Employees – If you already have few years of experience in the corporate world, you would know that there are certain things which employers always expect employees to know. These employees expectations may not be written in the company policy, but these behaviours are a given in all circumstances.
If you’re new to the organization and just starting out, you may not guess the expectations of the employers from you right away. You need to spend some time in the organization and need to understand the company culture, the structure and the way things work. Then you may understand what you should or shouldn’t do.
To make your work easy, we’re here to help. In this article we will articulate the things employers expect from you even if you don’t know them before.
Pay heed to them, pause, reflect and then decide the action step you need to take (if any). Reading this article may save you years of misunderstanding and a lot of effort to understand your employer/s.
Before going into the things which employers expect from employees, you need to know why employers expect these things from employees. So, we will begin with why and then talk about what.
Why employers expect from employees?
Yes we are here to dig the holes. We will find out why employers expect employees to behave in certain way (we will explain in the later section).
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When employers hire employees they invest a lot of money, time and effort in them. So, as businessmen they want their employees to give back good returns on their investment. Think about you. When you invest your money in a good mutual fund, don’t you expect a good ROI from your investment? “Of course!” – you would say. Thus, employers expect employees to behave in ways which will ensure a great return on their investments.
Employers want their organization to succeed and keep on going as long as possible. To maintain sustainability of the organization they need people to work diligently and to provide value in the market place constantly. If they don’t bring value to the market place, soon they will be out of business. Thus as employers they expect employees to understand their point of view and act accordingly.
Employers don’t only want to make more money; they also want to save more money. So, if employees don’t understand this and use more resources than necessary, actually, employees are not able to provide what they’re hired for. Employees need to reduce the cost to generate better profits.
It’s said that – “If you’re not growing, you’re decaying.” It’s true for both individuals and organizations. If the organizations are not growing, it’s getting smaller and smaller in impact, value and customer service. So, if as employees, you don’t help employers achieve their goals, it will be difficult to maintain a cordial liaison.
If these things you don’t do even if you’re not told, you will not be able to deliver what you’re expected to deliver. No-one tells a top performer that – be a top performer, do this, and do that. She goes out there, understands the need of the hour and acts. And whoa! She becomes the topmost performer of the organization.
Things that employers expect employees to know
These are the fundamentals to become a good employee irrespective of whether your employer expects you to do or not.
#1. Owning the place
Even if you’re an employee, employer always expects you to take charge of the responsibilities you’re given. Your employer doesn’t go to you and tells you that you need to take charge and be proactive, but you should know. When you’re given the responsibilities to perform, you must. Now every day, it’s impossible for your boss or your employer to tell you that you should do this and you shouldn’t do that. You need to understand the difference between what should be done and what shouldn’t be. You need to act as an employer of YOU Inc. even if you’re an employee of an organization. Take charge of your employees responsibilities and you will see the difference in your results and in the way your employers communicate with you.
#2. Possibility Thinking
Your employer wants you to think of rose, when there is thorn. To be a great employee, you need to be a possibility thinker. Now, if you expect that it would be written in the company policy then it’s insane. No-one writes that in the company manual. For example, when you see that your team is doing a recruitment drive and nothing has been happening for months, you need to hang on and motivate your team to keep on going. Maybe you could give some ideas which would help your team tweak few things and maybe they would get the results. Possibility thinking is an important aspect of a successful company. If the employees of the company are not thinking positive, it’s difficult for a company to sustain for long.
#3. Not sharing company’s information
This is a given. You’re not supposed to share any information of the company or use any of it for your own commercial purpose. As you’re an employee of the organization, it’s natural that the employers will trust you and share sensitive and confidential information with you. And you should keep their trust on you. If you don’t, maybe no-one would know, but you will lose your own trust. The best thing to do is to understand the value of this information and leave them in office computer. If you need to carry laptop, protect it with password so that no-one can access it at your home. If you are honest and trustworthy, you would see that your growth is also a given. And no-one can stop you from becoming an extra-ordinary employee of the company.
An organization is like a family. The employers are like the authorities of the families and the employees are the family members. So, if you’re one of the employees, you should act like a family member. You should understand the issues with the employers and try to help them solve it. Yes, you need to run your family and you shouldn’t tolerate any injustice, but co-operation means an expectation to understand the value of your work, the work of your co-workers and help each other grow together. The world is all about interdependency. No-one can exist alone. Every one of us needs all of us. An organization can’t be run without the co-operation of the employees. If you’re hesitant to accept this, simply read the basic definition of the organization and read the word ‘common goal’. Do you think any goal can be common without co-operation?
