How HR can successfully manage employee expectations

When establishing a successful engagement plan, one factor that HR cannot afford to overlook is employee expectations.

However, it appears that many organizations either miss or forget this interaction aspect. For example, according to a poll conducted by HR Dive, 48% of employees questioned quitting a job because it did not match their expectations. Furthermore, our recent research on the status of onboarding showed that roughly a quarter of all workers felt their employer’s original job advertising deceived them.

Something is wrong when it comes to properly managing employee expectations, and HR has to fix it right away. And with good cause…

The talent pool in the United Kingdom is dwindling.

Although there has been a substantial drop in the recruitment of UK permanent personnel in recent weeks, this does not change the reality that the UK’s workforce is shrinking overall. Experienced workers retiring early, a dropping birth rate, changes in post-Brexit immigration regulations, and a post-COVID-19 increase in employees rethinking their career goals are all contributing to a diminishing workforce.

All of this implies that when organizations – and their hardworking HR teams – need to hire, finding the right individuals with the appropriate skills and experiences at the right time will be extremely difficult. It also means that organizations must work harder than ever before to keep the individuals they consider critical to their continuing success and growth.

However, for employees, the power dynamics of the labor market have moved in their favor. This means that every employee may be more deliberate in their next career move and seek a more personalized work experience.

With this in mind, HR should understand and manage what their workers expect of their employment, their leaders, and the business as part of any strong engagement plan. If done effectively, an organization will find it simpler to maintain a healthy working atmosphere and encourage increased employee satisfaction – both of which are beneficial to candidate recruitment and retention.

So, how can human resources properly manage employee expectations?

As an HR professional, you should strive to adopt numerous positive activities alongside more wide employee engagement efforts to help any organization properly manage its workers’ expectations. These are some examples:

1. Consistent and clear business communication

One method for managing your employees’ expectations is to establish open and transparent communication channels. When this is done at the start of a person’s employment with your company, they will have a much better grasp of what to anticipate from their employer, as well as what their employer expects of them.

Activities might include promoting your firm’s mission, beliefs, and culture, making critical corporate rules available, and providing regular messages and updates from top officials. Indeed, as our 2023 employee satisfaction study revealed, many employees enjoy regular contact with top executives as part of a great workplace experience.

2. Refinement of job descriptions

As previously said, erroneous job advertisements tend to be widespread, and they can disrupt the employment experience from the start. A potential employee will form their expectations of a role based on the job advertisement to which they replied. So, if the real working experience does not match, or the claimed tasks are inaccurate, it is doubtful that an employee would stay for the long term, and it may also harm your organization’s reputation.

As an HR professional, you should make certain that your company’s job descriptions are up to date and properly describe employment duties, responsibilities, and performance objectives. Ideally, they should also convey a sense of what it’s like to work with your company.

Furthermore, evaluating and updating your job descriptions on a regular basis may assist match expectations as your organization evolves. All of this will assist new employees in knowing what is expected of them and will eliminate any misunderstandings.

3. Emphasizing performance management and regular feedback

A strong performance management program is one of the greatest methods to guarantee that everyone in your organization understands what is expected of them. When a company has the ability to assess and analyze the performance of its employees, it becomes simpler to run efficiently and economically.

Implementing a solid performance management system, backed up by integrated performance management software, enables HR to define performance targets, offer frequent feedback, and assist line managers in performing more meaningful performance reviews. Both HR and line managers may influence employees’ performance and successfully manage their expectations about job performance and career growth by defining clear expectations and offering regular constructive feedback.

4. Ensuring consistent and equitable business practices

It is your responsibility as an HR professional to ensure consistency and justice in your decision-making procedures. This involves following fair and unbiased procedures for employment promotions, yearly performance and compensation evaluations, and disciplinary measures. Ensuring fairness and transparency helps manage those critical employee expectations while also building confidence within an organization.

And the importance of trust cannot be overstated. The employer-employee connection is crucial in developing successful engagement methods. As with any connection, it must be formed on a strong basis of trust; it cannot, however, be bewitched’. our is a topic we go through in further depth in our blog article.

5. Providing possibilities for training and advancement in one’s career

Employees desire more than simply a job with a competitive annual income, as our own study into strong corporate cultures revealed. When it comes to their expectations of what a job should deliver, the opportunity to gain new skills and advance their career ranks high on their wish list, thus HR should create opportunities for employees to do just that.

Improving employees’ skills and knowledge through training and development programs is one method to properly manage their career aspirations. This can also assist to establish the previously stated aspect of trust by exhibiting your organization’s faith and confidence in their future.

6. Organizing regular exits Interviews

Finally, the conclusion of an employee’s employment with your company is an excellent moment to determine whether or not their expectations were satisfied. With their attention focused on a new position, leaving workers are likely to feel more relaxed and at ease sharing their experiences and delivering more honest feedback. Remember to do exit interviews!

Exit interviews with leaving workers will give you useful insights into their experiences in comparison to their initial expectations. By analyzing this feedback and acting on the information you get, you will be better equipped to identify areas for development and manage future workers’ expectations.

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