In the current working environment, employees are very conscious about their careers than any other thing in their lives. They look at their work in terms of personal development and growth. As a result, organizations that fail to help their employees reach their personal needs in terms of career development risk losing very important members of staff to competitor companies which is a risky endeavor to businesses focused on growth. Retaining employees has become one of the biggest problems that organizations face in the current world. Psychology in the workplaces is vital in ensuring that there is maximum job satisfaction and well-being of employees. The environment should provide employees with a balance between resources and skills possessed or acquired and the demand made on employee to meet some required targets. Increased imbalances lead to a risk of conflict, stress, dissatisfaction which all lead to a risk of loss of employees to other companies (Gelade and Ivery 2003, p. 67).
The paper will be looking at the essentials of psychology in understanding and managing careers for both individual employee’s wellbeing and effective organizational performance.
Effective organizational performance depends highly on the employees. On the other hand, individual employee performance depends on numerous factors that revolve around the psychology of the work environment. A psychological work environment problem can be associated with a variety of factors. All the factors associated can be resolved and help improve the organizational performance to enhance its effectiveness in the long run. Work psychology mainly focuses on areas that revolve around leadership, talent acquisition, management and retention, and workplace productivity. These factors are as discussed below;
The importance of compensation is seen in terms of providing a motivating factor to employees. Compensation is therefore a psychological factor that can be used to improve the performance of a company and create an attractive and competitive working environment. According to the Maslow theory of motivation proposed by Abraham Maslow, employees get motivation based on the ability to satisfy their needs. Employees require a need of belonging, safety, self-actualization, esteem and physiological. All these needs require sufficient funding to be achieved in the long term. Compensation of employees acts as a psychological factor in showing the employees that there is an ability to satisfy all their needs. Once an employee knows that they can pay their bills and sustain their life comfortably, they will be able to work comfortably thus increase their productivity (Gelade and Ivery 2003, p.90).
Employee bonuses will see an increased morale which is important in ensuring that employees are kept in a company for a long period. Losing valuable employees is a high risk that can lead to decreased profits. Bonus programs can be put in place with an aim of increasing profitability, sales, and creativity by providing employees with targets that they need to hit for them to receive bonuses. Employers can thus work on creating multiple levels to which employees have to strive to reach and achieve new goals every time. This psychological factor is thus necessary in ensuring that workers are highly motivated and create an improvement in their productivity (Hofstede 2000, p.122).
Providing employees with a comfortable working environment
A comfortable working environment is a psychological factor that ensures maximum productivity. When there are barriers in the working environment, there is a likelihood of low productivity that results to losses for a company or a business in the long run. For example, in a working environment where employees are likely to suffer from sick building syndrome, there is a high probability of low productivity. This results from the mindset created about the uncomfortable working environment that they are subjected to. A comfortable environment is highly valued for employee motivation.
On the other hand, employees are likely to associate themselves to a good working environment due to the social status. According to Hawthorne effect’s researches, an experiment was conducted and found out that change in physiological factors in the work environment such as lighting, breaks, working hours, hygiene, and co-curriculum activities increases employee performance. Employees get motivated when employers pay attention to their needs and conditions. The factor thus revolves around changing the employee mindset about the working environment to feel comfortable. The factor is thus psychological and important in ensuring effective organizational performance in any company or business (Hofstede 2000, p.80).
According to Hawthorne effect theory, employees will perform more when they notice that the employers care about their needs through factors such as performance appraisals and bonuses. Performance appraisals act as motivational factors to employees as much as they are standard occupational psychology tools. The appraisals are meant to show employees or give them feedback about their performance thus giving them the need to improve their productivity. The appraisals also enhance employee-management communication which is very important for growth. Additionally, they also help in developing and establishing future goals for the businesses apart from ways to ensure that there is performance improvement to the individual employees in the long run. In such a case, the appraisals will also help the human resource departments identify the training needs and hiring needs to ensure that there is improved performance in the company.
Performance appraisals revolve around playing with the employees’ mental thoughts and self-consciousness. For example, if a company conducts a performance appraisal test that shows the staff performances in terms of rank, the poor performing staff members will carry the burden of guilt in the company. As a result, the poor performing staff members will try to work harder in order for them to catch up with the other employees. Performance appraisals are thus an important psychological tool in ensuring that the efficiency and performance of a company is improved for profit maximization (Gelade and Ivery 2003, p.110).
According to the expectancy theory, people choose their behavior based on the knowledge of the consequences that prevail. The organizational leadership is mainly the key to the behavior of employees at the workplaces. In a well-organized business, leadership defines the role of every person in such a way that, employees know to whom they should report to every time there is a problem. As a result, there is easy accountability and precautions knowing what to expect from the leadership.
