Trust is something that people don’t often think about in terms of work relationships, but it is super important.
You see when an employee is offered a job, there is more than one contract that is bought into play.
While we all sign employment contracts that advise about the terms of the workplace and the legal parameters of the engagement, an equally important contract called the ‘psychological contract’ is formed. This contract is formed in the minds of both the employee and employer.
For the employee, their psychological contract holds such terms as:
- My workplace will be fair and equitable
- My supervisor will be good to deal with and we will have a good relationship
- I will be paid a fair amount for my work
- My pay will be processed and paid when promised
- The business will be stable and my job will continue
- I have certainty about my future here
- The business will keep me safe and look after me in regards to WHS
- I will be valued and thanked for my effort
The employer on the other hand, will form a psychological contract that includes such terms as:
- My employee will show up on time every day
- My employee will be engaged in their work and do a good job
- My employee will do an amount of work that makes them worth their pay
- My employee will go above and beyond for the organisation
- They will communicate with me regularly
- My employee will be responsive and follow my direction
- My employee will always look out for the business and do their best by the business
- They will represent my business at all times in the best way possible
You can see from these few examples that the psychological contracts between employers and employees can differ vastly.
If over time, one party starts to feel that their psychological contract has been breached by the other party, then trust is lost, engagement falters and problems start to arise.
In these times where many employees are working from home, trust is even more important between the boss and worker. What can help here is, when both parties start to consider what the other party may have as their psychological contract. Think about what might be important to your employee/employer. If we could all walk in the others shoes just a little, and understand their perspective better, we would increase trust and engagement for all.
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