Setting Expectations Creates Alignment--Especially For Remote Workers

Apr 06, 2020

Setting expectations for your employees is an essential responsibility that many business owners gloss over. One study I read found that almost half of all workers in the United States are unclear about what was expected of them!

It’s too bad, because clear employee expectations benefit not only your staff, but your business as a whole. It creates the alignment in goals, purpose, and work flow that most businesses long for.

Setting clear expectations can eliminate or reduce confusion and increases the chances of employees being successful in achieving the goals of the organization.

Performance expectations go beyond a job description and include a range of expected outcomes – for example, the impact of the work on the organization, expectations on level of service rendered to clients and co-workers, and the organizational values demonstrated by the employee.


Now that many of us are working remotely, it is especially critical to be clear about your expectations of each person.

Although no one likes a micromanager, most professionals appreciate knowing they are on the right track. 

Be specific and clear as to what the expectations are and how you will measure them. 

  • Be clear about what your priorities are during this crazy and uncertain time.
  • Be clear about what projects are critical for each person to focus on.
  • How much are you expecting them to be at their computers while they are working from home?
  • What exceptions are you making for those who have kids at home during this time, if any?
  • What are the essentials to get done for business retention and to keep the lights on? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
  • How will you be measuring success during this time?
  • What policies and procedures do you expect each person to maintain?
  • What are your expectations for communication from your team members during this time?

Having and conveying your expectations reduces conflict, provides clarity, and helps you AND your team members succeed as you all continue to feel your way through this (hopefully temporary) crisis.