Ag managers generally do not do a good job of communicating clear expectations to their employees, says Dale Feinauer, professor of management at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. “However, we must learn to do this. We must be able to say, ‘these are the expectations I have for you.’  ”

To do that, Mr. Feinauer suggests that managers shift from task-oriented objectives to outcome-oriented objectives. In addition, you should clarify these expectations with employees, beginning with written job descriptions.

Doing so empowers employees to do their jobs, he explains. While the objectives often still contain specific tasks that must be completed, they are now included as part of the outcome.