Applied psychology involves the application of psychological principles to solve problems occurring in the corporate workplace. It aims to improve the workplace environment to boost healthier and happier teams. This branch of psychology determines the strategies to promote organizational efficiency. Let’s go over some essential details about this field, shall we?
Applied psychology centers on individual needs and behavior patterns in a workplace and addresses key employee concerns. Moreover, this discipline comprises two different fields: industrial psychology and organizational psychology. The two fields may look similar, but they offer varying insights and perspectives for companies and employees to operate at optimal levels.
An expert I/O psychologist can boost a business’s employees’ well-being, productivity, and job engagement.
Defining industrial-organizational psychology
Applied psychology employs psychological principles and research methods to offer better employee experiences and remedies to business problems. I/O psychologists analyze the working and leadership styles of the management and employees at every level. Additionally, these professionals observe the workplace environment, evaluate organizational productivity, and coordinate with the administration to establish better policies, devise long-term plans and conduct employee training.
Although business psychology remains a relatively small field, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has estimated the employment rate of its graduates to increase by 53% from 2012 to 2022. Thus, it’s best to apply for a psychology master’s degree if you are interested in social sciences and business.
Despite acquiring a bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduates have domestic or other responsibilities that restrict them from completing a traditional master’s. In that case, enrolling in an applied psychology degree online can be a good alternative.
How Applied Psychology Helps Organizations Grow
Implementing a well-thought business strategy can be incredibly advantageous to a business and its employees. Following are some advantages:
Stronger team building
Team collaboration is the glue holding all the employees together. Mutual respect, frequent communication, and coordination between employees are crucial for accomplishing company goals and individual projects.
It can be frustrating for everyone when employees are experiencing a lag in communication. That’s precisely when a business psychologist steps in and identifies specific areas that require improvement. Additionally, psychologists can work with the employees’ feedback to implement better, versatile communication strategies. For instance, experts can schedule semi-annual company trips so different teams can freely mingle with their colleagues in a comfortable environment. Similarly, they can suggest an organization adopt open-door policies to build trust.
Improved productivity and efficiency
The first job of an I/O psychologist is to address and remove any hindrances in the company’s productivity. For example, suppose you offer your assembly line workers an opportunity of rotating their job functions to gain more work exposure. When these workers are relieved from their monotonous, repetitive tasks, they are more likely to experience a productivity boost. Besides, when employees get to explore different areas of the factory or company, e.g., processing and packaging, it adds meaning and value to their work. As a result, an I/O psychologist can help enhance productivity while taking full consideration of employee needs.
Business psychology can also lend a helping hand in the recruiting process. Psychologists explore a candidate’s ethical values and ability to adapt to the organizational culture. An employees’ goals must align with the company’s. To find ideal candidates, organizations must look beyond behavioral skills. For example, I/O psychologists can help design the interview questions to gauge potential candidates’ attitudes in challenging workplace settings.
More efficient conflict resolution
I/O psychologists can also devise effective conflict resolution strategies to promote healthy and assertive dialogue between employees in a workplace. Conflict resolution strategies are integral to solving co-worker strife and quarrels. Due to their knowledge and experience in behavioral studies, these experts can remain impartial while helping workers. Some of their conflict resolution techniques include active listening and guided communication.
Likewise, they may consult with the senior management and leadership to check if the workplace conflicts result from any existing policies or behaviors.
Increased employee satisfaction
Since a significant portion of business psychology comprises studying employee attitudes and behaviors, it can help measure the employees’ job satisfaction. If the scores are low, psychologists can suggest strategies for improving overall employee well-being and contentment, resulting in a more productive workforce. These experts may also contribute to developing policies in other corporate areas like corporate ethics, employee benefits, and inclusivity in the workplace. Remember, higher job satisfaction means more than just a happy and gleeful workforce. Several studies have proven that employee satisfaction is positively correlated with business growth, promotion and success.
Reduce stress through work-life balance
If business psychologists find that most employees are distressed or unhappy at their jobs, they can recommend that management introduce work-life balance programs to ease the employees’ burdens. Besides reducing turnover rates and improving retention, work-life balance can boost efficiency. They can even lessen employee burnout and increase employee motivation levels.
Fortunately, the corporate world accepts the idea that happier employees equal better business profits and performance. However, most companies still don’t have appropriate strategies to direct their efforts into investing in their workforce. Here enters industrial-organizational psychology. This article mentioned some ways in which applied psychology could facilitate business growth. These include but aren’t limited to more robust team building, higher productivity, and efficient conflict resolution.