One of the more challenging issues facing I/O psychologists is explaining what it is we do. Few people are familiar with the field, and many don’t realize how I/O psychology can be useful to a company. Thus, I/O psychologists have to be prepared to educate others in a simple and polite manner about what I/O psychology is. In addition, I/O psychologists who choose to work in consulting firms have to be persuasive and convince business owners to use their services to help improve their company.
Below is an e-mail from a potential client, Chris. Read the e-mail and then draft a response to Chris that will answer his questions.
My name is Chris Covey, and I am the CEO of RainCloud, a tech start-up based in Colorado. RainCloud allows users to manage several social media accounts at once, and obtain data about their followers to help them market products. We have recently gone from 12 employees to 130 employees within a few months, and we are having a hard time managing the increased staff. Recently, we’ve run into some problems. First, because we’ve grown so quickly, many of our new employees are still waiting to be trained, but we don’t really have a program that will get them oriented quickly. We also have some problems with our supervisors—many of the people who are currently supervisors have never managed a team before. I’m getting reports that these supervisors spend a lot of time either yelling at their team, or avoiding their teams entirely because they don’t want to deal with the problems. Finally, the work that we do at RainCloud requires quick response times, and as a result, many people on my staff work long hours to make sure everything is running smoothly. Employees have begun complaining about stress and exhaustion, and some are starting to call in sick quite frequently. RainCloud, a technology start-up established in Colorado, is led by Chris Covey, who is also the company’s chief executive officer. RainCloud enables users to manage many social media profiles at the same time, as well as collect data on their followers to aid in the marketing of their products. We have lately grown from 12 to 130 people in a matter of months, and we are having difficulty keeping up with the increased workload. Recently, we’ve been experiencing some difficulties. Due to our rapid growth, many of our new workers are still awaiting training, and we do not have a formal orientation program in place to help them come up to speed as quickly as they would want. Furthermore, we have some issues with our supervisors, as many of the people who are currently in charge of a team have never managed a group before. According to the information I’ve received, these supervisors spend a significant amount of time either yelling at their team or ignoring their teams totally because they don’t want to deal with the issues. Finally, the job that we perform at RainCloud necessitates rapid response times, and as a result, several members of my team put in long hours to ensure that everything runs smoothly at all times. Employees have began to express concerns about stress and weariness, and some have begun to call in sick on a more frequent basis than previously.
I was speaking with one of my VPs, and she suggested I contact an I/O psychologist for some help. I looked up your company online, and I am curious about what you do. So, if I hired you, what sorts of things could you help me with?
Thanks for your time.
Draft a brief, persuasive e-mail to Chris explaining the work your company does and how it might help him. Keep in mind that this client may not be familiar with technical psychological terms.
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