The demand for those with expertise in industrial organizational psychology has risen as a wave of changes impacts the nation’s workplace. The need for a steady hand at the wheel of workplace innovation and company cultural change makes those with a degree in I/O psychology an important part of most organizations’ future plans.
Thanks to events in the last few years, business leaders recognize more than ever the importance of focusing on issues that impact workers. First came a pandemic that opened the door to many more people working remotely. Then came the Great Resignation, when employers faced stiff competition to recruit and retain talented workers. And throughout it all, organizations have put renewed emphasis on creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Those who earn an online bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in industrial/organizational psychology prepare themselves to take on the challenges of this increasingly important position.
What Is Industrial Organizational Psychology?
Organizational psychology focuses on helping businesses create a positive environment that motivates employees and boosts their performance. They provide expertise in designing workplaces that best meet the needs of employees, allowing them to increase productivity and the quality of their work.
I/O psychologists apply the principles of the psychological sciences to solve workplace issues. Doing this requires observation and analysis of the working styles of managers and employees. They also analyze workplace productivity. They take this information and collaborate with business leaders in developing new company policies that enhance the workplace and improve company culture.
Some I/O psychologists also take on the responsibility of training managers and employees. All of their efforts must support long-term business goals, including the creation of high-quality products and services and reaching new markets.
They apply their skills to a wide variety of areas, including recruiting employees, training and development, job performance measurements, workplace systems of motivation and reward, quality of workplace life, organizational development, and the structure of work.
Benefits of I/O Psychology
Organizations hire industrial organizational psychologists because of the many advantages and benefits they offer, all of which lead to more motivated and productive employees.
Improve employee satisfaction. By studying the behavior of managers and employees, I/O psychologists determine their level of satisfaction with their job. They also identify areas that require improvements and develop plans for changes in the workplace that improve employee well-being and happiness.
Work-life balance. I/O psychologists work on programs that offer employees better work-life balance, helping them become more productive. These programs also help businesses retain their most talented employees.
Decrease stress. In addition to improving work-life balance, I/O psychologists also make research-based recommendations on company policy changes that can create a more positive, less stressful workplace culture.
Organizational development. I/O psychologists also collaborate with executives, managers, and training and development specialists in areas that boost organizational development. These include policy planning, the screening of job applicants, and employee training.
The importance of I/O psychology to organizations is reflected in the average annual salary people in the field make. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that number reached $113,320 in May 2021.
Touro University Worldwide’s I/O Psychology Programs
Touro University Worldwide offers both a bachelor’s degree psychology program with a focus on I/O psychology as well as an online MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Both programs prepare graduates for success in the I/O psychology field.
Students in the bachelor’s degree program learn how to support improved organizational performance and address the needs of employees. Courses in the I/O concentration include Effective Client Communications, Applied Social Psychology, Theories of Attitude Change and Persuasion, and Cross-Cultural Issues in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
The online master’s program in I/O psychology includes concentrations in coaching and consulting, human resource management, and occupational health psychology. Core courses in the program include
- Organizational Theory and Behavior
- Facilitating Organizational Change
- Strengthening Leadership and Management
- Developing High-Performance Teamwork
- Performance Assessment and Program Evaluation
- Improving Customer Relations
- Research Methodology
- Statistical Methods
TUW offers both degree programs 100% online, giving students the flexibility they need to earn their degree from wherever they are and to build a school schedule around their other responsibilities.