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How do you apply Psychology in the Workplace?

Psychology in the workplace

What does psychology in the workplace mean?

Workplace psychology can be referred to as the practice and application of psychological principles and methodologies to a work environment. The ultimate goal of workplace psychology is to identify and solve emerging issues within the workplace, improve workplace morale and dynamics, and increase employee satisfaction. Workplace psychology is mostly referred to as industrial- organizational psychology.

What is industrial- organizational psychology?

Psychology in the workplace is also known as Industrial-Organizational psychology, or I/O psychology. This is simply the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace. I/O psychology plays a very crucial and significant role in the workplace:

It focuses on assessing individual, group, and organizational dynamics and uses that research to identify solutions to problems that improve the well-being and performance of an organization and its employees. It strives to improve, understand, and motivate employees in order to increase the overall performance of the organization as a whole. 

What are the 3 main fields relating to psychology in the workplace?

  • Industrial psychology: Selecting and evaluating employees

This field of I/O psychology encompasses job requirement description, staff ability to meet these specifications, job performance evaluation, training, as well as the consideration of legal issues concerning discrimination in hiring.

  • Organizational psychology: The social dimension of work

This branch focuses on how employee relationships impact business performance. This includes assessing everything from employee satisfaction to leadership and organizational structure. This interest in employee relationships and staff wellbeing results in the consideration of sensitive subjects such as sexual harassment and workplace violence as well.

  • Human factors psychology: Workplace design

This term is also known as Ergonomics. This can simply be defined as the study of people in their work environment, furthermore it’s how employees react with the tools at work and how the tools’ design can contribute to staff productivity optimization. The target here is to eliminate workplace discomfort, an ergonomist alters the work to fit the worker, not vice versa.

How does an I/O psychologist benefit an employee?

Utilizing the required scientific methods to examine human behavior in a place of work, a certified psychologist is then able to determine how well teams communicate, how invested people are in their jobs, as well as the happiness levels and how that impacts productivity and efficiency in the workplace. They then apply psychological principals and methods to further improve the state of the overall working environment.

Applying and understanding psychology in the workplace makes the working environment feel safer, employees feel understood as well as able to speak up about the way they feel. It encourages them to be better, perform better, and benefit the organization better. A healthy employee is an efficient employee.

The importance of I/O psychology in the workplace

I/O psychology heavily contributes to the maintenance of a healthy, motivational work environment. It is also a crucial element in both human and organizational optimization.

The successful application of psychology in the workplace results in higher levels of employee satisfaction, increased overall productivity, and better communication and cooperation between the different departments in the workplace. This facilitates any and all cross department actions, as well as day-to-day operations within the business. 

In conclusion, the comprehension and application of a successful healthy workplace culture has immensely evolved over the past few decades. A strict regime of intimidation and inattentiveness has gradually been replaced with motivation and recognition. The concepts brought forth by workplace psychology have shifted working environments, and has led to happier employees as well as increased workplace productivity.

Interested in learning more? View Masters in Psychology of work. Speak to a Higher Education Consultant for a consultation.