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Originally issued May 2003; latest revision December 2004 This factsheet gives introductory guidance. It: • • • • • defines what is meant by the 'psychological contract' explains how a positive psychological contract contributes to business performance considers what research into the psychological contract tells us about the changing employment relationship, and whether there is a 'new contract' outlines some learning points for managers gives the CIPD viewpoint.
Research into the psychological contract between employer and employees has produced a number of important messages for managers and students of people management. Despite the academic origins of the term, many managers believe that the idea of the psychological contract offers a valid and helpful framework for thinking about the employment relationship against the background of a changing labour market. What is the psychological contract?
The term 'psychological contract' was first used in the early 1960s, but became more popular following the economic downturn in the early 1990s. It has been defined as '…the perceptions of the two parties, employee and employer, of what their mutual obligations are towards each other'1. These obligations will often be informal and imprecise: they may be inferred from actions or from what has happened in the past, as well as from statements made by the employer, for example during the recruitment process or in performance appraisals. Some obligations may be seen as 'promises' and others as 'expectations'. The important thing is that they are believed by the employee to be part of the relationship with the employer. The psychological contract can be distinguished from the legal contract of employment. The later will in many cases offer only a limited and uncertain representation of the reality of the employment relationship. The employee may have contributed little to its terms beyond accepting them. The nature and content of the legal contract may only emerge clearly if and when it comes to be tested in an employment tribunal. The psychological contract on the other hand looks at the reality of the situation as perceived by the parties, and may be more influential than the formal contract in affecting how employees behave from day to day. It is the psychological contract that effectively tells employees what they are required to do in order to meet their side of the bargain, and what they can expect from their job. It may not - indeed in general it will not - be strictly enforceable, though courts may be influenced by a view of the underlying relationship between employer and employee, for example in interpreting the common law duty to show mutual trust and confidence. A useful model of the psychological contract is offered by Professor David Guest of Kings College London (see table below). In outline, the model suggests that: • • • the extent to which employers adopt people management practices will influence the state of the psychological contract the contract is based on employees' sense of fairness and trust and their belief that the employer is honouring the 'deal' between them where the psychological contract is positive, increased employee commitment and satisfaction will have a positive impact on business performance.
A model of the psychological contract (adapted from Guest1) Inputs employee characteristics organisation characteristics HR practices Content Outputs fairness trust delivery employee behaviour performance
What happens if the contract is broken?
Research evidence shows that, where employees believe that management have broken promises or failed to deliver on commitments, this has a negative effect on job satisfaction and commitment and on the psychological contract as a whole. This is particularly the case where managers themselves are responsible for breaches, eg where employees do not receive promised training, or performance reviews are badly handled. Managers cannot always ensure that commitments are fulfilled - for example where employment prospects deteriorate or organisations are affected by mergers or restructuring – but they may still take some blame in the eyes of employees. Managers need to remember: • • • Employment relationships may deteriorate despite management’s best efforts: nevertheless it is managers’ job to take responsibility for maintaining them. Preventing breach in the first place is better than trying to repair the damage afterwards. But where breach cannot be avoided it may be better to spend time negotiating or renegotiating the deal, rather than focusing too much on delivery.
What has persuaded people to take the psychological contract seriously?
Changes currently affecting the workplace include: • • • • • the nature of jobs: more employees are on part time and temporary contracts, more jobs are being outsourced, tight job definitions are out, functional flexibility is in organisations have downsized and delayered: 'leanness' means doing more with less, so individual employees have to carry more weight markets, technology and products are constantly changing: customers are becoming ever more demanding, quality and service standards are constantly going up technology and finance are less important as sources of competitive advantage: 'human capital' is becoming more critical to business performance in the knowledgebased economy traditional organisational structures are becoming more fluid: teams are often the basic building block, new methods of managing are required.
