Do your staff know what you expect of them…

…..or is it a case that YOU DON’T know what you expect of them either.
When managing people it is important that there is clarity over roles and responsibilities in order that everyone knows where they are going and how they support the organisation.

Too often people become unhappy in their job because they don’t know what they should be doing or where that line is before they step on someone’s toes. Or have they already stepped on those toes without knowing it causing an uncomfortable position within the office.

The management of staff is always a difficult area, especially if you are an owner manager with a successful growing business, you may not have any experience of looking after people. There are a number of important steps to take to lead to a happy workforce no matter how big or small this is.

Clear Job Definition
Let the staff member know what their role and key functions actually are, whilst you will always have a bullet point in the job description for ‘any other duties as required from time to time’ set out the fundamentals. This means that they know what you want and what they need to learn, and if necessary, allows you to manage them accordingly if they are not achieving the requirements.

Be clear in time of absence
If you have any reliance on one individual, make sure that everyone knows who stands in for whom when holidays or sickness crop up, giving clear responsibility and a route to flag issues to if things go wrong. Too often staff will not highlight when something has not been done, meaning you end up frustrated having assumed a task was completed.
However, be open to suggestions, a fresh pair of eyes doing a job may see a more efficient way of doing something, its up to you to discuss this with the employees in order to avoid any confrontation.

Clear Communication
We all know it is not always practical to undertake long meetings with staff each month, however, you should try and have a documented 121 process in place, be this monthly or quarterly that allows you and the employee to give honest feedback to each other. At this juncture it is also pertinent to give objectives to improve their performance or develop their profile. If the staffs approach is really bad, you should address this on a timely basis.

Develop a progression route
You will have within your team someone who wants to develop, often showing more promise over those that have been in place for a long time. Again this needs careful management, and one option is to develop a clear progression route including task matrix. Combining this with regular 121’s will allow the good team members to feel wanted and highly thought of whilst giving you an opportunity to address issues with bad performers.

Once in place a good staff management process can reap many rewards around individual behaviours, productivity, customer service and most of all bottom line. If you need any support in bringing in to play any of these suggestions along with policies around capability, bonus and personal improvement please contact us on