Expectations of Individual Contributors
It is the goal of all qualified organizations to provide their employees with a superior opportunity to grow, both individually and as professionals. Nothing has a greater impact than hiring the right people and having them develop simultaneously with the company’s own growth. It has been frequently shown that appreciation and growth can be stronger motivators for an employee than money and can result in reduced turnover, improved customer service, and ultimately generates superior profits for the company. With this in mind, it is best to layout clear expectations for performance so that employees can achieve both personal and professional growth. Employees should understand that their employer is committed to making every effort to educate them so that they can expand their horizons and take on new responsibilities over time.
A system like this provides some transparency to the “mysterious” process of promotion and professional growth that many employees think is biased, unfair, or a function of pure politics. These beliefs can cause people and organizations to stagnate as everyone becomes resigned to the fact that they cannot compete based on some untrue belief. The following article makes more transparent what people must do to move up the organizational ladder and achieve certain career goals. Publishing it inside your company can make it clear to your employees that rewards and promotions are there for those people that earn them, and not for those that play politics, look busy, or cozy up to the boss.
In the top organizations, the reward is always based on merit and political factors are simply a way to generate more opportunities for visibility. The following is designed to describe the typical expectations of employees at various levels and to provide a framework for their personal and professional development. It should have a huge impact on many people and hence your entire organization.
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(Also appropriate in new working relationships in order to get up to speed on each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and styles.)
Management by Objective (MBO)
(Including some Supervisors)
Management by Exception (MBE)
Business Managers, CEOs, GM, Managing Directors
Click Here for a more complete description of the above-mentioned management methods.
Expectations of Individual Contributors:
Employees at this level require daily supervision, if not even more frequently. As such, they are "micromanaged" and cannot be expected to pursue larger objectives than fairly simple, straightforward, and repetitive tasks (See article on Management Methods). The bulk of all employees falls into this category and will stay there until they are shown how to develop into a management-level employee. The necessary skills and traits for this level are as follows:
1. Can identify, resolve and avoid basic problems in their narrow functional area of the business.
2. Can interact and influence co-workers, customers, clients, suppliers, vendors, and job applicants in a courteous and professional manner to produce favorable results.
3. These employees are expected to effectively and efficiently manage their time, materials, and space.
4. Can proactively initiate ideas, set simple goals, and account for results.
5. These employees are expected to be bright and have a positive, can-do attitude. Clearly, there is a law of averages here in larger companies, but bright employees should warrant additional compensation and all businesses should strive to hire the best people they can find.
6. Can perform specific short-term tasks with no more than daily management/supervision.
7. Some younger employees may not have developed a specific valuable skill set or decided on a career path, but all employees are expected to seek the training and practical experiences they need to carry out their responsibilities and improve themselves.
8. Need to work on their ability to understand the business and organization as a whole.
9. Need to work on their ability to plan in advance and therefore deliver projects on time.
10. Seek to inform their manager of ways to improve customer service and increase productivity.
11. Help others in their group achieve their goals by filling in where necessary and cross-training.
12. Need to develop a consistently positive attitude and a plan for skill set development.
13. Generally, only expected to work 40-45 hours per week. A greater level of commitment in time for self-development will be necessary for advancement to managerial responsibilities.
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Supervisor - A supervisor is someone who is capable of managing a small group (1-7 people) with a specific skill set (i.e. Telemarketing, physical jobs). Generally, they have done the job before and understand all of its requirements. Although many of the skills of a manager would be beneficial, this is a much less demanding position. It requires the expertise to hire, train, and fire people and to plan one week to one month in advance for workload variations. A supervisor may be working on becoming a manager, or alternatively, could be a career supervisor, who has reached their limits, or desire, for professional growth.
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Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur and CEO with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors. He has trained, coached and advised over 1,000 CEOs since 2002. And is Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship University™. Mr. Norton works with companies to triple their chances of success in launching new companies and products. And helps established companies scale faster using the six AirTight Management™ systems. And helps companies successfully raise capital.
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