The effect of these changes is that employees are increasingly recognised as the key business drivers. The ability of the business to add value rests on its front-line employees, or 'human capital'. Organisations that wish to succeed have to get the most out of this resource. In order to do this, employers have to know what employees expect from their work. The psychological contract offers a framework for monitoring employee attitudes and priorities on those dimensions that can be shown to influence performance. Employer brand
Employees in large organisations do not identify any single person as the 'employer'. The line manager is important in making decisions about day-to-day working but employees are also affected by decisions taken by the chief executive and HR department. In many cases employees may often have little idea who, if anyone, is personally responsible for decisions affecting their welfare or the future of the business. Unsurprisingly surveys confirm that employees tend to feel more confidence in their line manager, whom they see on a regular basis, than in anonymous members of senior management. In order to display commitment, employees have to feel they are being treated with fairness and respect. Many organisations have concluded they need to create a corporate personality, or identity, that employees as well as customers will recognise and relate to. This leads them to identify a set of corporate values or set down the organisation's mission. The purpose of creating an 'employer brand' (sometimes referred to as the employment proposition) is to outline the positive benefits for employees of buying into the relationship with that employer. In practice the employer brand can be seen as an attempt by the employer to define the psychological contract with employees so as to help in recruiting and retaining talent. How do HR practices impact on performance?
The model of the psychological contact suggests that by adopting 'bundles' of HR practices employers are likely to improve business performance. Research into high performance working by Professor John Purcell and his colleagues2 underlines how this process can occur. Many employees have substantial discretion as to how to do their jobs: it is more likely that they will use their discretion positively if they feel that they are being fairly treated. Simply adopting positive HR polices is not enough: policies need to be translated into practice if they are to influence employees' behaviour. The way in which they are implemented by line managers is critical to the way in which employees respond. The changing employment relationship: is there a new contract?
The traditional psychological contract is generally described as an offer of commitment by the employee in return for the employer providing job security - or in some cases the legendary 'job for life'. The recession of the early 1990's and the continuing impact of globalisation are alleged to have destroyed the basis of this traditional deal since job security is no longer on offer. The new deal is said to rest on an offer by the employer of fair pay and treatment, plus opportunities for training and development. On this analysis, the employer can no longer offer security and this has undermined the basis of employee commitment. But is this the case, and is there a 'new contract'? Research suggests that in many ways the 'old' psychological contract is in fact still alive. Employees still want security: interestingly labour market data suggest that there has been little reduction in the length of time for which people stay in individual jobs. They are still prepared to offer loyalty, though they may feel less committed to the organisation as a whole than to their workgroup. In general they remain satisfied with their job. The kinds of commitments employers and employees might make to one another are given in the box below: Employees promise to: Work hard Uphold company reputation Employers promise to provide: Pay commensurate with performance Opportunities for training and development
Maintain high levels of attendance and punctuality Show loyalty to the organisation Work extra hours when required Develop new skills and update old ones Be flexible, for example, by taking on a colleague’s work Be courteous to clients and colleagues Be honest Come up with new ideas
Opportunities for promotion Recognition for innovation or new idea Feedback on performance Interesting tasks An attractive benefits package Respectful treatment Reasonable job security A pleasant and safe working environment
A study of collective agreements in the last few years suggests that employers recognise employee concerns about security. Such agreements often state that compulsory redundancy will be used only as a last resort. However employers know they are unable to offer absolute security and employees do not necessarily expect it. Younger people - the socalled 'generation X' - want excitement, a sense of community and a life outside work. They are not interested, as some of their fathers and mothers were, in a 'job for life', nor do they believe any organisation can offer this to them. They expect to be treated as human beings. The state of the psychological contract Press reports suggest that UK employees are dissatisfied, insecure and lacking in commitment. Major national surveys, including those undertaken by CIPD between 1996 and 20023, show that this picture is at best distorted: • • • • • a majority of employees consistently report that they are satisfied with their jobs. four out of five employees are not worried about losing their job, and most expect that if they did lose their job they would be able to find another one at similar pay without having to move house. levels of commitment have not shown any significant trend - whether up or down - in recent years. however, trust in the organisation has declined somewhat, particularly in the public sector. there are widespread concerns about long hours and work intensity.
But research findings suggest that managers can usefully focus on other issues. In particular: • employability: Although job security cannot be guaranteed, employers can recognise employees' need to build up a 'portfolio' of skills and competencies that will make them more marketable. Employees can be helped to develop occupational and personal skills, become more pro-active and take more responsibility for their own careers. careers: Early comments on the likely impact of labour market change suggested that employers were no longer able to provide 'careers' and that this was bound to sour the employment relationship. Research suggests that, while organisations have been de-layering and reducing the number of middle management posts, most employees have in fact adjusted their career expectations downwards. Many will be satisfied if they believe that their employer is handling issues about promotion fairly. They may also benefit from the opportunity to negotiate alternative career options.
empowerment: Despite some cynicism about employers' willingness to delegate responsibility, and employees' enthusiasm for accepting it, high-performing organisations demand that employees make an important contribution to decisions that would formerly have been seen as the sole prerogative of management. This is partly an issue of the way in which jobs are designed and partly of helping managers adopt new behaviours. work-life balance: There is an important link between employee feeling that they have got a satisfactory balance between work and the rest of their life, and having a positive psychological contract. Employers need to think through how employees can be helped to achieve such a balance. (See the factsheet on Work-life balance for further information).
