How to Set Expectations With Your Team

Setting expectations with your team is key to building productive working relationships. Set the tone for you manager-employee relationships by following these tips and tricks:

Create a “How I like to work” doc

When others know things like how you like to communicate, if you’re a morning person or a night owl, how you run meetings, etc. you’ll work better together and save a lot of time and energy. Usually people only come to know these tidbits about you after working with you for a while – and it takes a lot of trial and error.

Creating a “How I like to work” doc helps you skip that whole ‘get to know you’ phase and jump right into a productive working relationship. Managers and senior leaders often create these, but it’s a helpful practice even if you’re not a manager.

See how Heather Foeh, VP CX at PathFactory uses her “How I like to work” doc to build a culture of transparent two-way communication on her team.

What to include in your “How I like to work” doc

  • Preferred Communication Method- Would you rather your team contact you via email, Slack, phone, snail mail 🐌…
  • Working Hours– Your preferred office hours (if you work at a flexible place)
  • Current Projects- What you’re excited to work on, and where you might need support
  • You: OOO– What you do outside of work (e.g. do you have kids? Are you part of a rec. sports league? Anything that helps them get to know you on a more personal level, and that helps them understand the other stuff you’ve got going on that may impact the way you like to work)
  • Career goals– Where you see yourself progressing is important to you, but also adds another layer of understanding to your manager and employee relationships
  • Meeting Frequencies– How often you like to have one-on-one meetings

Add “Things to know about me” in SoapBox

If you don’t have time to create a whole doc, add “Things to know about me” as an agenda item in SoapBox and use comments to tell them what they need to know. Here’s how:

  1. Sign into SoapBox
  2. Choose your meeting from the left-hand sidebar
  3. Type “Things to know about me” and hit enter to add to your agenda
  4. Click on the agenda item to open it
  5. Add in the things they should know about you as comments

Top people leaders make “How I like to work” docs

We sat down with Heather Foeh, VP CX at PathFactory and she told us why she creates a “How I like to work” doc, and how it helps her build transparent two-way communication with her team.  Watch how Heather’s doc helps her set expectations with her team👇

TLDW (too-long-didn’t-watch):

  1. Heather shares her doc with all new team members so they can quickly get to know her
  2. She lets them know she prefers open and frank communication on both sides so they’re not taken by surprise when she gives them constructive feedback
  3. Heather’s a remote manager, so her document also emphasizes that her team is her #1 priority – they should never feel they’re bugging her when they reach out during her office hours.

Read more about Heather’s management style and the concrete steps you can take to manage like her on her SoapBox Hero page.