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What is Industrial and Organizational Psychology?

Recently, there has been a shift in the job market focused more on culture and employee health than a customer-focused approach. This vital shift started in what was called " the Great Resignation." This change in employee perspective took place during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47 million people left their jobs in 2021 due to burnout, changes in perspective about their societal role, and how their jobs care for them. This resignation led to the nation's most considerable number of resignations since 2001. Due to the higher number of voluntary resignations, lower employee satisfaction, and high burnout results, companies felt obligated to shift their perspective to focus on employee well-being to retain their talent.

As a result of this “Great Resignation" era, is where Industrial/ Organizational Psychology comes into play. However, many do not know what I/O psychology is or its use. According to research, " Industrial/ Organizational (I/O) Psychology is the application of psychological principles and theories in the workplace." In other words, I/O psychology studies the essential components of the organization. It considers the well-being of the employees by analyzing the organization's work culture, the leadership dynamics, how the organization works to motivate and retain its employees, how performance is evaluated, and how the relationships in the workplace are handled, among other things.

Suppose you dive into what I/O psychology does for the workplace. In that case, you can identify that I/O psychology focuses on employees' well-being and success, which will directly correlate to the company's success.

Some of the topics explored in this field of I/O Psychology include career development, consumer behavior, human performance, human factors, and job evaluation and compensation. Because of these theories that I/O psychologists are trained to do, many of these translate to job duties like work motivation, personnel recruitment, selection and placement, leadership, and management.

Many I/O Psychologists have career paths as professors at universities (40%), 26% work in consulting firms, 20% are based in private organizations, and 13% of I/O psychologists work in government or non-profit organizations. Many of these I/o psychologists work in the human resources departments. Many psychologists also work in military, federal, state, or local government positions.

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