Description: So how can you get people to do things that are good for them? Yes, I know, yelling, nagging, and threatening have their places but what if you want to try and influence how things are done within an organization? Well I/O or Industrial/Organizational Psychologists are quite interested in such questions. Here are three issues that, if addressed, would greatly improve life conditions and wellbeing for employees. Consider each and think about some simple things you might try to produce improvement in each area. 1. How might you get employees to contribute more money more regularly to their retirement savings plans? 2. How might you get employees to follow through more consistently on citations for Health and Safety Guideline violations in their organizations? 3. How might you get more unemployed people to sign up for and complete re-employment programs that are offered for free? Once you have your thougts and hypotheses in order read the article linked below that talk about what I/O psychologists did in each case. Pay attention as you read not only to their results but to how they evacuated (assessed using research techniques) their interventions.
Source: Behavior and Brain Sciences Help Optimize Labor Programs, Association for Psychological Science.
Date: August 24, 2017
Photo Credit: Association for Psychological Science
So how did you do? I/O psychologists are increasingly active in consulting to or, through their research, better informing Human Resource department and managers about what their research has to say about how to attract, select, train, and retain good employees and how to optimize employee and, by extension, organizational performance as well. What struck me about the solutions was their basic simplicity. Drawn from research examining barriers to the implementation and sustainability of behavior the I/O psychologists suggested several straightforward always to optimize employee behavior. The results were encouraging. As well the results also illuminated areas where further work is needed (such as in getting employees who have not been making ANY retirement savings to start to do so. We will be hearing more and more about I/O psychology in the future and it is an area of psychological specialization worth considering as a career path.
Questions for Discussion:
- Select one of the problems or issues noted in the article and describe what was done in an effort to improve things.
- For the problem or issue you selected above, how was the intervention evaluated?
- Think of an area within an organization you are familiar with (perhaps your school or your workplace) where some aspect of employee behavior could be improved and come up with several simple ways that might be accomplished.
References (Read Further):
Mathematica Policy Research. Behavioral Insights Help Make Labor Programs More Effective. Accessed August 3, 2017. https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/news/behavioral-insights-help-make-labor-programs-more-effective
Amin, S., Chojnacki, G., Perez-Johnson, I., Darling, M., Moorthy, A., and Lefkowitz, J. (2017). Emails Prompt Employees to Save More for Retirement. DOL Behavioral Interventions Final Project Brief. Mathematica Policy Research. https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-publications-and-findings/publications/emails-prompt-employees-to-save-more-for-retirement
Chojnacki, G., Deutsch, J., Perez-Johnson, I., Amin, S., Darling, M., and Lefkowitz, J. (2017). Pilot OSHA Citation Process Increases Employer Responsiveness. DOL Behavioral Interventions Project Brief. Mathematica Policy Research. https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-publications-and-findings/publications/pilot-osha-citation-process-increases-employer-responsiveness
Darling, M., O’Leary, C., Perez-Johnson, I., Lefkowitz, J., Kline, K., Damerow, B., Eberts, R., Amin, S., and Chojnacki, G. (2017). Simple Encouragement Emails Increased Take-Up of Reemployment Program. DOL Behavioral Interventions Project Brief. Mathematica Policy Research. https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/our-publications-and-findings/publications/simple-encouragement-emails-increased-take-up-of-reemployment-program