In the world of human resources and employment, there is a well-known concept known as the psychological contract. It refers to the mutual expectations and obligations between an employee and employer that go beyond what is specifically laid out in the employment contract. This unwritten understanding can be just as important as the actual terms of the contract, as it sets the tone for the working relationship and can impact employee job satisfaction, loyalty, and performance.
A psychological contract breach occurs when one party fails to fulfill its obligations or expectations under this mutual understanding. It can be a result of a direct action, such as an employer reneging on a promised promotion, or a more subtle issue such as a change in company culture that goes against what an employee was led to believe when they first joined.
When a psychological contract breach occurs, it can have negative consequences for both the employee and employer. For the employee, it can lead to feelings of betrayal, disillusionment, and a decreased commitment to the company. It can also result in decreased job satisfaction and productivity, and even lead to turnover.
For employers, a breach in the psychological contract can result in decreased employee trust, increased absenteeism, and decreased employee engagement. It can also lead to reputational damage for the company as word of the breach spreads among current and potential employees.
To avoid a psychological contract breach, it is important for employers to be clear and transparent about their expectations and obligations from the onset of the employment relationship. It is also important to communicate with employees regularly and be responsive to their concerns and needs.
In conclusion, a psychological contract breach is a serious issue that can have lasting effects on both employees and employers. By understanding the concept of the psychological contract and being proactive in its maintenance, employers can build a more engaged and loyal workforce and avoid potential negative consequences.