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Psychosocial factors: Clear Leadership and Expectations

Description: A short video explaining the psychosocial factor Clear Leadership and Expectations. It includes an example of when a supervisor's expectations are not clear, mentions the benefits of a workplace with clear leadership and expectations and emphasizes the importance of high-quality communication.

Date: April 24, 2020

Duration: 00:02:37

Resolution: 1080p


Think of a time at work when you were given direction that was unclear.

Did it happen often? Did it create conflict?

Clear leadership and expectations can make a big difference in a workplace. Take Tim for example. Tim wrote a report for his supervisor last week that he thought was urgent. His supervisor returned his report with a note saying "Needs more work." There was no other feedback… no meeting to clarify… no phone message… no edits on the document… nothing but the note. This is an ongoing problem in Tim's workplace. Tim feels frustrated and doesn't really trust his supervisor anymore.

What would clear leadership and expectations look like in a healthy workplace?

Well… everyone in a healthy workplace knows what they need to do. They know how the things they do contribute to the workplace as a whole. They are told in a timely way if there are any changes happening in with the workplace. When workplaces have clear leadership and expectations:

Leaders value everyone’s psychological and physical health… and they model positive healthy behaviours to their workers.

Clear two-way communication is very important in a workplace. Sometimes it takes time to get to know your supervisor and their expectations. Everyone in a workplace has a responsibility to ask questions if they don't understand-whether you are an employee, supervisor or manager.

As a supervisor, make it very clear what you want, when you want it by, and who you want involved.

As an employee, don't be afraid to ask questions to clarify. Being open to talking about the size of a task, how long it should take, when to ask for support, even just flat out asking "what do you expect of me"- are all helpful.

After watching this video, how do you intend to be clear with your expectations today?

Clear leadership and expectations is one of 13 factors that support psychological health and safety in the workplace. Learn more at:

For more resources for your workplace, check out

Developed in collaboration by Ottawa Public Health and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

With content adapted with permission from Mindful Employer Canada

And support from Bell Let's Talk.


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