We should be “SMART” in how we communicate employee roles, job duties, and expectations, meaning they should be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time measured.
- Describe the key function or role component that the expectation addresses (e.g. customer service).
- Describe the performance factor that the expectation addresses (interpersonal effectiveness).
- Describe the performance expectation actions necessary to complete the goal and indicate related organizational objectives (e.g. all customers will be given prompt, friendly, and useful services in line with the organization’s focus on providing all service in a customer friendly environment).
- Indicate how expectations will be measured in terms of quality or quality required, cost savings, etc.; so that both the employee and the supervisor can determine whether a goal was successfully completed.
- Make sure the goal/expectation is realistic and can be performed to satisfaction by an employee in that role.
- Describe how the performance expectation links to the highest priorities of the department.
- Define the time frame within which tasks must be achieved. Establishing a clear timeline enables the staff member to set appropriate priorities when completing multiple tasks. It also avoids differing assumptions between staff members and managers about the priority of the task.
Empowering employees to be a part of the process of establishing expectations, will help them understand the goals of the organization, what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how well it should be done.