What Are Employer Expectations? (With Examples and Tips)

Updated October 20, 2022

Employers have various qualities they prefer in their ideal employees. These attributes constitute their expectations, and employees with such traits often appear unique and ideal for specific roles. Learning about common expectations can help you develop relevant skills and qualities that meet a company's expectations and increase your chances of getting your desired employment. In this article, we define employer expectations, provide a list of common expectations, and highlight tips for meeting your employer's expectations.

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What are employer expectations?

Employer expectations are the qualities and skills employers expect their employees to possess or express outside of fulfilling their primary duties. The nature of a profession or the level of a role can affect these expectations. Regardless, most employers have similar expectations of their employees across roles and industries. Meeting these expectations can improve the chances of advancing within a work environment. Recognizing these expectations can also play a significant role in adapting to a system's culture and improving your productivity.

Related: What Is a Code of Conduct (Definition and Examples)

List of expectations employers can have regarding employees

Here are some examples of expectations an employer can have concerning how employees interact with their role:

Positive attitude

Employers strive to make the work environment as cheerful and productive as possible. This effort makes it an important consideration that employees maintain a positive attitude. You can express this attitude by interacting with your tasks cheerfully and maintaining high morale. It's also helpful to focus on the favourite parts of your role to maintain a positive attitude in the workplace. You can also build rapport with colleagues who maintain a positive attitude and high motivation in their roles. Employers also set expectations for a positive attitude as it helps you respond to challenges.

Related: How to Maintain a Positive Attitude at Work and Home


Maintaining a strong sense of honesty and integrity can help you establish lasting relationships within the workplace. This also forms one of the expectations employers have as they want employees they can trust. Maintaining a sense of integrity can also affect how you comply with professional regulations and best practices. Generally, complying with the ethics of your profession helps you improve your interaction with customers, increase productivity, and establish a professional reputation.


Displaying and inspiring others with your self-confidence can help you meet the expectations of your employers. Employers highly regard employees with self-confidence as they trust their abilities more and are comfortable taking risks. Self-confidence also helps you ask questions freely and acknowledge errors. These attributes improve your productivity and help you maintain a positive attitude in your role.


Employers value employees who maintain professional conduct in their interactions within work environments. This conduct can sometimes extend to after-hours when employees are still within the work environment. You can meet this expectation by familiarizing yourself with every aspect of your role and ensuring you're doing your best at each time. Professionalism also influences your approach to tasks and interactions with clients. When fulfilling this requirement, you can also consider how you represent an organization in your conduct. Where you represent an organization positively, you can consider your conduct professional.


Modern careers provide various opportunities for change, development, and exploration. It's an important expectation for employers that their employees remain loyal to their teams or the organization. You can meet this expectation by remaining with an employer for several years. Your length of stay makes it important to consider the opportunities for growth and development that an employer provides. You can also consider how an employer's or organization's culture aligns with your values. Where an employer represents your values and provides growth opportunities, you can consider this a basis for loyalty.

Proper dressing

Every profession and role comes with an appropriate dress code. Complying with these dress codes can help you meet expectations and maintain professionalism. Some employers provide these dress codes in the handbooks for your role. You can also determine the appropriate dress code by observing your colleagues. Dressing in a way that's appropriate for your role can also express your understanding of the corporate culture. Your understanding of corporate culture can also help you represent an organization better.

Read more: Various Types of Dress Code (With Factors That Affect It)


Punctuality is an important component of professionalism and meeting the expectations of an employer. You can maintain your punctuality by getting to work early, finishing projects timely, and attending meetings on time. Punctuality also portrays other traits employers admire, including your organization, time management, and dependability. You can improve your punctuality by prioritizing your task, setting alarms or reminders, and developing a schedule.

Interpersonal skills

Employers value you when you possess exceptional interpersonal skills. These skills allow you to collaborate effectively with members of other departments. They're also valuable to you as you can apply these skills when inspiring team members and brainstorming. You can also apply interpersonal skills in your interactions with colleagues by helping them with projects and answering their questions. Conducting yourself this way within a work environment can also improve your reliability.

Read more: Top 11 Essential Skills Employers Look For

Effective communication

Communication is one of the most versatile skills employees can apply in a workplace. Employers expect employees to communicate effectively through various mediums and also understand the content of official documents. You can also apply your communication skills in your interpersonal relationship with colleagues or team members. It's important to have a good grasp of the various forms communication can take, including written, verbal, and non-verbal forms. For instance, you can satisfy these expectations during a presentation by communicating your points concisely and using the right body language.


Employers value employees who maintain their autonomy and possess an internal drive to complete their tasks. This attribute allows employees to handle their tasks with minimal supervision while remaining passionate and productive. You can fulfill this expectation by maintaining high motivation levels and outlining your tasks in achievable steps. This can help you define milestones and help you remain motivated through long tasks. It also involves exercising initiative and using available resources to develop creative solutions.

Read more: A Guide to Self-Motivation in the Workplace


Openness is a versatile trait that allows you to meet multiple expectations. For instance, employers value employees who learn from mistakes and take risks, which is a characteristic of being open. Where you're willing to learn from your mistakes, you can take more liberties with your ideas and explore necessary risks. Openness also influences your desire to learn and grow in your role. Where you're more receptive to information, you can maintain flexibility and adjust to new demands.

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Tips for meeting employer expectations

Here are some tips you can consider when meeting the expectations of an employer:

Remain curious

Remaining curious and asking relevant questions is a helpful way to improve your understanding of expectations. You can also apply a curious approach to your role by asking team leads what they consider the best approach to a task. This direct approach can help you understand the team lead's plans for a project or task. You can also direct your questions to team members to help you clarify complex instructions. Your curiosity can also help you fulfill expectations by showing employers that you're eager to learn.

Be open to collaboration

While it's important to execute your tasks and responsibilities successfully, collaborating with others helps you build rapport. You can leverage these relationships when you define the expectations around your role. For instance, a colleague can offer you advice relating to your current role and the expectations to fulfill. Collaboration can also help you improve your productivity, apply your existing skills, and develop new ones. Interacting with members of various departments can also prepare you for managerial roles.

Observe your colleagues

Your colleagues who meet the expectations of your employer are likely to be the most successful in your work environment. It can be helpful to identify and observe these successful colleagues to determine what expectations they're fulfilling and how to adapt their approach. If you're close to such colleagues or have a friendly rapport, you can consider asking them for advice. You can also ask such colleagues if they're willing to work with you for a short while. This allows you to learn from them and better align with the expectations of your employers.

Remain diligent

While an employer can have various expectations that require time to figure out, diligence remains a reliable expectation. You can show your diligence by focusing on tasks, meeting deadlines, and remaining consistent. With a strong work ethic, you can show employers the value you bring to your role. This allows you to develop and adjust to expectations while meeting the core demands of your role.

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