How do managers get commitment from employees?
The importance of commitment emerges clearly from the research into the impact of people management on performance. Traditional management theory focuses on reward and particularly pay as a prime source of motivation. But Herzberg4 thought that employees were motivated to higher levels of performance by less material incentives such as interesting work and the opportunity to develop their skills. Modern management thinking suggests that badly designed pay systems can de-motivate employees but that getting pay right is no guarantee of commitment. Research suggests that in order to feel committed employees must feel satisfied with their work. Job satisfaction is more likely to be achieved where the employer offers employees what they want. Surveys consistently show that employees generally want interesting work, opportunities to develop, fair treatment and competent management. The line manager has a key role to play in maintaining commitment. Employers need to focus on tapping in to what employees are looking for and how they feel about their work. They need to involve and engage them. And they need to train line managers in how to manage people. How important is communication?
CIPD research into employee 'voice'5 shows the importance of communication and specifically of dialogue in which managers are prepared to listen to employees' opinions. Managers need to manage expectations, for example through systems of performance management which provide for regular employee appraisals. HR practices also communicate important messages about what the organisation seeks to offer its employers. But employee commitment and 'buy-in' come primarily not from telling but from listening. Employers are experimenting with a range of attitudinal and behavioural frameworks for securing employee inputs to management thinking as part of the decision-making process. This can be done face-to-face, for example through 'soap box' sessions, which encourage employees to speak their minds. Employee attitude surveys can also be an effective tool for exploring how employees think and feel on a range of issues affecting the workplace. In times of rapid change, managers and employees frequently hold contrasting opinions about what is going on. Two-way communication, both formal and informal, is essential as a form of reality check and a basis for building mutual trust. What does employee commitment mean in practice?
Line managers have high expectations of employees. For example, they may expect employees to: • • make every effort to attend work get to work on time
• • • • • • •
concentrate on their work get as much done as possible while at work work to the best of their abilities be willing to take on tasks outside their job descriptions be flexible in the hours they work to suit the organisation be a good team player develop and improve existing skills.
The list goes on. Importantly it is likely to include being polite and courteous to customers and clients at all times, and exceeding the performance expectations of their job. This is a tall order but surprisingly managers say that employees generally meet or exceed their expectations. Managers feel that employees are rather better at delivering on their side of the deal than is the employer. Strategic implications of the psychological contract
Basically the psychological contract offers a metaphor, or representation, of what goes on in the workplace, that highlights important but often neglected features. It offers a framework for addressing 'soft' issues about managing performance; it focuses on people, rather than technology; and it draws attention to some important shifts in the relationship between people and organisations. Most organisations could benefit from thinking about the psychological contract. The first priority is to build the people dimension into thinking about organisational strategy. If people are bottom-line business drivers, their capabilities and needs should be fully integrated into business process and planning. The purpose of business strategy becomes how to get the best return from employees' energies, knowledge and creativity. Employees' contribution can no longer be extracted by shame, guilt and fear: it has to be offered. Issues about motivation and commitment are critical. Yet many of the levers which managers have relied on to motivate employees are increasingly unreliable. The psychological contract may have implications for organisational strategy in a number of areas, for example: • process fairness: People want to know that their interests will be taken into account when important decisions are taken; they would like to be treated with respect; they are more likely to be satisfied with their job if they are consulted about change. Managers cannot guarantee that employees will accept that outcomes on eg pay and promotion are fair, but they can put in place procedures that will make acceptance of the results more likely. communications: Although collective bargaining is still widely practised in the public sector, in large areas of the private sector trade unions now have no visible presence. It is no longer possible for managers in these areas to rely on 'joint regulation' in order to communicate with employees or secure their co-operation. An effective two-way dialogue between employer and employees is a necessary means of giving expression to employee 'voice'. management style: In many organisations, managers can no longer control the business 'top down' - they have to adopt a more 'bottom up' style. Crucial feedback about business performance flows in from customers and suppliers and front-line employees will often be best able to interpret it. Managers have to draw on the strategic knowledge in employees' heads. managing expectations: Employers need to make clear to new recruits what they can expect from the job. Managers may have a tendency to emphasise positive messages and play down more negative ones. But employees can usually distinguish rhetoric from reality and management failure to do so will undermine employees' trust. Managing expectations, particularly when bad news is anticipated, will increase the chances of establishing a realistic psychological contract.
