The expectations of a new candidate who is about to relocate are likely to be very different to what is actually about to happen.
Some of these expectations will be related to the new location, their new accommodation and friends they will meet. Other expectations will be about their new job, office and colleagues.
It is crucial to close the gap in the differences in expectations, not only for the new employees but also for those who currently work for you. Differences in expectations can cause turbulence in the work environment, high levels of staff turnover and increased costs.
Many methods we will discuss are simple yet highly effective and almost all of them involve communication. Implementing some or all of the ideas will improve the working environment, reduce costs and increase productivity. Here are some techniques:
- Reduce the differences in expectations for candidates relocating
- Define expectations
- Develop an honest and open environment
- Focus on the positive
- See things from your employees’ point of view
- Understand the benefits of training and education
Reduce differences in expectations
Your new recruit is on their way, leaving the grey drizzle with high expectations of beautiful, sandy beaches and sunny skies. While it is not your fault that there’s a tropical storm when your recruit arrives, you would have closed the gap in expectations if you had pre-empted the negative side of living in the Caribbean.
On a personal level, if your new candidate has as much information about their new life before they arrive, it will reduce the differences between what they are expecting and what they will see when they arrive. For example, send photos or a short video of their accommodation, if you have helped them find somewhere; and make sure they have a plan for at least their first week so they know what is going to happen, who they are going to meet and when they will receive their induction training.
There can be an enormous gap in expectations if they are not clearly defined. If you already have your list of expectations, do you think all of your employees are aware of them?
It’s always a good idea to have your expectations recorded so that everyone is aware of what they are. These expectations you have must be the same for everyone, otherwise they will become ineffective.
If you feel that your expectations aren’t clear to everyone, run a short meeting to go over them. Avoid telling employees what you expect as this can create negativity. Instead, involve your team members in the meeting. Asking your team for input is a great way to start – you’ll get inspiration and your employees will feel that their opinions matter.
Develop an honest and open environment
Around 47% of people are likely to leave a job because it doesn’t meet their expectations in some way (think of the recruitment costs of replacing almost half of your staff).
You need to have an environment that promotes honesty and openness. This will come from you and your management team. In a workplace, team members need to know they can communicate both the positive and the negative without fear of developing bad relationships. Conflict in an office adversely affects productivity and can seep through into client relations.
Focus on the positive
There are times when expectations of the standards of work are different for the employee and the employer. Managers are often tempted to focus on what’s wrong and what has to be improved rather than what has actually been completed well. This risks a lack of connection between team members and their leaders.
Most normal employees want to play a significant role within their organisation. They want their work to be noticed and they take pride in what they achieve. Job satisfaction can be increased by the type of feedback an employee receives, and making the whole organisation aware of an employee’s successes teaches others what functions well, increasing overall success of the company. Employees who know they matter are a lot less likely to look for a job elsewhere.
See things from your employees’ point of view
To reduce the gap in expectations and improve overall communications in the workplace, just imagine for a moment being your new employee.
By putting yourself in their shoes and seeing things from a different perspective, you’ll see the difference in what you are expecting, and what the employee thinks you expect from them.
Understand the benefits of training and education
Career development is something that most job-seekers look for. Unfortunately, all too often it’s mentioned in the recruitment process but then forgotten along they way.
If you are in charge of designing the firm’s training programme, you need to adapt it to your industry and to those who’ll be participating, making it as personalised as possible. Be aware that future leaders of your company are going to adopt the same learning and teaching styles as you are about to provide. Ongoing education provides a chance for managers and employees to strengthen their relationships and helps make employees feel like part of a team.
To wrap up: when you think about employee expectations, don’t assume it’s simply to do with what is expected of them. It’s a set of expectations that are agreed upon from the beginning and continuously worked on in order to provide a positive, energetic working environment. It should include communication, education, honesty and opportunities. Most of all, it takes a manager who is able to practise all of these skills, set a fine example, and reduce the differences between what people think should happen and what actually happens.
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