• Tara Humphrey

A Guide to Managing Expectations for Line Managers and New Hires

Have you ever hired someone to manage a project where you have been disappointed with the outcome OR, are you that person or employee struggling to meet the expectations of a client or boss? If so, this week’s post is for you.

Having been on both sides of this issue, I know it can leave you feeling either; frustrated, stressed, lonely or demotivated.

Addressing scenario one, as a line manager or project sponsor, whilst it’s easy to focus on what isn’t being done and potentially cast blame, here I would urge you to consider whether you have made your expectations clear and whether you are offering the necessary support.

  1. Is there a job description?

  2. Are the objectives of the project/ role clear and have these both been verbally communicated AND written down?

  3. Have regular update meetings been scheduled?

  4. Have you provided your hire with the tools / resources required to do their role?

  5. Does your hire require any training?

  6. Do you or someone in your team have the time to provide any necessary support to your new hire?

  7. Has your new hire been introduced or been made aware of all key personnel?

  8. Have you provided your new hire with the background context to their role?

  9. Have you changed the role they were initially hired to do?

  10. Are you aware of any challenges your new hire may encounter during their role and can you provide any support or guidance?

  11. Have you considered the situation from your new hires perspective?

Now, as there are 2 sides to every story, scenario two looks to the accountability of the employee/ contractor. If you’re struggling in your role, you too have the following to consider:

  1. Have you considered some alternative ways of working to create better outcomes?

  2. Are you proactively doing all you can to deliver your role?

This may involve revising your strategy to address the following questions:

  • Are you clear on your objectives – If not how can you address this?

  • Are your objectives still achievable considering the time and resources available?

  • If not how can you address this?

  • Do you have all of the background information you need to do your role?

  • If not, can you obtain this through; conducting some online research, reaching out to key stakeholders or others with a similar role, reviewing key documents (annual reports, operating plans, or policy documents)?

  1. Are you approaching your role with a positive and can do attitude? A mindset of negativity and self-doubt will only magnify negativity and self-doubt.

  2. Have you attempted to prioritise your workload, breaking these down into manageable tasks?

  3. Are you monitoring your progress against your objectives? You may not be doing as bad as you think you are.

  4. Are there any gaps in your knowledge or skills set which would benefit from training?

  5. Could you benefit from seeing a mentor? If so proactively find one.

  6. Are you regularly communicating with your line manager and making them aware of any issues you may be having?

These lists aren’t exhaustive as there are many variables to consider, but clear communication and an understanding of each other’s expectations is vital for any successful working relationship and hopefully this offers some food for thought.