A person who is studying psychology and plans to become an industrial-organizational psychologist may want to know, “What are the most important elements of an industrial-organizational psychologist’s job?” This information is important because it allows a student to decide if their preferences and skills are well-aligned with the typical job duties and responsibilities of an industrial-organizational psychologist. Having this information could help a person decide on a specialty of psychology or a type of job for their career path.

Planning Human Resources Policies

A big part of what an industrial-organizational psychologist does is planning human resources policies. For example, they may study employee working styles and help with the development of policies that encourage teamwork and efficiency. They may also observe management styles and make recommendations for changes that could help boost employee satisfaction and morale in the workplace. Industrial-organizational psychologists also improve the quality of life on the job for all of the workers.

Testing and Evaluating Recruits and Employees

Another important element of an industrial-organizational psychologist’s job is to evaluate applicants and recruits for the skills and strengths that are necessary in order to do a particular job or task. They may also test recruits and employees. For example, they might test the personality types of employees. This allows the industrial-organizational psychologist to work with human resources and put a qualified applicant into the position that is best-suited to their personality type and skills. The personality test could also determine if a person would be a good fit for the organization.

Implementing Employee Training and Development Programs

An industrial-organizational psychologist is also responsible for implementing employee training and development programs. The training programs might include how to perform a certain task with efficiency or how to perform a new task in an ergonomic way so as to reduce the risk of a repetitive strain injury. They may coordinate employee development programs in order to reduce workplace stress, enhance employee morale or help employees learn techniques for communication with coworkers and management. They may also coordinate with human resources or employee health in order to provide additional employee development around injury prevention and long-term health.

Organizing the Work Environment for Optimal Productivity and Safety

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, another one of the most important elements of an industrial-organizational psychologist’s job is to organize the work environment for optimal productivity. This includes organizing both the physical environment and the processes performed by the workers. For example, the industrial-organizational psychologist may observe employees performing a particular task and make recommendations on how to change the layout of the equipment in order to reduce repetitive movements or stretches that could result in a slower speed or increased rate of worker injuries.

Although each employer will have different responsibilities and job duties for an industrial-organizational psychologist, the general elements of the job tend to be common across different employers and industries. Knowing about these commonalities makes it easier for a person who is studying industrial-organizational psychology or graduating with a degree in this field to know what to expect when they begin applying for jobs. Understanding the answer to, “What are the most important elements of an industrial-organizational psychologist’s job?” could facilitate a person’s decision on a concentration or career path within psychology.

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