Running a successful business involves a lot of juggling. Depending on the organization, there are employees and service providers to manage, supply chains to sort out, and the administrative work of running a business, including marketing and taxes. As a business grows, many of these tasks will be delegated or outsourced, but the responsibility of an organization’s overall success will continue to ride on upper management.
Making decisions in business isn’t easy. Data can help leaders make the right choices, but it’s not all about the algorithms. Businesses are still run by people, selling to other people. And to sell to other people most effectively, you have to understand how they think and what motivates them. That’s where a business psychologist comes in.
What is a Business Psychologist?
A business psychologist is someone who is hired to understand people, within the context of an organization. Business psychologists have in-depth knowledge of both psychology and the world of business. They might be tasked with helping to improve the company culture, increase morale, or boost productivity. Or they might be asked to weigh in on market trends, strategic decision-making, and more.
The role of a business psychologist is about recognizing the complexities of human emotions and behavior, and how those apply in business settings. For instance, a business psychologist might be able to predict how a customer will react to certain changes to a policy or product, based on their knowledge of how people think. Or they might be able to pinpoint the cause of excessive turnover among employees and recommend a solution.
Is Hiring a Business Psychologist Worth It?
There are some “bare-bones” essentials required for running a company. However, the larger a company gets, the harder it can be to ensure that each part of the business is being run smoothly. Bringing in a business psychologist to help identify or anticipate problems can be important for medium and large organizations.
Although hiring a business psychologist is an investment, there is a lot of potential for increasing revenue and decreasing expenses. By better understanding their employees, for example, companies can increase their bottom line by reducing turnover and increasing productivity. By understanding their market, companies can position themselves properly and appeal to their ideal customers.
There are countless ways a business psychologist can help an organization grow. Any decision or activity that involves people can potentially be improved with the help of a psychologist. Hiring practices, training material, efficiency, management structure, engagement, customer acquisition, and overall strategy can all benefit from an expert psychological perspective.
With that said, it typically only makes sense to hire a psychologist at a certain phase of organizational growth. A small organization likely won’t be able to support or fully utilize this position until it has grown larger.
Training for Business Psychologists
As a less well-known occupation, it can be a challenge to find qualified candidates. Generally, it is best to hire someone with a master’s in psychology, but there are additional qualifications needed. A successful candidate also needs in-depth knowledge of the business world.
For this reason, it can make sense to invest in one of your existing employees’ education and create a new role for them within your organization. An employee with strong business acumen can earn an online master’s in psychology, no GRE required. Once trained, they can help you identify and fix areas of your business that might be suffering and improve your organization’s performance.
With online degree programs, working professionals can take classes part-time while continuing to work, a win-win for employer-sponsored educational arrangements. Investing in your best employees is a strategy that can help ensure your long-term success.
Data Matters, But So Do People
In today’s business landscape, it’s easy to get caught up in data. With the number of AI-assisted tools out there, it’s tempting to let technology do the work for you. But as most businesses still rely largely on people, from employees to customers, they need help from people whose understanding goes beyond the numbers.
Data matters, but ignoring the human side of business will only lead to disasters. A business psychologist will do the heavy lifting and help an organization find the balance between human productivity and technological automation.