Nowadays, in the business world, we hear a lot of times about business psychology, as known as industrial psychology or organizational psychology or a little less commonly; occupational psychology. It has been promoted to the businesses as the magic department that will boost all the creativity, work efficiency thereby the business will grow in a healthy way. Is this just rumors to promote organizational psychologists or is it really a major step that business can take? We will have an idea regarding it soon.
What is Business Psychology?
According to the Association for Business Psychology (ABP), business psychology aka organizational/industrial psychology is “the study and practice of improving working life. It combines an understanding of the science of human behavior with experience of the world of work to attain effective and sustainable performance for both individuals and organizations.”
According to Gettysburg College, one third of human life is spent at work, this is 90.000 hours at work over a lifetime. That means, we are in this world to work, for almost half of our lives. Now imagine in working in a company, where you need to know everything by yourself, there have never been a mentoring, no feedback giving or restructuring comments, no social environment, effecting your health in a negative way and similar… How happy would you be spending one third of your life working in such an organization? Would you be able to give yourself completely to the work during the working ours? Would you think of growing your company and think of your future in it? In my opinion those questions are very hard to answer positively. On the contrary, imagine working in an organization where your personal development and work is valued, you are mentored and people are very open to give feedback to each other, you know your peers and you can communicate them, and the company is investing in you by even caring about your health. How does this sound? In this world, as individuals apart from the work life, we are here to become the best versions of ourselves until we leave the world. And during this journey, it is very important to have supporters such as your job where you spend more than half of your life.
How Business Psychology Differs From Human Resources?
When business psychology is mentioned as a principle that works for improving the work-life, its effectiveness et cetera, people tend to perceive business psychology as human resources. They are quite linked to each other since business psychology includes work related to human resources. However, it mainly deals with factors such as motivation, stress, and work culture where human resources are directed to economic factors and law than the psychology major.
In Which Areas Does Business Psychology?
The main work of business psychology is related to human beings in workplaces, so it almost touches on every aspect where work and people are combined. According to British Psychological Society, there are core areas that the business psychology mainly focuses on, those include; design of environments and of work, personnel selection and assessment, performance appraisal and career development, counseling and personal development, training, employee relations and motivation, organizational development and change, levels of analysis and teamwork. As it is clearly seen, business psychology takes the human being as the main game changer, the core of the development of business and the organization which is very true from the seen examples of very successful organizations such as Google, General Electric, Tesla and similar.
Why Business Psychology Matters?
The values business – organizational – industrial psychology brings into the businesses are very crucial for the development of every organization. Let’s see more into what those values are and why are they important.
Productivity, this is what every organization needs in order to grow, compete in the market, and even if the goals are not that high; to exist. And to best way to keep productivity of to improve productivity, the individuals need to be firstly; chosen wisely, trained effectively and motivated sustainably. In order to keep that wheel going, the organizations should be investing in their workers which could be done professionally by the organizational psychologists.
You can think of a successful organization as a very well working mechanical clock. For the clock to be working very well, the clock wheels in it must be working perfectly in a harmony; all of them needs to be clean and fitting each other to the turn. For an organization that we can consider as successful, the individuals -which we can match to the clock wheels in the metaphor- must be working in a perfect harmony by being able to communicate, empower and inspire, while helping to motivate each other. In this case, business psychology comes to the stage by offering variant techniques for team building such as ice-breaker events for people to get to know each other and to bond them, various events that will widen the perspectives of the employees which will make them attend the same activity and to be able to find a common point to connect, or creating empowering groups that will help the employees find solutions to their problems or to give each other ideas to ease the tasks which is what GE (General Electric) values very much in the organization; learning about the lean mindset and to inspire each other to improve processes with lean principles (lean is basically focusing on a process and taking out the waste out of the process).
A solution that the human resources department offer to employee conflicts and concerns could be seen reasonable to you, but employee resistance will be met. If you want to support conflict resolution, cooperation with organizational-business-industrial psychologist to evaluate the situation could be the best option for both the employee motivation thus your company. Working with organizational psychologist will include more than issues that is in the company but also the psychological concerns of the employees in the organization, their dignity, effectiveness which will definitely have long-term consequences for the organization.
Consequently, businesses need business psychologists in order to improve themselves and always keep going just like human beings need psychologists in their lives to achieve faster to the better version of themselves.
 Gettysburg College, Retrieved from https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=79db7b34-630c-4f49-ad32-4ab9ea48e72b&pageTitle=1%2F3+of+your+life+is+spent+at+work
 Doyle, C.E. (2003). Work and Organizational Psychology. Limited Preview. Psychology Press. ISBN: 0415208726, 9780415208727. Pages 6-26. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=D4lNopZ6AaMC&pg=PA6&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false
 Bayliss, S. (2019). Lean Mindset and Practise Lean Principles to Improve Process. GE Human Resources Internship Programme. The Forage. Retrieved from https://www.theforage.com/modules/bAPubTkawzGexc6TT/QAYaADjQWJRyeaLu3