The Role of Psychology in Running a Successful Business

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Businesses big and small rely on people to succeed. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how psychology is something for business owners and managers to consider. After all, psychology is the closest we’ve gotten to developing an instruction manual for the human race. For companies to successfully rely on people the same way they depend on machines and software, they need to understand and appreciate how people operate and function within a business setting. The same goes for the folks they’re trying to turn into customers.

Across the country and around the world, universities are realizing the importance of psychology in business and acting accordingly.  An accredited psychology school will now offer several programs revolving around the subject, including organizational behavior and organizational development. With this in mind, let’s take a look at several areas of business where psychology plays a vital role.

Human Resources

A company’s human resources department oversees multiple aspects of employment, including employee screenings, performance evaluations, and determining candidacy for promotion. Since HR personnel act as a conduit between management and workers, a tremendous amount of psychology knowledge and expertise is involved in their day-to-day responsibilities.

Instructional Design

The rising importance of instructional design is a result of the increased reliance on software-based onboarding. An instructional designer develops appropriate training, testing, and evaluative systems to help employees grasp new material and understand new systems. Instructional designers must constantly keep the user in mind when developing their material. A background in psychology helps instructional designers develop the most intuitive and effective training tools for the rest of the company.

Employee Training

In many instances, employee training goes beyond software and involves hands-on practice. Those tasked with developing these tests and exercises must do so with the trainee’s thought process in mind. Otherwise, they run the risk of designing something that fails to successfully prepare workers for their duties and responsibilities. Having a psychology background helps trainers determine the best way to approach a session for maximum employee enrichment.

Industrial Design

All products are designed to appeal to humans, even dog toys and cat food. That’s because, even though some items are not meant to be used or consumed by people, all items are bought by people. With this in mind, psychology is a universal factor in successful industrial design. Understanding what shapes, colors, and materials help drive sales while also providing function is a balance between art, engineering, and psychology.

Customer Service

Providing outstanding customer service boils down to understanding and appreciating the customer’s point of view. It means having excellent listening skills and identifying the unspoken takeaways that prove critical for reaching a resolution. It’s a skill set that can be developed and enhanced with a degree in psychology.

Marketing

Knowing what a customer wants and needs better than they do, and explaining how a specific product or service provides the answer, is the essence of marketing. Once again, we’re trying to get inside someone’s head, an endeavor in which a background in psychology provides a tremendous advantage. Whether it’s a call to action or another element of marketing, a psychological component is always involved.

Sales

The engine of any business is sales. Without sales, you cease to exist. But to drive the volume of sales needed to generate profit, most companies need to actively encourage people to buy more often than they otherwise would. To do so, they target various aspects of the human psyche. A desire for acceptance, fear of loss, interest in fortune, and tendency to indulge are examples of emotional and behavioral targets used to drive sales in business.

All businesses depend on people to succeed. Whether it’s employees or customers, understanding and appreciating how individuals think is paramount in pursuit of profit.