Expectations between you and your boss should work both ways. Your boss has expectations of you, and you have expectations of your boss. Here are five expectations that you, as a subordinate, should expect from your supervisor. If you aren’t receiving all five from this list, you need to have a discussion with your boss to find out why, or more importantly, how to get all five.
1. CLEAR OBJECTIVES / EXPECTATIONS: Bosses are usually a bit vague about what they want from you. Few bosses are explicit about the results they want. Don’t be timid. There are two important steps you can take:
a. Prior to objectives/expectations being set, go to the boss and recommend a course of action for results over the next 6 to 12 months, based on what you know and what you can do. Influence the direction of your function on the front end.
b. Once the initial objectives/expectations are given to you, review them and go back to the boss with recommendations on how to make them more meaningful and/or measurable. You want “objective” criteria to determine if results have been achieved, rather than “subjective “ criteria making for very soft appraisals.
2. SUPPORT / FAIRNESS: Help your boss understand what you need in order to do an outstanding job. Your boss can’t determine the missing pieces or support unless you discuss the improved outcome that should result. You should also expect a boss to be fair in passing out responsibilities and time.
3. COMMUNICATIONS / PERIODIC REVIEW: Not only should the boss communicate what’s important to carry out your mission, but also respond with answers to questions in order for you to do a better job. “My door is always open” should swing both ways. You should also request a periodic “benchmark” review status with your boss depending upon the project time-line and importance. A weekly report may be necessary with a major project in a turn-around. A report every month or so is usually adequate, but certainly not a yearly review at the time of a performance review. Then it’s way too late.
4. DEVELOPMENT / CAREER BUILDING: You are responsible for your professional development and career plan. Your boss is responsible to make sure you are growing on the job and preparing you for the next step. It should be a mutual plan, but you must be the initiator. Make it in your boss’s best interest for you to succeed.
5. PAY FOR PERFORMANCE / RESULTS: This is the part of the “contract” between employer and employee where your results are rewarded. If your expectations are compatible with your boss’s, and you reach the performance results that are objective, measurable and by definition outstanding, then your reward should be comparable. Anything less is unacceptable, including less than satisfactory performance on your part of the “contract”.
If the organization expects outstanding performance but only rewards average rewards, over time they will get average performance and results, plus lose their outstanding people.
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