What Does an Organizational Psychologist Do?
- Improve Hiring Process
- Address Human Resources Issues
- Advise on Policy Decisions
- Seek Ongoing Professional Development
- Optimize Workplace and Processes
IO psychology can be a lucrative career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the mean annual wage for an I/O professional as $111,150/year.
When did the discipline of industrial–organizational psychology emerge?
IO psychology is a relatively new field, undergoing rapid growth right after World War I.
See Also: What is Organizational Leadership?
What does it take to become an IO psychologist?
IO psychologists can take on many essential roles. They may work in a:
- government organization
At the bachelor’s degree level, an IO psychologist job description might include duties as a support role to an HR department. They might coordinate training activities or conduct environmental assessments.
If you are planning a career in IO psychology, a bachelor’s degree usually won’t be enough to advance. Careers in this discipline typically need a master’s degree or doctorate. With years of experience and an advanced degree, senior positions will be available. IO psychologists who completed a doctoral program can get board certification from the American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology. This is a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology. In IO psychology, both a master’s and doctoral degree can be considered a terminal degree in the field.
The Industrial Organizational Psychologists Job Description
What are psychologist responsibilities? An industrial psychologist job description likely includes a variety of different responsibilities within an organization. IO psychologists use a variety of scientific methods to apply psychological principles to areas like:
- human resources
- personnel psychology
- learning and development
IO psychologists must have a high degree of emotional intelligence. They also must have a strong understanding of different psychological research methods and strategies. They can then apply these to IO psychology. The industrial organizational psychologist’s job description doesn’t fit the framework of a typical psychologist. They use their knowledge of thought and human behavior to create value for their employer and solve problems.
The Five Responsibilities of an IO Psychologist
IO psychologists can expect to take on these five responsibilities once they’ve been hired by an organization. The organizational psychology job description varies. IO psychologists can expect their responsibilities to align with the following mentioned below.
1. Improve Hiring Process
work on new employee integration strategies for training programs
help new hires learn key job responsibilities
engage in the company’s social culture and stay productive
2. Address Human Resources Issues
Most HR departments can benefit from the insight of a qualified IO psychology professional. In some settings, a personnel psychologist help employees facing a stressful work life. They can advise employees struggling to deal with a coworker. A company psychologist with IO experience helps employees improve their professional value. They do this by identifying training and development needs. They can also assess performance gaps that will help employees grow and add value to their organization.
3. Advise on Policy Decisions
delivering informed counsel to company leaders
overall satisfaction at work
4. Seek Ongoing Professional Development
The IO psychology profession is constantly expanding and evolving. New studies, theories, and practices emerge every year. Experts have to keep their skills sharp to stay ahead. According to the American Psychology Association (APA), to better serve their employers IO psychology professionals must stay in touch with:
- new strategies
- other developments
5. Optimize Workplace and Processes
In commercial environments, industrial psychologists are valuable because they can increase the employee’s productivity and job satisfaction. They recognize how employee mental health correlates to job performance and worker productivity. Many of their typical duties do this indirectly. Some psychologists optimize workflow throughout the company. They may test different office floor plans. They may find ways to improve communications and team collaboration among different departments.
Industrial Organizational Psychology and the Employment Lifecycle
The Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP) frames the role of the I/O psychologist in terms of the employment lifecycle. There are five parts of the lifecycle:
Strategy and Measurement:
At the heart of every organization is its staff. An IO psychologist can help an organization develop a personnel recruitment system that aligns with its culture and hiring needs. They can:
- create a job analysis or task analysis to identify critical competencies
- develop prescreening assessments to weed out applicants who don’t meet the minimum qualifications
- conduct interviews or train others on how to use a standardized interview process that reduces bias
- identify and address legal risks in their employee selection system.
Learning and Development:
Once you’ve hired the right people, you need to train them and develop their skills. IO psychologists can help by:
- identifying training needs
- determining skill gaps to prioritize the content of training programs
- design and deliver training content that aligns with the organization’s mission and goals.
An IO psychologist can develop programs that build leadership skills and help individuals and teams learn and grow. They may create a performance management plan to create metrics to assess an individual’s work behavior.
Succession planning is key when it comes to talent management. An IO psychologist can help reduce costs. They can identify and prepare employees to fill key positions and leadership roles. They may create a development process to transition employees to new leadership roles.
maximize employee motivation and job performance
create performance goals that map an organizations’ strategic goals based on scientific evidence
develop compensation systems that support organizational values and culture
identify the incentives that are most valued by employees.