Enriching life at the workplace

being supportive: Industrial psychologists use specific tests that are geared towards understanding the employees and enhancing their productivity.. Dh file photo
Significance of Industrial Psychology

Industrial Psychology is a branch of psychology which deals with issues related to improving industrial productivity. More precisely, it is concerned with the selection of employees including the work force based on measurement of different skills.
The industrial psychologists use specific tests for job analysis and evaluation and all these are geared towards understanding the employees and enhancing their productivity by helping them realize the potential in them. There is another interesting part of Industrial psychology called Organisational Psychology, which deals with various aspects of human relations in workplace, creating a supportive work environment and  exploring the leadership styles.

Thrust areas and strategies
This is a challenging field which has a multitude of areas like:
* Individual assessments (knowledge, skills and abilities testing which include written and personality tests).
* Employee counselling.
* Job analysis, which is pivotal in selection of employees and involves the collection of information about the job.
* Personnel recruitment and selection involves designing of recruitment processes and personnel selection systems.
* Performance management which is about measuring the work behaviours and outcome against the expectations of job.
* Training and training evaluation to make the employees excel in their work.
* Work motivation and job attitudes.

Growth trajectory
If this field sounds exciting , where should one make a beginning? A bachelors in Psychology from a good university is essential. Along with this, MA or M.Sc in Industrial Psychology would be definitely helpful.

The Industrial Psychologists can be employed in the HR department or as training, selection and recruitment consultants. After few years of experience, it is possible to run individual consultancies. Dr Amirtha Besant Raj, Director of Chennai-based Besant Raj International Limited Management Consultants shares: “This field offers enormous opportunities for applied research, surveys and case studies in a developing country like India.” The path of research is fascinating as it calls for experimenting with new methods of excelling at given tasks.

The work profile of Industrial Psychologists involves  analysing job requirements, identifying training and development needs and designing  psychological tests. The remuneration in this field at the entry level would range from Rs 3 to 4 lakh per annum and gradually it could rise to Rs 10 lakh per annum.

Skills and Assets
The Industrial Psychologists have to be good listeners to understand the problems of the employees. Critical Thinking plays a crucial role to identify the problems and find effective solutions. Dr Gayatri Phadke, consultant with Tata Management Training Centre, Pune points: “Psychologists have to be open-minded and interpersonal effectiveness is crucial to reach out to others.” She further opines that this reaching out is one of the stimulating facets of work in this field.

The creative feel
Every field has a place for innovation and creativity and so does Industrial Psychology. Ashwini Bhave, Consultant with Human Dynamic, a Gurgaon-based consultancy firm puts it aptly saying, “Many personality  and motivation theories are taught in the colleges but the true innovation lies in the way the industrial psychologists use it to actualise or translate the core competencies of the employees into behaviour and performance using the profiling tools.” The  psychologists can use their skills to optimize creativity and help build an culture of change and innovation.

Challenges ahead
In the present scenario, the scope for industrial psychologists is gradually expanding. “But the challenge in this field is more in terms of management  as industrial psychology largely covers organisational behaviour and development and does not cover management skills and labour laws,” shares Ashwini Bhave.

So if management  skills are imparted and honed, then it can pave the way for industrial psychologists to have a more deeper understanding of the employees and increase their productivity. So in a way it is a challenge to see how the psychologists’ insight , leadership and personal credibility can be shaped to apply and make an impact in the work.

All in all, industrial psychology is an excellent field for those who would like to actualise their potential by helping others enrich and actualise theirs!

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