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Are You Setting Up Your Staff to Fail? The Dangers of Unrealistic Workplace Expectations

Understanding the Pitfalls of Unrealistic Expectations

In the fast-paced world of business, expectations run high. Employers often seek excellence from their employees, and rightly so. However, there’s a fine line between setting high standards and creating unrealistic expectations. In this blog post, we will explore the potential risks and consequences of having unrealistic expectations in the workplace.

Strategies for Effective Employee Appointments

When it comes to staffing your organization, it’s essential to choose the right people for the job. The question to ponder is whether we sometimes set employees up for failure due to unrealistic expectations. This is particularly pertinent when individuals lack the necessary training, are in the wrong role, or find themselves doing tasks they never signed up for.

Unrealistic Expectations: A Recipe for Disaster

Imagine this scenario: You hire an individual for a position within your company. They seemed like a perfect fit during the interviews, but as time goes on, you start noticing signs of discontent and dissatisfaction. Tasks aren’t completed as expected, and morale among the team is dwindling. What went wrong?

The All-Too-Common Mistake: Appointing People Like Ourselves

One common mistake organizations make is appointing people who are too similar to the hiring manager or team lead. Why does this happen? Often, it’s because we understand ourselves well and believe that we can effectively manage individuals who are like us. However, this can lead to a slew of problems.

When you appoint someone who is too much like you, they may soon exhibit the same signs of dissatisfaction with the role. They might dislike the tasks or responsibilities that come with the job, just as you do. This can create a cycle of discontent, ultimately leading to underperformance and, in some cases, termination.

A New Approach: Appointing for Potential and Fit

So, how can you avoid this cycle? The answer lies in a two-fold approach to appointments: to the position and to the company.

  1. Appointing to the Position: First and foremost, appoint individuals to specific roles based on their skills, qualifications, and potential. Avoid the temptation to hire someone just because they are similar to you. Instead, consider what the position requires and select candidates who are genuinely suited to it.
  2. Appointing to the Company: When bringing someone on board, envision their career path within your organization. Look for individuals who not only meet the immediate needs of the role but also have the potential to grow within the company. Recognize their unique strengths and how they can contribute to your organization’s long-term success.

By adopting this approach, you can break the cycle of appointing individuals who ultimately dislike their roles. Instead, you’ll be setting them up for success, and they’ll be more likely to thrive and contribute positively to your company.


Unrealistic expectations in the workplace can be detrimental to both employees and employers. By understanding the dangers of setting up your staff to fail and implementing effective appointment strategies, you can create a more productive and harmonious work environment. Remember, it’s not about appointing people like you; it’s about appointing the right people for the job.

Call to Action: Ready to foster a thriving work environment and set your team up for success? Explore more insights on effective leadership and team management in our blog. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to transform your workplace dynamics. Start here!

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