Managing Expectations 101

In an ideal workplace, you understand exactly what is expected of you and what you expect from the people around you. However, often times things are lost in translation or simply not stated at all. There is a way to hone in on the skill that eradicates all doubts and unknowns for employees and employers expecting outcomes. This skill is called managing expectations. At any level, you have the opportunity to clearly lay out the plans and rules about what is expected of your employees, bosses or colleagues from the start! Managing expectations is an underrated skill that ensures satisfaction on all ends from manager to employee to customer. Here are a few sure ways to sharpen the tools you need to help with managing expectations:

1. This is an applicable statement for most things in life: it is best not to make assumptions. Do not assume someone understands completely without asking. It is wise not to assume the person completing the task will do everything perfectly, and do not assume that everything will occur seamlessly. With that being said, it is best to be clear with everything from the start. Set clear guidelines and write them down either on paper or via email to set the standard. Something that the employee will be able to refer back to after instructions were given is an extremely useful system.

2. Be realistic. Did you hire humans or robots? Chances are you hired humans, and mistakes will happen.  Encourage questions by setting this reassurance up in advance. You are more likely to have employees who are comfortable to address an issue early on if it arises and quickly diffuse a situation. With smaller, more achievable goals, the motivation will remain high through the entirety of a project. The end goal will seem less daunting. If employees know that their expectations are reasonable, they feel comfortable to ask for help when needed.

3. Have concrete guidelines. Define what success means to you as a manager (or an employee). The expectations should be mutually understood regarding what success looks like for the context of the company and role by providing or asking for examples of previous work from past successes. Another element of success is to ask about what should be prioritized. Everyone has different opinions on what should be prioritized if it is not explicitly stated. Also, having concrete deadlines for documents like permits and compliances complete tasks more efficiently. Without any assumptions (back to point one!) there will be no confusion when things should be done, and the road to the end goal will be a smooth ride.

4. The common theme of all of these points is communication. Being upfront with communication styles is key and can properly manage expectations on all sides. This allows for managers and employees to share the important information correctly. Communicate what work needs to be done and whose responsibility it is. Communicate with appraisal when work has been done well and communicate effectively when work has not been done to satisfaction. Whatever it may be, communicate accordingly and effectively. No one wants to be left in the dark, and clear communication benefits all parties.

Managing expectations can be a very simple task keeping in mind that that no one is a mind reader, and you as an employee, client or manager is responsible for ensuring that communications is clear and all expectations are met!

At HF Planners, we have the experts in managing expectations through detailed facility planning and facility management. During our different phases of design, we can accurately plan and tailor to meet based on schedule, budget, and deadlines. We are able to manage expectations by providing clear communication and materials throughout the entire process. You will never feel in the dark when you work with us! Interested in finding out more? Contact us today!