The Employee Experience: Your Organization Is Your People
Your organization is your people. Always has been, always will be. If you want performance, loyalty, low turnover, and a legitimate passion for excellence among your workforce, you can’t approach communication or relationships as though you’re dealing with an organization, because you’re not. You’re dealing with individuals with differing desires, backgrounds, dreams, expectations, and levels of understanding, brought together for a common purpose. When you understand this fundamental, key fact, you will start to see the nature of your Expectation Gaps, so you can start working on ways to promote alignment. When you view your organization not as a legal construct but as a network of people and relationships, it’s easier to see why managing expectations and building strong relationships matters so much.
Your company doesn’t really exist. It’s a name-branded intellectual exercise. Your company is your people. Always has been, always will be.
It’s Your Responsibility
We have found, through both research and our own (often sad) experience, that Expectation Gaps are often at the core of employee disengagement and discontent. As we coach individuals, we frequently find that it’s not a lack of desire that holds them back from stellar performance. It’s also not lack of skills that keeps them from engaging. It’s the Expectation Gap. They simply don’t know what’s expected, or their expectations differed from those of their supervisors. It’s hard to hit a target you didn’t know existed.
Right now you might be thinking “it seems like this puts all the responsibility on managers—all on me? What about the times employees misinterpret management’s expectations or believe they’re entitled to something nutty? Where’s their responsibility in all this?”
Fair questions. Often, employees are the problem, like when they cling to unrealistic expectations or misread a company’s actions out of cynicism or self-interest. We will talk about the employees’ role in all this. However, since management’s paying the bills (and getting paid by the customer), the onus is on you to have your finger on the pulse of what employees and customers feel and believe.
If you and your employees have a meeting of the minds, alignment of what both sides expect occurs, and everyone feels that promises are being kept and respect given, you’ll have an EX that results in fully engaged employees who will also deliver a brilliant CX.
It begins with expectations—bridging that Expectation Gap and then creating Expectation Alignment.