18 Examples of Exceeding Expectations

Examples of Exceeding Expectations at Work

We all have expectations at work. As a manager or leader, it is essential to meet those expectations. If you do not, then your team will not be successful. It is also vital that employees meet or exceed expectations, or else they could lose their job.

What is the meaning of meeting expectations?

Meeting expectations means doing your job to the best of your abilities and fulfilling the requirements outlined in your job description. Meeting expectations at work also means adhering to the standards and procedures that have been put in place by your employer.

Examples of expectations may include arriving on time, following dress code requirements, producing high-quality work, completing tasks on time, meeting deadlines, and displaying a positive attitude or behaving respectfully.

What is the meaning of exceeding expectations?

Exceeding expectations means doing what you were supposed to do and doing much more than what was expected of you. Meeting expectations is generally the minimum acceptable level of performance, but exceeding expectations is doing more and surpassing the set minimum level of performance or standards.

Exceeding expectations means not just to meet but exceed the expectations set out for you. Here is exceeding expectations example; if your boss is expecting 8% annual revenue growth and your performance ends up being 10%, you’ve met expectations, but you have also exceeded them.

Why is it important to exceed expectations at work?

Exceeding expectations is important because it demonstrates that you are a high-performing employee committed to delivering top-quality results.

When you exceed expectations, it sends a message to your boss that you are can handle more responsibility, which could lead to a promotion or other advancement opportunities.

There are many ways to tell if an employee is doing a fantastic job and excelling at their job. Here are 18 examples of exceeding expectations at work:

1. Complete your work ahead of schedule

Any employee who consistently completes their work ahead of schedule is a valuable asset to any company. They are the go-to person for getting things done quickly and efficiently.

Such an employee knows their work is important, so it’s not about pushing themselves beyond their limits or putting in extra hours—it’s about making the most of every minute they have at work.

So, to exceed expectations in a team, strive to be the one who always finishes ahead of schedule. It will impress your boss and make you the most productive team member.

2. Think about the team first

Someone who wants the team to succeed has high standards for themselves and others and, they will voluntarily help those around them if they notice problems. They also won’t let mistakes slide just because it means they will have more work to do.

This kind of person is a great employee to have because they will also naturally be able to meet your expectations and help others succeed while still finding time to get their work done.

Unlike some employees, who are unwilling to do extra work for the good of the team, The person who exceeds expectations looks for ways to bring their team together for the greater good.

Read also: 18 Examples of Personal Aspirations

3. Have confidence in your ability

Having confidence does not mean you are cocky or arrogant, but you need to believe in yourself. People who are confident in their abilities do not feel shy asking for a raise or transfer to a different department if they think they can do a better job or have more experience.

Self-confidence can drive someone to be more productive and exceed expectations. A person with confidence in their abilities is a valuable employee expected to produce results no matter what comes their way.

There will be times when mistakes happen or things will not go as planned. Employees who see these ‘failures’ as learning experiences are better at recovering from setbacks than those who see them as personal failures.

4. Be organized

Working alongside an organized person is a breath of fresh air. They usually produce high-quality work. It is a manager’s dream to have a well-organized employee.

Even if you are an employee who loathes paperwork at work, organizations skills are important. It is a good habit to organize your thoughts. It can help you do your work faster and better.

5. Know what’s acceptable and unacceptable

Good examples of exceeding expectations at work include having a clear understanding of what is acceptable and unacceptable in the workplace. Are you expected to stay later than 7 pm? Know the standards expected of you and make sure that your conduct lives up to them.

If you want to come in at 9:15 every day instead of the standard 9:00 am start time, find out if that’s okay with your boss first. If they say yes, then do.

If they say no, find ways to arrive at 9:00 am every day, not just some days. Be conscious of what’s expected of you at all times.

6. Be the go-to person

Try to be the person everyone comes to for help. Many employees like having reliable co-workers around them. If you want to stand out, be someone that can be counted on. Be the one who gets things done, even if it’s not part of your job description.

Take on additional responsibilities when you can. If your manager asks for volunteers, raise your hand.

You can also offer to help without being asked. Make yourself indispensable by showing that you always come through when help is needed most.

7. Ask questions

If you are unsure about a specific task or expectations, ask your manager to clarify their instructions. Sometimes managers forget to explain thoroughly how processes work or why certain decisions are made.

If your manager skips over details or leaves out crucial information, ask clarifying questions like, “What do you want me to take from this meeting?” or “Do I have that right? Can we go over the next steps again?”

