Expectations vs. Reality


Do you have turnover issues? If you answered yes, then you know the value of your workforce. Businesses must have a highly skilled labor force to compete in today’s market, no matter the industry. This labor force must have work ethics, or what we call soft skills, as well as the technical skills,  to perform the job. When our workforce does not meet our standards, do we ever ask why? Is it because they don’t want to or is because they don’t know too? This leads to the question, as to what happens during the onboarding process or is there even an onboarding process?

Effective onboarding is crucial for any new employee. Onboarding is the process of teaching all new employees the culture of the organization and providing them the necessary tools and resources to complete the job. People want to know what is expected of them so they can perform to the expectations of the employer. This onboarding process is also the perfect time to set the expectations for your business. An employee handbook is the most effective way to communicate the rules, policies, procedures, and any additional details worthy of being written. Once the new employee has the opportunity to read the employee handbook, they may have questions to clarify what is expected in the new position. As a final step, have the employee sign the handbook to acknowledge they have read and understand the information.

Employees are the lifeblood of a business, and it’s the company’s responsibility to set performance expectations to help employees to be successful. We simply can’t expect employees to know what to do and what not to do. Cell phones are a hot topic, especially today, since the youngest members of the workforce have grown up using them. If a business owner has a ‘no cell phone policy’ during work hours, then this should be communicated in the employee handbook. It’s poor management to allow cell phone use for days, then reprimand an employee for using a cell phone during work hours. Set the expectations for all employees from the start.

If you are a business owner or know of one, that is having trouble setting employee expectations or needs assistance in developing a proper employee handbook, the UGA Small Business Development Center is a confidential, no-cost resource that can assist with these challenges. Located on Valdosta State University’s North Campus, the SBDC is equipped with the necessary tools to assist in preparing an effective employee handbook. Contact the office today for more information at 229-245-3738 or visit www.georgiasbdc.org.



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