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Course: Introduction to Psychology Course Code: GEN 205 Section: 02
Prepared for: Dr. Sheikh M. Shahidullah Department of Social Science
Prepared by: Shati Itminan ID: 2008-2-10-121
Date of submission: 18th April, 2010
Introduction: The scientific study of behavior and mental process is known as psychology. It deals with the latent, hidden, conscious and unconscious stages of human mind. Psychology is important as it is concerned with the study of behavior and mental processes and at the same time, it is also applied to many different things in human life. Everything we perform is very much related to or with psychology. Psychology, primarily studies who and what we are, why we are like that, why we act and think like that and what we could be as a person. Having a firm knowledge in psychology certainly helps to enjoy a better career in future. In this tough and competitive arena of job world, it is a tiresome work to do well in a job having only bookish or general knowledge about the job content. A person gets success both in term of intrinsic and extrinsic, if he/she possesses broader sphere knowledge about the job context and the cognitive or mental stance of the employees, supervisors, customers and clients of that particular job. Hence, knowledge of psychology often supports a person to achieve the desired target effectively.
My Career of interest: As a business student, I was given several choices to select like Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Management, HRM etc. Among these alternatives, I chose HRM or Human Resource Management. Human Resource management deals with carrying out the “people” or the human resource aspects of a management position, including recruiting, screening, training, rewarding and appraising. Human resource management is the study that helps to implement a smooth operation of the employees through an organization. HR manager’s main responsibility is to monitor the optimal level of performance and to correct them if any deviations occur.
Implication of knowledge of psychology in Human Resource Management field: When one people have a firm knowledge in psychology, he/ she certainly get advantages to deal with the mind of employees or the human resources effectively than other people. As human resource management is directly related with the employee performance, it is necessary to understand the mental stance of the employees. To get fairly clear information about the will, desire, expectations of the employees, apt in psychology is recommended. I can apply my knowledge of psychology in the fields given below. 1. Selecting the best candidate: The first step of a HR manager is to find a
candidate who is capable of doing best for the organization. The candidates can be screened out according to their personality, mental aptitude, physical fitness, dexterity etc. It is proved in research that, personality checking is the most effective method to predict one’s future performance in the organization. However, it is most difficult to measure one’s personality properly. The knowledge of psychology can be implemented to do this. “Big five model” is one of the most commonly used mean to categorize a person based on his/her personality. According to big five models, a person can have five different styles like extraversion, agreeableness, and openness to experience, neuroticism and conscientiousness. Once identified, it becomes easy to measure one future job performance. Extraversion, characterized by sociable, active and assertive is a predictor of success on jobs like sales representative. Agreeableness means trusting, caring and compliant and it predicts fair representation ability in job. Conscientiousness is the relationship between dependency and achievement. It is the most important predictor of future job performance. It positively relates with intrinsic and extrinsic job
Openness to experience, extraversion and conscientiousness are also a
strong predictor of future leadership. On the other hand neuroticism or low emotional stability is negatively related with job performance. So it is important to know about an employee’s personality. Moreover, it is necessary to judge one employee’s intelligence before hiring. Higher intelligent quaint or IQ is needed for doing well in some jobs like handling customer calls. It is also recommended to measure one person’s crystallized and fluid intelligence to estimate his/her ability in the job field. 2. Motivating the employees: Employee motivation is an essential ingredient to
achieving success within your organization; motivated employees directly correlate to performance, job satisfaction, and employee retention. As a result, the ability to motivate and engage employees is a vital and necessary skill for managers in any industry. In psychology, the term "motivation" can be defined simply as the reason for engaging in a particular behavior; basically, motivation is the "why" behind any given action. A vast amount of research concerning motivation theory has been conducted over the course of decades, with many diverging theories. A major motivation theory is Abraham Maslow’s "Hierarchy of Needs." The basic principle behind this theory is that human beings are motivated by meeting their most pressing needs first. Maslow’s hierarchy contains five levels, and, theoretically, each successive level can only be attained by meeting those beneath it. They are (in order from lowest to highest): physiological needs, security needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization. According to Maslow, employees’ lower level needs would
have to be met in order for them to achieve a higher functioning level of motivation. If an organization adopted Maslow’s approach to motivation, it would seek to meet the most basic needs of their employees in order to equip them for higher levels of performance. While providing resources to meet one’s physiological needs such as food, shelter, and clothing is as simple as writing a paycheck, helping employees achieve higher levels like social and self-esteem needs are more complicated. Still, these needs can be remedied through various vehicles like employee interaction and genuine praise, appreciation, and recognition from supervisors. If an organization can free their employees from the pressures of fulfilling lower level needs, their employees will feel comfortable and capable to operate at their greatest potential. 3. Training the Employees: observational learning. • Operant conditioning is an important concept in psychology. Operant Employee can learn through classical, operant and
conditioning is a learning process that involves an increase or decrease in the likelihood of some behavior as a result of the consequences. types of learning processes in operant conditioning: There are four
negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment.
Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement occurs when the likelihood of a certain behavior increases as a result of the presentation of something pleasant after the behavior. For example, it may include increasing the salary of an employee when he/she does some overtime works or does better performance.
Negative Reinforcement: Negative reinforcement occurs when the likelihood of a certain behavior increases as the result of removing something unpleasant after the behavior. For example, it may include not responding to an employee if he/she does something which is not acceptable in the terms of the organization. Positive Punishment: Positive punishment occurs when the like hood of a certain behavior decreases as the result of the presentation of something unpleasant after the behavior. For example, a manager may yell or charge a fine to an employee if any deviant behavior occurs. Negative Punishment: Negative punishment occurs when the likelihood of a certain behavior decreases as the result of the removal of something pleasant after the behavior. For example, a manager may withdraw an employee’s some better condition as a mean of compensating.
Employee learn when and how to work hard etc through classical conditioning. For example, after the month of Ramadan, eid comes. And before eid, employee get bonus. So an employee may feel the temptation of bonus just after a couple of days of Ramadan.
They can also learn through social or observational learning. A HR manager may announce one “employee of the month” or “best employee of the season”. The other employees can follow them and try to become like them.
demonstrated behavior change techniques to improve behavior, such as altering an individual's behaviors and reactions to stimuli the through reduction positive and
negative reinforcement of adaptive
behavior through its "extinction", punishment and/or therapy. One employee’s behavior can be modified by giving them reinforcement. In operant conditioning, schedules of reinforcement are an important component of the learning process. When and how often we reinforce a behavior can have a dramatic impact on the strength and rate of the response. Certain schedules of reinforcement may be more effective in specific situations. There are two types of reinforcement schedules:
i. Continuous Reinforcement
In continuous reinforcement, the desired behavior is reinforced every single time it occurs. Generally, this schedule is best used during the initial stages of learning in order to create a strong association between the behavior and the response. Once the response if firmly attached, reinforcement is usually switched to a partial reinforcement schedule. For example, praising an employee after doing each works.
ii. Partial Reinforcement
In partial reinforcement, the response is reinforced only part of the time. Learned behaviors are acquired more slowly with partial reinforcement, but the response is more resistant to extinction. There are four schedules of partial reinforcement:
a. Fixed-ratio schedules are those where a response is reinforced only after a specified number of responses. This schedule produces a high, steady rate of responding with only a brief pause after the delivery of the reinforcement. For example, it may include reinforcing an employee after making 5 successful sales order.
b. Variable-ratio schedules occur when a response is reinforced after an unpredictable number of responses. This schedule creates a high steady rate of responding. Gambling and lottery games are good examples of a reward based on a variable ratio schedule. For example, reinforcing somebody at a random level of successful sales calls like 5, 10, 12 etc.
c. Fixed-interval schedules are those where the first response is rewarded only after a specified amount of time has elapsed. This schedule causes high amounts of responding near the end of the interval, but much slower responding immediately after the delivery of the reinforce. It may include, reinforcing somebody weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
d. Variable-interval schedules occur when a response is rewarded after an unpredictable amount of time has passed. This schedule produces a slow, steady rate of response. For example, a HR manager can reinforce one employee at a random order. Here no specific date of reinforcement is declared.
