The psychologic contract – the grounds of healthy labor relationships

 The psychologic contract – the grounds of healthy labor relationships

by Lăcrămioara Ichim – Specialist in human resources

Human Resources Management, as Alan Fowler (1987) was writing , is an accesible concept. The message conveyed to the superior managers tend to be disappointingly simple : „ Do not stress your self with the principles and methods of personnel management, the message is telling. Limit yourselves to manage the context. Get out from offices, jump over the ierarhical stairs and go discuss with the people. In this way you will unleash an enormous  potential for performance improving”
The main objective of human resources management is to guaranty that the organisation can enjoy the succes through the people. The main activities of human resources management , which are conducted by the executive managers as well as human resources managers, are :

  • Obtaining and developing the human resources;
  • Relationships with the employees;
  • Developing the skills of human resources;
  • Performance management;
  • Rewards management.

Management processes of human resources, takes place within the internal environment of the organisation and within the external one. Mostly, they will depend of environment factors which has an incidence over them.

Human resources management has the objective to strengthening the motivation and the asumed commitment, to create a clime able to maintain productive relationships, by partnerships between the managerial leadership and employees. This is meant to introduce managerial practices based on commitments, which to recognise the fact that employees represent a priced group of persons  interested in the good functioning of the organisation and which to help for building a climate of cooperation and mutual trust.

A very important matter in the human resources management is the labor relationship, the quality of the relationship between employer and employee, by creating a climate of trust and developing of a psychologic contract, mainly positive. Administering and maintaining formal and informal relationships, granting the posibilities to express their opinions, sharing the informations with the employees and consulting them for optimising the work processes.

The term labor relationship describe the relation which exists between employers and employees at the work place. These relationships can be formal, for example : labor contracts or can be informal, as a psychologic contract, which express several assumtions and expectations in relation with what the  managers and the employer have to offer and are willing to give. These expectations are often implicit and are not defined the labor contract.

At the fundamental level, psihological contract express the combination beliefs which an individual and his/her employer adopts in relation with the expectations a person have to another person.

It may be described as a set of reciprocal expectations, but not formulated as they are, which exists between an employee and employer.

Psihologic contract has a powerfull connection with the degree of commitment assumed against the organisation, with the employee satisfaction degree and good quality of labor relationships.

This emphasis the importance of a deep implication climate and sugests, particulary, that human resources management practices, like ensurring the learning posibilities, formation and developing, focus on the stability of the work place, promotion and career, reductions at the minimum level of the personal status diferences, correct and unbiased  rewards systems and complete communication and implication processes will contribute, together, at the formation of a positive psychological contract.

For a better functioning of the psychological contract, we recommed that this unwritten code, of good practices, between employee and employer, to be communicated and assumed by the two parts.

Expressing the expectations offers the confidence in actions, because each part understands the needs of the other and can act as fully aware and favor the functioning of the relationship in the agreed and openly expressed terms.

Of cource that, expectations can suffer changes over time, and this is why is good that, from time to time, to exist opened discussions about this partnership and how can this be improved.

Studies shows the fact that an employee is as satisfied of his work place as he feels more apreciated, respected and priced. While a happy employee is more productive, involved and more motivated in the work he initiate. And the benefits does not stop here. This will become an ambasador of the brand, which he will promote within his circle and will be more inclined to make your company’s clients feel special, by a positive and solution oriented solutions.


We do have good news on the other side of the wall as well: a satisfied employer will be happy of his success, because in a favorable climate, the manager will be able to get involved quietly in the other responsibilities, which leads to the success of his business.

Consequently, the psihological contract constitute a key appearance for a business success  and is recommended to be treated with seriosity and openness.

Lăcrămioara Ichim
Lăcrămioara Ichim, Exprom Human Resources Specialist, has worked for a total of 18 years in the HoReCa industry. Considering her complex fundamentals in HR, her duties include wage management, personel administration/review, evaluation and recruitement, as well as consultancy in human resources.