Setting work expectations

This page explains how to create good work expectations and give examples.

Work expectations are the foundation of performance management

Setting work expectations consists of a series of conversations between the manager and employee that result in a clear description of what the employee needs to accomplish in the upcoming year (outcomes) and how it will be measured (standards). Expectations are the basis of performance management.

  • Work expectations establish the “rules of the game.” If the rules change during the year, so should the work expectations.
  • They make the process less subjective. Both employee and supervisor agree what the employee will be appraised on.
  • They are specific and grounded in the reality of an employee’s job.

Standards describe how well the work need to be accomplished in order to be considered fully acceptable.

Development goals that focus on how the employee will develop and grow should be created separately. They are not considered work expectations

A Guide for Setting Work Expectations 2023

Samples of Employee Work Expectations

Enter same work expectation for multiple employees



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