‘Hue’-man Resource Management: Exploring the colorful nature and trends in Psychology in the spectrum of Human Resources
Psychology puts the ‘human’ in human resources. It would be inhuman without the touch of Psychology. Be it employee engagement, training and development, learning and development, psychometric testing, research methods, grievance handling, employee counselling,employee/employer branding or employee loyalty, there is a huge spectrum of human resource activities under the influence of psychology.
Employee loyalty is one such color of psychology that influences human resource management to a large extent. It is one of the best methods that can be adopted in order to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. Organizational Citizenship Behavior(OCB) is one of the trending ‘man-tras’ in the context of employee loyalty. According to Wikipedia, it can be defined as, “a concept that describes a person’s voluntary commitment within an organization or company that is not part of his or her contractual tasks”
Organizations are now focusing on increasing the value congruence of the employees, in order to match employees beliefs, values, goals and needs with that of the organization. With a comprehensive understanding of employee needs, satisfaction and career aspirations, recurrent and extensive job hopping can be reduced. Once the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for employees of the company are identified, the company can work towards satisfaction of employees needs and wants. Intrinsic motivators refer to activities such as appreciation, empowerment and recognition of employees. Extrinsic motivators refer to increase in salary, incentives, bonus, fringe benefits, etc.
With the onset of head hunting, body shopping and other strategies tactics of competitors, organizations are dynamically changing their cultures in order to be unique and customized to stand out from the rest. Bureaucracy and authoritarianism belong to the yester years. Informality and personalization is the new cool. Organizations are working on making their climate more employee-friendly and healthy in order to win over the allegiance of their employees.
Employee counseling is another colorful aspect of psychology at the workplace. With the onset of increased work related stress, decreased work-life balance and an imbalanced emotional stability of employees, employee counseling seeks to provide development and growth to employees. Counseling can be either in-house or out-house. Out-house counseling was initially preferred by employers; however the extensive use of in-house counseling has come to light in the recent past. Organizations are now equipping and training employers and supervisors to be counselors in order to possess dual role capacities.
Human resource management seems to have started with the application of psychological concepts- with the introduction and application of various theories such as Herzberg’s theory two factor theory, Hawthorne studies, Maslow’s hierarchy of motivational needs, ERG theory, etc. But somewhere down the line, human resources seems to have become mechanistic and static in nature, lacking personalization. However, with the onset of the latest trends in the market, psychology seems to have taken a great deal of importance in the domain of human resources, infusing fresh blood into is lifeline in the organization.
There is still a huge undiscovered potential and portion of psychology in HR that is waiting to be explored. We just have to wait for it’s ‘man-i-fold’ nature to unfold!
By: Stinabelle Stimitasini Paulson- Management Trainee.