Employer Expectations Over Time
First Day and First Week
- From the beginning, employees are expected to be on
time—no excuses! (If you are unsure of how long it will take to travel to and from a new job, consider a trial run before you start. Travel at approximately the same time and follow the same route you anticipate traveling in the future.)
- Likewise, new employees are expected to dress appropriately and be well-groomed...every day. Some companies have "Casual Fridays," which means that on Friday you can dress down, but still wear clean and appropriate, albeit casual, clothing. (Tip: A good job-related question in an interview is to ask about the company's dress code.)
- Although new employees are not be expected to recognize and remember the full names of all the people they are introduced to in the first week of work, it is important to make an effort to be pleasant and to remember as many names as possible—especially the names of
the coworkers in your immediate area and your supervisor.
- New employees should expect to be supervised closely at first as they learn and develop skills specific to their new jobs. You must listen closely to instructions or read instructions thoroughly and pay close attention to corrections. New employees are expected to ask questions, if there is something they don't understand.
- During the first week, a worker establishes his or her work reputation. By working hard and being productive, a worker makes a good first impression...remember, first impressions are difficult to change!
- Employees are expected to be at work and to be there on time because others are depending on them. They are expected to take only pre-determined or arranged lunch and break times.
- They are expected to know written and unwritten company policies.
- By the end of the first month, new employees are expected to know the majority of their coworkers and the supervisory staff by name.
If you are relying on voice cues rather than visual cues, you are only expected to recognize those workers in your immediate area by the end of the first month. In fact, depending on the number of workers in your immediate area you may have greater latitude on this point.
- By the end of the first month, new employees are expected to know about informal structures (cliques) and how to fit in at work. It is important as a new employee for you to resist the temptation to gossip and repeat or take rumors seriously.
- Within the first month, new employees are expected to acclimate to their environment—to know where to go for what and to whom to go for what.
- Your boss will expect you to show an increase in your
production and a decrease in the amount of supervision you need. It is anticipated that you will know your job responsibilities and a little bit about the job responsibilities of others.
- Finally, it is important to determine the company's
policy regarding performance evaluations and probationary
periods within the first month in order to begin preparation for yours.
Six Months to One Year
- By this point in an employee's work life, primary job responsibilities should be second nature.
- You will be expected to complete your job tasks and
assist newly hired workers.
- You will be expected to be self-directed and able
to find productive things to do even in slack times.
- You will be expected to be willing to expand your work skills through off-the-job training (in company sponsored training classes or courses offered in the community).
- You will be expected to demonstrate your commitment to the company through active involvement in company-sponsored
events or community projects.
- Finally, you should continue to be diligent (no
long weekends or feigned illnesses to use sick time). Don't develop a false sense of security—remember, if the company doesn't perform well, employees (even good ones!) may find themselves downsized!
Relationships and expectations change over time. It is important to understand how an employer's expectations change over time. What an employer expects from his or her workers when they first meet or on the first day of work is much more lenient than expectations at six months or a year.
Likewise, coworkers have very different expectations of a peer after a "break-in" period. Most coworkers expect to help newly hired coworkers "learn the ropes" and become acquainted with the workplace. Although they don't usually mind if someone new to the office asks for help or clarification, they will soon tire of being asked the same question over and over or being relied upon to do another worker's problem solving repeatedly.
Within a reasonable period of time, usually 3 to 6 months, employees are expected by coworkers and supervisors to be able to function fairly independently.