How To Set Expectations With New Employees

Mar 28, 2019 | 1 comment

The best managers always set clear expectations for their employees. When workers have concrete guidelines about what is needed from them, they are more motivated and equipped to do good work.

Since it is very common for new employees to be confused about what you require from them, here are some ways to get them on the right track!

Communicate Early & Often

Be sure to communicate expectations as soon as possible so your employees are never left in the dark trying to guess what is needed. Reinforce what is required with weekly or monthly check-ins and overall annual assessments.

Hearing expectations once is often not enough to make it sink in, so repeat yourself regularly as needed to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Ask Them What Their Expectations Are

Collaborating with employees on expectations is an important part of setting them up for success.

Not all employees are the same, and their ability to understand what is expected of them is a combination of experiential and interpersonal factors. So make sure you are communicating with your workers in an effective way by asking them what they expect and need from you in order to best do their job.

Be Clear & Give Examples Of Work

Set employees up for success by providing examples of what you or other staff have done in the past to meet expectations. This will provide employees with a concrete idea of what is needed and give them a target to aim for.

It’s not just about telling them what to do and hoping for the best – you have to be specific!

Focus On What They Do, Not How They Do It

Focus your expectations on the end result rather than the process. As long as an employee is getting their work in on time, and their methods aren’t costing the company more, let them tackle work however they see fit.

As discussed in our “10 Ways To Welcome New Employees” article, new employees often bring a fresh perspective you don’t have, so don’t be surprised to find yourself being inspired by some of the ways new employees get the job done!

Positive Feedback & Reinforcement

Not all previous experience is created equal, so let employees know when they are on the right path with positive reinforcement.

Just because a worker has held a similar position at a previous job does not necessarily mean they know what you want. Employees make a lot of assumptions when they first start out and are looking to you to let them know whether or not their work is acceptable.

Giving employees regular feedback, especially during their first weeks and months of work, will ensure they always know they are meeting expectations.


It’s your job to guide your employees in the right direction. Putting enough time and thought into setting up clear guidelines and expectations for employees will reduce the amount of work and re-work you will have to do in the future since your employees will be more likely to get it right the first time!

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

1 Comment

  1. gordiebufton

    So solid and great perspective and actionable items.


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Written By Cameron Herold

Written By Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold is known around the world as THE CEO WHISPERER. He is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth. Cameron’s built a dynamic consultancy: his current clients include a “Big 4” wireless carrier and a monarchy. What do his clients say they like most about him? He isn’t a theory guy—they like that Cameron speaks only from experience. He earned his reputation as the CEO Whisperer by guiding his clients to double their profit and double their revenue in just three years or less. Cameron is a top-rated international speaker and has been paid to speak in 26 countries. He is also the top-rated lecturer at EO/MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program and a powerful and effective speaker at Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer leadership events around the world.