expectation management for junior employees

Handling a green member on the team may require a special touch.

Leading, Not Hand-Holding – Expectation Management for Junior Employees

In order to be an effective manager, the way you communicate with your subordinates and convey your expectations is crucial to your success in your role. If you’ve got a new hire that’s only recently joined the workforce, it can be taxing to determine how best to manage a new employee. Fortunately, there are a few ways to go about expectation management for junior employees – on both sides of the desk.

expectation management for junior employees

Respect the time you have

It will be very difficult to remain authoritative and credible if you’re constantly canceling meetings, one-to-ones and planning sessions. Once you have arranged to speak with a member of your team, no matter their seniority (or lack thereof), don’t let other things get in the way unless you absolutely need to. You should expect the same approach from your new subordinates.

Deliver bad news in private

If you’re delivering bad news or any form of constructive feedback to these new team members,, make sure it’s in private. Dressing down one of your employees in front of your team will demoralize the person involved, and harm your credibility amongst your other employees.

Coach, don’t dictate

The best managers subtly get their instructions across without them appearing to be orders. Coach your employees in the best methods and ways of doing things, and explain why these methods deliver results. Your team will pay attention if they are learning something and they can see how your requirements work for the greater good. If you’re barking orders throughout the day, your words may start to bounce off your subordinates like rubber bullets.

Ask for feedback

During your check-ins and formal meetings, it’s important to be humble when the situation calls for it. While you may be the most informed person in the room, ideas and suggestions from others should never be dismissed. Who knows? You may just learn something or discover a new way to do things. Asking for feedback will engage your employees, and ensure they have a vested interest in proceedings.

Remove barriers

Employees who are treated as robots will be often do the job you ask of them… and no more. But create the circumstances for those people to think independently and be creative, and you will not only capture their attention, you will inspire them to go above and beyond the call of duty. How do you remove barriers? Well, start by ensuring they have received the training they need. Introduce your team to key decision makers in your organization, and give your team the tools it needs to succeed.

Make career development a priority

Any manager in charge of a team and the development of the individuals needs to have a succession plan in place. The allure of promotion and career advancement is always a great way to motivate. And if you have a team full of motivated individuals, holding their attention when you need to communicate your ideas will rarely be a problem.

Keep things positive

One of your key responsibilities as a leader is to lead courageously. You need to give even the most dire of situations a silver lining. If you’re downbeat and pessimistic about an issue, the chances are your team will be the same. Put a positive spin on things wherever possible, as good news in the workplace always captures the attention of a team.
It doesn’t matter how big your team is, you need to be able to ensure your message is getting through. By being open, honest, positive and receptive to feedback, holding the attention of your employees should become relatively easy.


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