10 Key Expectations
Researchers have become increasingly aware of the importance of work expectations, in today's employment situation. In the traditional system of bygone days, workers were expected to be loyal, to work hard and diligently in return for a fair wage, and a job for life. Discussions of expectations were rarely raised. However in the fast paced and ever-changing workplace of today, loyalty and hard work may still be valued, but the promise of lifelong employment is a thing of the past.
Therefore, it becomes increasingly important that today's employees be able to identify and discuss their work expectations. Expectations will always be there! If they have not been discussed, and in the eyes of the employee are unmet, dissatisfaction and an adverse effect on productivity will occur. Trying to rectify the situation after the fact can often be difficult, if not impossible. In this situation, trust deteriorates, conflict often occurs, and the result can be both loss of productivity, and job turnover.
On the other hand, where expectations are discussed, and employee input welcomed, even if expectations are unmet, the opportunity for discussion and rationalization will reduce any negative impact. All may not agree, but having your voice heard, becomes a positive experience, and contributes to a healthy work environment.
Obviously, there may be a myriad of expectations held by various individuals based on their own criteria. The following key expectations were identified by research data that surveyed a large group of individuals. These constitute those that are addressed in the Work Expectations Profile published by Inscape Publishing.
- Autonomy: reflects a desire to have the independence or freedom to make decisions about how to do a job.
- Balance: reflects a focus on both personal and professional goals and a desire for co-workers and supervisors to understand the importance of all of one's commitments.
- Career Growth: reflects a desire to make progress toward career goals, with continued success and opportunities for skill development and career advancement.
- Diversity: reflects a desire to work with others from a variety of backgrounds with varied points of view, and that everyone's opinions will be considered, regardless of position or status.
- Environment: reflects an emphasis on the quality of the social and physical environment at work - a socially comfortable atmosphere and an environment that is supportive of their mental and physical needs.
- Expression: reflects a desire for a work environment that allows people to be themselves, to have their work reflect who they are as well as what they can do.
- Recognition: reflects a desire for a work environment where good work is acknowledged and rewarded, which may be in the form of a simple acknowledgement, public praise, or an increase in status.
- Stability: reflects a desire for job security and a work environment that remains relatively unchanged, as well as the structure and goals of the organization remain relatively constant.
- Structure: reflects a desire for clear instructions on what to do, how to do it, and what resources are available, including that when questions arise, guidance is readily available.
- Teamwork: reflects a desire to make collaboration a highly valued and commonly used method for reaching work objectives, where colleagues cooperate with each other and are committed to helping each other succeed.
Obviously there is another expectation that is always present - compensation. Trying to reach consensus on the degree of its importance is very difficult to reach, since different individuals have different ideas about what benefits are of most value. So while is it omnipresent, and very important, it has not been chosen as one of the core 10.
The process of helping employees become aware of and be able to communicate their work expectations is clearly linked to reduced turnover, increased productivity and job satisfaction. The Work Expectations Profile helps individuals identify, understand, and manage their work expectations.
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