From the outside, it’s easy to assume that the sole determinant of a successful business is profitability. After all, profitability paves the way for growth and keeps a business competitive. However, profitability is often dependent on multiple factors: a good product; teams that communicate well; and employees who are motivated, well-trained and committed to the company goals. Success is also tied to a business’ ability to identify and resolve workplace issues at both the individual and organizational level. Enter I/O psychology.
I/O psychology is the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace. It focuses on assessing individual, group and organizational dynamics and using that research to identify solutions to problems that improve the well-being and performance of an organization and its employees.
I/O psychologists look at questions such as: How are decisions made? How effective is communication? How do team members interact and collaborate? Knowing the answers to these questions and many others help business owners assess where to change systems and dynamics to make their company function better.
I/O psychologists are experts in the design, implementation and analysis of psychological research. They apply their findings in a variety of ways to help solve human and organizational problems in the workplace such as:
- Identifying training and development needs;
- Optimizing the quality of work life;
- Formulating and implementing training programs and evaluating their effectiveness;
- Coaching employees and organization leaders;
- Developing criteria to evaluate performance of individuals and organizations; and
- Assessing consumer preferences, customer satisfaction and market strategies.
As scientist-practitioners, I/O psychologists receive specialized training in the science of human behavior in the workplace. This training provides them with a deep knowledge of issues that are critical to business success. Some work in corporate America in positions dealing with worker productivity, employee training and assessment, and human resources, while others make their careers in academia.
I/O psychologists use science to explore human behavior in the workplace and use their research to solve problems facing employees, businesses and organizations.
Resources to help you pursue a career in psychology
A degree in psychology can lead to a fulfilling career that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Find out what it takes to become an I/O psychologist
Industrial and organizational psychologists study organizations and their employees to improve the productivity, satisfaction, safety, health and well-being of those within the workplace environment.