By Michael Robinson
Everything that is promised today will be expected tomorrow - and your customers will notice if you don't come through.
Organizations have obligations to all customers, not just the paying ones. Current and potential employees are also your customers, and they need you to keep your promises.
Beyond what's written or said, fulfilling unspoken promises can be even more important. Although we shouldn't, at times we all assume things and that's where we run into trouble because it's easier to deliver on a promise than it is to deliver on an assumption. For example, a deadline that seems like it's for next week may (after a proper discussion of expectations) actually be revealed as something that needs to happen this week.
Surprises Aren't Good
In a recent, sudden change, Netflix, a leading internet subscriptions service, increased their prices by as much as 60 percent. Their customers were not expecting this - it was not part of the original agreement. Plus, a price increase expectation was never established early on, so they felt betrayed.
As a result, Netflix lost at least a half million customers, while frustrating and angering a good number of the rest. The CEO even ended up releasing a message in which he explained, "I messed up."
This unwanted situation could have been avoided by setting the right expectations and clearly communicating their plans to all interested parties long before implementing them. Setting appropriate expectations for employment candidates and current employees is also crucial and can help to avoid unwanted confusion, distress or lost revenue.
Communication Is Key
To stay on the same page, avoid hidden surprises and get things off to the right foot with your employees and job candidates, try the following:
- Ask, "What are your expectations?" This may seem obvious but too often this simple question is passed over and that's when the first breakdown in communication begins. Remember to reconfirm with this question during a process as well to ensure that all parties are still in tune.
- When interviewing job candidates, go the extra mile with details to make sure they have a great interview experience. Whether they get the job or not, they'll walk away with the right first impression to either interview for another job with you in the future or tell a friend what a great employer you are because of how they were treated.
- Create an environment of trust and clear expectations by disclosing a salary range. This will help not only with screening applicants, it avoids surprises.
- Clear things up by calling someone - after all, the phone doesn't bite - one of four simple rules that not only apply to customers and clients, but to your current and potential staff as well.
What can you do today to improve communication with your current or potential employees?