measuring employee attitudes: Employers should monitor employee attitudes on a regular basis as a means of identifying where action may be needed to improve performance. Some employers use indicators of employee satisfaction with management as part of the process for determining the pay of line managers. Other employers, particularly in the service sector, recognise strong links between employee and customer satisfaction. But employers should only undertake surveys of employee attitudes if they are ready to act on the results.
Top tips for managers
Following are some of the key lessons that emerge from research into the psychological contract: 1. Avoid redundancies whenever possible: redundancies lower morale. 2. Re-state the organisation's values: employees don't trust the organisation. 3. Train line managers in people management skills: employees are more likely to trust their line manager. 4. Ensure managers commit to key messages: mixed messages will have a negative influence on employee attitudes. 5. Inform and consult employees about proposed changes: they are more likely to see the outcome as fair. 6. Take care to fulfil commitments you make to employees: managers say employees show more commitment to their employer than vice versa. 7. Consider if you need to renegotiate what employees are entitled to expect: otherwise they may feel let down when circumstances change. 8. Put more effort into managing change: employees believe change is badly managed. 9. Give employees more responsibility: autonomy increases satisfaction. 10. Use employee attitude surveys to get a clear idea of what is happening in the organisation: employees often do not share senior managers' views of reality. 11. Don't use tight management and close supervision: this will reduce employee satisfaction. 12. Use recruitment and appraisal processes to clarify the 'deal': employee expectations are influenced by a number of factors. 13. If you can't keep a promise, explain why: failure is often punished by loss of trust. 14. Trust employees to do a good job: most are highly motivated to do so and will respond to the trust you show in them. 15. Don't rely on performance management systems to motivate employees: you need to engage hearts and minds. 16. Be aware of changing expectations: for example, more employees now want to work for organisations that behave responsibly. 17. Ensure consistency of treatment: perceived unfairness undermines trust. 18. Hold team meetings and focus groups: two-way dialogue will help flag issues at an early stage. 19. Review procedures for handing workplace conflict: mediation may offer a better outcome for both sides than an employment tribunal. 20. Encourage the growth of ‘relational’ contracts: if you want employees to develop a long-term emotional attachment to the organisation.
Public interest in the psychological contract has been stimulated by fears about job insecurity. Survey evidence suggests that, although such fears have been exaggerated, employers should nevertheless be paying more attention to restoring employees' trust in their organisations. This means clarifying what is on offer, meeting commitments or if
necessary explaining what has gone wrong, and monitoring employee attitudes on a regular basis. The psychological contract does not supply a detailed model of employee relations but it offers important clues about how to maintain employee commitment. With the decline in collective bargaining, attention is more clearly focused on relations between the organisation and individual employees. The psychological contract reinforces the need for managers to become more effective at the communications process. Consultation about anticipated changes will help in adjusting expectations and if necessary renegotiating the deal. Employees are becoming both more critical to business performance and more demanding of the organisations for which they work. In a 'winner takes all' economy, doing a good job is no longer enough: outstanding performance is essential to survival. This level of performance cannot be achieved by downsizing or cost-control: it will only come from persuading employees to make a willing contribution. The psychological contract provides a convincing rationale for 'soft HRM', or behaving as a good employer. It offers a perspective based on insights from psychology and organisational behaviour rather than economics. It emphasises that employment is a relationship in which the mutual obligations of employer and employees may be imprecise but have nevertheless to be respected. The price of failing to fulfil expectations may be serious damage to the relationship and to the organisation. References
1. GUEST, D.E. and CONWAY, N. (2002) Pressure at work and the psychological contract.
2. PURCELL, J., KINNIE, N.; and HUTCHINSON, S. (2003) Understanding the people and 3. For a full list of the CIPD annual surveys and research on the psychological contract
see our website. performance link: unlocking the black box. Research report. London: CIPD.
