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Entering the Mind of a Company

Entering the Mind of a Company
An organization is only as strong as the people who sustain it. Learn how one growing career works to help companies find the right people for the job and retain those employees.

082310CAREER.jpgPsychologists study the minds and behaviors of their subjects, but an organization and company can almost have a mind of its own with its own set of behaviors. And this is where an industrial and organizational (I/O) psychologist comes in.

 

Rather than working on a clinical level, I/O psychologists work at an organizational level. "I am looking at an organization, which is really made up at the end of the day of people resources," says Elisabeth Baldock, who has a Ph.D. in I/O psychology and is the senior vice president of human resources for Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center.

 

People make up every organization, whether it's a corporation, a small business or a non-profit. Because the organization requires its people to function, it's essential for the organization's success that the people have their needs met just as much as the organization has its needs met.

 

"When you go into organizations, what managers care most about is getting you the right people with the right sets of skills to do the job and making sure that you're paying them appropriately," Baldock says. "To me, those are two of the big pieces: Get me the right people, and I want to make sure you pay them appropriately so they don't leave because of a pay issue."

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So from the organization's perspective, I/O psychologists can help in the job candidate selection process by using their data analysis and psychological profiling skills to come up with an assessment to use in the selection process. Baldock worked with the United States Army's special forces to develop an assessment to find new recruits so that all of the money used to train the individuals would be used toward the people right for the job.

 

From the employee's perspective, I/O psychologists can help recognize and meet the needs of the people within an organization. This can come in the form of an appropriate salary and other compensation benefits as Baldock mentioned before, but it also can come through recognition programs and highly developed employee opinion surveys. "From an I/O psychologist, you've got a strong testing background, and it's making sure that the questions you're asking are actually getting you the answers that you want," Baldock says.

  

By keeping the people in the organization happy, you can keep the organization happy, as you have lower turnover rates and a more positive morale in the workplace.

 

Locally, Northern Kentucky University and Xavier University both offer programs in I/O psychology. To learn more about this field of study, check out the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.



PHOTO CREDITS
Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Baldock

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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