5. Psychology of change: Employees not only need to feel good about the change process; they need to feel confident in their ability to execute the newly required tasks. Psychologist Albert Bandura called the judgment an individual makes about his or her ability to execute a particular behavior, ‘self-efficacy’. He also outlined four ways individuals learn self-efficacy around a particular task: through performance accomplishments, through vicarious experiences, through social persuasion and through positive emotional states.
Here are some ways organization can take advantage of this knowledge to create the necessary experiences to reduce employee anxiety and boost confidence, leading to improved performance and less emotional distress:
1. Creating performance accomplishments. Past successful experiences with similar tasks will tend to raise self-efficacy, while repeated failures lower them. Savvy organization make sure that employees see how their old way of doing things has prepared them to successfully deal with the upcoming changes, provide skill training to build confidence, and stagger the change process to insure employee successes early-on. In short, they build confidence and skills at the same time. 2. Providing access to vicarious experiences. Observing others perform the new activities successfully can generate expectations in observers that they can improve their own performance by learning from what is observed. The more powerful the role model, the larger the impact, which is why savvy corporations have a key executive justify the need for change, model and monitor the process,
define acceptable performance, and demonstrate how improvements can be made. 3. Increasing management persuasion. Social persuasion refers to activities where people are led, through suggestion, into believing that they can cope successfully with specific tasks. Coaching and giving evaluative feedback on performance are common types of social persuasion 4. Positive emotional states. A certain level of stress can be a motivator for change. However, emotional reactions to specific tasks – such as anxiety - can lead to negative judgments of one’s ability to complete them.
6. Employee Counseling: Employee counseling can be explained as providing help and
support to the employees to face and sail through the difficult times in life. At many points of time in life or career people come across some problems either in their work or personal life when it starts influencing and affecting their performance and, increasing the stress levels of the individual. Counseling is guiding, consoling, advising and sharing and helping to resolve their problems whenever the need arises.
Technically, Psychological Counseling, a form of counseling is used by the experts to analyze the work related performance and behavior of the employees to help them cope with it, resolve the conflicts and tribulations and re-enforce the desired results. Counseling of staff is becoming an essential function of the managers. The organization can either take the help of experienced employees or expert, professional counselor to take up the counseling activities. Increasing complexities in the lives of the employees need to address various aspects like:
Performance counseling: Ideally, the need for employee counseling arises when the employee shows signs of declining performance, being stressed in office-hours, bad decision-making etc. In such situations, counseling is one of the best ways to deal with them. It should cover all the aspects related to the employee performance like the targets, employee's responsibilities, problems faced, employee aspirations, and inter-personal relationships at the workplace.
Personal and Family Wellbeing: Families and friends are an important and inseparable part of the employee's life. Many a times, employees carry the baggage of personal problems to their workplaces, which in turn affects their performance adversely. Therefore, the counselor needs to strike a comfort level with the employees and, counseling sessions involving their families can help to resolve their problems and getting them back to work- all fresh and enthusiastic.
Other Problems: Other problems can range from work-life balance to health problems. Counseling helps to identify the problem and help him / her to deal with the situation in a better way.
7. Employee mental health: Sometimes the employee in the organization can have some mental illness like schizophrenia, sudden loss of memory, some phobias etc. It is helpful for a manager to identify and take necessary steps to solve these problems if he/she has knowledge of basic psychology.
Conclusion: psychology is such a special branch of science which is necessary for success in myriad job fields. The knowledge of psychology is essential for jobs regardless of whether the job is commercial, arts or science in nature. Rationally, a fair knowledge of psychology is certainly helpful for a career in Human Resource Management. All the work of a human resource manager is to deal with the human aspects of an organization. Understanding the psychology of the employees increases the likelihood to handle them properly. So the knowledge of psychology is very important to become successful in future. I am very happy to take the basic psychology course and I strongly believe that the change in my behavior after taking this course will certainly frame my future career of interest.
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