Having just attended the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology conference earlier this month, the Glow at work team are very much looking forward to the ABP Conference in April. The core essence of the ABP is “to enable growth and impact by making psychology accessible to business” and this is represented by the theme of this year’s conference – “Doing more with less”.
This motto, as it has now become, against the backdrop of trying economic times is at the top of organisational leaders’ strategic agendas. But what does this actually mean? It fundamentally revolves around a drive for efficiency and maximising the impact that interventions have. Glow at Work’s experience within a number of NHS Trusts is testament to this. As such a huge public sector organisation, maximising resources and accelerating implementation is extremely important. Hence our Leadership Empowerment Programme, an intensive leadership development course has helped employees within NHS Trusts to provide higher-quality patient care in a relatively short space of time.
Hence, doing more, with less is all about making the most of what you have, yet still delivering to an expected industry standard, and beyond (if you ask your clients!). This message resonates with the values of the ABP; Accessibility, Expertise, Capability, Resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is the key here, as the need to demonstrate value as Business or Occupational Psychologists within organisations is of paramount importance if we as a profession are to gain a larger market penetration, or accessibility. So we come full circle, and observe the value of spotlighting this particular topic at the conference, as it has consequences for all of us.
Such consequences are of course influenced by the economic environment. And despite some positive signs of economic recovery in the UK, albeit tentative and minimal, we face a tricky road ahead of us. If truth be told, for many graduates entering the workplace for the first time, as Business Psychologists or in any other industry, we have not known a more prosperous time in our careers. Hence, these are the only external conditions we (I include myself in this group) have known, so surely it can only get better. This is of course is the optimist in me speaking.
However, as big high street names continue to fall victim to the recession, most recently HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster, organisations are still in survival mode. This will likely persist, at least for the foreseeable future, until factors such as the pledge by the Chancellor to reduce corporate tax to 21% by 2014, have a chance to have an impact on organisational bottom lines.
We therefore must flex, adapt and be resilient in the face of such challenges. This involves working with organisations, according to their agendas. Glow at work strives to share knowledge and provide a forum to address current people issues that organisations face, in our monthly Masterclasses. These network evenings with respective experts, focus on issues such as creativity and innovation in the workplace, resilience and management competence. All of these factors, when managed effectively demonstrate a return on investment for organisations. Hence, as Business Psychologists, we must be able to articulate and demonstrate our knowledge and capability in these areas, as it is through our expertise in these niches along with our commercial awareness and grasp of business realities that we can add value to organisations.
There is also a need to get the correct balance between commercial/customer needs and rigorous and effective interventions. This application of Psychological principles, frameworks and theory in the workplace is essentially our USP. And it is being able to express this USP and how this can ultimately help the organisations we work with to achieve their strategic objectives which will allow us to be efficient as consultants.
The ABP conference promises to deliver best practice advice for practitioners, ranging from Business Psychologists to HR specialists, to Management Consultants, as the range of impact that applied psychology has in an organisational setting is large. We’ll keenly be watching the ABP space, for announcements of their keynote speakers, who will be highlights amongst the wealth of practical workshops, case study sessions and symposiums, not to mention the chance to meet and socialise with many interesting and like-minded individuals.
Please follow this link to the ABP website for more information about the conference and how to book a place: http://theabp.org.uk/conference/conference_home/.
Trainee Occupational Psychologist
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