Whether you are stepping into a leadership position at an already established company or becoming the leader of a new startup, you need to set expectations for your employees. Expectations point people to achieving a common goal for the company and individuals within the company. If you don’t communicate clearly to your employees, how are they supposed to know what you want from them?

Understand Them Yourself

You need to understand your expectations that you are setting for your employees. You can’t just say you want to see a result, you have to define how you and your employees can achieve it. If you say you want to reach your goals, make sure your goals are clear and laid out. Otherwise, your employees won’t know what they are supposed to be achieving.


Either hold a meeting or send an email with your expectations. If you state them verbally or written can give your employees something to reference when making decisions. Writing them down can give more clarity to your employees. If you don’t define your expectations, no one except you will be able to determine what they really mean.


Make sure your employees know they can come to you with questions or suggestions on the expectations. The document is not a legally binding document and it can be changed. If your employees think an expectation needs to be rewritten to be clearer, sit down with them and discuss what would make it clear. This also goes back into the communication section. If you are all reaching towards common goals, it will be easier since everyone will be working together to achieve it.


Industries are constantly changing, your business may need to change to keep up with the market. Sometimes this means your expectations are going to have to change. You don’t want to be following the same methods for achieving a goal that is no longer the company’s main focus. Once expectations change, they need to be discussed with the employees again and go through the whole process over again.

The lack of clarity can become a problem within a business. It can create conflicts and create a poor organizational performance. As a leader, you want to make sure your business is setting expectations that will move your business closer to success.