Manager Community

How to Set Expectations With Your Team: Introducing the “How I like to work” doc

2 min read

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, what work requires your input, 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.

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 with
  • 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

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.  Take a peak at Heather’s doc and learn how it helps her set expectations with her team.

TLDR (too-long-didn’t-read):

  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 here.