Setting Clear Expectations for Your Team

by Ann Connor

Clear Expectations

It is vitally important to whatever business endeavor you are pursuing that the team you have around you understands their mission clearly. Clear expectations at the outset of a project, be it a new product launch or building a new department in the company, provide a solid guideline and should form a cohesive vision for everyone involved.

To ensure success in any given project, it can be valuable to present a set of behavior expectations or work on one with your team. One way to develop this is a “team charter” or contract upon which all members agree. This code of conduct can help to guide the team through its growth, reminding members to be respectful of colleagues, contribute their opinions when they are solicited, and addressing conflicts personally on a one-to-one basis.


With a solid base for behavior expectations in place, you can move on to the goals you want the team to achieve. Your expectations must first be clear to you before they can be clear to your team.

Be specific. An expert quoted here reminds us that: “Unclear expectations lead to inefficient processes and subpar performance.” You could consider the SMART goal method (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). These goals will help align your expectations with the abilities and expectations of the team.

Discuss your goals with the team and consider their point of view. It is fundamental that you communicate clearly and get to know your team. “Explain who, what, and how.” Make sure that your vision is clear to your employees and explain how you hope that they will achieve the goal you have set for them. You must be able to help them relate their experience and expertise to your expectations.

Make sure your team knows the specific end you want them to reach, who is supposed to fulfill what function, and how you wish them to proceed.

See the Strategic Planning Course page for more great tools & resources.

SOURCES:  http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_66.htm




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