Workers are also likely to work harder depending on what they expect from their employees in terms of compensation and promotions. The expectancy theory looks at the factor as important in developing a competitive working environment psychologically. In the long run, employees become productive, creative and highly motivated for bigger tasks. Organizational leadership also plays the role of motivating employees in terms of who is the best leader thus acting as a mentor to the others. Leaders are supposed to serve as good examples to their servants. As a result, good leadership serves as a sufficient motivating factor for employees to work at improving their overall performance in the businesses and working environments (Renee Baptiste 2008, p.70).
Recruitment is one of the most important feature for a company. Employees ensure that a company continuously runs without any challenges. Weak hiring can lead to failure in employees who might quit after a short period of time thus adding damage to the company. Besides, the hiring process is also expensive and time consuming. It is very important for human resource managers to ensure that they hire the best members of staff for a given position within the company. Work psychology can help employers achieve their targets in terms of hiring new employees in their companies and ensure productivity (Grandey 2005, p70).
The principles on work psychology can help an organization identify the important factors that employees are required to possess in terms of key skills, work experience, and educational requirements. Such knowledge helps employers easily know how to advertise the job opportunities including all the requirements. The knowledge will also help prepare proper interview questions that will guide to the ability to identify the right employee for the particular job in subject. Psychology also helps manage employee traits in such a way that the employers will not be able to discriminate when recruiting new members of staff. The main goal for the entire process is to forecast job performance and know the strengths and weaknesses of a particular candidate with regards to the type of job. It is critical to understand values, personality, attitudes and motivations to understand technical competency of new employees.
Determining the need for training of employees
Hiring employees is important. However, when a company hires fresh graduates from school, training becomes a key issue to their development and adaptation in the working environment. Untrained employees feel unsatisfied in their work thus resulting to low productivity and make increased mistakes costing the business losses in money and time. The training of employees costs money, resources and time. In most cases, companies look for third parties to conduct employee training to effectively help the companies in the long run.
Workplace or occupational psychology helps employers pinpoint the training needs of members of the staff. Additionally, it also helps in identifying the right way to conduct the training to enhance better understanding by the employees. Occupational psychology thus contributes directly to training needs of a company since learning is the central issue when it comes to psychology. The discipline of psychology helps in studying the employees and identifying their needs. It is thus easy to determine further whether training needs can be solved within the organization or they will need help from an external third party. All in all, training will help a company save money by promoting efficiency, enhancing communication and productivity by the staff members, which are all key issues in ensuring that an organization’s performance is effective and well maintained.
Enhancing the self-actualization concept to employees
Self-actualization revolves the psychology of a person in ensuring that a person understands the importance of their role in a company. In the Maslow theory of motivation, self-actualization is an important factor in ensuring that employees perform at their best. Employers can use the concept of self-actualization to ensure that employees understand their role in transforming the society in one way or another. For example, the Airbnb management used self-actualization concept to show their employees how important they are in providing the people around the world with accommodation away from home in a friendly environment. Regardless of the type of work within the legal jurisdiction, employees contribute to a very important role in the society (Grandey 2005, p.60).
Self-actualization concept thus is important in enhancing the motivating factor towards better performance. The self-actualization concept is also very important in showing employees that their employers value their role and position. Abraham Maslow saw self-actualization as the best concept in ensuring that a company gets the best services in the long run. Employers should always work at enhancing this concept of self-actualization in the work environment to improve the psychology of employees towards the type of service they offer to the company.
The paper has shown the importance of psychology in understanding and managing careers for both individual employee’s wellbeing and effective organizational performance. According to the paper, the motivation on employees is the most important factor in ensuring productivity. In the modern day business environment, competition and other market factors force companies to change their strategies on acquiring the largest market share in a given industry. Employee poaching is a factor that competitors engage in to acquire knowledge about the activities of other companies. In the long run, such activities and competitive factors enhance the type of work environment that employers provide to their workers to ensure that there is maximum retention (Gelade and Ivery 2003, p.120).
Psychology as a discipline is seen as vital for employers to determine the employees’ needs and the business needs at large. As seen, in profitability, there must be a connection between labor productivity and quality of services offered. In all aspects, employers must ensure that the wellbeing of the workers is catered for to enhance job satisfaction. The key factor to enhanced productivity is open communication with employees to ensure that all issues are solved. The needs of employees can only be known if there is sufficient communication.
Gelade, G.A. and Ivery, M., 2003. The impact of human resource management and work climate on organizational performance. Personnel psychology, 56(2), pp.383-404.
Grandey, A.A., 2005. Emotional regulation in the workplace: A new way to conceptualize emotional labor. Journal of occupational health psychology, 5(1), p.95.
Hofstede, G., 2000. Motivation, leadership, and organization: do American theories apply abroad?. Organizational dynamics, 9(1), pp.42-63.
Renee Baptiste, N., 2008. Tightening the link between employee wellbeing at work and performance: A new dimension for HRM. Management Decision, 46(2), pp.284-309.