This week my thoughts turned to the workplace and the current efforts among many companies that use psychology to better their work environments. Industrial/Organizational psychology is a blend of both business and psychology. Psychologists in this field usually work as consultants and are hired by companies in Corporate America to help increase efficiency and employee satisfaction. They often work hand in hand with Human Resources departments and offer a wide range of services from improving work place conditions to offering advice on anger management. I/O psychologists aim to improve relationships between employees and their peers, as well as with their bosses. One practice is to install software on employees’ computers that shuts down their work computer after working over 70 hours in order to prevent employees from getting burnt out. There are also other programs that allow employees to go home for the day after accomplishing a certain amount of work or reaching a specific goal. Early release programs get rid of the drudgery that causes employees to sit idly at their desks in hopes of avoiding judgment for leaving the office early. Techniques like these allow bosses to get their employees to effectively complete the tasks that need to get done and simultaneously gain respect from their employees and help foster a positive relationship of trust and honesty. Google was ranked as the #1 company to work for mainly due to their unique corporate culture. They offer free meals to all of their employees, who have access to over 25 different cafes in the “Plex” as well as bocce ball courts, bowling alleys and free eyebrow shaping. Google also added a slide to their front office and painted the walls bright colors instead of the typical gray color scheme present in most office buildings. By offering employees an abundance of free services and extra perks, Mondays aren’t as dreadful and employees slowly learn to look forward to come into work. Companies have learned that a diverse work place fosters a range of new ideas; one task that I/O psychologists face is to find ways for a wide variety of workers to be satisfied within the company culture. Corporate America is typically a place of competition and cut-throat behavior, but I/O psychologists work with companies to promote a unified atmosphere of teamwork within the business. By alleviating competition within and promoting cohesive behavior, the consultants better the work environment and ultimately increase efficiency and productivity.
“100 Best Companies to Work For.” CNNMoney. Fortune, 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/best-companies/2012/snapshots/1.html>.
“Psychology & Career Choices.” EHow. EHow Money, 11 Feb. 2009. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/about_4781413_psychology-career-choices.html>.