The 7 functions and roles of business psychologists
Psychology is a discipline that arouses much interest nowadays; however, many people associate the figure of the psychologist with the clinical field.
Psychology professionals can work in different fields: sport, school or work. In the latter case, they are called company psychologists .
How does the psychologist help companies?
But, in which areas does the company psychologist participate? What functions does he perform? This professional in psychology performs different tasks within a company.
1. Improving the work climate
The positive work climate (relations between workers, company culture, etc.) and the working environment have a great influence on the results of the organisation, as companies are made up of people. The company psychologist is an expert in understanding the behaviour of workers and their needs and is able to influence their behaviour for the good of the organisation.
A positive work climate provides benefits for the mental health of workers and keeps them motivated . In contrast, when the work environment is toxic, it can generate stress and cause a decline in performance. The company psychologist can work to maintain an appropriate work climate.
2. Job analysis and selection of personnel
One of the most visible jobs in the company is the selection of personnel and the analysis of jobs . Human capital is, without a doubt, the great engine of the organization, and the good selection of the workers that are part of the company is determinant for its results.
The classic selection of personnel only took into account how the worker fit into the job, taking into account his experience and training, but in recent times other variables of the organization (for example, the climate) and the competencies that the candidate has (his motivation, his personality, his concerns, his experience, etc.) are also valued.
The contribution of psychology is key in all phases of a personnel selection process, and psychologists participate actively in the implementation of an integral human resources system, in which the different positions and the necessary competencies for them are analyzed. With a comprehensive human resources system, personnel selection is connected to other important areas within the human resources department, such as compensation and benefits, talent detection or training.
An incorrect personnel selection process can cause worker dissatisfaction and, as a consequence, poor worker performance, difficulties in adaptation and integration, higher turnover, higher training costs, etc.
3. Training and development
Selecting the right staff is key when looking for a new incorporation, but it is often possible to train workers so that they can be promoted or perform other functions within the company.
In this case and in many others, employee training is key not only to make the company perform better, but to keep employees motivated. Psychologists can train workers and can also apply tools to detect talent or know in which areas workers need to be trained to be more competent.
4. Prevention of occupational risks
Occupational health also influences the performance of workers, and psychological aspects are key in this respect . The occupational risk prevention department is multidisciplinary, and for this reason it is usually made up of sociologists, psychologists and other professionals.
Business psychologists are important, for example, to reduce the impact of certain psychological phenomena such as stress or burnout.
The profile of a company psychologist is very versatile, since he can also actively participate in the marketing department , both in the design of campaigns and in the design of products. His or her profile is useful, for example, for passing questionnaires and detecting user needs. Emotions are a very important part of marketing, and they often have a great influence on decision-making.
- If you want to know more about the role of psychologists in this field, you can read our article: “7 keys of Psychology applied to Marketing and Advertising”
6. Support to the dashboard
Psychologists are experts in interpersonal relations, communication and leadership , so their knowledge is very valuable for senior management. They can participate at the level of strategy, training the organisation’s top management in more efficient leadership styles or evaluating their relationship with subordinates.
7. Diagnosis and advice on workflow
Psychologists also diagnose and advise on the workflow , i.e. what roles are assigned in the company, how tasks are structured within the company, how information flows that support these tasks, etc.
Companies are made up of people and the workflow influences them. Workflow, which aims to reduce working time and speed up the completion of work, makes it possible to facilitate staff mobility, automate methods, speed up the process of exchanging information, improve decision-making…
How does it do this and how does it influence the organization?
The business psychologist can work directly in a company or in a consultancy that performs human resources and organizational psychology services for companies that wish to outsource some functions or tasks. For example, carrying out massive selection processes.
The business psychologist can plan, organize or direct the development of people, their retention, admission, performance evaluation or the financial compensation or remuneration they receive. He or she also analyses, observes and, if necessary, intervenes in conflicts between workers, thus ensuring a good organisational climate.
It observes and measures physical, social and psychological aspects that affect the correct performance of employees and impact the company’s results. Uses questionnaires, interviews and other methods to evaluate phenomena such as organizational climate, productivity and employee health, and applies psychological techniques to correct possible mismatches. Intervenes and advises the management team when necessary, participates in collective negotiations and influences strategies to maximize the corporate image.
In addition, is responsible for designing and implementing training programmes for staff development , as well as career and promotion plans. In general, it analyses the needs of the personnel, the job and the organization and intervenes for the improvement of the performance of the employees and the company.