Communicating Expectations with Your Team


During the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce luncheon each month, a speaker spends time educating attendees on a specific topic. During May’s meeting on Thursday, the topic was “Communicating Expectations with Your Team.”

Steve Swinburne, the lead pastor of Price Chapel, presented on the topic. He began by explaining that most conflict is the result of unmet expectations. Therefore, the more people communicate, the less conflict they will experience.

In the workplace, communicating expectations is especially important. Swinburne outlined five benefits of setting clear expectations, including improving communication, increasing employee engagement and reducing the chance of conflict. He said it also improves clarity and reduces ambiguity while helping prevent individual frustration, which will lead to a better workplace environment.

Swinburne admitted that communicating expectations is often easier said than done, so he offered 10 tips during his presentation. First, he stressed the importance of not making assumptions about what people know. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can help you better understand what they might be feeling or thinking.

Next, Swinburne said it is important to put clear expectations in job descriptions for new hires. He said that putting these expectations in written form for all employees is also helpful, because people will not always remember what they are told, but they are more likely to remember what they read.

Another tip Swinburne shared was to explain the purpose behind each task so that employees understand why each task is important. It is crucial to be clear and direct, not passive, when verbally communicating. Those who lead a team should be sure to communicate any time-bound expectations and ensure that the desired outcome is clear. It is also important to provide the appropriate resources and coaching to empower success.

Additionally, Swinburne suggested holding regular meetings where meaningful feedback is provided. Finally, he stressed the importance of recognizing and rewarding employees for meeting expectations.

The Carbon County Chamber of Commerce will host another educational luncheon on June 15 at Washington Park in Price. During the luncheon, Chad Bishoff of Zions Bank will speak on business fraud. To register for the luncheon, contact the chamber office at (435) 637-2788.

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