A Day in The Life of an Industrial Organizational Psychologist
Every workplace has its obstacles, but when a business struggles with under-motivated employees or high turnover rates, they may call in an Industrial Organizational Psychologist to improve operations and employee group dynamics. So, how do they do it?
An industrial organizational psychologist will evaluate the business, identify any practices that hinder productivity, and then develop a plan of action. Their day-to-day duties may vary, but there are three consistent themes: communication, research, and project work.
If you want an in-depth look at the day in the life of an industrial organizational psychologist, keep reading to see how they can use these three themes to help revolutionize a workplace.
When it comes to being a successful industrial organizational psychologist, communication can play a significant role. But, why is that?
Generally speaking, this psychology career focuses on human behavior, especially within the workplace. So, the job description of an industrial organizational psychologist typically includes connecting with people and building relationships.
For instance, a typical day of communication may consist of:1
- Taking phone calls and answering emails
- Training new and old hires
- Meeting with executives, potential employees, and other workers
- Conducting surveys and gathering information from subjects
- Presenting their findings and information at meetings
Because they interact with so many people and have to clearly communicate complex ideas, effective communication can be a helpful trait for an industrial organizational psychologist to have.
The psychology aspect of this career means that the job may involve a significant amount of research and analysis. For instance, a business may hire an IO psychologist to better understand what their employees need or if they should implement a new workplace practice. To answer these questions, the psychologist may conduct an employee survey or research the latest findings on that new practice.
In fact, some daily tasks an IO psychologist might perform may include:
- Observational or scientific research
- Studies and surveys
- Combination of any above research or evaluation methods
This research will help clarify what practices work and what practices may not work. An effective IO psychologist will therefore likely find it helpful to stay up-to-date on recent findings so that they can help a business increase their worker productivity and efficiency.
IO psychologists are usually also working on at least one major project. After all their communication and research, they may turn their data into a visual presentation to help relay their findings to everyone else.
A project can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete because they may have to present their plan of action, as well as the results of their initiatives. Identifying the changes in the workplace after implementing a new strategy can take time.
A project may also include launching an employee training program or creating a new screening procedure for hiring.
What are Potential Career Paths?
Since a big part of their work typically involves human interactions and communication, an IO psychologist may be able to pursue a number of diverse career paths in different industries. If you’re thinking of getting an industrial organizational psychology degree, you may be able to pursue a career as a:2
- Associate Consultant
- Assistant Professor
- Research Analyst
- Human Resources Research Specialist
- Project Leader
- Director of HR Operations
There may also be opportunities for self-employment. An IO psychologist may choose to work on contract and set their own schedule while earning an competitive organizational psychologist salary.
Become an Industrial Organizational Psychologist
Generally speaking, employees want to feel as if their work has a purpose, and employers want to guarantee their business is successful. But, certain workplace practices and low morale can create an unproductive environment. Industrial organizational psychologists can help come up with solutions to ensure both parties feel satisfied.
At Alliant International University, we offer individualized, flexible programs that can give you the information you need to start your journey toward becoming an IO psychologist. Visit our website or contact us for more information on how to begin this next chapter of your life.
- Woller, Posted By: Amanda H., and Amanda H. Woller. “A Day in the Life of an Industrial Organizational Psychologist.” Psych Learning Curve, August 27, 2019. http://psychlearningcurve.org/a-day-in-the-life-of-an-IO-psychologist/. Accessed: December 29, 2021.
- “Home.” SIOP. https://www.siop.org/Career-Center/IO-Career-Paths. Accessed: December 29, 2021.
- “19-3032 Industrial-Organizational Psychologists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 31, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193032.htm. Accessed: December 29, 2021.