Good managers will keep their employees motivated and engaged by setting high expectations for themselves and their team members. A good manager will also lead by example through completing their own work assignments, being honest with others, keeping an open line of communication, remaining positive, and staying engaged at work.
Over the past 10 years, I have supervised an administrative support team while working as a CEO assistant. I will be the first to admit I had little supervisory training prior to becoming a first-time supervisor. I want to extend A HUGE SHOUT OUT to all of those on that early team who were patient with me! No book or training course can substitute for real-life experiences. As I look back and reflect on my “supervisory journey,” it has been an amazing growth experience.Over time I have learned that setting and communicating clear expectations with new team members is critical. I do not profess to be a know-it-all when it comes to managing people. I continue to learn something new each and every day. However, as employees have joined the administrative support teams I have supervised, I have discovered it is helpful to share and discuss a list of expectations individually with each team member. During these discussions, I have also asked the employee what expectations he/she has of me and how I can best support each one in his/her new role. Some of my expectations discussed over the years have included:
- Be dependable
- Ask for clarification and ask questions
- Be flexible
- Complete tasks in a timely manner (or ask for help) and keep the appropriate people informed
- Keep informed of the trends and changes in the administrative support field by being committed to professional development
- When possible phone or person-to-person contact is always preferred over sending an email
These work expectations expressed both verbally and in writing have been an excellent tool to use in discussions where expectations were not being met or in annual performance reviews. I am appreciative to an HR Manager, who assisted me years ago, in creating an expectations list that I still use today. If you are a manager, do you have a list of expectations that you share with employees that they can refer back to throughout the year? Setting and discussing clear expectations on Day 1 for a new employee is extremely valuable.
I have been fortunate to have many good managers throughout my working career. I am thankful to managers who pushed me, expected more of me, encouraged me to think bigger, and appreciated my desire to help businesses, governments, and people be successful. Those who know me well know that I work and live with an “I want to” attitude. Yes, I know that not everyone feels the same way, and that’s okay. I care about my manager’s success, and I care about the success of my team members in completing their work assignments and meeting professional/personal goals. I believe that having an “I want to” attitude can help to maximize the critical role that administrative professionals play in today’s workplace.