Mind Over Matter: Why You Should Hire Psychologists for Your Team
Published on March 7th, 2023
Happy people go over and above for you. Healthy ones enjoy taking up challenges. A happy and healthy workforce can accomplish great things for you. Physical and mental health are equally important, however, it's not always easy to know if a person is mentally alright. Just like how someone with an ailing physical condition cannot sit still and work, a mentally disturbed individual cannot contribute meaningfully.
Since fewer people are vocal about needing mental health aid, or admit about the struggles they have been battling alone, organizations assume them to be indifferent, or have a bad attitude, or worse, lay off them. Did you know that in a recent study, out of 80% of the workforce having mental health issues, 39% didn't admit it, or seek professional help out of fear of societal judgment?
One proven, time-tested way to stand with your workforce, or team, and help them resolve mental health issues, either workplace-related, or otherwise, is to bring onboard a psychologist to your company.
The HR department may be good at managing people, but you need a psychologist to help your people help themselves.
But, hiring psychologists is tricky, how do we do it, you ask? We answer in this blog. Keep reading to know why hiring a psychologist for your team is crucial and how you can go about it.
You, Your Team & Company: How Psychologists Can Create a Positive Ripple Effect
From counseling one-on-one, to bringing interventions for the team, transforming leadership styles to boosting productivity in the workplace, psychologists can do amazing things for you, your team, and your company.
As HR managers and recruiters, you may find working with a psychologist especially useful in handling workplace conflicts, inspiring a disgruntled workforce, facilitating, helping, intervening and addressing issues wherever necessary.
Let's delve deeper into how hiring psychologists can solve deep-rooted issues for your workforce.
1. Leadership Coaching
When it comes to organizations, vision, mission and inspiration comes from the top of the pyramid. People at the helm decide how the people, processes and results are going to take shape, and it's necessary to have a healthy leadership to have an engaged workforce.
You may have found your leaders quite set in their ways, unwilling to give up some habits even though they're toxic to the company. A frequent complaint we find HR professionals like you take to your leaders is that their micro management or obsession with knowing every little detail in the company is causing frustration in the company.
Sometimes, the people who have developed out-of-the-world products or services and built your company from scratch, may not be adept at handling people. They may be fixated on growing business and reaching targets, without realizing there's a human side to your organization.
Of the number of occasions you've taken this up with your leaders, how many times have you received a positive or constructive response, and how many times have they denied your statement?
We hear you.
Sometimes people can be set in their own ways and it can be difficult to let go of things we've built over the years.
Here's where hiring psychologists can help you.
They can coach leadership, without having them to take time off their schedules, and bring in a real transformation. As you know, transformational leaders inspire the workforce to get better, set exceptional targets and reach for the stars. What's interesting is, when people work with these leaders, they want to become better and take full responsibility for their actions.
You can bring this change to your company by hiring a psychologist for your team.
2. Career Counseling
Some of your employees may have a hard time figuring out why they're not able to cope up with their job demands even though they try their best. Maybe the job doesn't suit them, or they have an entirely different skill set.
As HR professionals you may try to help them find their interests, but what happens to people who don't know what they're interested in, or people who are not attuned to their own strengths.
It can be difficult for you to keep your workload aside and focus on each individual employee. But, a psychologist can do it and fetch better results for you.
By administering different personality tests, exercises and through talk therapy, psychologists can understand how the employee thinks, what qualities dominate their psyche and how to channelize interests in producing great work for your company.
With this information and accurate data ready at hand, you'll be in a better position to allocate work for the upcoming appraisal period. You can also rest assured that the employee's performance won't be an issue, as they'll work in a stream that interests them.
Sometimes, you may find the data to reveal an employee's interests doesn't align with your organization's current priorities, in which case you may even consider other options.
This comes in handy especially for people entering the workforce, those who are a couple of years or slightly more into the system, and also for employees facing midlife crisis (10-20% of senior employees in their mid-thirties or forties).
