Setting high expectations for your team members

Setting high expectations for your team members is one of the most important things a team leader can do. By having high expectations, you are sending the message that you believe in your team and that you expect them to achieve great things. This can motivate team members to work harder and achieve more than they thought possible. In addition, having high expectations can help teams to meet goals and deadlines better and improve overall productivity.

How to set high expectations for your team members

There are a few things to keep in mind when setting high expectations for your team members. First, it is important to be clear about what you expect from each member of the team. Ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities and what is expected of them. 

It has to be done before the work gets started, not during or after it is done. Setting clear expectations helps to reduce ambiguity, and your team knows exactly what you expect of them for each task/project. You will be surprised to learn that no one can read your mind. As the manager, it is on you to ensure that your expectation is effectively communicated and understood. For example, when I work on the annual forecast with my teams across different offices, I create a process, training program, and checklist to ensure everyone understands the ask. The list also covers commonly asked questions by our internal/external stakeholders. It is because for us to maintain consistent quality across several offices, and for me not to have to do training personally every time we have a new team member joining, we need everyone to understand what good looks like. 

Based on the client’s expectation, sometimes I even ask my team to explain to me a line item amongst more than one thousand line items in the forecasting file. I do it not because it is fun. It is because that is the external expectation, and I want to prepare the team for success. 

Second, it is important to set realistic expectations. If you set goals that are too high, team members may become discouraged and give up. 

While you set high expectations, it is your responsibility to estimate whether your team can do it or intervene when needed. This is to ensure that the overall delivery meets the client or internal expectations in both quality and timeline. 

Also, it does not mean complaining about the work of your team non-stop. Everyone hates unconstructive criticism. It does not mean moving the goal post either or setting unnecessary constraints, which have a very minimal impact overall. 

The benefits of having high expectations for your team members

There are many benefits to having high expectations for your team members. Perhaps the most important benefit is that it can help team members to reach their full potential. In addition, setting high expectations can improve team morale, increase productivity, and help teams to better meet goals and deadlines.

The challenges of having high expectations for your team members

While there are many benefits to having high expectations for your team members, there are also some challenges. One challenge is that it can be difficult to maintain high expectations over time. As team members become more comfortable with each other and the work environment, they may start to slack off or become complacent. It is important to continue to set high standards and hold team members accountable to maintain high-performance levels.

Another challenge is that setting high expectations can sometimes lead to conflict. If team members feel that they are constantly being asked to do more than they are capable of or that the standards are too high, they may become resentful. It is important to be aware of this potential issue and address any concerns team members may have.

Additional tips about team management and leadership

You can check out additional tips I wrote about team management and leadership here.

That’s all from me. Let me know what you think.


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