Who should set work expectations / goals? Employee or Manager?
Hoping some managers out there can weigh in.
I recently had a performance review that was lacking in some categories and was surprised as I had a good mid-year check-in and had not received any negative feedback. After speaking with me manager, I discovered there were goals they had that I was not aware of.
- They feel my work is not always related to the team's priorities. We have weekly team meetings so I should be able to derive the team's priorities from the discussions and make sure what I work on is related that priority.
- I should take on more tasks from the shared team email.
- If unsure about points 1 and 2, I should ask questions or walk over to the manager's office during our in-office days to check-in (1:1 meeting).
I feel like point 1 doesn't make a lot of sense. A lot of times team meetings are about what others are working on so it doesn't really pertain to my tasks. Therefore there really isn't anything for me to "prioritize". My manager also used the words "read between the lines" when talking about the team meeting discussions, which I think is silly; if the manager wants something, I think they should just tell me.
For points 2 and 3, I think that gets to the heart of my question about work expectations. It sounds like my manger wants me to the be the one seeking out what I need to do / what work goals I should have. E.g., for the shared inbox, if something comes in I'll see it and then wait for my manager to assign the task to one of the team members. But it sounds like they would prefer I jump on it first and then ask them if I can take on that new request.
Overall, I can't really see any good arguments for point 1 since that requires making assumptions about what people are thinking, but I'm second guessing myself for points 2 and 3. We haven't had any 1:1 meeting. I just figured since my manager didn't schedule any, it was not interested and was satisfied with my work. But sounds like they wanted me to schedule them / start them impromptu?
Should I be the one constantly going out and asking "Hey what do you need this week? Are their new priorities today from higher-ups? Should I work on that request that came in today?"
I was originally thinking no, but then I thought about how for other things in life if I need something I have to seek it out. e.g. if I want to file taxes, I need to look up what to do; the burden is on me since I face consequences for not doing it. Similarly, maybe since I want to keep my job, the burden is on me to make sure I'm doing it correctly and meeting all expectations, and therefore I should be the one figuring out what those expectations are so I don't face the consequence of a poor review / being fired.