A key aspect of a healthy work environment is a clear understanding of employee expectations. When an employee understands what is expected of them, they will generally conform. If the expectations are confusing or unreasonable to the employee, they will often resent their management. This can rapidly lead to a toxic work environment. You can set reasonable expectations through the following.
Be the Example
When it comes to abiding by policies, you need to set an example. Requiring employees to do something that you won’t do is a quick way to lose respect. On the other hand, following the policy will show your employees that you take the policy seriously. Additionally, you will gain insight into the effectiveness of the policy. If you find the policy to be obnoxious and restrictive, you can bet that your employees do too.
Policy obedience isn’t the only way that you can set an example. You should also set the example in character. By civilly speaking to your employees and caring about them, you will set a healthy tone for the entire workplace. Your employees will follow your example and your company will move forward as a team.
Create an Employee Handbook
To keep track of all your company’s policies, it is important to have an employee handbook. Employee handbooks can outline expectations, including the culture you want to create. Providing each new employee with an employee handbook is a great way for them to get to know the company. They will better understand their role and how it relates to others. It will also save them the embarrassment of making small policy mistakes in the first few weeks of their new job.
When you make the employee handbook, try to make it short, clear, and entertaining. This will increase the likelihood that employees will read it. You should regularly update your handbook so that you can add any new policies or remove any old ones.
Regular Training Meetings
While the employee handbook will help your employees to learn what is expected of them, it would be foolish to leave it at that. You can further instill expectations by reviewing them in your regular employee training meetings. If you’ve noticed that the company is lacking in a certain area, you should bring it up. Remind employees that there are consequences for not following company policy. While you may not enjoy enforcing the consequences for not meeting company expectations, you must do so for the good of the company at large.
By setting clear expectations early on, you will find that your employees are much more willing to abide by them. If new expectations need to be set, be patient as they are implemented. Give a little time for your employees to adjust before you implement harsh punishments. You should also routinely ask your employees for feedback on your company policies. You’ll be surprised how the feedback will help you improve.
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