4. HERZBERG, F. (1987) 'One more time: How do you motivate employees?'. Harvard 5. MARCHINGTON, M., WILKINSON, A. and ACKERS, P. (2001) Management choice and
employee voice. Research report. London: CIPD. Business Review. Vol 65, No 5, September/October. pp109-120.
The Psychological Contract
A Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia Entry by Janet Smithson, Ph.D. Department of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Manchester Metropolitan University Sue Lewis, Ph.D. Department of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Manchester Metropolitan University Back to WF Encyclopedia Index Go to Recommended Readings on this topic Go to Suggested Class Activities
Basic Concepts & Definitions History and Definitions of the Concept: The notion of the "psychological contract" was first coined by Argyris (1960) to refer to employer and employee expectations of the employment relationship, i.e. mutual obligations, values, expectations and aspirations that
operate over and above the formal contract of employment. Since then there have been many attempts to develop and refine this concept. Historically, the concept can be viewed as an extension of philosophical concepts of social contract theory (Schein, 1980; Roehling, 1997). The social contract, which deals with the origins of the state, supposes that individuals voluntarily consent to belonging to an organised society, with attendant constraints and rights. Argyris (1960) used the concept to describe an implicit agreement between a group of employees and their supervisor. Other influential early writers such as Levinson, Price, Munden, and Solley (1962), used the concept to describe the set of expectations and obligations that individual employees spoke of when talking about their work experience. They identified a number of different types of employee expectations, held both consciously (for example expectations about job performance, security, and financial rewards) and unconsciously (for example being looked after by the employer). Roehling (1997) credits Levinson et al (1962) with explicitly recognising the dynamic relationship of the psychological contract: contracts evolve or change over time as a result of changing needs and relationships on both the employee's and the employer's side. Schein (1965) emphasised the importance of the psychological contract concept in understanding and managing behaviour in organisations. He argued that expectations may not be written into any formal agreement but operate powerfully as determinants of behaviour. For example, an employer may expect a worker not to harm the company's public image, and an employee may expect not to be made redundant after many years' service. Like Levinson et al (1962), Schein emphasised that the psychological contract will change over time. Recent developments in psychological contract theory are largely dominated by Rousseau (e.g. 1989; 1995; 2001). Rousseau argues the psychological contract is promise-based and, over time, takes the form of a mental model or schema which is relatively stable and durable. Rousseau (1989) explicitly distinguished between conceptualisations at the level of the individual and at the level of the relationship, focusing in her theory on individual employees' subjective beliefs about their employment relationship. Crucially, the employer and employee may not agree about what the contract actually involves, which can lead to feelings that promises have been broken, or, as it is generally termed, the psychological contract has been violated. Rousseau's conceptualisation of the psychological contract focuses on the employee's side of the contract, so can be termed a "one-way contract". Much recent work has focused on the employee's understanding of the explicit and implicit promises regarding the exchange of employee contributions (e.g. effort, loyalty, ability) for organisational inducements (e.g. pay, promotion, security) (Rousseau, 1995, Conway & Briner, 2002). The employer's perspective has received less attention. Rousseau also distinguished between "relational contracts" which implicitly depend on trust, loyalty and job security, and "transactional contracts" where employees do not expect a long lasting relationship with their employer or organisation, but instead view their employment as a transaction in which, for example, long hours and extra work are provided in exchange for high pay, and training and development (Rousseau & WadeBenzoni, 1995). This will be considered further in section "State of the Body of Knowledge" below. It is important to recognise that researchers have used the concept of the psychological contract in a variety of different ways (Roehling, 1997). Significant elements of all definitions of the psychological contract include:
a g e in t hi s s o ci al p r o c e s s. 4 . B e c a u s e it is b a s e d o n in di vi d u al p e rc e p ti o n s in di vi d u al s in
Understanding the Psychological Contract Suggested Work and Family Class Activity Content contributed by Janet Smithson, Ph.D., Manchester Metropolitan University Name of activity Type of activity Related encycl. topic Purpose Understanding the Psychological Contract
Paired interviews/Group discussion
The Psychological Contract
To reflect on the psychological contract and to relate it to experiences of employment
Ask members of the class to interview other students in the class who currently have or have in the past had paid employment. The interviews can be in pairs, or several students could interview one person, depending on how many have students had paid employment experience. The interviewers should explore questions, such as: 1. What sort of employment contract did/do you have? (permanent, temporary, part time, holiday etc). What were the official terms of employment? What did your employer expect from you? Which expectations were explicit? Which ones implicit? 2.
