10 Expectations of Employees (With Tips to Fulfil Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Fulfilling an employer's expectations can help a professional become successful in their chosen industry. Employer expectations for their employees are often important factors that contribute to their job performance. Understanding common expectations of employees might help you successfully pursue your chosen career path. In this article, we provide a list of ten expectations employers might have for their employees.

List of 10 expectations of employees

Expectations of employees are common assumptions related to the behaviour of employees. These expectations refer to how employers expect their employees to act outside their role's tasks and responsibilities. They also can differ significantly depending on your position and industry. Here's a list of ten expectations employers may have for their employees, including tips for how you can fulfil them:

1. A productive attitude

Employers may want their employees to have a productive and positive attitude. This type of attitude can extend to other colleagues and help the workplace have a cheerful atmosphere. Having a workplace that's pleasant can lead to improved employee morale, which can provide a better environment for everyone. Keeping a positive attitude can be beneficial for your own mental health. A positive environment can help reduce your stress and improve your overall mood, enhancing your job satisfaction and motivation.

To keep a productive attitude at work, try to focus on the parts of your job that you enjoy, push yourself to get more accomplished in those specific areas and surround yourself with other positive colleagues if you can. You might also attempt to maintain a positive vocabulary. If you feel you want to complain about something, question whether you can improve the situation with positive actions first. Implementing these changes in your daily routine can help them become habitual and eventually increase your positive attitude subconsciously.

Related: Maintaining a Positive Attitude at Work: 10 Top Tips

2. Appropriate presentation

It can be important for employees to dress appropriately for the work environment they're in because clothing can help to present a professional image of the company to customers and other members of the public. Maintaining a dress code can help to avoid subjectivity and can support fair treatment of employees. It can also make employees easily recognisable to consumers. Many companies already have dress codes that can guide you on what you can wear while on the job.

To ensure your presentation is appropriate, you can consult a supervisor if you're uncertain about any elements of the dress code to ensure you're following it thoroughly. It can also be important to ensure you wear intact and clean clothing, maintaining appropriate hygiene regularly. This expectation can differ considerably depending on your industry. For example, the appearance requirement for a tradesperson's clothing or hair is likely to be less rigid than that of a corporate employee.

Related: Business Casual vs. Smart Casual: What's the Difference?

3. Punctuality

A great way to show your motivation and professionalism is to be punctual. This can show your commitment to planning and overall respect for your employer's requirements. It can ensure you don't miss any important instructions or updates on arrival. Punctuality can also help you advance in your career because your employer may see you as organised and reliable. Understanding why being punctual for your job is important can be a great motivator for improvement. Here are a few other things you can do to be consistently punctual:

  • Get your clothes ready the night before.

  • Set an alarm to help you wake up (more than one, if necessary).

  • Give yourself extra time to get ready.

  • Limit distractions such as cell phones or televisions.

  • Allow time for unexpected traffic or other disruptions.

  • Use a diary for scheduling meetings and appointments.

  • Ensure you understand absence policies and adhere to them.

Related: 23 Areas of Improvement for Employees

4. Dependability

Being a dependable personal can help your employer trust that you're working efficiently and that they can depend on you to produce your best work. For example, if an employer assigns you a project that's due tomorrow, they know they can depend on you to finish the project quickly without lowering the quality. Being dependable in your workplace can lead to career development opportunities because it's often an important personality trait that employers search for when they seek to promote.

To remain dependable for your employer, you can ensure you stay organised and be consistent in your work, which shows employers they can trust you to do your job. You might do this by organising and prioritising your daily, weekly and monthly tasks, using a notepad to ensure you remain on track and being honest and realistic with the tasks you pursue. Being reliable can also mean showing adaptability within your role when necessary. For example, if your employer presents an urgent task, take time to assess and prioritise that task amongst your current duties.

Related: 8 of the Most Desirable Employability Skills

5. A supportive approach

Employers value leadership skills in their employees, and one way to show leadership skills is by helping your colleagues where possible. Displaying these leadership skills can also highlight to your employer your teamwork abilities and communication skills. By assisting your colleagues, you can establish connections and build relationships that can help contribute to a friendly environment. This may improve overall morale and productiveness within the workplace.

You might offer to help colleagues by assisting them with projects, answering questions they may have or lowering their workload by taking on some of their work. By observing your colleagues' routines, you can recognise their challenges and offer constructive advice or volunteer your time to help complete the tasks. To identify where you can offer support, you could practise active listening skills when communicating with your colleagues.

Related: What Does Leadership Mean? (Benefits and Steps to Improve)

6. Ambitions

Employers may want to help their employees develop their skills. In this scenario, an employer might expect employees to have a desire to grow and an eagerness to build their skills. This can show your enthusiasm to succeed in your role and achieve high-quality work. Employers may expect their employees to have a high growth potential that they can develop while working.

To show that you're ambitious in your role, you can display initiative by completing a task or addressing a problem without a manager requesting it. You can also volunteer to assist managers or other departments with tasks where possible. This highlights your eagerness to learn and develop. An ambitious employee can often be an asset to an employer because they develop many skills, providing the opportunity to increase responsibilities and overall productivity.

Related: Interview Question: 'What Are Your Career Aspirations?' (With Example Answers)

7. Communication

Employers might expect their employees to communicate their needs, ideas and opinions effectively. It's often important for employees to express their thoughts to managers and colleagues constructively, which requires verbal and written communication skills. Using clear and concise communication can help employers understand their employees' ideas better and avoid miscommunication.

A good way to achieve this might be by providing context to your thought, then explaining thoroughly what your idea means. For example, if you think of a new project idea for the company you work for, you can explain what your project entails, who your project helps and how it benefits the company overall. You can then use active listening skills to ensure the person you're speaking to understands what you're explaining.

Related: 4 Types of Communication (With Examples)

8. Deadline adherence

Employers typically require their employees to meet deadlines consistently. This can help a company reach its goals, maintain organisation and deliver its services more efficiently. It's often necessary for employees to meet their deadlines so the company can stay on schedule and keep its clients satisfied. To better achieve this, you might prioritise projects by the due dates, planning enough time to finish each task. You can also organise them in a calendar or planner to keep track of them.

Related: 8 Time Management Interview Questions with Example Answers

9. Self-motivation

Employers value employees who are self-motivated and have an inherent drive to finish their work to a high standard. These employees might be more likely to finish a project on their own without being closely managed, which helps an employer free up resources and increase productiveness in the workplace. You might work on being self-motivated by focusing on one project at a time and writing a list of steps that can help you finish your work independently. You can view these as small goals you can achieve, providing a sense of accomplishment each time you complete one.

Related: 9 Tips on How to Self-Motivate (With FAQ)

10. Improvement

Most employers understand their employees make mistakes from time to time. Employers often encourage you to use your mistakes as a learning experience by remembering what caused the mistake in the first place to avoid that error in the future. View your mistakes as opportunities to identify room for improvement and use them as a tool to develop continually as an employee.

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