What is Industrial Psychology?

Learn about what industrial psychology is and how it can benefit your business.

What is Industrial Psychology

August 26th, 2020

Industrial psychology, also known as industrial-organizational or I-O psychology, is concerned with the study of human behavior in the workplace. Industrial psychologists study and evaluate a company's culture, employee behavior, and work processes, and create or recommend programs and practices to improve employee productivity and organizational performance.

The Role of Industrial Psychology in the Workplace:

Industrial psychologists work with an organization's human resources department, observing employees' behavior in the work environment, assessing organizational workflows and practices, and identifying opportunities for improvement. The following constitute the main subject areas of industrial psychology:

Recruitment.

Industrial psychologists assist the human resources department with the development of recruitment processes and the selection of personnel. This includes the development of job announcements, defining key qualifications, and developing selection assessments.

Employee training and development.

Industrial psychologists perform job analyses whereby the skills and abilities necessary to perform a specific job effectively are determined. The information and insights gained from these analyses are used to develop and evaluate employee skills development and training programs.

Employee satisfaction and work-life.

This area of industrial psychology is concerned with employee satisfaction, motivation, health, safety, and well-being. In this respect, the role of the industrial psychologist is to evaluate employees' well-being and happiness at work and find ways to improve the work environment and implement work-life balance programs, if necessary.

Performance management.

Industrial psychologists help organizations with the measurement and management of employee performance by developing and conducting performance assessments, identifying skills gaps, and providing feedback and recommendations. The information gained from these assessments is often used to inform decisions regarding compensation and promotions.

Organizational development and management.

This area of industrial psychology is concerned with organizational structure and performance. An organization would engage an industrial psychologist to determine how efficient, productive, and profitable the organization is and to assist with matters pertaining to corporate culture and structural changes within the organization.

Benefits of Applying Industrial Psychology in the Workplace:

  • Improved recruitment strategy and methods.
  • Efficient personnel selection.
  • Increased employee productivity.
  • Higher job satisfaction levels.
  • Better work environment.
  • Work-life balance.
  • Greater workplace cooperation.

How Employers can Implement Industrial Psychology in the Workplace:

Employers can engage the services of an industrial psychologist to help them address specific problems or issues within the workplace, establish and maintain a healthy work environment, and optimize employee and organizational performance. While an in-house psychologist is advisable for most mid-to-large sized organizations, small businesses with five to 10 employees generally do not warrant a full-time industrial psychologist and are better served with a consultant.

While employers can make use of and implement principles of industrial psychology in their organization in the absence of an on-staff industrial psychologist, a professional consultant should be engaged to conduct, analyze, and present feedback on employee assessments.

FAQs:

What is meant by industrial psychology?

Industrial psychology refers to the practice of applying psychological theories and principles to workplace environments. Industrial psychologists observe and evaluate human behavior and interactions in the workplace and provide guidance and recommendations to improve human and organizational efficiency.

Why is industrial psychology important?

Industrial psychology plays an important role in establishing and maintaining a conducive work environment and optimizing human and organizational efficiency. Key benefits include better workplace cooperation, higher levels of job satisfaction, and increased productivity.

What is the scope of industrial psychology?

Industrial psychology covers every aspect of managing people and their interactions within the workplace. The main areas include:

What are the benefits of industrial psychology to an organization?

  • Improved recruitment practices.
  • Efficient personnel selection.
  • Increased employee productivity.
  • Higher job satisfaction levels.
  • Better work environment.
  • Work-life balance.
  • Greater workplace cooperation.