Managing Team Expectations
Being on the same page in terms of expectations as the rest of your teammates is crucial. Setting the standards and expectations from the onset is the way to do it. Don’t wait around and introduce expected principles halfway through a project as this will consequently mess things up and create unnecessary confusion.
In order to effectively oversee team expectations it is necessary to manage them on an individual basis first. For this to take place, 1-2-1 meetings help ensure employees are on track and hitting performance standards, personal commitment and making sufficient effort towards team goals. These meetings are also valuable times and ideal for acknowledging good work and praising employees - formally or informally. Additionally, Maximising Team Performance is a key part to managing expectations, as connecting with employees’ strengths and abilities will encourage them to work energetically.
Moving on, team goals and pathways should be consistently reviewed and reaffirmed in order to maintain tight focus and stay on track. Be up-front and be sure everyone is on the same page and there is no space for any misunderstanding. Track meetings check up on progress and give you an opportunity to revisit the points that had previously been agreed on. Invite an accommodating environment for questions and suggestions. Moreover, managing expectations from a positive and optimistic viewpoint will greatly impact productivity.
Change the focus. Go from the mind-set of ‘What hasn’t gone to plan? / Why? / What happened? / How can we solve this problem?’ to a more constructive approach such as ‘What is working? / What are we doing right? / How can we make sure we do more of that?’
Communication is arguably the most important contributing factor in setting team expectations and making sure set goals are met. Encourage an open flow of communication according to agreed standards. This accessible communication between all team members will enhance productivity and avoid possible conflict. It is equally important to have strong communication links between team members as it is between leader and employee.
This is evidently a role that applies to a manager and/or a leader. It is a top down approach. Subsequently, the attitude you choose to tackle a project, problem or task will in turn result in the attitude your team will adopt themselves. Standards are set from the top.
In summary, set the benchmark for all team members from the very start. If expectations are made crystal clear and communicated effectively, there is little space for confusion to arise or miscommunication issues. Creating a sense of involvement and partnership is an active way of meeting team expectations as well as nurturing an environment which revolves around honesty and trust.