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  • Writer's pictureBob Prentice


What is the boss thinking about the employee's efforts on the job? Are they a slacker or a great producer? What is the employee doing or not doing? Confusion abounds. Employees want to know what the boss is thinking of their efforts on the job. People hunger to know what others think regarding their efforts in the workplace. This challenge can all be cleaned up with a "Clarification of Expectations".

For years and years employers have communicated to their employees what their job will be through a document called a job description. These documents are usually a list of the tasks the employee is required to perform; however, much of time these job descriptions are not being done correctly. That is because they usually leave out some very important information: the priorities and performance standards within the job. This is where the clarification takes place that will help an employee to do their job most effectively.

For every job description, it is vital to identify the key result areas and establish performance standards that are specific and measurable. Maybe it is the office manager's job to answer the phone. Great. But adding a performance standard to the task, such as, "answer the phone prior to the third ring and with a smile on your face" conveys that it is not appropriate to merely answer the phone whenever you get around to it.

Over the last 25 years I have updated hundreds of these documents for leaders who desire to have a clarification of expectations for their employees. Though it is not an easy or even a fun process, smart leaders will do this because, in the long run, it will reduce headaches and turnover. Not to mention, it will keep your employees from having to guess what you think about how they are doing their job.

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