It’s hard to say who coined the phrase “inspect what you expect,” but one thing’s for certain: It’s an accurate admonishment to anyone who wants to be an effective manager.
So, whether you’re training management staff or trying to improve your own methods, here are a few practical hints for getting the most out of your team.
First, you have to set expectations. There are a few effective ways to do this. The simplest way is to put together a comprehensive employee manual that outlines not only policies and procedures, but also the culture of the company. Plus, taking the time to craft an engaging orientation process will help employees assimilate more effectively. You can utilize resources from SHRM or a company like Syndeo to help you put these tools together.
Second, its a good idea to check back in with a new employee after 90 days. Too often, if everything is going well, managers don’t review policies and ask questions unless things are going poorly. It’s important to see if there are any misunderstandings that might avert trouble later on if they are cleared up.
Third, and this is difficult for a lot of managers, get up out of your chair, walk around and talk to your employees. Small talk is OK, but it’s more important that you ask specific questions about things related to your expectations. “Hey, Dave, about those new time reporting requirements, how’s that going for you? It’s really important that we do it this way because…”
Establishing realistic expectations that are relevant to the stated goals of the organization and sensible to your employees is the best way to start a successful team. Following up with some good inspection of how your expectations are being met is the only way to ensure success.