In a world where productivity & efficiency hinges on the quality of employee’s thinking, managing emotional health and demonstrating sustainable behavior, psychological factors are no longer secondary! They are at the very core of what determines success.
As a student of Psychology specializing in human behavior at workplace, I have read countless studies and research papers on the factors that promote productivity, creativity and engagement. We were taught people are their thoughts, emotions and behaviors. As an HR consultant having worked with startups to multinationals, I realized very few of the concepts are put to use. From the way organizations hire to the way leaders motivate and manage people at workplace. The businesses appear blind to a wealth of research on how can we build a resilient workforce & a better workplace. To add up to the misery, leaders who value behavioral science interventions park it for ‘Later Maybe’ because they are too tied up managing processes, structures and documentation.
In some ways the knowledge gap between the worlds of business and psychology made complete sense to me until yesterday when the traditional workplace stood for eliminating errors, standardizing performance and squeezing more out of their people. Today things are different. We rarely need our people to do routine repetitive work, we need them to collaborate, plan, and innovate. Building a thriving organization today needs their people to be psychologically sustainable. Few companies, after the Affective Revolution have now started to focus on EI, we have happiness & well-being officers not because it is ‘A new trend in HR’ BUT because it is important.
My husband, a businessman into Fire Safety, one day asked me why would I need your services if I am a profitable business. My employees are performing and we are growing as a company! My answer was simple – For the same reason you install fire safety equipment! Even if there has been no fire before and it might not happen for years, it doesn’t mean there are no hazards! Are you ready for the risk? What got you here might not take you where you want to go. The more happy, invested and enthusiastic people are about their work, the more successful their organization is on variety of metrics.
Talking more about the implication of our work as psychologists when we work on peoples’ happiness, resilience & well-being, its not just that one person. This one person makes a happy & resilient team/family which in turn makes a function/community happy, making the organization/nation thrive and finally a happy planet to live on.
What is the rationale behind all this? There is enough compelling data & research to back up my simple calculus.
The bottom line being investing in people & organizational psychology doesn’t cost company money – it ensures sustenance & growth of not only the organization but the planet as a whole.