How to Set Expectations As a New Boss
As a new boss, you need to develop and set expectations for your staff immediately so they can begin to make the necessary changes. This is important so they can move on from the habits or procedures they developed under previous supervisors. While it's important to be professional and respectful in your communication, you must also remain firm about what you expect and hold your staff accountable.
Hold an all-staff meeting to relay your expectations, including your expectation for professional behavior. Address anything that is open for interpretation. For example, if your staff must fill out weekly reports, let them know when you expect them to be turned in. Address policies for calling in sick, transferring work responsibilities and adherence to work hours. Take note of staff reactions. If a staff member sighs or rolls her eyes during your speech, make a mental note to address it with her later.
Meet with each staff member individually to discuss the expectations for each one. This ensures that you and the staff member understand what is expected regarding her specific job responsibilities. You can also use this time to learn about the employee's career goals and interests.
During your one-on-one meetings with staff members, address any issues you anticipate or have noted. For instance, if you have a staff member who openly showed her displeasure during your speech at the all-staff meeting, discuss her behavior with her. Say, "I noticed that you sighed and rolled your eyes when I was relaying my expectations to the group yesterday. Is there a problem with something I said?" Let her to state her issue, but remain firm. Restate your expectations and hold her accountable for changes she can make to conform to your expectations.
Take time to learn about the leadership style of your predecessor, if you don't already know. The staff you now supervise is used to doing things a certain way. Ask your staff how your leadership style and expectations differ from their former boss and contrast or compare your expectations from those of your predecessor. This will help you clarify your expectations. Address any concerns about the changes you are implementing to help them adapt.