, accomplishments and areas to develop,
while the information focuses the employee's performance
on key behaviors.
3. Provide a Monthly Progress Report. Continuous
reports help you gather information on employees'
performance and allow them to track their progress.
At the end of each month, ask employees to submit
a short report stating their accomplishments,
major tasks in progress, any training received
and areas identified for improvement. Your job
is to review this report, discuss it during the
one-to-one session, and keep the reports as a
reference tool for annual and semi-annual performance
4. Conduct a Self-Evaluation. Most employees
welcome the opportunity to provide constructive
input. Ask each employee to draft a self-evaluation.
These personal insights will help you immensely
with setting performance goals and aligning your
expectations with employee competencies.
5. Other Forms of Feedback. Without being
too intrusive or sly, solicit feedback from customers
and co-workers about each employee's performance.
Concentrate on behaviors, not subjective ideas
about a person's motivations. For example: Johnny
attends to customers in a slow manner vs. Johnny
is lazy and isn't concerned with attending to
customers. A word of caution: Be sure the information
you receive is accurate and sources stay protected.
A good job description will:
establish, communicate, and document management
expectations and employee understanding
a basis for establishing employee goals and for
conducting employee performance evaluations;
and document changes in employee responsibilities
during the course of a performance year;
determine employee job classifications;
inform job candidates about prospective positions;
employee workload so managers can make strategic
employees want to hit the target; often, they just
don't know what the target is. Taking these points
into account can help ensure performance meets expectations,
but more than that, it helps produce skilled, knowledgeable
employees who will work even harder to produce your
desired results. If you are interested in learning
more about how incremental improvements in performance
can significantly impact your company's bottom line,
gives us a call today.