Above & Beyond Articles
set up your employees for success

Retain your quality employees and set them up for success!

Your people are your biggest asset, and whilst staff turnover is normal, we know you don’t want to be seeing a trend of quality employees leaving within their first 12 months.

Good talent can be hard to come by, especially in the current landscape, so it’s important not to ‘recruit and forget’. Every new employee should be set up for success to ensure they feel supported with clear expectations for the best possible start in your organisation.

If your organisation is facing a high turnover of staff, it might be due to a need for improved clarity around the expectations of the employee’s role.

There are three key areas in which you can improve clarity of expectations. Below are some tips for things you can do to in these areas to help reduce the likelihood of being left in the lurch by someone leaving unexpectedly. We like to call this ‘’encouraging NO SURPRISES.”

Position descriptions

It may sound obvious that you’d know what you’re looking for in your next recruit, but can you honestly say that you can articulate with crystal clarity, exactly what you’re looking for and exactly what you expect from the individual and from the position?

We often see that employers have a reasonable idea of what they need and want, but when it gets to the detail, they struggle to explain it explicitly.

With that in mind, it’s worth reviewing the position description prior to recruitment so both parties are clear from the beginning.

You should both be on the same page about:

  • What success looks like
  • How it’s measured
  • The potential career pathways for progression
  • The expected behaviours that demonstrate your organisation’s values … to name
    a few

With clear expectations the employee will experience less confusion and less overwhelm in their early months. You will also be able to agree on goals which will help the employee will feel more motivated to achieve, and they will be able to self-manage how they are tracking against those goals, so there’s no surprises for them either.


Ideally there should be no surprises when it comes to the expectations around workload. Of course, there’s always the odd reactive curve ball and organisations can’t control all factors, however it’s still important to communicate and minimise surprises that are due to communication. We advise that employers are upfront and honest about any ‘’mess’’ and challenges. We find that most employees don’t shy away from hard work if the overall expectations are clear.

The more honest you are, the more you’re likely to find the right fit with someone who is genuinely committed for the longer term, more determined to overcome the obstacles, and trusts you for being so honest, which will build loyalty.

Professional Development

The Next Generation are our emerging leaders of the future, and research shows that younger generations generally favour aspirational career opportunities over remuneration alone when it comes to choosing their next role.

They need a good idea of how their employer will support their career path into the future. We are seeing some organisations apply innovative ways to cater for professional development without having to negatively impact the bottom line, especially when budgets are tight and spend has to be smarter. Costs can be streamlined by tailoring development activities (workshops, group coaching etc) to address specific priority needs of teams rather than generic training for example. There are proven ways to identify these priority areas so that spend can be targeted with more ROI.

For help with onboarding and getting clear on expectations, our Set for Success (S4S) Program is designed to enable clear and mutually agreed objectives and expectations for employees, from the day they start their new role. This encourages self-management and 2-way feedback to give more meaning and productive outcomes rather than the vague “how are you going?” question. S4S is SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, realist, and timebound. It uncovers blind spots and rules out any surprises!

How we work with you

1) Set clear expectations

We help you identify exactly what you’re expecting from your employee in their first 3 to 6 months of employment so we can help set clear success measures and objectives.

  • Determine why each expectation is important to you
  • Find how the employee is going to achieve what is expected

Finally, the expectations will be agreed on by the employee and the employer.

2) Support sessions

We help encourage meaningful check-ins and feedback along the way so that the employee can feel continuous support and get equipped to overcome known and unforeseen obstacles.

Following a timeline, if the employee feels they are not achieving, they know they can reach out for help.

3) Review & Refocus

3-way facilitated Performance Development Review (PDR)
By the end of the employee probation period, we help you review and refocus future objectives based on the performance of the employee. This is meant to be constructive and helpful for both you and the employee.

By this point, neither the employee nor the employer should be experiencing any surprises as our support sessions have addressed these along the way.

Find out more!

If the S4S Program sounds like the retention and support plan you’ve been missing at your organisation, please contact Laura Sutherland for further details on delivery and pricing.

Laura Sutherland
Director & Founder

M  0410 360 679
E   laura@aboveandbeyondgroup.com.au 

Laura is a Workforce specialist, Leadership and Career Coach with a background in Psychology. Considered the go-to trusted advisor on workforce challenges in our industry, Laura partners with clients to understand their specific challenges and tailor the most effective and sustainable solutions. Her core professional purpose is to improve and future proof Aged Care & Community Services by supporting organisations to develop the potential within their people.