The psych contract is an interesting contract .. it’s formed early on in the relationship and is based not only the written, formal contract between an organization and the employee, but the informal experiences and expectations.
Arguably, the informal is the more powerful (as often this is the real life aspect of a relationship rather than the formal written contract).
Last week there was a great example of the building of the psych contract. My website designer came round, late, after she’d finished work. She was exhausted after a trying few weeks in which she was working out her notice period with her current employer.
But then she started talking about her new job.. She talked about how her new boss wanted her to do some stuff before she started, that he’d paid her an additional weeks’ pay. About how when she needed to transfer some stuff onto her new computer, they told her – take the laptop away with you for as long as you need it. And she continued with examples like that.
The overriding message that she’s been left with – that is valued, that she is trusted.. What powerful and positive messages to start an employment relationship with. And a great example of irrespective of what’s been written into her contract, she has formed a very positive psychological contract with her new employer.
Simple things .. Easy to do … Make a huge and lasting impression.