Lopsided Expectations

Pick up any journal or business magazine or paper today; we will find at least few pieces on the expectations from managers.

They clamour, “In times of quiet quitting, great resignations, a manager must  

  • Energize and inspire
  • Continuously develop, show career options
  • Assign roles that will motivate employees to contribute
  • Be empathetic, care for wellbeing
  • Encourage flexible working – any place, any time
  • And it goes on and on….”

I agree, manager must do all of this and more. That’s the way good managers have always worked and all of us have been fortunate to work with managers like this, at least few times in our careers.

What bothers me is the lopsided approach that we are beginning to take, specially since COVID. While talking so much about what managers must do, are we talking enough about the expectations from employees?

Think about it, any relationship, be it professional or personal, is based on mutual expectations – some said and some unsaid. Meeting mutual expectations is critical for any successful relationship.

Is it time to call out (rather reiterate) few critical expectations from employees:

  • Taking bottom line accountability to deliver results
  • Differentiate between efforts and results, its not about how stretched I am, but what I have delivered
  • Take initiative to think, avoid saying ‘I did what you told’
  • Prioritize in the face of constantly changing priorities  
  • Learn to take tough feedback, life isn’t always rosy
  • Step in for the manager when his or her chips are down

And most importantly, remember that managers, even senior most leaders, are human beings and employees reporting to someone (albeit the chairman).

They too have their challenges, bad days – at home or at work, they too have stresses (equal if not bigger).

How often have the employees bothered to ask managers – “How are you feeling today?” “What can I do to make things better or easier for you?”

This might be a controversial post… but this has been weighing on my mind for last few weeks (rather months).

So, finally decided to pen my thoughts… Open to discuss and deliberate (and debate too!!)

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