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Establishing Expectations: What Are You Rewarding?

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Performance Management

When it comes to leading your team, establishing expectations is crucial to ensuring the team’s success. Depending on the roles and experience levels of those on your team, expectations may include deliverables and outcomes, as well as processes and methods used to produce the work. It is important to have regular conversations on this topic, as priorities and areas of focus can change over time.

Defining Success

In many cases, work is evaluated based on results. Success is determined based on the work completed – but even that is not as straightforward as it seems. In many roles, completed work can be measured in terms of quality, quantity, or both. One well-known Silicon Valley tech company used to have posters up on its campus reading “Done is better than perfect”. This made sense in the context of a group of high-achievers, who would sometimes let the quest for perfection hamper productivity. Determine what success looks like to your employees and ensure each person on the team clearly understands what it takes to achieve success.

Results vs Effort

In other cases, effort is just as important – and in some cases, more important – than tangible results. This often can be the case in roles with a high person-to-person component. In the case of a cashier at a retail store or a museum tour guide, employees often has no control over quantifiable stats, such as number of customers served. Attracting guests falls under the responsibility of the marketing and sales teams. For these positions, success may be defined by the quality of customer interactions. Person-to-person roles may allow for the opportunity to go above and beyond for the customer; in situations like this, the effort of the employee to surprise and delight the customer is more important than straight numbers alone.

Determine your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

When looking at each role, determine what success looks like in that particular case. You may focus on quantitative results, qualitative results, or some combination of both; you want to be sure to be focusing on results that really make a difference to your company and its continued success. Some organizations fall into the trap of evaluating aspects of performance that are easy to identify, such as employee attendance. However, if an employee was out sick a time or two more than a colleague, but was far more successful in all other aspects of the role, perhaps attendance is not a significant indicator of success. (In the COVID-19 era, attendance is fast becoming an area that is no longer valid as a measure of performance success, as public health considerations are taking precedence). Once your KPIs are established, ensure your team understands what success looks like, and how best to go about reaching it.

Here to Help

Want to ensure you’re establishing the right expectations for your team? We can help. We can be reached for a free confidential consultation at +1-403-470-5350 or [email protected].

For further details on how Honiva can help you prepare you during your recovery and rebuilding, please view our service offerings. We also welcome business owners to attend our next online seminar to learn how to improve employee management practices and strengthen your company long term. Register for the free HR Education session at EventBrite.

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