Clarifying Expectations By Leading With Questions

Clarifying Expectations By Leading With Questions

When you create a culture that fosters engaged employees who are committed to serving your mission, living your values, and sharing your vision, what happens?  Gallup Inc. has found that the most “engaged” workplaces are:

  • 50% more likely to have lower turnover
  • 56% more likely to have higher-than-average customer loyalty
  • 38% more likely to have above-average productivity
  • and 27% more likely to report higher profitability

We often use Gallup’s 12 key indicators of employee engagement when helping guide clients to creating their own high-performance teams.  Gallup’s first statement says: I know what is expected of me at work.

Let’s consider this statement with regards to a new hire.

  • What best practices are included in orientation?
  • Do job descriptions include technical skills and behaviors that model the organizational culture?
  • Do you host a celebration to welcome new employees into your community or home?
  • Does the new employee receive adequate training prior to starting the job?
  • Does your orientation program include onboarding or the inclusion of a peer mentor?

Often times we are guilty of hiring someone and then throwing them into the deep end to see if they can swim – never even stopping to get to know them or setting the stage for what is expected of them. In our field, staffing shortages are all too common and unfortunately  create stressful work environments even for the most seasoned employee.

On the other end of the spectrum, some new hires are met with a micro-manager. Employees are watched and aren’t given autonomy to make decisions on their own.

Clearly neither extreme is appropriate.

How can you communicate expectations clearly and create an environment where employees input and ideas are valued?

Ask your employees new and seasoned the following questions:

  • Think about what is expected from you here at work, what are you supposed to do every day?
  • How does your job connect to our greater mission?
  • What ideas do you have for improving processes so we can better meet our mission?
  • Can you give me examples of how you live our values each day while you’re here at work?
  • What ways can we provide feedback to each other to ensure we are both supporting our mission, and one another?

Remember to lead with questions! Help employees self-discover – don’t give them the answers.

If they are struggling to ask questions or lacking the desire to answer the questions you are posing, try to connect the work that they do, to the organization’s higher purpose.  The expectation is never to clean the linens, the expectation is to provide patients and residents with a healthy, happy living experience.   Keep in mind you’ll want to create a foundation of trust.

This article was written by staff member Allison Duda.


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