The Secret to Setting Expectations

Oct 29, 2021 | Blog

How does your garden grow

Setting Expectations

A.K.A. Setting Your Team Up for Success


Setting expectations in life is key, and it’s especially important for your team. The clearer you are with your team about your expectations, the better. The sooner you make them aware of your expectations, the better. The more specific your expectations are, the better. Why is it so important to set these expectations in the first place, you ask? Great question! I’ll tell you. Most disappointment in life comes from things not living up to your expectations, and having expectations without communicating them generally causes that disappointment. It is even worse when that disappointment comes from assumed expectations, because it all could have been avoided with better communication. It doesn’t have to be this way. Knowing how to set expectations goes a long way.

Here are 6 expectations that should always be covered with your employees:


  1. The Duties of the Role. Set and communicate the expectations of the job.
  2. Deliverables. Let them know exactly what you want them to deliver. 
  3. Time Tables. Let them know exactly when you want them to deliver it.
  4. Quantity. Let them know exactly how much you want delivered.
  5. Quality. What do you want the end product to look like? Where’s the bar? Is there a comparison you can make? Give them all the details they need to succeed.
  6. Anything Measurable. If anything else is important to the project or job, let them know what you expect and what the details are. 

So, now that you’ve set up your expectations with your team, what happens when someone doesn’t live up to them? Another great question! Let them know they didn’t reach the bar and why. Tell them how they can improve. On the flip side, when an employee does live up to those expectations, let them know you’re pleased with the job they did, and let others know that’s what you’re expecting. It not only rewards your employee, but establishes even clearer expectations for your team.

At the end of the day, setting (and communicating) your expectations removes ambiguity and confusion. When you don’t set expectations, you may or may not get the outcome you want. A lack of clear expectations wastes time, deflates the team, and leads to more headaches for everyone. If you let your team know what you want, it will help you get what you want, and get it on time. 

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