Luke Watkeys, Business Manager
At the same time, you will be thinking about whether your new appointee will fit into your team and culture. You’ll wonder, ‘Will Dave be flexible in his contribution to Acme?’ and ‘Will he take personal responsibility for his own learning and development?’
The employment relationship is a 2-way street, and both parties will enter into it with an implicit idea of what their mutual obligations will be. But this doesn’t mean that they will always agree on what they are, meaning that open debate on the obligations is crucial.
Despite this, it is rarer than hen’s teeth for managers to build in a conversation early on where unspoken expectations as above on both sides are explored and agreed. This can lead to misunderstandings, a reduction in employee engagement, and either party feeling aggrieved.
We therefore cannot recommend highly enough that you ‘Make the Deal Explicit’. This means, at some point during an employee’s induction (either locally or organisationally), explaining to them what your obligations to them are, and also what their obligations to you are. For example:
“Hi Dave, welcome to Acme Industries! I hope you’re settling in well.
This is what you can expect from us here:
· Investment of time and resources into your development
· Fair access to a range of opportunities to improve your skills and career
· Inviting your participation and comments
This is what we expect in return:
· Full commitment to give your best
· Being fully committed to understanding the needs of your customers and clients
· Contributing to continuous improvement
· … ”
Being clear and reasonable with staff in relation to what they can expect and what you expect in return reduces the likelihood of any misunderstandings, whilst defining your culture to staff. It is a huge motivator, as Dave then understands what is expected, and can settle in more quickly.