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 peek at Heather’s doc and learn how it helps her set expectations with her team.
- Heather shares her doc with all new team members so they can quickly get to know her
- 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
- 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.
For more inspiration, check out these 49 “How I like to work” documents from leaders at Slack, Netflix, Google, and more!