Director of Consulting A&DC
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Are we recognising the value of psychology in HR?

4th Jan 2013
Director of Consulting A&DC
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The importance of psychology for a business can sometimes be under-estimated. There’s often a great focus on meeting targets, and it’s easy for other aspects of the work environment to take a back seat. But, in order to ensure the success of a company, you need to have the right people in the right places and working to their full potential. Psychology plays a critical role in attracting, retaining and developing top talent so that your organisation can really thrive.

In order to truly appreciate staff and respond to their needs in the workplace, HR teams and employers have to be able to read and understand an individual’s behaviour, emotions and attitudes. This will help to ensure motivation in their role, which in turn will lead to employees being more proactive and effective, resulting in increased productivity for a business.

At a&dc, we understand the positive contribution that psychologists can make to a company. And next week, three of our consultants (who are also psychologists) will be presenting at the annual Division of Occupational Psychology Conference on some of the key issues facing employers.

Philippa Riley, our Principal Consultant – Product Development, will be speaking on: ‘Finding diamonds in the rough: Designing selection tools for retail staff’. Here she will share a case study of Signet – the world’s largest speciality retail jeweller – and demonstrate how it reached its objective of developing a more efficient and accurate retail selection process. Philippa is also presenting a poster on ‘The Role of the Assessor: Current practice versus best practice’, which is based on some of the findings from our Global Assessment Centre survey – the largest of its type to be conducted.

The second presentation will explore the connection between resilience and engagement, which is a topic that Ali Shalfrooshan, Senior Consultant – Product Development, specialises in. Being resilient and engaged are two qualities that can help an employee enhance their effectiveness. Our research has shown a direct correlation between engagement and five of the key pillars of resilience: self belief, optimism, purposeful direction, challenge orientation and support seeking. Building on a research paper delivered at last year’s conference and a webinar earlier this year, Ali will discuss how the two areas link together and what can be done to leverage it for greater business impact.

Thirdly, Dan Hughes, Director of Product Development, will present on ‘Scoring Situational Judgement Tests: Evaluating different methodologies’.  I’ve blogged before on the importance of Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) when it comes to sifting through applications:  they present the candidate with a realistic scenario, they can be analysed automatically and they provide a rich source of data. In his talk, Dan will discuss research on a variety of ways of scoring SJTs and the impact on different outcomes, such as reliability, validity and fairness.

The event, which takes place from 9th – 11th January, provides attendees with an opportunity to network, take part in workshops, and hear fresh insights from leading experts. We hope to really bring home the important role that psychology plays in a business. And, as a HR professional, it’s not something you can afford to ignore if you want to understand the needs of employees. 

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