So, what actually is organisational psychology?

We’re so frequently asked: “So, what actually is Organisational Psychology?” There are a range of misconceptions out there, a common one being that we are expert home organisers, helping people create Instagram worthy pantries of colour coded excellence. While helping people become more organised may be part of our role at times, our focus tends to be more on organisations (i.e businesses) and how we can help people thrive in these environments.

The Australian Psychological Society recognises nine different areas of practice endorsement for Psychologists in Australia, and Organisational Psychology is one of them. The most well known areas tend to be Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology, with a range of other lesser known areas such as Sport and Exercise Psychology, Forensic Psychology and Health Psychology available.

Let’s start with the basics, Organisational Psychology is all about exploring human behaviour at work. We have a key focus on helping people boost their productivity and wellbeing. Our interventions tend to be across three levels, exploring how the individual, the team and the organisation influence the way people feel and act whilst at work. We are also interested in the relationship between people’s work and personal lives. We understand that a large part of the way we think and act is driven by our upbringing and personal experiences. We also understand that our work lives have a large impact on our mood, energy levels and relationships outside work. Organisational Psychology works to understand the relationships between work and personal lives, providing support that helps make our jobs more sustainable and rewarding.

So, what kind of stuff do we actually do day to day? Well, work within Organisational Psychology is pretty varied. We might do psychological assessments, facilitate training and evaluation, or even manage changes within an organisation. We also develop interventions and strategies to promote wellbeing and occupational health, with a key focus on reducing stress and burnout. Leadership development and coaching is frequently a large part of our daily work, focusing on helping people utilise their strengths to effectively move forward in their careers.

Our ultimate goal is to empower people to solve work related problems and improve their quality of life. So, there you have it – an introductory look at Organisational Psychology. A broad area of Psychological practice that can improve the way we feel both inside and outside work.