When you’re leading a team of professionals, it can take some fine tuning to fall into a comfortable rhythm where everyone operates like clockwork. Each of your employees is at a different point in their journey with your company, so you need to be prepared to meet them where they are and coach them until they’re fully immersed in the brand.
A major factor in cultivating a productive environment comes in the manner in which you convey the expectations set for your team. Ideally, this conversation begins long before an employee is even hired. During the hiring process, your job description is the first opportunity to lay out position-specific responsibilities and expectations. This helps to clarify what a candidate will be required to do and the parameters in which they’ll operate, which provides you with a specific lens to evaluate each applicant through.
Of course, the hiring process is only the start of this discussion. Here are a few more ways to get clear on expectations and ensure your team members are engaged and effective.
Onboarding new hires
Shortly after you choose the best candidate, you can further outline expectations throughout the onboarding process. Before any training begins, sit down on the first day to walk through basics together and explain how they will be evaluated in your company. Every business is structured differently, so it’s essential to cover these important aspects of their position even if they are a seasoned industry professional.
Supplying employee handbooks
As a leader, it’s important to empower your employees by avoiding micro-management and allowing them to build their own critical thinking skills in your company. A great way to do this is by creating and circulating an employee handbook that outlines company policies and employee expectations across the board. This document isn’t set in stone; expect it to change and evolve over time as your company continues to grow and expand.
Performing regular evaluations
Even the most ambitious self-starters still need feedback, so it’s important to lead your team by example and evaluate their performance at regular intervals. This isn’t a time for criticism or punishment, but rather an opportunity to find better ways for your team to reach their goals. To make this task a bit less daunting, open the discussion up to make it two-way—encourage your team members to provide you with feedback as well. The best leaders are those who can accept critiques and work towards improving their management skills. When an employee recognizes that the evaluations are reciprocal, they’ll feel more empowered to discuss ways to enhance the company as a whole.
There’s no better time to get your management techniques down pat, especially if you’re planning to grow and take on new employees. Once you do, you’ll find your team’s performance increasing in productivity and engagement.