10 Best Examples of Setting Measurable and Realistic Expectations

As A Leader, Give One Tip For Setting Measurable And Realistic Expectations For Your Team? Please Share An Example.


To help you set measurable and realistic expectations for your team, we asked experienced team leaders this question for their best ideas. From outlining the goal clearly and establishing specific targets to knowing and understanding your team’s capabilities, there are several ideas that may help team leaders and their teams achieve practical results by setting expectations that are measurable and realistic.


Here Are 10 Tips For Setting Measurable And Realistic Expectations For Teams:

  • Outline The Goal Clearly and Establish Specific Targets
  • Experiment and Get Feedback from Employees
  • Write Out Job Description and Include Current Expectations
  • Show Pro-Active Leadership
  • Define What Success Looks Like
  • Align Goals With Feasible Timelines
  • Remind Employees of Their Value Always
  • Offer Co-recruiting and Professional Development
  • Review On a Granular Level Before Setting Expectations
  • Know and Understand Your Team’s Capabilities


10 Best Examples of Setting Measurable and Realistic Expectations


Outline The Goal Clearly and Establish a Specific Target

Forget SMART goals. They rarely inspire bold moves and next-level results. In some cases, they can actually coax people into settling for tick box actions and mediocre performance. Instead, opt for BEST goals because they are Bold – outline a “big ask,” something that goes beyond the typical expectations your manager has of you and you have of yourself; Enriching – supports a key organizational deliverable and your individual development by aligning the two; Supported – ensures buy-in from relevant stakeholders — “daring” you to chase the objective.; and Targets – establishes the specific end state — what you will do, by when. 

When implementing a new LMS my team had all the standard project management metrics, but the actual goal went beyond a system or process rollout and sought to change the way and “why” employees learned. That BEST goal created real value and made all the difference.

Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership


Experiment and Get Feedback from Employees

Start with smaller expectations. Once your employees master those goals quickly, see if you can add more. Continue to stay in communication with your employees and request their feedback. This way, they will let you know if you have given them too much of a workload. At the end of the day, experimenting with expectation levels will help you to gauge how much your employees can handle.

Miles Beckett, Flossy


Write Out Job Description and Include Current Expectations

Build realistic and measurable expectations into the job description. This helps both the team member and employer by clearly communicating core competencies upfront as well as later on by being able to visually notice what added expectations are unreasonable or too much.

For instance, an administrative professional who acts as the business hub for information and communication can easily become a proverbial dumping ground for oddball tasks and extra job duties over time. Start by writing out the job description with the corresponding KPI including all current duties which have become an expectation.

Leaders can then measure both what is reasonable versus similar jobs, as well as determine an appropriate measurement of core duties in proportion to the other expected work.

Benjamin Meskin, Cabrella


Show Pro-Active Leadership

Set a clear objective and lead by example. As a leader, you want your team members to know that you understand the job you expect them to do. When working on a project, I believe in collaborating with the entire team, so they know I am in it with them and encourage their feedback.

I set clear objectives, whether it be set ups or lighting or amount of images or footage, and I encourage them to think outside the box to create the best work for each project. Inspiring your team by clearly showing them what you know they are capable of will produce great results.

Stephen Skeel, 7 Wonders


Define What Success Looks Like

It is easy for a manager/leader to simply assign goals, attach deadlines, and expect the work to get done. But, this can sometimes leave a person spinning not knowing what to do with the task or they can end up doing the bare minimum.

Set your team up for success by defining what success looks like for any given task, then when it’s feedback time you can center your conversation around this expectation. For example, you might say to your team “Success for this task is having the report in my inbox by Friday and seeing 95% of the sales targets have been met.”

Joe Coletta, 180 Engineering


Align Goals With Feasible Timelines

As a leader, it’s important to elevate each of your team members. To ensure employees are engaged and continuously sharpening their skill sets, a manager needs to outline goals that will encourage the employee’s success while contributing to the organization’s larger goals. However, to ensure goals are actually implemented – you need to create alignment on what they are. Goals should collectively be discussed between the employee and manager.

An employee may have feedback or recommendations regarding how the goal can be tweaked to hone in on their individual goals while still helping the larger goal requested. Also, managers shouldn’t make assumptions around timelines for these. Encourage and challenge team members to create timelines against each goal.

Break these into “mini-goals” so they’re digestible steps with deadlines associated with each. Once implemented, both the manager and employee can be held accountable to monitor, support, and completing the goals.

Annie Raygoza, WebEnertia


Remind Employees of Their Value Always

When having weekly meetings with employees, you should explain why their job function benefits the company. For example, an employee may consider rewriting a help center document a waste of time or beneath their skill set. Still, they probably don’t understand why it is being rewritten in the first place.

Once you provide the business context, telling the employee the document was inadequate, that it wasn’t specific enough, and that our customer care center was getting the same question from every new client, they will understand how vital the task is.

David Watkins, EthOS


Offer Co-recruiting and Professional Development

Offer co-recruiting and professional development. At our organization, we encourage job applicants to voice their needs, expectations, and goals in a process called “co-recruiting.” In this hiring phase, the company is usually the only one sharing these things.

But with this model, you can gather prospective employee input before they’re hired so everyone on both sides has a much clearer picture of what’s expected. Some employees share that they need a four-day work week. Some need their mornings free to take care of family needs. And post-hire, professional development–such as 1:1 performance coaching and team training–is essential for building a winning work culture.

Lindsay Hischebett, Flaus


Review On a Granular Level Before Setting Expectations

It is common for senior managers to review tasks from a 10,000 foot view. However, such a general perspective ignores the many variables involved in a project which can lead to setting unrealistic expectations. To avoid this, managers must communicate with their team and understand what obstacles they may encounter that could affect their ability to meet the desired deadline. Discussing the actionable steps and required resources to fulfill each task is imperative to ensuring the entire team is on the same page.

Having an open line of communication also allows employees to feel heard and connected to the overall mission. An example of this process would be assigning a press release submission to a new platform that the team has never used before. On the surface, it seems simple, but discussing costs, approval time, and any other unknown issues that could come up will allow proper expectations to be set.

Ashley Romer, PaperStreet Web Design


Know and Understand Your Team’s Capabilities

When you’re trying to set reasonable expectations that won’t lead to burnout or disengagement, you’ll need to thoroughly understand your team’s full capabilities. This means that you should pay attention when overseeing projects, as well as dive deep into the data and any feedback you receive. Never expect so much from your team that it can create stress or anxiety. Instead, set specific tasks for each member that support their individual strengths.

Mark Sider, Greater Than



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