Enhance your team performance by having a clear set of values & expectations

When you work with a team, you want to make sure that every member performs within the scope of their maximum potential. There are numerous factors that go into ensuring that the optimum team performance is achieved at all times. Clearing your hierarchy of values and setting straightforward expectations could be one of them.

Make it clear for yourself first

Before you communicate your set of values or the list of expectations to your employees, make sure to have a clear understanding of both for yourself. As a general rule, the workplace expectations fall within two major categories: performance-related and behavioral. In terms of the former, you should let people know what is expected from them regarding the consequences of their work, what the preferred outcome should be and what the satisfactory results may look like. As for the behavior-related expectations, it kind of lies in between the simple etiquette and the workplace code of ethics. Knowing what behavioral patterns are accepted or discouraged at a particular working environment gives the team members a clearer vision and saves a lot of time that would otherwise have to be spent on resolving conflicts and confrontations.

Effective Communication

Do I need to say much here? Everybody knows that effective communication is the key to success, in all types of relationships frankly. Business connections or team-performance enhancement attempts, you want to make sure that your set of values and the list of expectations are delivered in the best possible manner. What exactly does the latter entail?

In my experience of studying biochemistry at an American educational establishment, how successfully my group mates and I conducted virtually any experiment was directly related to how clearly the instructions were communicated to us. Before any activity, the Teaching Assistants would gather all of us in a circle and deliver a short presentation which covered all the essentials of our goal for that day. Equipment, glassware, timing, possible risks, the expected percentage yield etc, all of these details were made known to us prior to starting the laboratory work. Did it have an impact on how well we performed? Most certainly, yes. In fact, when such instructions were simply cluttered on a random table in the form of hard copies, no one even bothered picking them up, not to mention taking the time to actually read and follow the guideline.

Having shared values and encouraging expectations towards your employees is one thing, but how you communicate these two to them is what matters the most at the end of the day. This will determine how likely they will be to abide by the provided guideline, even in your possible absence at times.

Generating drive and motivation

What prompts people to push themselves and exhibit maximally efficient performance? A lot of things, obviously. But having a clear goal or a certain standard to meet is definitely at the top of this list. You cannot expect a satisfactory performance from your team, if you hardly let them know what exactly it is that they should work towards. A clear expectation implies clear goals, and the latter is directly related to knowing precisely which methods, tactics, approach and skills should be employed. Do you see where I am going with this? Transparency and straightforwardness are not separate, abstract entities afterall. Causation and correlation factors between these two and the quality of your team’s performance are unavoidable and essential to be handled properly.

Conflict avoidance

Can you name numerous success stories and fascinating performances delivered by a team of employees amidst conflicts, confusion, hostility and incompatibility? Yeah, neither can I. While there may be other reasons for the listed negatives to occur at a workplace, major value disagreements seem to be of highest importance.

If you don’t make it clear to your employees that interpersonal respect and honesty, for instance, are the core values of your foundation, you may find people lined up at your door, eager to report the cases of physical or psychological manipulations. You may think that whatever you believe in is already too obvious, self-explanatory or commonly shared. And even if that is the case, never rely on mere assumptions. It is safer and always more efficient to be repetitive with the intention of ensuring everybody clearly understands the value system of a workplace, than assuming there is no way your employees will not be aware that copying content without paraphrasing or referencing, or harassing their co-workers are unacceptable things to do.

Better beginnings

Having a clear set of values and expectations is especially important when taking initial steps at establishing your brand and making your business successful. As a general rule, the manner in which you start doing something will largely impact how you finish that particular task. To give you a better perspective, let’s bring the example of a beginner Youtuber. If the person who has just created an account on this huge platform, sets unrealistic expectations towards themselves and starts ‘’winging’’ irrelevant, unresearched and unpolished content, it is safe to say that the outcome is not going to look pretty. However, if the same person comes to terms with the fact that Youtube is flooded with competition, and as a beginner their number one priority should be stable channel growth and considerable rankings, they will inevitably start making better decisions. Whether they adhere to helpful resources such as youtubestorm or start promoting their channel on other social media platforms, by making it clear what their goal is, understanding how hard it is to meet Youtube’s current standards and expectations, and valuing cautious, thoughtful approach rather than having unreasonable ambitions, their overall performance will be greatly enhanced.

Like many people, perhaps you too have thought that all the above-mentioned things simply speak for themselves, and there is no need to dedicate group meetings or deliver presentations to cover what the values and expectations of your company are. In any manner, if you desire to achieve definite success, with definitely optimal team performance, you should let people know what is expected from them and which respectable values they should prioritize, all in the same definite manner.

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