How Psychology can enhance Winability in the Corporate World

Humans are driven by emotions and desires, are infused with insecurities, and biased by their needs. Dale Carnegie was once quoted saying upon his personal observations, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotions.” This is precisely the reason we need to incorporate the vital principals of psychology into the corporate world. As an applied science, psychology enlightens the corporates about the effect of organizational practices on its workforce. The application of psychology in business is indeed, a mesmerizing amalgamation and quite symbiotic in nature.

In order to gain an optimum utilization of the workforce, the proactive attitude of the HR department is highly essential. The role of this department is not only limited to recruitment, or organizing the varied team-building events, but also involves talent acquisition, employee retention, and ensuring a stellar performance of everyone. This can be effectively managed using various techniques of psychology, ranging from something as simple as a SWOT Analysis to customized and meticulous methods, best suited to the needs of the organization. Often, the role of this department is quite underrated and many companies have a severe lack of understanding of dynamics of it.

Each and every human works in a different way and hence knowing your workforce- their strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and their attitude goes a long way. A delegation of tasks would be much simpler, and yet effective; yielding more optimistic and favorable results. Analysing the workforce, their needs, and working according to it; catering to their specific, individualistic needs and wants, certainly helps in reinforcing the trust factor, and winning their ‘hearts’- thus increasing the overall productivity.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, a renowned author of the bestseller “Influence”, and a professor of Psychology and Marketing did research in the consumer behaviorism. The results obtained were splendid, and he presented “Six Principles of Persuasion”. This has proven to be beneficial for many Fortune 500 companies and is now an integral part of the functioning of several large conglomerates. The principles are as follows:

1) Reciprocity: “Tit for Tat”, in layman’s language. Humans tend to function in this particular fashion that if someone has done something for them, they would be indebted to them, and would try to pay them back. The same works in negative emotion as well in terms of garnering the sentiment of revenge.

2) Scarcity: Invoking a sense of urgency amongst the consumers is a sure shot way in securing the increase in the sales- just by making the product less available, or ‘limited edition’, as it is portrayed smartly in today’s world. The science works very clearly here: people would certainly be tempted to buy the product if its availability is quite less. This feeling of exclusivity is relevant even in managing employees, as they are always tempted to work harder for getting the tag of being “The One”.

3) Authority: Authoritative figures yield a lot of respect, and with that respect, comes the next step, where they would follow them. Majority of the humans would want to follow these authoritative figures that exert an influence on the basis of their credibility their work accomplishments, their position, and their degrees. The entire concept of celebrity marketing is based on this. Even at the workplace, people tend to follow leaders with larger than life images.

4) Consistency and Commitment: Every individual has this self-image in their eyes, which he or she would want to maintain, by hook or by crook. When an idea or a product is presented adhering to this particular image, they would associate themselves to it, thus committing to the idea or the product. There is a direct association of values amongst the two which establishes an unspoken bond. This leads enhanced outputs from people when they are associated with values that they inherently relate to.

5) Liking: Certain physical, emotional, or behavioral traits common among people pave the way for liking each other, thus the seller can sell the product or the idea effectively to the consumer. People tend to say yes to people that they like. People generally like others who are similar to them or are who pay them compliments and appreciate them or those who are aligned with them through a mutual goal.

6) Consensus: People have always been driven by the motto of “When in doubt look around”. Humans have always been interested in knowing the trends, and going according to that as it provides a validation of sorts to their choices. The “Herd concept” is very relevant in this aspect that people, in general, have the habit of going along with the masses.

Successful leaders employ various psychological tricks and tactics to fortify the growth of their business in terms of Sales and Consumer Base, as well as that of the employees. Business psychology also includes a close analysis of the words and emotions and the effect it has on the people – be it the consumers, or the employees. Applying these principles in the everyday working, corporates can nurture the culture of better understanding of their consumers and employees and position themselves to serve them in the best possible manner thereby enhancing the overall ‘win-ability’.