Creating Meaningful Change – Emily Buchanan

“I am working as a People Lifecycle & Development Coordinator at E78 Partners. Previously, I was a Training and Development Specialist at a large LBM company (building materials and lumber distribution). Industrial-Organizational psychology prepared me for this role by giving me knowledge and tools to create meaningful change for individuals at my organization by being able to ask the right questions. Don’t just go off of what is ‘best practice’ or what has worked in the past, but ask ‘what will work right now for these individuals?’ I am able to use science to create a better experience for employees.

I often describe I-O psychologists as therapists for organizations. We can understand an organization, diagnose it with data science, and then treat it with an intervention. We understand that change is difficult and we have the experience and knowledge to help organizations stay resilient through that change because we study human behavior at work. We understand what keeps employees engaged and we uncover what motivates them to implement strategies and practices that are effective for everyone.

The field is an untapped mine and we are about to be discovered. So I would say that the demand is going to be high. Much of the research on how we work, especially throughout the pandemic, is being sought out by organizations and increasingly becoming a topic of regular conversation. The field is going to grow immensely, in my biased opinion.

Workplaces can benefit from an I-O psychologist because of our expertise in human behavior. Not only that, but we pride ourselves in understanding human differences and how important those differences are to leverage at work, as well as how to create effective interventions that meet the specific needs of those differences. We can help with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at work, and create a workplace where employees feel psychologically safe. Our practices are built to serve the people that work for the organization, but in turn, increase the company’s value monetarily as well.”