Workplace Expectations and Values

11 Workplace Expectations

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify workplace expectations and responsibilities.

Workplace Expectations and Values

Workplace values are what a company or organization defines as most important. Workplace values can include things like always meeting deadlines, producing a quality product, integrity, accountability, and inclusivity. Every employee contributes to their workplace culture. For that reason, workplace culture changes and evolves over time (Heathfield, 2018).

In order to do well at work and excel in your job, you need to know what your employer expects of you. Employer expectations aren’t usually written down. You are expected to know what they are and they could be different from job site to job site. You may feel that you are doing a good job, but if your expectations differ from those of your managers or co-workers, there may be conflict. Always make sure you and your boss are on the same page with your objectives and all that you should deliver.

If you don’t know what the expectations are in your workplace, there are ways to find out:

  • Observe other workers, especially the high achievers
  • Ask your mentor
  • Ask other workers
  • Ask your manager, site-supervisor, or the project coordinator


Listen to Elder Alf Dumont speak about one of his work values.

The more you can impress your boss with hard work and a job well done, the more likely you are to be given more responsibilities. Here are some tips to help you meet expectations and to advance your career. Follow these guidelines and you will be well on your way to becoming a leader at work:

Time Management

  • Arrive to the job site 15 minutes early and be ready to go with tools in hand by the time your shift starts
  • Save your employer time by being organized and following schedules

On the Job

  • Find the balance between asking questions and taking initiative. As a new employee especially, it is important to ask questions. Taking initiative is great as long as you are aware of the big picture and you are not stepping on any toes.
  • Be safe! Follow all work site safety guidelines very closely
  • Go above and beyond – strive to work to the best of your abilities
  • Stay busy – there is always something to do even if you’ve completed all tasks for the day
  • Become an expert: take up opportunity to learn new things acquire new skills
  • Listen to feedback and put it into action

James Williams, Western Canada Aboriginal Liaison for Kiewit, knows what employers are looking for. Here he talks about standards in the workplace.


When your boss mentions that you left the jobsite disorganized, keep that information in mind for later. The next time you are in charge of site-clean-up, remember to put this feedback into action; that is, ensure the jobsite is organized and clean. As you continue to learn about expectations, your boss will be impressed that you’ve taken that feedback and improved.


  • Be honest
  • Work hard
  • Take pride in your work
  • Respect your colleagues, the tools, and your clients
  • Bring your ideas to the table


When you hear co-workers mention, “We should really improve this process,” think about how the process could be improved and write down your ideas or suggestions, and if appropriate write  step-by-step procedures. Bring it to your team meeting and share your ideas.



In a perfect world we would all be perfect employees all of the time. But, life and challenges continue to happen. What if your car won’t start or transit breaks down and you can’t make it to work on time? What happens if you need to look after an ill family member and need the day off?

The key is communication.

  • Ask your employer how they prefer to be communicated with if you can’t make it to work or will be late.
  • Does your work place/boss/supervisor prefer a text message, or would they prefer a phone call or email?
  • It is important to inform your employer as soon as you know that you cannot make it to work or that you will be late getting to work.
  • Frequent absences and late arrivals are frowned upon, unless you have a very good reason, and can be a valid reasons for termination.
  • Employers can ask for a doctor’s note if you are ill. Just know that some employers are more accommodating than others.

Let your boss know as soon as possible if something comes up that will prevent you from being your best at work. Employers usually understand when challenges surface. If challenges surface frequently, there could be negative consequences, such as termination. You can avoid negative consequences by being open and honest.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing your employer’s expectations is key to a successful working relationship and will help you excel in the workplace.
  • Ensure that you communicate, ahead of time if possible, if you will be absent, late, or are experiencing challenges that might have an impact on your job performance.


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