Expectations Setting Clear
Clear expectations are essential for healthy organisational functioning and are of heightened significance in startup companies. Trust, confidence, and outcomes are stronger when all people in the system are operating under the same principles and to the same standards.
When people representing the whole system have participated in creating those policies and standards, there is greater ownership and effort to uphold what has been created. The operating principles become a universal language and provide a common focus that transcends time zones, culture, and teams.
How to set clear expectations for following systems & processes
To involve people in the creation of operating principles in a startup, use a structured process that includes steps similar to these:
-? Give your startup team members a sample of design principles to jump-start their thinking.
– Have your startup team members work in small groups, assigning or asking groups to choose a subject?for example, financial outcomes, customer satisfaction, employee experience, or product or service quality. Give the teams time to brain- storm ideas and then draft operating principles or standards.
– Post all drafts, and set up a ?gallery walk? for all participants to give feed- back and add suggestions.
– Reconvene the small groups to review feedback and fine-tune their drafts.
– Recruit an ?editor group? that will edit the final drafts and bring them back to the whole group. Have people signal their endorsement using a win-win consensus method. Every member should be at least 70 percent comfortable with the team?s decision, but 100 percent committed to upholding it. Use thumbs up, thumbs down, or a sideways thumb (questions/ not sure) as a quick way to review each statement and work to consensus.
Good Read:?Employee Engagement In Startups
Here is a sample list of operating principles, which we use:
– We think globally and act locally.
– Our processes and efforts on a daily basis are focused on meeting the customer?s expectations, both internal and external.
– Our work process is designed to promote open, full sharing of information within and across teams.
– We work to eliminate artificial boundaries between people and work units in pursuit of our shared goals.
– We know exactly how our work contributes to company success and what our customer?s value most.
– We are clear about latitude for local decision-making and the process for escalating decisions and issues.
– Teams to promote accountability and continuous improvement by owning measurements.
– We are all working to the same standards:
– Customer inquiries answered within the hour; if complex, within four hours, letting the customer know interim status
– Colleague calls and e-mails answered within the hour
– Weekly updates to be uploaded to slack by close of business on Tuesdays
By creating a universal language in operating principles and bringing stakeholders buy in, startups can reduce the pain in transitioning from working on the spur to working in the system, governed by efficiency and repeatability; much needed to move the startup into the next stage of evolution successfully.