How much do you trust your boss? When they imply that by taking on the additional tasks in order to ‘help them out’ or ‘get yourself noticed within the company’, how confident are you that they will follow through on their side of the agreement? This is the psychological contract that you have with the company and is a huge motivator for employees to get up on a cold winter morning, fight through the rush hour traffic in order to be the first one at your desk and show willing.

While the actual contract is with the company and will outline all the important details of the job and rewards package, it is the unwritten agreement with the line manager that can be potentially more motivational in getting the employee to come into work each day and help the company to achieve their business objectives.

The unspoken agreement

It is this informally, and usually unspoken, agreement between an employee and their line manager that by helping out and taking on more roles and responsibilities that they will be in mind when the next promotions are being thought about. But the idea of this has to have an inferred timeline, as employees will be unwilling to carry this additional workload indefinitely and especially if they are seeing people continually getting promoted ahead of them. It is important for the line manager to not give any promises based on the additional work, but to also understand the employee may have an expectation.

As there are no longer jobs for life, how much trust do you have to place in your boss to ensure that your job is safe and that you're motivated to work week in week out, year after year without being tempted to look anywhere else? It also works the other way as your line manager hopes that by training the employee that they're showing that they value them enough to invest in time and money in them and are expecting this trust returned by remaining with the company.

Non-financial rewards

This is an example of the non-financial rewards that keeps us committed and loyal to a company once our financial needs have been met. How important the financial elements are is dependent on where you are within your career. When you are just starting out, it is likely that you will not have as many other responsibilities to distract you from work and will be wanting to show to your boss how committed you are to the company. Whereas further into a career it is possible that your financial requirements are already being met and the psychological contract will deal more with the stability of your job.

It's about trust

After working successfully in a department for five years, why are you suddenly being moved to another department? You have spent time building up good knowledge and a good reputation, when you are suddenly moved into an under-performing area of the company which has a direct effect on your reputation and standing.
We all have times when we lose motivation in the office. Eventually it will not matter how much we are getting paid if we do not feel that we can trust our manager anymore. If they don’t back up their words in this situation, how do we know that they will honor their promises in the future?

Author's Bio: 

Joe Flanagan is the Senior Consultant at Velvet Jobs, a resume builder, job search and outplacement service. His passion and knowledge runs deep within HR, job searching and resume writing and has written for a variety of major publications including HR in Asia, SmallBizClub and Yoh.