Managing your boss' expectations while keeping your team excited can be a challenging task, but it is essential for maintaining a productive and harmonious work environment. As a leader, you need to ensure that your team is motivated, engaged, and productive, while also meeting your boss' expectations and goals.
Finding this balance between your boss’ expectations and your teams’ engagement often becomes more challenging in ever-changing situations. For example, a Fortune 500 company acquired a startup company in hopes of expanding their reach and innovation.
The new team was thrilled to be a part of such a successful company, but they soon realized that the integration process was not going as smoothly as they had hoped. The leaders of the company tried several different approaches for the new team to focus on, but they kept changing the direction, leaving the startup team feeling burnt out and confused.
The first few weeks after the acquisition were exciting, as the team worked on exciting new projects and was given free reign to explore their creativity. But as time went on, the team began to feel the pressure of the constantly changing direction. They struggled to keep up with the ever-changing expectations and goals, which left them feeling drained.
As the weeks went on, the team's frustration continued to grow. They felt like they were constantly spinning their wheels, trying to keep up with the latest directive from their leaders.
These are the 7 best practices to best help the manager of this team keep their team’s spirits high and stay on track with their new boss’ goals:
- Understand Your Boss' Expectations:
The first step to managing your boss' expectations is to understand what they expect from you and your team. This requires clear communication and regular check-ins to ensure that you are on the same page. Your boss may have specific goals, timelines, or preferences that they want you to follow. Make sure you understand what is expected of you and your team, and communicate any challenges or concerns that you may have.
2. Keep Your Team Informed:
Once you have a clear understanding of your boss' expectations, it is important to communicate this information to your team. Share the goals and expectations with your team and ensure that they understand the importance of meeting them. Keep your team informed about any changes in direction or new priorities from your boss. This will help your team to stay focused and motivated, and it will also prevent any surprises that could impact their work.
3. Set Realistic Expectations:
It is important to set realistic expectations for your team that align with your boss' expectations. Don't overpromise and underdeliver. This can lead to disappointment and frustration, both from your boss and your team. Instead, set realistic goals and timelines that are achievable for your team. Work with your team to break down tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces, and set clear deadlines for each task. This will help your team to stay motivated and on track.
4. Encourage Feedback and Collaboration:
Encourage your team to provide feedback and collaborate with each other. This can help your team to stay engaged and motivated. It can also help to identify any potential issues or challenges early on, which can be addressed before they become bigger problems. Provide opportunities for your team to share their ideas and suggestions, and listen to their feedback. This will help to build trust and respect within your team, and it will also foster a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.
5. Recognize and Celebrate Achievements:
Recognizing and celebrating achievements is a great way to keep your team excited and motivated. Celebrate when your team meets a goal or completes a project, and acknowledge their hard work and contributions. This can be as simple as a shout-out in a team meeting or as elaborate as a team outing or celebration. Recognizing your team's achievements will help to build morale and foster a positive work environment.
6. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development:
Providing opportunities for growth and development is another great way to keep your team excited and motivated. Offer training, mentorship, or stretch assignments to help your team to develop their skills and advance their careers. This will show your team that you are invested in their success and that you value their contributions to the team. It will also help to keep your team engaged and motivated, as they work towards achieving their goals.
7. Communicate Regularly with Your Boss:
Regular communication with your boss is key to managing their expectations. Keep them informed about your team's progress, any challenges or roadblocks, and any successes or achievements. If there are any changes to the timeline or goals, communicate these changes to your boss as soon as possible. This will help to build trust and open communication between you and your boss, which is essential for maintaining a positive work environment.
All in all, managing your boss' expectations while keeping your team excited requires clear communication, realistic expectations, feedback and collaboration, recognition and celebration, opportunities for growth and development, and regular communication with your boss.
For the Fortune 500 company mentioned above, after reviewing these methods, the team manager called a meeting with the leaders of the company to discuss the challenges that the team was facing. The manager explained that while they were excited to be a part of the company, they were struggling to keep up with the changing expectations and goals.
After some discussion, the leaders of the company and the team came up with a plan to address the challenges. With a clear plan in place, the team began to feel more confident and motivated. They knew that their leaders were committed to their success and were invested in helping them achieve their goals. Over time, the team began to thrive, and their work began to make a significant impact on the company.
By working together, the leaders and the team were able to overcome the challenges they faced, and ultimately achieve success.