This week, we are so excited to have the creators of the book “My Mommy is an Organizational Psychologist” on our podcast (look out for the episode on Thursday!) In the spirit of the book, we want to spend a little bit of time talking about our field. If you’ve followed us for a little while, you may have googled I/O Psychology or Organizational Psychology. But, honestly, we don’t spend enough time in our articles talking about the field that creates all of the amazing research we talk about. Today, all of that changes. We are here to share a little bit about the field!
Let’s be honest. The name of the field doesn’t do it any favors. What does ‘Industrial’ mean? ‘Organizational’ is a word we can all somewhat understand but the term ‘Industrial’ is a bit dated. Let’s ignore the name and focus on what the field actually is.
I/O Psychology is a field of psychology that focuses on people in the workplace. We look to understand human behavior to help create better work environments. The field is actually pretty broad. Have a question about how people behave at work or what would make a workplace more effective? I/O Psychologists are probably studying it! We talk about a variety of topics – mostly focusing on concepts related to workplace wellness – so you are familiar with some of the research. In addition, I/O researchers are answering questions like what makes a good leader, what’s the best way to provide feedback to employees, and how do you hire the right person? Major topic areas in the field include: assessment and selection, training, employee satisfaction, leadership, workplace culture, diversity and inclusion, employee motivation, teams, and work performance.
You’ve seen us talk about our experiences at the SIOP conference. SIOP is the top professional organization for the field and is a great resource if you want to learn more about I/O.
Why Does I/O Psychology Matter?
The field is pretty old. Yet, many people have never heard of it. Katina and I joke that our biggest struggle at Workr Beeing is marketing but that our I/O background has fated us to this struggle. It’s really unfortunate how little is known about I/O outside of the field. Because I/Os can help so much!
So why does our field matter? It’s similar to why we started Workr Beeing. People spend so much time at work. If you are working full-time, the majority of your awake time is spent at work each week. Thus, a field like I/O Psychology can be critical in ensuring work is as enjoyable and as productive as possible. The research in I/O can help make better leaders, create better teams, increase productivity, and help ensure employees are satisfied in their jobs.
Unfortunately, you probably know how terrible a bad workplace can be from personal experience. Bad leaders can be demotivating causing your work and wellness to suffer. Hiring people that aren’t a good fit for a job can disrupt an otherwise effective team. Not giving feedback can lead to a person making the same mistakes time and time again. Overworking people can lead to burnout and turnover, thus leading to understaffed teams. Imagine a workplace where these types of issues didn’t exist! How would that feel? I/O Psychologists can help with these issues. Our research addresses these problems and can help organizations do better.
Workr Beeing and I/O
Here at Workr Beeing, we put our I/O Psychology backgrounds to work. Everything we do is based in science and research in the field. As you know, our main focus is workplace wellness. We want to take the amazing research in the field and help organizations, leaders, and employees alike use it to create great workplaces. How amazing would it be to thrive at work? We are here to help you do that! We worked for our PhDs to become experts in the field and make a difference in workplaces.
There are a lot of consultants out there with a similar background to us yet companies don’t always realize I/O practitioners are who they need! Back to the marketing problem – our field is not known far and wide like clinical psychology or economics. Maybe with this little bit of insight, you can help spread the word. At a minimum, understanding this field’s existence can help you know where to look if you ever need to fix a problem with people in your organization.
And, please, reach out! We love to talk about our field. If you have any questions, let us know. Thinking about becoming an I/O? We can share some advice! We are passionate about the field and are happy to help!