"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Work and Organizational Psychology: Practical Applications of Theory

What images come to mind while you consider a psychologist? You may think someone with a doctorate advising patients in a quiet office setting. Maybe your mind conjures up images of a researcher working in an experimental laboratory. You may not immediately imagine a psychologist working in a company headquarters or advising company managers to enhance their employees' motivation within the workplace.

What is figure and organizational psychology or, because it is usually called, I/O psychology? This branch is just not as well generally known as clinical and experimental psychology. Professionals on this field use psychological concepts and theories to optimize workplaces by collecting workplace data, evaluating the effectiveness of coaching programs, and increasing worker productivity and workplace safety. Learn more about why and the way employers and employees profit from I/O psychology.

In the early days of commercial and organizational psychology, the sphere focused on two separate elements of the workplace. Industrial psychologists spent their time on practical matters that they might evaluate, troubleshoot, and analyze, comparable to worker training programs and performance metrics. In contrast, organizational psychologists give attention to the soft skills employees need to achieve the workplace—comparable to the flexibility to work as a part of a team or lead a bunch.

Over time, psychologists combined these two different roles in the sphere of commercial organizational psychology.

An I/O psychologist might spend his day developing a training program for brand spanking new employees, or he might devote his time to tracking applicants and overseeing the corporate's worker onboarding process. Another I/O team member may fit as a consultant helping small businesses improve their interdepartmental communications.

These professionals apply psychological concepts in addition to research findings to real-world business scenarios comparable to:

  • Hiring and firing employees
  • Supporting recent employees in integrating into the company culture
  • Optimization of coaching programs
  • Working in human resources departments
  • Advising firms on improve their overall performance or standards
  • Research, analyze data and present your results to the corporate
  • Teaching and research at university level

Not all psychologists plan experiments in laboratories or work with patients who've emotional problems. I/O psychologists profit from their training in psychology and their understanding of many psychological theories and principles. In fact, many I/O psychologists have a bachelor's degree and advanced academic training in the topic.

Unlike researchers and clinicians who may give attention to designing experiments or treating patients, I/O psychologists use their knowledge to enhance workplaces world wide. Read the next examples of commercial organizational psychology to grasp the important thing differences between this branch of psychology and others.

I/O psychologists don't advise patients with mental illnesses. A clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or social employee is licensed to counsel people and help them take steps toward developing recent coping mechanisms.

In contrast, an I/O psychologist is just not trained to serve people as a counselor or clinician. If you wish to turn into a psychologist who works individually with patients of all ages, you must consider a level that results in such a profession, comparable to a doctorate. in clinical psychology or a master's degree in counseling or social work.

This doesn't mean that I/O psychologists never consider or work with mental illness. For example, I/O psychologists may also help an organization's human resources department develop a program for workers scuffling with depression or burnout. These professionals could also evaluate the effectiveness of the corporate implementing mental health days, providing employees with paid time without work for depression, or improving the corporate's advantages package to higher support worker mental health.

I/O psychologists analyze data more often than they conduct experiments. I/O psychologists are trained to conduct research, but their studies are aimed toward solving real-world problems on this planet of labor.

There are many kinds of research within the I/O area. For example, an I/O psychologist may analyze the metrics collected from a brand new training program to evaluate whether it's working or not. At the identical time, one other might design a pilot program for an employer that desires to create a shorter workweek or introduce performance-based pay incentives.

To benefit from most opportunities within the I/O field, you will have a sophisticated degree. Most I/O psychologists have a minimum of a master's degree in I/O psychology—versus general or clinical psychology—while some decide to pursue a doctorate.

Ideally, you must have a solid understanding and interest in human behavior, leadership, common workplace stressors, and psychology because it pertains to how groups of individuals work together. You should attempt to develop the next skills in your path to employment:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience chatting with groups of individuals
  • Ability to work each on-site and remotely
  • Research and data evaluation skills relevant to the workplace
  • Outstanding attention to detail

Aspiring I/O psychologists can find jobs in numerous industries, but a lot of these potential employers don't advertise positions with the designation “industrial psychologist.” This can leave an aspiring I/O psychologist feeling uncertain concerning the job market – or nervous that they've chosen the unsuitable profession because there don't appear to be any jobs available.

However, this is much from the reality: there are lots of open positions, but employers often advertise them in response to the particular skills required, reasonably than under the final title of “psychologist”. Consider these two points when looking for employment or considering I/O psychology as a profession path.

Decide on an industry: I/O psychologists can work in human resources, but also can find employment in places as diverse as large corporations, small businesses, the federal government, public schools, hospitals and marketing agencies. If you don't just like the first job you select, it's possible you'll discover a rewarding profession in one other industry.

Read job postings fastidiously: Keep in mind that few employers advertise specifically for an industrial-organizational psychologist, but many are searching for data analysts or human resources specialists. This wording is meant to avoid confusion: the term “psychologist” is usually only utilized by professionals who work with patients and have the suitable license to supply therapeutic services.

Look for jobs related to human resources, managing projects or teams, or analyzing behavior, workforce, and worker performance.

If you select industrial organizational psychology, you'll open up exciting and difficult opportunities throughout your profession. Focus on completing the required training and acquiring additional skills it's good to reach this unique profession path.