Have you ever been in a situation where the expectations your employee’s have regarding your company don’t match reality? This question is probably more pertinent for startups and smaller companies with a weak employer brand versus large MNC’s or a well-established local company. The consequences of failure to manage employee expectations can be damaging. It puts your company in danger of spending time hiring the “right” people only for them to realize that your company is the wrong fit.

The result? A turnover which ends up sucking money and time into recruiting efforts which could have been avoided had the following steps been taken:

1. Employer Branding Efforts

Expectations can and should be molded right from the get go. And in this case this means that even as an “unknown” company you need to play your role to let people know what realistic expectations to have. I’ve talked about how it’s not hard to have Small Employer Branding Efforts that don’t cost you an arm and a leg by way of finances or time but still get the values of your company across to current and potential employees. One of the key reasons why you want to do this is to let people know what they can expect from your company and why they should work for you. It also sways away those who would not be the right fit for your organization.

2. On-Boarding Program

For a second, take a hard look at yourself and decide if you have a proper on-boarding program. I’m not talking about pairing a new employee with someone who has been working at your company for a while. I’m talking about something more formal which uses documented values. If you’re able to communicate your organization’s values to all the people when they join then you’ll be able to build the culture you want. It may seem like being so “formal” is not the right way to go for everyone. But whether you’re an organization of 10 or 100 people, Culture and Values are Important. It’s the only way you’re going to get everyone onto the same page, working on the same road to get to the destination.

3. Open Lines Of Communication

Say you’ve taken the first two steps and you still end up hiring people who have unrealistic expectations of the organization. It doesn’t mean divorce between you and them. If you’ve spent the time hiring them then you need to put in the efforts to realign their expectations of the organization. Whether it be unrealistic employee expectations of work timings, you’re involvement in community efforts, the type of work they’ll be doing or something else you’ll

  1. Identify the gap in expectations,
  2. Clarify with the employee what their thoughts are,
  3. Explain why things are the way they are, and
  4. Examine whether status quo should/could be changed and discuss if they can’t.

The last step is possibly the most important one because that’s what makes employees realize that their views are actually valued.

Being able to manage employee expectations is a task you’ll probably need to come back to time and time again. It’s part of cultivating the right culture for your company and should be an ongoing process as your people and your company mature.