Make Sure You Meet Expectations

This isn’t a blog about performance management systems, that use the expression “meet expectations” to rank how people are doing. But it could be, and I’ll borrow the language for my shortest blog so far!

Having been off work for a while (ages actually), I’ve observed lots of people offering me products and services – personally and professionally. The obvious ones are in the medical profession, but I’ve also engaged with banks, investment companies, retailers, manufacturers, creatives, motor dealers, coaches, plumbers and decorators as I’ve tried to make productive use of the enforced rest. I’ve also had lots of interaction with people professionally. What I’ve noticed is how much my experience has varied. The difference has been dramatic. Some people have been great. Others, err, not so good.

It’s obvious that I have, rightly or wrongly, very clear views on what I expect. I’ve realised that there’s a minimum I expect, from each trade or profession. It’s what my colleague Nick Kemsley @Nick_Kemsley, when referring to HR, calls “the vital basics”. What I’ve actually seen is some really great people exceeding expectations (like decorator Ben @BrushAbove). It’s a two way thing, and those people show me what they want in return. But too many have fallen way short. Shame on them (well, shame on me too for making a couple of poor decisions on who to use!)

But what’s really intriguing is how few concentrate on those “vital basics”. Very few do “just enough”. Maybe I need to reset my expectations, but I’ve been surprised by that. Isn’t meeting expectations the way you build reputation and get work? Meeting expectations should be “standard” and not “#standout”. But, in my experience lately, just doing those basics can make a real impact and make you very different. You don’t need to be a superhero. So find out what your customers expect, as a minimum, and make sure you meet those expectations. Get those “vital basics” right. It might just be enough to make you #standout.



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