3. What did you expect from your employer? In general, and concerning work and family or flexibility? 4. Have you any experience of the employer violating your expectations? How did it affect your attitudes and behaviour at work? 5. Have you had any experiences where the employer did more than you expected? How did this affect your attitudes and behaviour? Can you relate your experience to any of the forms of psychological contract described in the reading? What will you expect from a future employer: a. 6.
b. concerning work and family or flexibility? 8. Are there any gender differences in the experiences and expectations in this group? Why might this be? 9. Do you think the Psychological Contract is a useful way of looking at employment experiences and expectations?
Suggestion submitted by
Janet Smithson , Ph.D. Manchester Metropolitan University
Fo r B us in es s an d Te ch ni ca l W rit er s
The term “psychological contract” was first used in the 1960s. It means the set of expectations and obligations that employees regard as part of their work experience. It is different (and sometimes very different) from the details included in a formal job description. An employee’s expectations can include :
• • • • •
Security Financial rewards Informal recognition from the manager or employer Promotion opportunities A flexible approach to the “work-life” balance giving sufficient priority to personal or family needs (eg time off for family illnesses).
Obligations can include:
• • • •
Working to a certain level of performance Being seen to agree with the company “ethos” Loyalty to the business and colleagues Real commitment to achieving business aims.
This package of obligations and expectations has a very powerful effect on productivity and staff retention.
When the contract works well...
If the managers in a business have a clear and accurate understanding of the issues affecting each person’s contract then the effect on the business can be very positive. See The Safeway story as an example of the way the psychological contract can be used to good effect. The contract will change over time. Managers also need to be alert to this and take steps to regularly review or understand the current contract as viewed by the staff in the business.
When the contract goes wrong...
If managers think they understand the contract as viewed by their staff, but actually misjudge it, then things can go badly wrong. All staff will have their own individual psychological contract. If this is, in their view, violated then staff can feel a sense of injustice, deception or betrayal. Staff can become sullen or leave the business. Or they might tolerate the ‘discomfort’ they feel in the business but loose all enthusiasm. They’ll say to friends, family and themselves - “it’s just a job”. They are more likely to leave promptly as soon as as the working day finishes.
What’s the contract in your business ?
Determining the way the contract is seen by each staff member is easier said than done. Staff can be reluctant to divulge their views and “lay their cards on the table”. Managers need to be both open and act with total integrity. It can sometimes be easier to use an external team to determine the current views and psychological contracts of staff. Adelphi Associates specialists use a range of interview techniques and a structured approach to analysis of the business. Please contact us if you’d like and informal discussion of this option.
Some suggestions for business managers
All the evidence points to significant benefits that can be achieved when managers take care to :
understand the psychological contracts as perceived by their staff and... use this understanding to influence management decisions.
More specifically managers can :
• • • • •
Take care when recruiting - many expectations have their origin in discussions during recruitment and shortly after a new employee starts. Take account of real employee perceptions in deciding work-life policies and practices. Ensure fairness throughout your business. Staff can be very demotivated if they see that comparable work does not result in similar pay & conditions. Managers need to be clear on their expectations and the employee’s obligations. Ensure existing psychological contracts are honoured or at least taken into account when a business goes through major changes
The Safeway Story
The benefits achieved at Safeway in taking account of the psychological contract have been widely reported in the UK press. Whilst Adelphi Associates were in no way involved their experiences underline the benefits to be gained. As at December 2003, Safeway, a UK food retailer, are the subject of a takeover battle. Staff, on hearing this news, could easily have been very troubled by the future of the business with many of them heading to the exit door. However by taking a number of measures the expected exodus of staff did not materialise. One of the issues they paid careful attention to was management of the psychological contract in the business. They kept a lot of focus on the expectations between the business and the staff. Through this approach they were able to avoid a breakdown in the psychological contract by maintaining an open dialogue and a continuing contract that staff could understand and relate to. The result of all the initiatives has been better than expected staff retention and increased morale.
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