3. Personal Development
There may be instances in your company, when people realize they've been wanting to act on. Based on their boss's feedback, or in introspection they would have found that they need to work on a few coping mechanisms, or develop certain skills to improve themselves as a person and a professional.
We've all felt the need to become a better person, at some point in our lives. Having a professional who guides you in your personal development journey is nothing short of amazing for the one desiring the change.
Hiring a psychologist means these aspiring employees have a go-to person to check in with. And that's a healthy start, wouldn't you agree?
The psychologist can work with your team, gain access to the employee's personnel records, see if they've had issues due to the quality of habit they want to change and frame foolproof methods to get concrete results for them.
For people who have been nominated by their managers for certain behavioral training programs, having an in-house psychologist makes it easier for them to acclimatize to the new habit, receive help to prevent falling into old patterns.
4. Trauma/Harassment Counseling
As HR professionals, you would have received bereavement news or leave requests from employees. You grant the leave to them, help them out in ways allowed by the organization's policies and check in on them when they rejoin work.
But, how many times have you checked in on them after a while?
We often get consumed in our day-to-day duties that we forget what they may be going through. Since it's a professional working environment, they might not feel comfortable sharing what they feel with the people around.
In these circumstances, if you have a psychologist onboard, the employee can straightaway seek help from them and wade through grief in a healthy manner.
In case an employee has faced workplace harassment, they may feel triggered every time they walk into the office, which is detrimental to their mental health. A psychologist handles situations like these effectively, and can support your claim to relocate the aggrieved party, for a reasonable period until they feel comfortable.
5. Employee Assistance Programs
Quite common with New-Age workplaces, employers have begun providing an exclusive counselor, or a psychologist, whom employees can consult, without disclosing reasons or specifics to the HR team or their reporting manager. It's been quite effective, as studies show 86% of employees witnessed a positive shift in their well-being after the implementation of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).
Your company can be a part of the 86%, if you hire an in-house psychologist. From issues involving workplace violence, or instances where physical well-being could be harmed, burnout or stress, EAP works well. An in-house psychologist knows the dynamics of the organization, can suggest workable solutions, represent a need for intervention necessary, and be a professional confidante of the aggrieved.
These issues can be triggering for the aggrieved and for those associated with them in the workplace, such as teammates and peers in their own department or across the organization. Seeing one employee face difficulty and lose hope can cause a chain reaction, may bring about counterproductive behavior and may result in quiet quitting as well. Studies show about 86% of employees leave if they don't receive any sort of wellbeing support from their employer.
You can turn the tables. Bring onboard a qualified psychologist and watch your net promoter score spike.
6. Consequence Management
Performance reviews are a hectic time for HR personnel. Strategizing and running the whole review process right, for the entire company, with multiple stakeholders, levels, plenty of hard and soft measures to consider – phew, it's hard.
And, after each review, you will certainly find people coming to you with complaints, issues and whatnot. Doesn't it exhaust you? To manage the administrative workload after every review, whilst tending to dissatisfied employees?
You cannot compromise one for another, and you end up burning the midnight oil. This needs to change.
Hiring a psychologist to your team halves your work when it comes to major milestone moments in the employee lifecycle. As soon as the review ends, you can send out a survey, collecting employee feedback. You can also notify employees that the psychologist or counselor is available for people to confide in. This way, you allow for employees to channelize their emotions and feedback and also have a qualified psychologist to help them process their feelings.
As the psychologist keeps their finger on the pulse of employees post-review, they would have quality insights on the fairness of review. When coupled with your findings and their insights, you can make a solid case listing down the measures and interventions necessary in your organization, to retain and enhance skills of your people.
7. Workplace Ergonomics
Did you know high ceilings instigates creativity, and lower ceilings sharpen your focus? Colors have an undeniable impact on our mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. More so, at work.
