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Does Your Organization Have a Psychologist on the Board?


Have you noticed that organizations have some employees who are a drain on the workplace while other employees are very effective at promoting the well-being of the company? Did you ever wonder how to improve motivation or promote resilience in the workplace? Are you clear about how to nurture the relationship with existing customers or attract new customers?

These questions, and many others, are questions about human behavior. Psychologists are dedicated to studying and understanding human behavior. So why don’t more businesses have psychologists on their boards of directors?

The board of directors sets policy, represents the owners of the company and oversees the operations to ensure that the company is working up to its potential. To be successful, organizations need an effective board of directors with a diverse set of skills. It is necessary to understand the financial picture of the organization. The legal and regulatory environment must be understood. Marketing and public relations for the organization are key to its success. It is also necessary to be effective in directing and motivating employees, as well as dealing with customers.

Most businesses have a board of directors that includes accountants, lawyers and business development experts to help them to address financial, legal and marketing issues that are a part of the day to day functioning of the organization. I believe that a psychologist should also be on every board of directors to address human behavior, something that is critical to business success.

There are a multitude of issues that come up within the workplace that require a good understanding of human behavior. It is essential to focus on goodness of fit, including getting the right people in the right places within the organization. Executives and managers need to understand human motivation. Conflicts arise and need to be resolved. The organization must strive to promote and support excellence in performance. In a stressful business environment, workers must have the ability to be resilient. There are workplace behaviors that will contribute to the bottom line, but others that will interfere with good outcomes. It is important to promote the behaviors associated with positive outcomes while limiting the negative behaviors. Having a psychologist on the board will help ensure that these vital workplace issues are addressed.

There are also ways to promote good connections and retention of customers. Human beings need to connect on both emotional and intellectual levels in the process of making decisions about accepting what an organization has to offer. To gain a usable understanding of this extraordinarily complex human behavior, it is helpful to have a psychologist involved.

Human behavior is difficult to understand. It is often driven by multiple and contradictory factors that result in actions that are sometimes rational and sometimes emotional. Human beings make systematic errors in decision making. They also can be incredibly innovative, hard working and effective. All of this can be confusing. Yet it is critical to the success of any organization. A psychologist is uniquely positioned to work with a business in addressing and maximizing the potential for working with human behavior to improve the bottom line.

Every company should have a psychologist on the board of directors.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Jason_V

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. John Weaver published on May 9, 2013 9:33 AM.

Opportunities for Student Volunteers at Work & Well-Being 2013: San Francisco was the previous entry in this blog.

Work & Well-Being 2013: Chicago in 140 Characters or Less is the next entry in this blog.

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