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Industrial Psychology

Business leaders use countless strategies to improve efficiency, productivity, and employee retention in their company, but the most effective endeavors find their root in Industrial Psychology. Industrial Psychology, sometimes referred to as I-O Psychology, uses evidence-based psychological theories and principles to better understand employees, jobs, and the relation between human behaviors and workplace success. With Industrial Psychology, businesses can find ways to improve performance in both individuals and the company as a whole.  

The Importance of Industrial Psychology 

When it comes to mental health, psychology allows professionals to clearly identify the source of an issue, allowing them to create positive and lasting change for their clients. This same concept applies to businesses and Industrial Psychology. Instead of investing in surface-level incentives or short-term programs, businesses can build long-term strategies that cater specifically to their unique structure, processes, and employees.  

The result of this form of Corporate Psychology is a company structure that makes the most of employee skills, offers continuous growth and development, and encourages greater performance and motivation across the board. 

The Difference Between Industrial and Organizational Psychology

People often use the terms Industrial Psychology and Organizational Psychology interchangeably. However, there are a couple of subtle yet important differences between the two. Organizational Psychology revolves around team building, morale, conflict resolution, and leadership. Industrial Psychology, on the other hand, focuses on more technical, measurable processes, such as recruitment, training, and performance assessments.  

Despite their differences, both Industrial and Organizational Psychology strive to evaluate a company’s values and processes to determine their influence on workplace culture, employee motivation, and company success. For this reason, many company leaders incorporate elements of both to build comprehensive, long-lasting solutions for their businesses. 

Industrial Psychology and Employee Motivation

One of the core components of Industrial Psychology is viewing organizations and their employees through the lens of specific psychological theories and principles. Employee motivation is one of the major focuses of these Occupational Psychology theories. Viewing motivation through a psychological structure grants employers a better understanding of where that motivation comes from and how you can leverage it in the workplace. 

Theories that Industrial Psychology applies to employee motivation include self-regulation theory, expectancy theory, and equity theory.  

Self-regulation theory revolves around the idea that employees work independently to create goals, monitor their own progress, and take the necessary steps to achieve the results they want.  

Expectancy theory deals with the relationship between productivity and expected rewards. If an employee knows an employer will recognize and reward them for greater performance, they will work harder to earn those rewards. Greater incentives equal greater motivation. 

Equity theory focuses on perceived fairness and how it influences relationships in the workplace. According to equity theory, employee motivation stems from how well employees believe the company treats them compared to their colleagues. 

In most cases, motivation stems from a combination of these and other psychological theories. Employers must use Industrial Psychology to gain a full understanding of all the principles and values that influence their teams. 

Industrial Psychology and Worker Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction on the job is also an important focus of Industrial Psychology. Understanding where worker satisfaction comes from helps business leaders create spaces and jobs that employees want to be a part of. Industrial Psychology theories that help employers better understand job satisfaction include individual difference theory, discrepancy theory, and social learning theory. 

Individual difference theory suggests that part of employee motivation stems from one’s specific levels of contentedness. For some people, satisfaction and motivation are a natural part of any job, no matter their role or setting. 

Discrepancy theory is the idea that satisfaction relies not just on employee needs but also personal values and expectations. When a job does not match an employee’s individual values, the role feels less significant and rewarding. 

Social learning theory is a major influence in employee collaboration and team culture. This theory suggests that satisfaction stems from the moods of one’s coworkers. When an employee works with other people who are happy and content, that employee will feel higher levels of satisfaction in their role. 

How Industrial Psychology Can Help Companies

Industrial Psychology incorporates multiple theories and principles to apply them to employee life and company culture. The goal is to better understand employees and their relationship with the company so that you can leverage that knowledge to create a more positive and motivated workforce.  

When businesses turn to an Industrial Psychologist for help, they learn to develop actionable solutions that affect key aspects of their company, including the following: 

Employee Selection and Recruitment

Matching the right employee to the right job ensures that individuals feel qualified, challenged, appreciated, and fulfilled in their work. Refining the employee selection process might look like developing clearer job announcements, integrating more robust qualification assessments, and cleaning up the hiring process to find a better fit for each role.  

Training and Development

Industrial Psychology emphasizes the need for ongoing training and development to maintain feelings of motivation and satisfaction. What skills do employees need to continue to excel at their jobs? What opportunities can you offer to help them grow? An Industrial Psychologist works with your business to develop better training programs and evaluate ongoing development to ensure your employees continue to see effective growth. 

Performance Management

To improve employee and company performance, you must first identify the areas in which you fall short. Performance management creates measurable standards that help you assess performance, identify skill gaps, improve feedback processes, and more. With clearer performance evaluations, you can continuously analyze your progress and make sure the changes you implement support long-term improvement. 

Organizational Management

Another useful aspect of Industrial Psychology is the act of taking a step back to get a clearer view of your organization as a whole. How efficient, productive, and profitable are your current processes? It isn’t always easy to determine these answers on your own, but an Industrial Psychologist can help you clearly analyze how your current structure aids or hinders your success.  

Organizational management through Industrial Psychology might lead to redesigning products and services, overhauling standards, and changing your structure to better suit employee culture and company goals. 

Let Blair Wellness Group Help Your Business

Is it time to make positive, lasting changes in your company? Partner with an expert Industrial Psychologist in the Los Angeles area when you work with Blair Wellness Group. Contact our team today to take the next step on your company’s path to success. 

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