Monthly Archives: October 2012

Set expectations right to avoid a mess!

From what I’ve experienced in the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of business owners or the sales guys commit things which they are not able to deliver or fight really hard to get things done by the deadline that’s been mutually agreed upon. What happens is, in the process the stakeholders end up having not so good conversations/relations either with their own team or with the client. To share an example, I know of 2 companies working in the same domain. While 1 of them has declared an off for the entire Diwali week, the other has 2 alternative days as off. This year, Diwali being on a Tuesday, these 2 off days are Tuesday and Thursday. For obvious reasons, most employees in the company have taken 2 leaves, of course the days being Monday and Wednesday. That leaves it with just 1 day to work and we all know how much work is accomplished on a Friday, that too when the rest of the week was off. Not to mention, some of them would fall ill or maybe have already taken a Friday off as well by now. That eventually means, work gets delayed by a week or at least by 3 working days! Now if you’re the client facing person, you know that you’re gonna slip on the deadlines by at least 4-5 days and face the wrath. By the way, you wouldn’t want to imagine a scenario if you’ve set your deadline somewhere in *that* week.

By now you would have understood that this 2nd company is going to delay projects by a minimum of 3-5 days. In some cases, the client would be ‘just okay’ while the others might complain a bit. Either ways, whether the client complains or not, why would you want to deliver a wrong message for your company? Who knows, this small bit might result in you losing out to some good referrals. Word of Mouth still remains the best form of marketing, right!

We have a lot of festivals in India. While on most of those off days we might end up working, but, let’s be honest, there are some days when you want to keep work aside, even if you are an entrepreneur. These are the days when you just want to be with your family & friends. Most of us would agree here but some of them might just want to work. What is important to understand here is that whatever way you feel (taking an off or not) your employees would definitely want to take off for a day or two. In most cases, even your clients want to do that, right? So why shouldn’t you just declare that week off? Even the west completely shuts down during Christmas after all, with auto responders always set!

So I would believe this first company has done a great job – has kept employees happy by giving them a week off and at the same time communicated this to the clients that they would be shutting shop for the Diwali week and the deadlines set accordingly. To me this sets expectations clear on both the client’s and the employees’ point of view. And if both the sides are happy, I believe you as a sales guy, a project manager or an entrepreneur would never have to hear harsh things from anywhere!

Agree/ Disagree? Share your views in the comments or shout out to me @AbhinavSahai or on LinkedIn

Cross posted on Dare.