Posted by: G. Lane Cavalier | May 2, 2007

Career Development: The Employee/Employer Psychological Contract

I have been sitting on this one for a while, but am finally getting around to putting it up.  The concept of a psychological contract between a worker and an employer is not new, the first mention of it to my knowledge came as early as the 1950’s.

As a leader in a corporation, I challenge you to look at the psychological contract when doing reviews of each of you employees.  Are you meeting their basic needs? Are they meeting yours?

As an employee, consider doing the same with your current company.  If you cannot take the chart below and find a balance then my humble opinion is it’s time to move on. If you can, then your job may not be as bad as you would like to believe.

 Use my 1 day a quarter theory.  I give you one day a quarter to decide if your current job meets your expectations, as the Big Turkey says do it Pencil on Paper! If it does, get back to work.  If it doesn’t, execute your exit strategy!  Or in other words, “PICK A LANE, Either Lane, just get into one!”

From kinds of commitments employers and employees might make to one another are given in the box below:

Employees promise to:

Employers promise to provide:
Work hard Pay commensurate with performance
Uphold company reputation Opportunities for training and development
Maintain high levels of attendance and punctuality Opportunities for promotion
Show loyalty to the organisation Recognition for innovation or new idea
Work extra hours when required Feedback on performance
Develop new skills and update old ones Interesting tasks
Be flexible, for example, by taking on a colleague’s work An attractive benefits package
Be courteous to clients and colleagues Respectful treatment
Be honest Reasonable job security
Come up with new ideas A pleasant and safe working environment

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