What should employers look for when making hiring decisions? Should they focus on cognitive abilities and overall knowledge or should emotional intelligence play a factor as well? According to the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence is one of the top 10 skills needed for workers at all levels of organizations in 2020. In fact, McKinsey & Company predicts that by the year 2030, emotional skills will outpace cognitive skills. It is therefore important that employers foster a culture of emotional intelligence by considering bringing in an organizational development consultant.

Tom Kalous of Westminster, Colorado, decided to invest his expertise in helping organizations improve the quality of life for their workforce. Today, Mr. Kalous is a leader in organizational development consulting.

What is an Organizational Development Consultant (ODC)?

An organizational development consultant (ODC) helps a company achieve organizational sustainability by inspiring personnel and reallocating resources toward the organization’s mission and values.

To accomplish this, ODCs administer professional assessments and training to adjust the overall tone of the workforce to better align to the company’s deeper purpose. ODCs are also commonly referred to as organizational psychologists and management consultants.

Top ODCs are psychology and organizational behavior experts. They frequently partner with human resources and company executives. While some ODCs assist with minor technical aspects of a company’s culture, most are more concerned with employee soft skills, such as leadership, emotional intelligence, and collaboration, notes Tom Kalous.

What is Organizational Psychology?

Also known as industrial and organizational psychology (I-O psychology), this field is primarily concerned with the factors that affect company culture, employee motivation, and overall productivity. The discipline recognizes a workforce as made up of many human beings with complex emotions, values, experiences, and physiological strengths/weaknesses.

According to Tom Kalous, organizational psychology uses principles in neuroscience and personality psychology to measure an employee’s core competences before elevating their soft skills to deliver a more holistic work performance.

There are typically three categories that contribute to organizational psychology: industrial, organizational, and human factors.

Most human resources teams are well-acquainted with industrial psychology, wherein managers assess job descriptions and an employee’s ability to meet job expectations. Unfortunately, many companies stop at industrial psychology tasks and are unable to properly motivate work teams toward a higher purpose.

Organizational psychology (as a subset of the broader term organizational psychology) refers to how team members relate to one another, their supervisors, and their subordinates. Even within a standard hierarchy, healthy relationships among personnel are critical to a company’s overall performance.

Lastly, human factors refer to how employees relate to the tools that they use, to include computers, machines, equipment, and ergonomic aids. Within this category, ODCs try to understand how current tools are enhancing or detracting from employee productivity.

Why are ODCs Critical to Company Culture?

From an ROI perspective, a vibrant company culture not only improves employee engagement and satisfactions, it increases revenues (increased inventory, higher sales, more productivity, etc.) and lowers costs (less employee turnover, fewer sick days, less waste, etc.).

ODCs help company executives identify functional and cultural constraints that might be keeping an organization from operating at its full potential. According to Tom Kalous, it is easy for company leaders to develop tunnel vision and miss critical factors that an experienced outsider could spot almost immediately.

That said, company culture and organizational psychology are complicated fields. That’s why most ODCs have at least a Master’s degree in Psychology, Human Resources, Economics, or all of the above.