Do I know what is expected of me at work? Everyone’s initial reaction is – of course I know what is expected of me at work, I do it every day.  It does seem like a pretty simple and straightforward question but is it? What was I hired to do?  How do I know what is expected of me in my work?  Who decides what is expected of me?  When you start to unpack that question, it is not as simple as it appears.

Your manager probably thinks that the answer to you is obvious.  If management is not clear in their communication about the goals and objectives in your job expectations how are you supposed to be successful?

Do you ever have those moments when you have gotten a new assignment, and all you can think is  “I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.”   If you are a new employee, you might be afraid to ask for help because you don’t want the company thinking they have made a bad hire.  If you are a seasoned employee, you might not want to ask for help because you don’t want your boss or co-workers questioning your abilities since you have been in the job a while.  New or seasoned employee – doesn’t matter – we can all end up in the position of not knowing what is expected of us at work.

When you are in that position what do you do?  Wing it and hope it works out? Fall into analysis paralysis and not make any progress?  The simple answer is to ask for clarification from the person who made the assignment.  But it isn’t always that simple.

How can you as a manager create an environment where employees input and ideas are valued?  How can you as an employee create an environment where your manager value your input and ideas?  It takes some work on both sides to make sure everyone can answer the question “Do you know what is expected of you?” with confidence. Always remembering that you both want to create a culture of trust.

Gallup’s Q12 survey includes 12 questions to measure engagement that link to important business outcomes, such as improved productivity, profitability and customer ratings. This survey provides a company a clear picture of their work environment and how successful each manager is in meeting employee needs.

Gallup’s analysis of the link between achievement, accountability, and accessibility and employee engagement, showed that managers who are successful in fulfilling employees’ needs on each of the 12 questions would have employees that are more likely to be engaged:

  • Among employees who strongly agree with the statement, “My manager helps me set work priorities,” 38% are engaged. Among employees who disagree, only 4% are engaged.
  • Among employees who strongly agree with the statement, “My manager holds me accountable for my performance,” 28% are engaged. Among employees who disagree, only 6% are engaged.
  • Among employees who strongly agree that “I feel I can approach my manager with any type of question,” 31% are engaged. Among employees who disagree, only 2% are engaged.

When employees are engaged, they will perform at a higher level and bring passion and interest to their job, which often leads to innovation in the workplace. If an employee is engaged in the workplace, they will feel they have a real stake in the organization. Open communication and collaboration between engaged employees and management can lead to a culture of trust and growth.

Where are you in this discussion?  Manager, seasoned employee or new employee, do you know what is expected of you at work?

4 replies
  1. Bruce Still
    Bruce Still says:

    One of my target groups for my coaching business is ministers and churches. My prayer for ministers is that they can serve from a place of strength. But sometimes they go to churches where their strengths are under utilized. This tool sounds like one way to help both church and minister understand what the expectations are. Is this a correct understanding?

    Reply

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