By asking questions early on, you can ensure you are on the same page with your manager and avoid confusion, miscommunication, or assumptions.

8. Remove all obstacles

Also, if something is blocking your progress, don’t be afraid to approach your boss with concerns. You can take on some of the responsibility for solving problems on your own.

For example, if you don’t have all of the resources or information you need to complete a project, it’s okay to ask for help. Don’t let obstacles turn into roadblocks.

Also read: 16 Character Traits of a Hard Worker

9. Be a self-starter

If there is a task that nobody wants to take on or if no deadlines have been set, it may be up to you to figure out the best way to get it done. If you know what to do, don’t wait for guidance from your manager.

Go ahead and try to complete the task. If you need help, ask for it. When you finish, explain to your boss what you have accomplished and the steps necessary to complete it.

10. Have a sense of direction

Always have a detailed plan that shows deadlines for milestones along the way so that you don’t miss any benchmark. It can be helpful to create a master task list with sub-items under each task.

It’s easy to get lost when shifting between tasks. That can mean you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there.

When it comes to meeting or exceeding expectations at work, it boils down to having a strong sense of direction. Instead of aimlessly wandering around the office and wasting time, you want to have a goal in mind.

11. Come into work prepared

There is nothing worse than coming to work without knowing what’s going on and waste valuable time deciding what to do or waiting for someone with the answers.

You can avoid this by going after reviewing your schedule for the next day or even coming in early to get a head start on the day. Know what is going on and anticipate any issues before you go in.

12. Maintain a positive attitude

It’s easy to get down when facing work challenges but maintaining a positive attitude is essential.

Whether it’s a new project or getting through an intense deadline, people get discouraged when something is challenging or time-consuming.

Your boss is there to support you and your team. But your attitude can prevent you from getting the support and encouragement you need.

If your attitude is negative, it can affect others too. So, focus on the positive and stay upbeat.

13. Take on tasks that match your skills

If you’re already good at something, take it on! This way you can show others your skills. If you’re not sure how to do something, ask for help before offering to take it on yourself. You don’t want to look like you’re trying to take on too much.

To meet expectations is to do what is in your job description. So, your skills have to match your job description. In other words, your primary goal is to do what you are capable of doing.

14. Check in regularly with your manager

It’s easy to feel like you’re in the dark when you don’t know what is expected of you, but doing so can make or break your ability to meet expectations.

Create a weekly meeting with your manager to talk about expectations and deliverables, and use that time to negotiate deadlines.

If you’re planning to take on more than your usual workload, talk it over with your manager so they can help provide support. It’s also necessary to check in with your team members to know what is going on.

If you’re constantly checking up on each other, it’s more likely that expectations will be met and exceeded, as everyone will feel prepared and ready to work!

15. Deliver quality work on time

If you want to make your boss is happy with your performance, maintain a consistent track record of delivering quality work on time.

Consistent quality efforts will help build trust between you and your manager. Nothing is worse than delivering low-quality work at the last minute.

As a best practice, deliver quality work on time, even if it means asking for help from a colleague or your boss. If there is a problem with your work quality, ask for help.

Read more: 10 Examples of Taking a Risk

16. Take responsibility for mistakes

Take responsibility for mistakes, even if it means saying that you are sorry or letting someone down. Be open to being coached on how to improve your work next time.

If you make a mistake, don’t try to pawn off it onto someone else, instead, show humility by finding the solution.

Take corrective action immediately to prevent the same mistake from happening again. Communicate early with everyone concerned so they are well informed and have the opportunity to help in any way they can.

17. Look for development opportunities

The more knowledge you have, the better you can perform your job and meet expectations. The key to a successful career is to continuously develop new skills and competencies which enable you to be flexible, versatile, and remain resourceful to your team and boss.

Where practical, seek out training and development opportunities to build skills or learn about new tools and technologies that may benefit you and your team.

18. Respect individual differences

Everyone is different and will have a different approach when doing certain things. Sometimes an employee’s way of getting something done may seem unorthodox or inefficient, but maybe that is how they get it done best.

Think about their ideas and your way of doing things before making judgments.


Most employees understand that there are expectations to meet at work – however, they also want to be appreciated for their hard work. Many things can affect how well someone does their work on a team, but managers can help.

Try to approach each situation that arises with an open mind and remember not to let preconceived notions get in the way of doing your job. As long as your team works together, everyone will meet and exceed expectations.

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