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Leading the squad: 10 Expectations from a stellar manager

Ajay Ruhela

Last Updated: 14 June 2023

In this article:

A study analyzing Amber data from 700,000 employees reveals that in 2022, manager effectiveness emerged as the second most significant factor driving employee attrition. This data speaks volumes about managers' influence in engaging and maximizing the productivity of their teams. 

That's right, folks! Managers hold the keys to creating an exceptional team dynamic and fostering a thriving work environment. So, if you're a manager (or aspiring to be one), listen up! In this article, we'll uncover the top 10 expectations employees have from their managers because let's face it, being average is just not an option. Let's dive in!

Why do manager expectations matter?

Manager expectations refer to the specific requirements, responsibilities, and performance standards set by an organization for its managers. These expectations outline the desired behaviors, skills, and outcomes that managers should demonstrate in their roles. They serve as a roadmap for managers, guiding their actions and decision-making while aligning them with the organization's goals.

Manager expectations are crucial for several reasons. 

  1. Firstly, they provide clarity to managers regarding what is expected from them, reducing ambiguity and promoting accountability. 
  2. Secondly, manager expectations help establish consistent performance standards across the organization. By defining the desired outcomes and behaviors, they enable organizations to evaluate and measure managerial performance consistently.
  3. Lastly, manager expectations play a pivotal role in shaping the work environment and employee engagement. When managers understand what is expected of them, they can effectively communicate these expectations to their teams, setting clear performance standards and fostering a culture of high performance.

Expectations from an effective manager

1. Effective communication

Open and uninterrupted communication flow to and from the manager is one of the most critical requirements of the role. Your employees expect you to be transparent, honest, and regularly available for interaction when they need to open up.

That’s why effective communication skills are a prerequisite. Besides, managers must also set clear expectations for reporting employees.

2. Team’s alignment with company vision

Team objectives stem from the key business strategy. Each employee’s role must be synced with the company’s end goals to contribute to business productivity. 

Your managers should be allowed to tell the company’s story to their team members to strengthen their alignment with the business vision. It helps boost employee support for the company’s long-term strategy and success.

3. Mutual employee trust

When a manager has faith in their team, it motivates employees to excel. By entrusting them with challenging tasks, involving them in important decisions, and believing in their abilities, job satisfaction and productivity soar while team dynamics strengthen. 

Trusting employees demonstrates that the manager recognizes their strengths and has confidence in their capabilities. This fosters a sense of trust between the manager and employees, creating a positive and supportive work environment. Ultimately, this trust-driven approach boosts morale, empowers individuals, and fuels collective success.

4. Accountability

Manager effectiveness is closely tied to accountability. Effective managers take ownership of their responsibilities and hold themselves accountable for their actions and outcomes. They set clear expectations, communicate them to their team, and ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. They follow through on commitments, meet deadlines, and take responsibility for mistakes or shortcomings. 

By fostering a culture of accountability, managers create a sense of trust, reliability, and transparency within their team. This not only enhances productivity and efficiency but also builds a positive and results-driven work environment.

5. Listen and act on team feedback

A manager is expected to gather employee feedback and implement mechanisms to improve performance proactively. You can do this by listening when your employees approach you, having an open-door policy, or actively seeking their views through scheduled feedback sessions.

6. Decisive leadership with autonomy

The best managers of your organization know how to strike a balance between control and trust. They step in when they need to control the situation to prevent it from getting out of hand but give ample autonomy to their employees to display their capabilities.

A manager’s expectations include possessing the confidence and exercising authority to pull the reigns and also give leeway when necessary.  

7. Accurate and timely feedback 

Manager expectations encompass the crucial element of providing accurate and timely feedback. Managers are expected to offer constructive criticism, recognize achievements, and address areas for improvement promptly. By delivering feedback in a timely manner, managers help employees understand their performance, make necessary adjustments, and grow professionally. 

8. Employee growth and development

The expectations of a supervisor include providing adequate training and career progression opportunities to their employees. The best managers help their teams develop relevant skills to boost their professional growth.

But simply organizing training programs doesn’t suffice; they must also be effective. Many AI-based tools like Amber’s Training Experience Survey can help you determine the impact of the training programs running in your company.

This survey tool provides templates with questions to gather feedback and real-time insights on the effectiveness of your current training programs and what you can do to improve them.

Running this training experience survey at the appropriate stage of your employee life cycle can help gather adequate and timely information, measure the learning outcomes, boost Learning and Development ROI, and supervise how the training module impacted employee performance.

9. Be a role model

A manager’s expectations need you to have a strong work ethic and high productivity to enforce a positive work environment. Every workplace has its dynamics and politics, but an effective manager can maneuver the team towards business goals, away from the boardroom affairs.

The best managers know their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, are an approachable, professional support system, and adopt an honest and transparent attitude at the workplace.

10. Recognize and celebrate success

Your employees expect you to notice and appreciate their hard work on time. Timely and adequate recognition impacts employees’ job satisfaction, boosts morale, strengthens teamwork, improves workplace ambiance, and makes employees stay with your organization.

Your company’s rewards and recognition (R&R) programs significantly contribute to employee engagement levels. Rewards and recognitions have the capability to both result in engagement and disengagement depending on which way it is going.

What happens when managers meet expectations?

When a manager meets expectations, a ripple effect of success is unleashed within the team. Their unwavering commitment, strategic vision, and effective communication inspire trust and motivate individuals to give their best. With a clear direction set by the manager, goals are achieved, obstacles are overcome, and productivity soars. 

As the great people leader Peter Drucker once said, "Effective management always means asking the right question." When managers meet expectations, they not only find the right answers but also empower their team to do the same, fostering an environment of excellence and achievement.

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