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Industrial Psychology is an emerging field of practice, oriented towards the study of behavioral patterns in employees about the job environment. The specialty of practice has been recognized and acknowledged by the American Psychiatric Association. The principle of practice pivots around the psychological health of a worker about the task and the ambiance of the work environment. Industrial psychologists are recruited by various organizations to increase productivity at workplace. They practice under different domains and work holistically for the mental well-being of a worker (Borman, 2003).
The basic framework of Industrial psychologists is to ensure that the “task fits the worker.” An employee in the workplace is subjected to various kinds of physical and mental stress. Physical stress arises from incompatible machine design, poor work design, and inappropriate shift schedules. Psychological constraints occur due to the employer-employee relationship, the demand of job, incompatible machine design and controls which impose stress on the worker, lack of motivation and monotony on the job. Therefore, industrial psychologists work towards optimizing such factors, which ensures or increases the productivity of individuals in the industry (Borman, Ilgen & Klimoski, 2003).
The methodology employed by industrial psychologists includes assessment of the demand for jobs and assessment of the psychological profile of the employee. Various qualitative and quantitative statistical analyzes are undertaken, so as to diagnose the psychological issues at the workplace. They use various screening tools for anxiety, depression and pain, and adjust the work patterns of the employees or voices for a change in work design to the management of the organization. Such changes ensure proper health of the workers and at the same time increases the productivity of individuals. The major hallmark of practice includes ensuring compliance of the worker to the job. They also perform a method called time-study, which helps in designing manpower to accomplish a certain piece of work (Borman et al., 2003).
They work on different frontiers to reduce stress and depression in workers. Stress and depression may occur from employer behaviors, bullying at the workplace and improper compensation. Therefore, industrial psychologists provide thorough counseling to these affected individuals and motivate them for the job. They also help in improving the design of machines and shift schedule. Various machine features may not be suitable for the prototype of the employees in a particular setting. This may lead to man-machine incompatibility that may not only increase the mental stress of employees but may also be responsible for accidents. Apart from maintaining psychological health of workers, they also aid HR department in recruiting of employees. Various jobs require a high degree of alertness, mental acumen and requisite intelligence to perform a job (Liljegren, & Ekberg, 2009).
These skills or qualities are not judged by regular academics or degree certificates. Therefore, industrial psychologists create simulated environments at the time of interview. They judge the psychological fitness of employees, through various kinds of intelligence tests. Such tests bring out the mental capacity of an employee in accomplishing a job. They help individuals to acquire leadership roles in an organization, through training and helping potential leaders to identify employee behavior. Such screening is important because leaders need to focus the contributory factors, which drives the performance of an employee. Therefore industrial psychologists keep the management aware, regarding the changes needed to ensure improved work output from the employees. Thus, industrial psychology optimizes the interaction between man-machine- environment in such a way that benefits all the three components, in driving maximum productivity and prevention of accidents (Aube, C, & Rousseau, 2011).
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