A foundation of relationships – albeit personal, professional, close, acquaintance or whatever – is understanding each other’s expectations. In business this is particularly important. Especially in the work relationships we have with co-workers, employees, and bosses. As leaders we have the responsibility to set expectations. The foundation for clear expectations is simple to state and challenging to consistently do:

  1. Define your objectives. This establishes the “big picture”
  2. Set expectations as early as is reasonable. Give your team enough time to accomplish them.
  3. Create accountability within your organization. Delegate this to foremen, team leaders, and supervisors.
  4. Give helpful feedback along the way. This allows for minor corrections before someone strays too far off the path.
  5. Motivate your team to accomplish the goals and tasks laid out for them. This might be compensation, but it is often more effective to look to the future to define where they want to be. Show them how accomplishing these goals and tasks will help them get closer to that larger goal.
  6. Make it measurable. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) or metrics will help with this. Use SMART techniques (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to create these.

Good luck. The end goal for a leader is to create a relationship where expectations are defined and met by everyone involved. It will transform a toxic work environment into a fulfilling and health environment.

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