Management Matters: Impact Engagement by Managing the Expectations of Your Employees

When organizations need talent and people need jobs, people are hired and a deal is stuck between the organization and the employee. It’s a perfect fit, right?

Lately I’ve been hearing from both managers and employees about how it goes wrong. It seems that when the boss is focused on the business and the employees are focused on themselves, then neither one is focused on the relationship between them. What results? Employees end up disappointed and managers end up frustrated.

While many folks like to point the finger of blame on the generational divide, I see a different cause – the expectations of employees have not been managed. And that is something that can be addressed.

Some things that managers can do to resolve this dilemma:

Take the time to explain the state of the business and the realities that impact the workplace. Describe how each individual job adds value. Connect the dots.

Educate employees about both growing revenue and reducing costs. Help people align their performance with the results needed. Make this conversation a true dialogue. Ask questions in addition to presenting information.

Provide performance feedback. Provide development opportunities and growth assignments. Mentor and develop employees and cultivate potential leaders.

Advise every employee that there are no guarantees but there are opportunities and that the organization wants them to grow and develop. You are making an investment in each other.

How do you know if you have an engaged workforce?

It’s not revealed in a survey! Engaged employees are the ones working at and building their capacity. They are the people who are energized and motivated because they are allowed to innovate and see how they are adding value. To get these kinds of employees, the manager teaches them about how the business operates and helps them become the best ‘fit’ possible.

It requires a lot of specific feedback provided and options explored for growth. It means an ongoing dialogue. It involves keeping a focus on the relationship.

That is the key to managing expectations.

Joni Daniels is Principal of Daniels & Associates, a management training and development consulting practice that specializes in developing human resources in the areas of leadership and management training, interpersonal effectiveness and efficiency, skill- building, and organizational development interventions. With over 25 years of experience, she is a sought after resource for Fortune 500 clients, professional organizations, higher education, media outlets and business publications. Joni can be reached at

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