Setting clear expectations is the first step in having a great year. Your people can’t achieve what you have in mind if you don’t communicate it, or don’t communicate it well enough. Goals are difficult enough to achieve without confusion as a hurdle.
Communication Guidelines for Setting Clear Expectations
To avoid confusion, managers should make sure that they clearly set expectations by adhering to the following communication guidelines:
Personalize the communication and make sure it is realistic. The communication should be specific to the person or group you are speaking with, not a general message that could be interpreted as not applying to them.
State the desired result(s). Make sure your communication includes what you want them to achieve.
Outline the behaviors required for results. These are the specific actions that, if performed well, should lead to the desired result.
Define metrics for assessment. This includes the time frame. It should be clear how you will measure performance and over what period of time.
Check for understanding. Have the sales rep recap their understanding of your expectations.
Follow up in writing. Send out an e-mail recapping your communication making sure it adheres to rules 1 – 5 above.
A team can’t work effectively without clarity, so it’s important to make sure your message and expectations are clear. Take the time to figure out what you want, and how you envision getting there, and then make sure your team is on the same page.