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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Minnikin

Why Every Company Needs a Business Psychologist

What is Business Psychology?

According to the Association for Business Psychology – “Business Psychology is the study and practice of improving working life. It combines an understanding of the science of human behaviour with experience of the world of work to attain effective and sustainable performance for both individuals and organisations.”

We also call ourselves work, organisational, occupational, industrial, career Psychologists – it can get a little confusing.

We ensure organisations are designed to make the most effective use of their people and these employees are able to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, and they are happy, engaged and productive.

Why do we want happy and engaged people? Because they are the most profitable, productive, sell more, are sick less and tend to stick around for longer! So happy people are the aim.

How can we ensure the people in organisations are happy?

1. Understand what good looks like in your company; what the values are, what behaviours people are expected to display, and recruit and reward based on this.

2. Train your managers, ensure they know how to lead people, manage people and role model the behaviours they would like to see displayed. People aren’t born knowing how to lead people – it is a skill that can be learned.

3. Create a culture of psychological safety (the belief that they will not be punished, shamed or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes) and a sense of belonging.

4. Manage the performance of those who are not meeting the expected behaviours of your organisation – even if they are performing, chances are that the people around them won’t be!

5. Understand and put into practise the fact that diversity is good for your business – not just visible diversity, but neurodiversity too – create competitive advantage by ensuring everyone does not think the same and have the same world view!

6. Listen to your people – get regular feedback and advice on how to make things in the organisation better (they are doing the job, so will know more than you!)

7. Give them regular feedback on how they are doing, what they are doing well and how they can improve.

8. Give them the freedom to make decisions, even little ones. Some control over their work environment will really help.

9. Allow them to work to their strengths and craft their jobs, there are always people in teams who are better doing tasks that others don’t enjoy. Share the tasks around so people are doing things they enjoy (and are usually good at!)

10. Take an active interest in the ambitions of your people – what do they want to do with their careers? How can you help them achieve that?! Give them opportunities to grow, learn and take on new challenges.

So, why does every business need a Business Psychologist?

To ensure that you have the right people, with the potential to grow to meet the needs of the organisation and its stakeholders. Business Psychologists have the right tools, knowledge and experience to help you get the best from your people and make your lives easier!

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