Ahhh expectations. We all have them. Even when we claim not to! And employee expectations are no different. All senior leaders have specific—and oftentimes unsaid—expectations. Why? Because we all have our own beliefs about how the world around us should be.
Take sales goals for example. A common expectation from management is that goals will be doled out and executed on. And the salesperson’s expectation? Well, it’s often a very different picture than the one that management paints.
The point is: when it comes to employee expectations, it’s important to get ahead of the curve. Manage expectations by making it part of the process.
Employee Expectations: How to Manage Happiness with Your Team
If you want a happy sales team, and happy employees, it’s important that employee expectations are understood. After all, there’s nothing worse than running into a problem that could’ve been avoided all along.
So, get ahead of any potential problems by practicing active listening.
- Listen More
- Think More
Like what I did there? Yes, that’s right! It’s all about listening (and thinking). It doesn’t matter if the conversation is about sales goals, prospecting, closing deals, problems with customers, product issues, hate for your CRM, or whatever else might crop up. Whatever your salespeople are talking about, listen. Truly listen. And don’t listen just enough. You know what I’m talking about—that kind of listening where you’re really just planning what you want to say back in defense.
Part of being a great leader is being an excellent listener. If you find yourself to be a particularly reactive type, tell the other party that you appreciate what they’ve shared. And that you’d like to think on it and get back to them. This way, you’ll avoid responding too quickly. This will allow you an opportunity to not only think about how you’ll respond, but also to find solutions to any issues that may have been mentioned.
When Management Doesn’t Fix Problems
One of the biggest employee expectations that exists is this: employees expect managers to fix problems. They expect solutions to problems. And when it comes down to it, of course they would expect this! Why would anyone want to work somewhere that has problems and no solutions? It would be maddening!
So, if you’re a leader or manager, don’t forget that you’re a problem solver. Just like your salespeople solve problems for your customers—you solve problems for your employees.
If you find that problems get talked about and not solved—solve for this first! It’s important to figure out where there are breakdowns. Can you leverage your Sales PlayBook is a problem-solving tool? Perhaps you might activate the forum feature in your digital Sales PlayBook for this purpose.
The bottom line is this: happy employees feel heard and understood. So, if you want to manage employee expectations, start by listening. Then, get to solving! I know it sounds so simple—but sometimes the hardest problems have the simplest answers. Try this one on for size and let me know how it works out.