Most employees struggle with this, but this is one of the things employers expect employees to maintain. What’s integrity? It’s an ability to do what you say you would do whether the circumstances are in favour or against you. Most employees do justice with their words when situations are in their favour. They promise and they deliver. But when the circumstances don’t remain in their favour, they get panicky and the easy thing to do during panic is to forbear from the task they have promised to deliver. The best way to maintain integrity is to promise less and deliver better. Be a man or woman of fewer words and more deeds. Talk less. When your employers ask you just smile or give a nod but deliver more than your employers expect from you. If you can leave all other, this simple gesture will help you grow.
#6. Excellent customer service
Employers hire employees for what? Yes for delivery of excellent customer service. Ask any banker who are sitting in that corner in your bank and she would tell you that this is the most important thing she does. But if you’re in an organization which deals with different sorts of clients, customer centric approach is still of utter importance. And it’s not written in the manual that every employee should provide excellent customer service no matter what happens. While dealing with client, remember, you are the face of the company. The client may not know your employer. But he knows you and how you talk, walk, deliver, give feedback, offer product details and behave with him will tell everything about the company.
He will know the company through you. For example, you’re a marketing guy and you go to the market every day and meet new customers. If your gesture is not friendly and supportive and if your purpose is only to snatch the money out of customer’s pocket, do you think he would trust you? Never. So, deal with all your customers as if you’re the one running the company. If he has heard anything wrong about the company, provide a counter-feedback with politeness. Don’t lose your control and don’t let your customers get over you and your company and at the same time deliver excellent customers’ service, provide what customers want.
#7. Not bad-mouthing the company or the co-workers
If you have developed this habit, stop it or leave the company. But don’t pretend to be loyal when you’re actually back-biting. No employers expect you to say bad things about company. Even if you do this with your family members, stop it right away. Yes, it is your personal life and you have freedom of speech. But if you keep on doing this for long time, it will become your habit eventually and habit doesn’t know the difference between personal and professional life. Backbiting can be rephrased as “being ungrateful”. The company for which you’re saying may not treat you well and may not give your dues. But still it’s providing food on your table. And if you’re really unhappy, why not say good bye to your employers?
If you’re not letting the company go that means you have something still to get from the company that you know would be hard enough to find outside! And also don’t talk bad about your co-workers behind their back even when they don’t work. If you’re facing any issue, talk to them directly but don’t say anything bad about them behind their back. Do this instead. Make a quick list of why you’re grateful to your company (even when you’re not feeling really grateful) and to your co-workers (even when they’re not working). There should be something good about your company and co-workers. And then talk about that list behind their back. Instead of spreading bad words, spread good words and these will do wonders in time to come.
#8. Proper utilization of your time
No employers expect you to come late at office and leave early. There are not always things written on the instruction manual. But when the company hires you it means that you need to work while you work and don’t squander your time at workplace. The best way you can utilize your time is to maintain a structure from the day one of work in the organization. Don’t follow anyone’s structure. You’re unique and quite different than others. Make your own. You should know when you’re most productive and when you feel sleepy. Use your productive time to do the hard and difficult tasks which you may tend to put off and do easy stuffs when you’re in dizzy mode. Just know why you’re on the payroll and you, yourself will utilize your time well.
In the final analysis
At the end, it’s time to see the picture upside down. What do employees expect employers to do for them? Here’s a small list-
- Employees want to be appreciated for their work and contribution. If employers treat them as resources, they should also need to deal with depreciation of man hours.
- Employees want to get paid handsomely. Don’t pay chicken feeds and expect to receive fortunes.
- Employees expect employers to prefer them first, even more than customers. If you want to check the facts, you can read about “Employees First, Customers Second” – an initiative started by HCL.
- Employees desire to be given some room to grow. They will stay in the organization, if they see there’s growth, expansion of their intellectual as well as economic well-being.
Before expecting employees to adhere to what employers expect, it’s important that employers understand the needs and desires of employees as well. And there will be a happy family working together for a common goal in the years to come.