Expectations for New Staff
The clearer you can make your expectations known to a new employee, the better. It could remove a lot of heartaches at a later date.
These could be very high-level expectations or quite detailed. How detailed the expectations are, may depend on a balancing act between giving sufficient clarity versus appearing to be a control freak.. You don’t want them to feel overrun with what they may see as petty rules.
Here are a few examples.
- A café owner makes new candidates understand that staff cannot help themselves to food but are welcome to buy food at cost price.
- An electrician tells new staff they must be at the office every morning at 7am for a safety and planning meeting.
- A new receptionist is told the way she needs to answer all phone calls and support even the most difficult customer.
- An owner defines what is expected of new staff when there is the need to follow up with client’s questions and issues.
- A hairdresser defines what the dress code is to a trainee from a local hairdressing school.
You should reinforce your business values and how important they are to you. You may find an employee meets the requirements of their job description but behaves in a way that is at odds with the values you hold dear.
You need to consider when you pull up an employee for not meeting your expectations and when you let those less critical things pass. If you pull a staff member up and correct them on everything, no matter how minor, don’t be surprised if they take no action without deferring to you for fear they will be challenged. You will never be able to escape the workplace.
Give your employees some latitude to make mistakes and back them. Everyone will make mistakes – that’s human. It’s when the mistakes keep happening, are because they ignored your or are clearly falling below expectations where you need to step in. At least start with the mind set of helping them improve.
By Bob Weir, July 2018