A lot of what we perceive as etiquette or manners comes from our expectations. These expectations are shaped by how we are brought up and by who. In our debate about proper etiquette, last week my mom and I both offered up our perspective on proper etiquette when visiting someone’s home.
This debate, as all good debates should, lead to a much longer conversation. We began to discuss expectations in more general. Not our expectations just about behavior in public or private gathering, but expectations in the workplace.
The workplace is a whole new world. For many, it is beyond manners, or at least sometimes that is how I perceive it based on how some coworkers act. But, I digress. In this week’s post/ conversation, we wanted to talk about our expectations are for those we will employ in our’ business’s future, as well as what we want our employees to expect from us.
For me, what I want my employees to expect from me comes down to two main points: support and communication.
Support our employees
When I hire someone, I want them to know that I will support them. This can be further broken down into two parts: the day-to-day and their future.
For day-to-day support, I want there to be an atmosphere of openness. If my employee has a problem, an idea for an innovation, or just needs to discuss potential problems, there needs to be a set time for those discussions. I want my employees to expect this type of support because that will only increase productivity and efficiency in the future.
For future support, I will constantly be looking for opportunities to enroll or send my employees to trainings and workshops to further develop the skills that they find needed. There are so many local and national workshops and conferences that target on leadership, management skills, and those skills needed to progress their own careers. I would like to hire someone that would grow along with us, but it would be naive of me to think that they are going to stay with the company forever. Therefore, I need to be thinking about developing skills for that employee that he/she can use in future jobs and work.
Communicate to our employees
Communication is a very broad topic. However, I think that communicating through email, face-to-face, phone, etc is crucial for a team that works great together. I want my employees to know that I am giving them as much information as I can, as much as I can. I do not want to be secretive in the future of the company, the way the company is going, but I also want to have input from them.
As for my employees, I have a few expectations of those that I will hire. Those can also be broken down into support an communication.
Support our business
I expect my employees to not just show up for work, but to be present. The whole premise of our coffee shop is to create an atmosphere of bringing people together to have real conversations and sharing baked goods. However, if we hire someone who comes to work and only finds positive energy, or energy at all for that matter, from exterior sources, that is not supporting our business. We understand that not everyone can be 100% happy 100% of the time, and sometimes you simply are just sick. However, we want to employ people that are genuinely excited about our company.
Some might think that it is a lot to ask, since most likely our employees, those working in our coffee shop will be either part-time or non-partners. However, we are setting high expectations for ourselves on putting time, energy and money into developing their leadership and work-related skills, so I think it is appropriate to ask for our employees to show up and support our business vision and model.
Communicate to us
Since we are a small business, we will have only a few that are running the entire show. If my employee is not feeling well, or if they believe that the company should be moving into a different direction, I want to know. I expect that my employees will not be hiding information from me, especially if I am holding myself up to that same standard to give them all the information possible.
In the end, we are not in any position to hire anyone at this point. However, this business is not just a hobby for us. We plan on expanding and we are working towards tangible, physical goals. But before we can actually expand, we need to understand what both of our expectations are for those that we hire. This is important for us to be on the same page, as well as our future employees to know that their management, us, has a combined, shared vision.