Occupational Psychology: Tasks of an Occupational Psychologist

Psychology is a scientific discipline that deals with the behavior and mental processes in human beings and in other animals. This field, which literally means ëthe study of mindí, focuses not only on individual but also in group behavior. Psychologists study a wide range of issues such as intelligence, emotion, learning, perception, cognition, personality, motivation and the level to which individual differences are affected by environment or genetics. They also use different methods like interviews, observations, psychological tests, and statistical analysis in conducting psychological research.

What is Occupational Psychology?

Occupational psychology is a branch of psychology that deals with the behavior of people at work. It assesses the employeesí well-being in their workplace to help them enhance their work performance and efficiency as well as help them achieve job satisfaction and good occupational health. Occupational psychology has eight main areas. These are:

o          Design of the workplace and work (includes ergonomics, health, and safety)

o          Human-machine interaction

o          Personnel recruitment and evaluation

o          Motivation and industrial relations

o          Counseling and personal development

o          Performance appraisal and career development

o          Organizational change and development

o          Training

What does an Occupational Psychologist do?

These psychologists use not only their psychological knowledge, practice, and theory to work and work environment. They determine how tasks and work conditions affect individuals by developing or restraining them and influencing their well-being. They also focus on how human beings and their behavior and characteristics reflect what kind of work is done and how it is done.

Moreover, occupational psychologists identify and find solution to organizational issues related to training, health and safety, team culture, and many other fields. Among the steps they take to achieve their goals are:

o          Motivate people

Occupational psychologists do this by creating satisfying payment and reward system, as well as giving advice on safety and health issues.

o          Identify skill and develop potential

This is achieved by conducting tests and other job-related exercises during selection. Career counseling is also done.

o          Help individuals and organizations adjust to change

They give employees pieces of advice on how they can improve their behaviors and attitudes to come up with better customer service.

o          Assess performance

Psychologists evaluate employee performance by developing reliable appraisal systems, giving advice on safety and health issues, and coming up with user-friendly computer and machine systems.

o          Devise effective organizations

To come up with a competent organization, occupational psychologists give advice on what type of management system will work best, identify and apply effective human resource techniques, and design tasks that fit the skills of the employees.

Careers in Occupational Psychology

Such field of psychology covers a real wide spectrum but obviously overlaps to other disciplines like Organizational Development, Human Resources Management, Economics, and many others. Like other areas in psychology, the work of an occupational psychologist includes dealing with multidisciplinary teams, conducting research, as well as devising appropriate policies. Most occupational psychologists are hired by larger public or private organizations. They can also work as consultant, trade unions representatives, training officers, and human resource officers.

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