The Importance of Setting Expectations Early

Does your organization experience problems with:

  • Excessive turnover?
  • Employee performance issues?
  • Recent hires who seem to “sour” or disengage shortly after starting?

It could be due to a lack of clear expectations.

A few months ago, we published a brief post about the importance of hiring for longevity. Finding candidates who will perform well and stay working for you starts with careful hiring. But it doesn’t stop there. Once you find the right person, setting clear, mutually agreed-upon expectations is essential to success.

As his manager, it’s your responsibility to create the foundation for a solid working relationship with your new employee. Provide the communication, structure and support he needs, right from day one. Here’s how:

  • Over-inform – don’t assume. Approach the process from the employee’s point of view. Realize that ideas, terminology and processes which may be second-nature to you may not be familiar to your new employee. Err on the side of over-communication by assembling comprehensive information and resources which include:
    • an overview of your industry, company (history, services/products, organizational structure, executive team and its position in the marketplace);
    • an overview of what you do – and what your boss (if you have one) does;
    • department and organizational goals;
    • reporting relationships;
    • your employee handbook;
    • additional reading, training or resources pertinent to the position.
  • Review his job description carefully. Hopefully, you were clear about what the job entails when you initially presented the position. Once your new hire is onboard, however, you should sit down and review the job description together again. Spend time determining what responsibilities he can perform from day one, and what may require additional training. Create a plan for closing skills gaps as quickly as possible.


  • Set clear goals. Once he understands your company and his role within it, discuss specific goals. Using the job description, departmental and organizational goals as guidelines, create measurable performance goals for the month, the quarter and the rest of the year. Make plans to track progress along the way and review performance.


  • Cover other work policies which may affect performance. Beyond the “nuts and bolts” of his new job, be sure to also review your company’s expectations and policies regarding the following:
    • Appropriate use of technology and social media
    • Dress code
    • Dating fellow employees
    • Workplace attitude
    • Performance evaluations and opportunities for promotion

PrideStaff delivers top performers who succeed on the job.

Our On Target fulfillment process eliminates chance and inconsistency in the hiring process, helping you to receive better quality candidates – individuals who exceed your performance expectations and stay working for you.  Whether your needs are entry-level or management, On Target can make your hiring more successful.  Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more.