If you're constantly facing issues it's also possible that your workplace might do well with some ergonomic alterations. Make sure to include your in-house psychologist in planning and designing your future workplace. Their insights are profound and will determine how satisfied and engaged your workforce will be, in the short and long run.
Bringing in collaborative elements like a whiteboard for each team, for them to brainstorm, having an appreciation board or a wall of fame, lots of blue and green colors in and around the place to emanate trustworthiness, and rekindle creativity can work wonders for your business.
A psychologist will help you determine which colors to use, what shapes to incorporate more often, how to space out seats so that teams sit together and also have their own individual space, how proximate closely interacting teams need to be located etc.
There's a lot of psychology involved in designing a workplace. Having a psychologist onboard can be fruitful for you and your company.
8. Wellness Programs
You have chalked out the training calendar for your quarter, how many behavioral training do you have?
And, how many of them are actually in tune with what employees really need? Of course, you sent out a survey asking employees what training they'd like, but are you 100% sure you got candid responses?
Having interacted with a lot of your people, your in-house psychologist would know what skills or learning your people need to clear any obstructing thought or habit and improve quality of life at work.
It could make a huge difference.
Teaming up with a professional people-expert, you can pitch wellness programs, interventions that can improve your culture.Organization Climate Improvement
9. Organization Climate Improvement
As recruiters and HR managers who are constantly interacting with different types of people, you know that different personality types can clash at work, and create a ruckus.
You've probably mediated a lot of cases. Although you can bring in interventions to address the situation, the root cause of the clash remains untreated.
When you have a psychologist in your team, this need is taken care of. They can probe into any situation, figure out what's ailing your organization culture, get to the root cause and treat it in the bud.
There are deadwoods in any company, who are actively disengaged, who bring down others as well. Or, other teammates may not receive appreciation as much as an overachiever, which can cause resentment amongst the team.
Researchers say that about 12% of resignations happen because employees are unhappy with their managers. An overly critical, passive aggressive or abusive manager can threaten an employee's psychological safety. It hampers productivity, peace of mind and disrupts the employee's work-life balance.
A confidante, more so, a psychologist, can help the employee feel heard, offer counseling to mitigate the emotional damage they've suffered and share relevant data with you, to go ahead with organizational structural changes, or to introduce manager training or coaching programs.
10. Building Optimism
Did you know about 4 years ago, before the pandemic hit, a WHO study showed about 15% of working adults all over the globe had some sort of mental illness. After the pandemic, research data of 2021 from independent agencies say about 59% of the working population face a mental illness that affects their work, with the most prevalent forms of mental illnesses being anxiety, depression, and stress.
So many people are going through something that troubles them from within, but still endure the difficulty to work and provide for their family. It can be a lonely battle. They may lose hope, may or may not have anyone who'd listen to them, which can only worsen their condition.
Some people, in the hope of seeking resolution, approach the HR. You’d love to help, but unfortunately, they need clinical help to cross this phase and cure their illness. A psychologist would take care of these warriors struggling with their mental health. They are the right people to diagnose the condition, treat, or refer to another professional, for the right type of treatment.
Having a go-to person during these troubled times builds a lot of hope for the mentally ill. Hire a psychologist, and you’ll thank yourself for it.
How Can Hire Quotient Help?
Getting the right psychologist is more than just reviewing their licenses and qualifications. You need to take a three-pronged approach:
- Formal assessments
- Background checks & reference checks
- In-person interviews
Hire Quotient can help you with laser-sharp assessments and get you advanced insights on candidates’ competencies, for you to choose the unicorn, interview, and onboard them. Our system creates a vast, diverse candidate pool, by considering global talent, referrals, and incorporating cold and warm outreach campaigns. Once you enter selection criteria, Hire Quotient’s AI-powered recruitment tool gets you the most relevant candidates with its laser-sharp screening tool.
After the initial screening, choose from Hire Quotient’s assessment bank and administer our carefully curated, industry-vetted Psychologist assessment, get advanced insights, and choose your unicorn with ease.
Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.
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