How would you describe what you do? After nearly six years as the Head of Organisational and Leadership Development for a FTSE 100 business I’ve returned to my old consultancy firm. As such I am now freer to focus on what I adore doing -…
Between ourselves, we have an understanding of what business psychology is. However, in general, there is a fundamental misunderstanding around business psychology, the work we do, and the value we bring to organisations.
There is a need to communicate to other professionals, what we do as business psychologists to create a more consistent understanding of our profession. So in the true collaborative nature of the ABP, we launched a recent initiative on LinkedIn to de-mystify our profession. We held an open event to debate and discuss the topic further, in smaller groups. We heard from Business Psychologists, Senior Lecturers, Business Consultants, Organisational Designers, MSc students, as well as Coaching Psychologists, with collective specialisms including (but not limited to): organisational development, employee engagement, culture, leadership and well-being.
We had very informative and passionate discussions in our break out groups. We explored the idea that the definition of a Business Psychologist is not static but dynamic, and should change as our needs and our client’s needs change. We reviewed the various titles: Business/ Occupational/ Industrial/ Organisational Psychologist and recognised that “Business Psychologist” is not a protected title by law in UK, whereas “Occupational Psychologist” is, as it requires a HCPC registration.
The most common consensus when describing what a Business Psychologist is, was that we use a range of evidence based methods within our toolkit, talk the language of business and psychology, and apply different psychological theories in the workplace. We discussed the benefits that Business Psychology brings to organisations, including how we help to boost business performance, as well as people performance. We covered that Business Psychologists can work in roles around people, organisational development or change, learning and development, designing work environments, and could be a business professional or a manager with knowledge in psychology, to name but a few.
We endeavour to make Business Psychology an inclusive field that seeks to capture a number of different professionals. However, there is a need to demonstrate that we are effective management consultants supporting people using an evidence based approach. We also need to communicate how what we do is beneficial for those who don’t yet know it!
Our top three take aways were collectively we wanted to work on:
- Our own personal development
- Our elevator pitch
- Our understanding who we are as a group, before shouting it from the roof tops
We would love to hear from you about your experiences so please keep the conversation going by leaving your thoughts below/ as we will be discussing this more deeply at our annual conference with the view to conduct some research of our own.
Written by Hannah Johnson, Conference Dean 2021