Friday, June 21, 2013

Benefits of Psychology in the Human Resource Management

Benefits of Psychology in the Human Resource Management Career
Psychology refers to investigations of the inherent and socially acquired behaviors and mindsets in human beings (Furnham, 2008). Such studies are aimed at enabling people to gain comprehension of their experiences and environment. Psychology is a field of study that is interested in substantiating, elucidating and, if necessary, transforming the behaviors of living beings such as humans and animals. There are a number of phenomena that are very important for the psychologist; these include the personality, emotions, educational processes, motivational forces, the decision making process, attitude and dealing with stress. Psychologists are convinced that human beings have a tendency to modify their behaviors in order to respond effectively to emergent demands of life.
One of the most relevant tendencies in psychological studies is the evaluation of the manner in which individuals develop their self-esteems so as to forge and preserve healthy social associations with others in their societies. This implies making use of healthy tactics to cope with issues such as conflict, verbal and physical abuse from others in society. This essay analyzes ways in which the field of psychology can be of benefit in the human resource management career.
In order to understand organisations, people and the workplace, it is important to understand the concept of organisational psychology. This kind of psychology is not commonly known, regardless the fact that it is very important for organisations. It is the one that makes organisations and businesses to run in the best way possible. Once an organisation is developing, so are its employees and other stakeholders. Organisational psychology is basically the study of employees, workplaces and organisations (Furnham, 2008). This enables one to understand how behaviours and attitudes can be enhanced in the organisation through recruitment practices, training and feedback systems. This field can also be looked at as the same as human capital.

Industrial-organisational psychology can be defined as the application or extension of psychological facts and principles to the problems concerning human beings operating within the context of business and industry. Organisational psychology has its roots in social psychology. This field generally examines the role played by the work environment in the productivity and other work-related outcomes such as job satisfaction and wellbeing (Jex & Britt, 2008). There are various areas that are reviewed in understanding organisational psychology. They include performance, competency modelling, human resource recruitment and selection, decision making, personal assessment, compensation, training and development, service law, employee motivation, attitudes, occupational wellbeing and safety, work-life balance, organisational culture, human factors and technology among others.

The study of psychology is very important for the human resource management career. This is mainly due to the fact that the human resource manager deals with different people working for the organization. The main duties of the human resources manager are staffing, training and development, compensation as well as employee relations. The current world has undergone several changes as a result of globalization. Increased interconnectivity enables people to travel and work in various places across the world. Business organizations are also expanding their operations to foreign countries. This has led to diversity in the workplaces. Many organizations hire employees from different backgrounds who are supposed to work together for a common purpose. It is the responsibility of the human resources manager to ensure that employees are comfortable and they work as a team. Psychology helps in gaining a deeper understanding about individual employees and how they should be treated.

Staffing is the process of identifying and hiring suitable employees to fill a vacant position within an organization. It involves activities such as recruitment, selection and hiring. The human resource manager should be able to understand the kind of people he or she is hiring (Roberts & Dutton, 2009). Apart educational qualifications, there are other personality features that affect individual performance at the workplace. A good human resources managers should be in a position to identify people`s personality. Hiring people with the wrong attitude or personality will lead to poor performance as well as increased interpersonal conflicts. The recruitment interviews should therefore test on the psychological aspects. The knowledge of psychology enables the manager to understand people`s personality, emotions and attitude.

Training and development is also a very important function of human resources management. The current business world is characterized by constant changes in technology as well as operational procedures. This calls for acquisition of new skills and knowledge. Both new and old employees must be taken through regular training programs to equip them with necessary skills (Torrington et al, 2002). Any form of training should be able to match the knowledge and skills with individual capabilities. The knowledge of psychology enables the manager to understand educational processes and how various skills can be effectively acquired by the employees. Understanding of people`s psychology enables the manager to design an effective training and development program for his or her members of staff. Employee motivation is also very important for improving productivity of the workforce. The employees have to be motivated and inspired in order for them to be committed to their work. Compensation is one of the motivating factors. Employees go to work with the aim of earning some compensation out of their efforts. Issuing of a fair compensation to employees will inspire them to work harder hence increasing productivity (French & Holden, 2012). The study of psychology enables the human resources manager to determine motivational forces including compensation.

A managers should be able to determine the suitable amount of compensation to be issued to employees by balancing the owner`s and employees` interests. Giving too much compensation to employees might cause losses to the organization thus affecting the owner. Similarly, issuing too little compensation will demoralize the workers. The psychological knowledge is required in determining the correct amount of compensation that will satisfy both the entrepreneur and the employees.

Another very important function of human resources is managing employee relations. In order to attain good results, all employees should work as a team. Coordination between various employees is essential for attainment of a common goal. Conflicts normally occur at the workplaces as a result of stress, diversity, antisocial behavior among other reasons (Guion, 1998). All conflicts between employees are normally directed to the human resources manager for resolution. The manager should therefore have some understanding on how to go about such issues. The psychological knowledge enables the manger to understand the decision making process and dealing with stress. Having a psychological knowledge will enable the manager to analyze the root cause of a problem and come up with a sound solution for employee conflicts.

French, S. L., & Holden, T. (2012). Positive Organizational Behavior: A Buffer for Bad News. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(2), 208-220. Furnham, A, 2008. The Psychology of behaviour at work, Hove: Psychology Press. Guion, R.M., 1998. Assessment, measurement and prediction for personnel decisions. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Jex, S. M. & Britt, T.W. 2008. Organizational Psychology. Hoboke, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc Roberts, L & Dutton, J, 2009 Exploring Positive Identities and Organisations, Hove: Psychology Press. Torrington, D; Hall, L; Taylor, S., 2002, Human Resource Management (5th edition) FT Prentice Hall.