How to Manage Expectations with Different Employees

How to Manage Expectations with Different Employees

A while back, we did a blog on different office personalities. The point of that post was to enlighten new managers on the kind of people they’ll have to deal with during their reign. But another thing that I think that you should know of is how to manage your expectations with different kinds of employees.

Hiring the Right Kind

Unfortunately, the recruitment process is not as lovely as it is made out to be. You don’t always find the best fit for a job, simply because your options are pretty limited. But you’ve got to train and mold and make do with what you get. Some you’ll find are pretty in tune with you and your company. The others? Not so much. But hiring the right kind, so to speak, is not as black and white as one might presume. Which is why the need to manage expectations arises in the first place.

Gauging Employee Capacities

The first thing you need to do is measure who can do how much and in what capacity. For example, like we talked in our blog, a Free Loader, who already depends on others to get the job done may not be the best fit to assign a high-stakes task. A Lazy-but-Talented might be a better option because when you put them under the right circumstances, they would produce results.

In the same manner, not every employee you meet will come up with brilliant ideas in a brainstorm session, simply because they don’t have the entrepreneur’s vigor. Others may not be the most productive workers, but would have brilliant input in idea building.

Manager of Everything

Your job, or rather your title “manager” is not just a manager of resources or a department. It is a manager of talent, time and expectations. Half your required skill is delegation. And the other is knowing the skillset of your team.

Here’s a chart by Sandglaz that shows the common mistakes managers make in delegation:

For the sake of simplicity, lets rate skillset on a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being the highest), given that it is being measured for timeliness, accuracy, quality, interpretability, leadership and teamwork.

Now, some people in your team would score well in timeliness, others in quality. So you wouldn’t want to delegate something that needs to be done within an hour to someone who scores a 4 in timeliness. In the same way, you favor an overall 8 to head a venture, over someone who scores a 10 for accuracy but 5 for leadership.

Giving Room to Grow

But just because you’re managing expectations, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t increase them in time. Of course you need to give everyone room to grow and learn and improve. And when you’ve given them enough time, and they’ve exceeded your anticipation, that’s when you know they’re the keepers. But if they’re stuck in an abyss where they want to be glued to that one spot with baseline responsibility, maybe it is time to start looking around.  Because in the long run, they’re going to be liabilities to your company as the years go by. And you might find someone with a fresher perspective to fill their spot.


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