Transparent employee expectations

A recent Gallup survey reports that 50% of employees don’t know what their manager expects of them. Question, what percent of managers know what their employees expect of them? Our guess less than 50% resulting in the high percentage of disengaged employees and turnover.

As an employee you can influence this by being transparent about what you need. Why? Your job satisfaction, well-being, and longevity with your current organization depend upon your transparency. . Gallup found that at least 75% of the reasons for voluntary turnover can be influenced by managers.-Don’t leave them in the dark or as one wags commented on public policy; can’t complain if you didn’t vote.

Some thought starter categories for your list of expectations or wants.

  1. Working conditions
  2. Opportunities for growth and development
  3. Work load
  4. Work and personal commitment balance
  5. Information needed
  6. How my work has purpose/adds value
  7. Feedback desired
  8. Autonomy
  9. Recognition
  10. Coaching
  11. Involvement in decision making
  12. Rewards

The specific expectations for each category are dependent on the individual employee. For example a female single parent would have different expectations than a middle aged married man for “Work and personal commitment balance”.

You now have three tasks. First define what your specific expectations are for those categories that are important to you—make a list. Second prioritize the specific expectations as either HV (high value) or D (desirable). Take your time, review and edit your list at least three separate times. Lastly, practice your explanation of what each expectation means and why it is important. Don’t just think about the explanation; say it out loud to a trusted peer, or friend. Ask for feedback on clarity, conciseness, and tone. The explanation is more likely to be heard and discussed if the tone is matter of fact, neutral, not demanding. Adjust your message then practice again and at least one more time.

Once you are comfortable schedule a meeting with your manager. Avoid email, make it a face-to-face request. You are more likely to get a positive response by positioning the reason for the meeting as a win-win opportunity. The short version might sound something like this:

I enjoy my job and this department and want to continue to be a valued employee. To achieve this goal I have spent a lot of time thinking about what are my expectations as a part of this team. I believe that our working relationship will be improved the clearer and more transparent I can be about these expectations–here are my initial thoughts. If you think it would be productive can we schedule a meeting to discuss this list?

Best case scenario your manager appreciates knowing and has agreed to work toward meeting the expectations. Worst case scenario your manager stays in the telling non listening mode and ends without an understanding of your needs. Still a win, the seeds of understanding your unique needs have been planted. My guarantee your list will not be forgotten.