How to Effectively Lead Remote Teams. Part 2. Setting Clear Expectations and Driving Accountability to Them.

Approx 50 of your staff dont know whats expected of them

In this leading remote teams blog we’ll cover:

  1. How to develop clear and engaging expectations for you and your people.
  2. How to communicate them clearly so there is no confusion or doubt.
  3. How to drive accountability to the expectations you set.

Did you know, according to a Gallup study, approximately only 50% of your employees are really clear on what’s expected of them at work.

And knowing what’s expected of them is a major factor in employee engagement.

(Gallup Business Journal, 2016).

These are some startling statistics to digest.


That means that in all probability, 1 in 2 of your employees or team members don’t know what you expect and are disengaged with their role…….that’s really alarming.


Or, if your motivated employees don’t know what you want them to work on, it makes it extremely difficult for them to be working the right priorities required to deliver what you expect from them to achieve the vision.


In my first blog of this How to Effectively Lead Remote Teams series, I wrote about how to effectively cast your vision to your remote teams and how to drive it and this is a must do before you set clear expectations, as this is the driver of all expectations.


There are two areas that are critical for you to set expectations in and these are:

  1. The expected thinking and behaviours of all team members, i.e. what are the key ways in which you want your people to think and behave that you believe are essential for achieving the vision. For example – 100% loyalty to the team, give everything you do your best effort, serve our customers to the best of our ability, we respect, value and care for each member of the team like family.

(Check out these two blogs about the expected “House Rules” you might like to consider: Clear Expectations Are Like Oxygen for Your Team. Part 2.  and Part 3.)


  1. The expected performance outcomes for each team member, i.e. you break your vision down into goals with timeframes for each department and key person within them. Depending on the person and their role, these could vary from daily, monthly or quarterly for example. This is important to allow you to measure their performance and to ensure their accountability to them. It also builds respect back to you as the leader if you do this process in a respectful manner too. The two key platforms to any successful organisation are Accountability (doing what you agreed to do) and Respect (a culture in which people are valued, encouraged and supported).


Have you set the expected thinking and behaviours for your people?

Have you set the expected performance outcomes for your people?

How are you going to grow Accountability and Respect remotely in your business, team or organisation?


When you’re setting clear expectations for your people, there are a number of factors that you need to consider so you don’t de-motivate and frustrate your team:

  1. The needs of the company/business/organisation
  2. The needs of the team
  3. The motivation of each individual
  4. The skills of each individual
  5. The different personalities of each individual
  6. Their current position on the Emotional Guidance Scale (by Abraham and Hicks)


Leading your team remotely will require you to know where each of your team members are emotionally. The mental wellbeing of each of your remote team members and knowing where they are emotionally will enable you to lead them effectively, determining if they are in the right head space, knowing what is expected of them and being able to be a valued team member to deliver on the vision.


The Emotional Guidance Scale  I have used to great effect to lead remote teams and in a future blog, I’ll write a lot more about the power of this Emotional Guidance Scale. Click here for a copy of Abraham and Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale.


Have you taken into account the emotional tone of your team members who are working remotely? 

Do you know where they are emotionally right now?


Doubt, confusion and anxiety will move team members down the Emotional Guidance Scale and you as the leader must know where your team members are emotionally, connecting with them, setting clear expectations and transferring responsibility to individuals, empowering them with your trust that you know you can count on them.



Effective communication of your expectations is key.

It will come as no surprise to you that how you communicate your expectations is the final key to success with this process, however, many people are surprised at how deliberate and intentional you need to be.


Setting expectations effectively for your people is a very deliberate, formalised and disciplined process.  A quick chat on the phone, or an email alone, no matter how well written, won’t cut it.


Here are my 4 key steps to ensure effective communication of, and accountability to, your expectations as the leader:


  1. Formalise your expectations for each key team member in a written document


  1. Set up a separate online face to face meeting with each team member (via e.g. Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime) to review and discuss the document (that you’ve sent prior to the meeting for review), answering any questions they might have etc.


  1. A daily or weekly (which ever works for your situation) summary formally sent back to the chain of command summarise the day’s/week’s events and what has transpired must happen to ensure accountability.


  1. Set up a regular time to chat about what’s going on for them professionally and personally (people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care). I’ve got staff and team members all over the world and depending on their role -some I speak with daily and others I connect with weekly or monthly. Though can I suggest in these COVID19 times that you may need to increase your communication with them as you won’t see each other in the office environment on a day to day basis, though you can feel this out as you go. The last thing you want to do is micromanage people who don’t need it or don’t like it.



What must you improve when it comes formalising your process, setting clear expectations for your people working remotely? 



I trust that this blog will have stimulated and agitated your thinking as to how you could improve how you set clear expectations for your people, particularly in these very difficult times we find ourselves in, and for most business owners and leaders, suddenly leading remote teams.


My next blog in this series, I’ll be covering how to publicly transfer trust to your remote team members.


I really wish you all the very best with what you’re dealing with right now.


If you have any questions, please email me at or join our Facebook Page and message me or post a question to the group.


I trust you and your loved ones are safe, strong and healthy.


Keep Climbing.



If you’d like to read further on this, check this out:

Clear Expectations Are Like Oxygen for Your Team. Part 1.

Clear Expectations Are Like Oxygen for Your Team. Part 2.

Clear Expectations Are Like Oxygen for Your Team Part 3.


If you’d like to follow the Leadership Dynamics Facebook Page, my team and I are organising some online events to thrash out issues like leading your teams remotely, in more detail.  Stay tuned. Click here for the link to my Leadership Dynamics Page.

If you’d like to receive these blogs straight to your inbox, stay in the know about my upcoming live webinars and receive a free e-copy of my book “The Dream is Everything” then you can sign up here.


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