INFOGRAPHIC: The 3 Employee Experience Contracts

Handshaking partners

INFOGRAPHIC: The 3 Employee Experience Contracts

(As conveyed in the book, The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results)
The Contract is a concept, a mental construct that we use to understand and tweak the expectations at stake in any relationship, whether it’s business or personal. Every relationship has a Contract. The Contract is the totality of explicit and implicit expectations that define the operating rules of the relationship, whether we are aware of them or not––every relationship comes with a Contract. The Employee Experience Book Cover

The Contract is the totality of explicit and implicit expectations that define the operating rules of the relationship. Every relationship has a Contract.

Some Contracts are explicit, visible, and understood by all parties in a relationship, such as a written statement of work from a vendor or the offer letter to a new employee spelling out the job description, benefits, bonus structure, and the you-do-this-I-give-you-that details. Like the tip of an iceberg, these Contracts are seen by all parties and well-understood. The expectations are out in the open and clearly defined. We call these the Brand Contract and Transactional Contract, but what’s underneath the water. We all know the iceberg has a larger mass that dives deep into the water yet remains unseen. We call this the Psychological Contract. These are the implicit expectations that aren’t openly or clearly defined yet exist within every organization and relationship.

The Three Contracts

Every contract is made up of three sub-contracts, as mentioned earlier:

  1. Brand Contract

    The Brand Contract is how we are viewed publicly or are seen by others. It consists of the promises that our brand identity––what we profess to be and what we stand for as an organization or team––makes to the people who are exposed to it.

  2. Transactional Contract

    The Transactional Contract is the mutually accepted, reciprocal, and explicit agreement between two or more entities that defines the basic operating terms of the relationship.

  3. Psychological Contract

    The Psychological Contract is the unwritten, implicit set of expectations and obligations that define the terms of exchange in a relationship.

Why is The Contract between employee and employer like an iceberg?

Like an iceberg, only part of the Contract is openly visible to all parties involved. Not every expectation makes its way into the written Contract. The implied part of any Contract is what carries the weight of the subconscious, unspoken expectations that each party brings to the relationship. These implied Contracts are the type your grandfather meant when he talked about doing business based on a handshake back in the day––nothing formal, other than the mutual belief that each party would act with the best interest of both sides at heart. With this Psychological, or implicit, Contract, trust is everything. Without it, there’s no deal.

Read the Book: The Employee Experience

So a Contract is really like an iceberg: You might see the written, express part bobbing above the water, but the larger part––the implied part––is submerged. The implied component is the most important section of any Contract, and that’s where things can go sideways. This is where Expectation Alignment Dysfunction runs rampant.
Infographic: Employee Experience Contracts

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Get the book, The Employee Experience

Podcast: Understanding The 3 Employee/Employer Contracts

Employee Experience Triangle Model

DecisionWise CEO and author, Tracy Maylett discusses his upcoming book. He also talks about the three types of contracts employees experience when working for an organization including answers to the following:

1. What are the three types of contracts?
2. What are transactional components of The Contract and how do they work?
3. What are brand components of The Contract and how do they work?
4. What are psychological components of The Contract and how do they work?
5. How does a business leader manage these components to create a better work environment?

See how these contracts form your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Download a sample survey and report.

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