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Standards vs Expectations: Why you need to know the difference in the workplace

Work ethics and code of conducts set in a company are an essential part of a successful business, which have standard as well as expectations along with guidance to thrive.

Civility and your behavior at an organisation can decipher your relation with the upper management, that is, the managers and business partners, as well as your colleagues and customers. Work ethics and code of conducts set in a company are an essential part of a successful business, which have standard as well as expectations along with guidance to thrive.  

Smart leaders understand the difference and uniqueness of the individuals in the workforce and become adept in communicating with them and leading them in an effective way. Often mismanagement and lack of communication can lead an employee to be unproductive and demotivated, which ultimately affects the productivity of the company. This is where standards and expectations of work ethics come to play their role. 

Often managers make incorrect assumptions and set unnecessary expectations from an employee without providing them with the basic information about what is needed to be done. Due to the lack of information, the employees fail to perform according to the standards of the workplace leading to resentment and unproductive of the employee. 

To find the solution for this problem, it is necessary to first define what standard and expectation means in the context of work ethics at the workplace.  

Defining Standards and Expectations

To define standard, in the simplest of words, it is a level of quality accepted as a norm and becomes the foundation of judgment. It is based on facts and drives effectiveness, productivity and good decision making. 

Conversely, expectations are a strong belief of a potential outcome going to take place in the near future. It is more fictitious than factual, which can sometimes lead to disappointment when the anticipated result is not achieved. 

Connecting the two can be difficult because expectations can sometimes be different from the standards practised at the workplace. Ideally, the standards of the workplace should meet the expectation of the company. The standards of the workplace must be able to resist flinching at the demand of prioritizing expectations. They should be aligned not only in output but in every move that you make; from communication and support to your approach to achieve an expected outcome when faced with new challenges. 

In order to do that, you must first strategize your expectations so you can maintain the standards of the company accordingly. The two major areas to set expectations are performance-based expectations and behavioral expectations.  

Behavioral Expectations

Communication

Communication is an essential part of professional life. Every individual has a different set of preferences and habits which may collide with the preferences and habits of the other employees in the team. With set code of conduct, the employees find it easy to maintain the standard of the workplace more professionally and confidently through verbal and non-verbal communication. 

In the case of communication, there are a set of limitations which needs to be practiced by the reporting authorities as well as the subordinates to maintain the code of conduct. You must be able to communicate your visions and expectations to overcome the challenges you face at your workplace.

Culture

The work environment of the company impacts the perception of the business in the eyes of the customers, so it does not only influence the productivity from the inside, but it also affects the external aspects of a business. The culture of the workplace can be affected by the new hires who bring their past experience with them. It may happen that those experiences differ from the ones standardized in the organization, which can lead to poor performance of the employee. The managing authority of the company or the team lead is responsible for making sure the subordinates follow the rules and principles standardized by the organization.  

Performance-based Expectations

Work

It is essential for the team to understand what is expected of them. An individual is informed about the required standard of the job before they enter in the team. However, the unwritten rules about the required level of quality, and knowledge exhibited in work are some factors that define the success of that individual. For example, a company of wiki writers are expected to maintain the standards set by Wikipedia and write informative yet generalized content so it can be published on the platform. The work of the writer is going to be judged on the quality of the content produced according to the set expectations of a particular workplace. 

Time Management

Working in the company means working at multiple tasks with multiple people, which makes it imperative for the individual to not lose track of time. You need to clarify the terms of the expected response of your workforce in the provided time in order to make sure your team produces quality work in the given time. You also need to make sure that you clarify all the work terms of your team in case you are working virtually or with an international team.

Conclusion

Once you have all your expectation in the clear, it is important that you make sure that your team is in accord with those expectations. You must work around the above mentioned key expectations to maintain that standard of the company. As said above, effective communication is the key to success. Make sure your team is able to open up with you so they can discuss and share their problems and understand your expectations to be able to be productive. Most importantly, you need to have a good strategy to implement your expectations and have practical results. 

To design a perfectly functional strategy of expectations and make it show through the standards, businesses need to shape a befitting strategy. It takes profound understanding of the demands of the work along with some deep observation about the attributes of the workforce that is to be addressed to succeed in accomplishing a level where the standards are equating the company’s expectations in all aspects. Focus on the main areas where your company needs to improve and set your goals to start it all.

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