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We Hear You

Ann Marie Ryan

Thanks for the feedback! The SIOP member survey played a key role in the planning of goals for the Executive Committee for the year ahead. In the interest of brevity, I will highlight just a few of the ways in which we are addressing your concerns.

Addressing Problem of Hotel Room Availability

One of the Conference Committee goals for 20022003 is to resolve our sleeping room situation such that all members who want to do so can stay within a short walk of the Hilton Disney World while ensuring that SIOP incurs no sleeping room charges. Hotel room availability issues are complex and involve considerable liabilities on the part of the organizationplease take the time to read Jeff McHenrys article in this issue of TIP to gain an understanding of the constraints under which we are working. SIOP has attempted and will continue to attempt to negotiate the most favorable situation for the membership as a whole.

Marketing I-O; Promoting I-O to Business

Im pleased to report that SIOP is actively promoting the field of I-O psychology in a number of ways. While this is a long-term effort, we have made tremendous strides.

  • Over the past 2 years, under Gary Carters able leadership, the Visibility Committee created and distributed press releases based on work of our members (based on conference presentations and publications, as well as via discussions with members). Releases were distributed to hundreds of press contacts, and many have resulted in stories (see Members in the News section in each issue of TIP).
  • Our PR person, Clif Boutelle, has developed relationships with many of the regular business columnists at leading papers. Clif also works with local media at our Conference site each year to get greater visibility for Conference content. If you have media contacts or ideas for press release angles, please contact Clif Boutelle at the Administrative Office (boutelle@siop.org).
  • The Administrative Office has been tracking ProfNet, which is where media professionals post requests for experts on various topics and has attempted to match media desires for information with our members who can address the topics of interest.
  • Our Media Referral service on the Web site allows media professionals to search for members willing to discuss certain topics.

We have several efforts underway to better hone our message. Under the leadership of Visibility Committee member, Chris Rotolo, we are specifically looking at the issues of SIOP brand image and how to ensure that a coherent message in line with SIOPs mission, goals, and values is communicated to the public. Karen Paul is working with all our communications-related committees (TIP, electronic communications, Visibility, the Administrative Office) to create a unified image of our organization. The Long Range Planning Committee is evaluating member sentiments regarding our nameis industrial-organizational psychologist a good representation of who we are and what we do? Contact Chris (chris@bizshrinks.com), Karen (kbpaul1@mmm.com), or Katherine Klein (klein@psyc.umd.edu) if you have suggestions.

  • We plan to promote I-O directly to managers via the Solutions Series. Under the leadership of Elaine Pulakos, the Solutions board has been actively working with authors to develop a series of books. The goal of the series is to produce volumes that translate the knowledge of I-O psychology into practical, how-to advice, while also publicizing our field and organization. These short, consumer-friendly volumes will be marketed toward organizational decision makers and managers. More information on the series and how you can get involved is in the January 2002 TIP. You can also contact Elaine at elaine.pulakos@pdri.com.
  • Another effort at promoting our field, led by Joan Brannick and funded by the SIOP Foundation, is our development of Web-based tools that provide a source of information on I-O topics to the general public. The committee is in the final drafting stages of a first toolkit based on Employee Testing. The goal of these toolkits is to provide accurate and understandable information on workplace issues. If you have ideas for future toolkit topics or would like to assist in their development, contact Joan at joan@brannickhr.com.
  • The Professional Practice Committee is working on new plans for marketing our Consultant Locator System. E-mail Mark Schmit at mschmit@gantzwiley.com with suggestions for promoting this SIOP service.
  • The Electronic Communications Committee and Larry Nader are working on ways to enhance the visibility of our Web site (e.g., increasing links to our site, making the site appear on search engine lists for less obvious keyword searches).

In sum, we have a lot of activities underway to promote I-O psychology to business and to educate the public on what we do. However, we welcome other ideas and suggestions. One of the best ways to increase our visibility is for every member to do a little to make the field more visible to the general public. You can help promote our field by the following:

  • being willing to talk to your local media about I-O and what you do
  • volunteering to give a talk at a local HR or civic association that includes a reference to what our field is and what we do
  • identifying yourself to internal and external clients, colleagues, MBA students, friends and strangers as an I-O psychologistand explaining what that means. If we are unwilling to identify ourselves, it is no surprise that who we are and what we do are not well known.
  • volunteering for APAs Exploring Behavior Week by giving a 1-hour talk to students in grades 812 at your childs (neighbors, nephews, etc.) school about what psychology is (and in particular, what are careers in I-O). Contact Laura Koppes (laura.koppes@eku.edu) for prepared presentation materials.
  • linking your personal Web page or program Web page to SIOPs Web page, increasing the visibility of the organization to search engines, and so forth.

Promoting I-O to Other Areas of Psychology

Our progress on the issue of promoting I-O to other areas of psychology is not as advanced as our other visibility efforts, and we could use greater member help. We have several mechanisms in place by which we can do this, but we need members willing to put forth some time in these efforts. A primary means of communicating to other psychologists who we are and what we do is through APA and APS, the umbrella organizations for psychologists. There are several related SIOP activities that attempt to do this.

  • SIOP puts on a program at both the APA and APS conference each year. As few of our members attend these conferences, the goal of programming is not so much targeted toward issues of concern to our members, but toward educating other psychologists about what I-O psychologists do and what we have to offer. However, it is often difficult to get SIOP members to be willing to appear on these programs and to serve in an educational role. In addition, there is always a request for I-O related workshops at the APA conference. These workshops can be targeted toward educating those in other areas who have begun to work in our domain about what they need to know in order to be practicing in an ethical and legal manner. Another example of how we can affect programming is that a theme for the APA conference this August is Fairness; for the conference next August a theme is Decision Making. Both of these are areas where we can educate other psychologists about our research and practice. If you are concerned about how I-O is viewed by the rest of psychology, please consider giving some time to the APA or APS program committees to work on developing sessions to educate the rest of the field, or please submit a session yourself. Contacts for the APA program for the next several years are MaryBeth Mongillo (mmongillo@west.raytheon.com) and Scott Highhouse (shighho@bgnet.bgsu.edu); for the APS program for the next several years are Mike Coovert (coovert@luna.cas.usf.edu) and Howie Weiss (weiss@psych.purdue.edu).
  • Another way we can educate other psychologists about our field is by being more involved in these umbrella organizations. Our APA Council representatives Wayne Camara, Kevin Murphy, and Jim Farr, attempt to represent the views of our field on issues facing APA. Feel free to contact your representatives to express your concerns (wcamara@collegeboard.org, krm10@psu.edu, j5f@psu.edu). Further, Heather Fox coordinates our APA/APS Relations Committee. One of Heathers primary tasks is to get more I-O psychologists placed on the various boards and committees in these two organizations that make policy decisions and set direction for the field of psychology as a whole. Over the past several years, SIOP has worked hard to get representation on the standing boards and committees but also has been successful in getting placements on ad hoc committees. For example, in January we submitted the names of 28 SIOP members as nominees for various APA governance groups. Members of SIOP serve on key APA boards and task forces (e.g., on Internet Test Use, on Workplace Violence, on Executive Coaching). Heather is always seeking names of individuals to suggest for placement on these committees, so please let her know if you are willing to volunteer (hfox@towson.edu).
  • Another connection to other areas of psychology is through Diane Maranto who works for APA as a Psychology in the Workplace Liaison. Part of Dianes role is to promote the research and practice of psychologists who work in the field of work. Diane works to ensure that the voice of workplace psychologists is heard in key APA efforts (e.g., addressing concerns about institutional review boards, APA Web site content, etc.). Please contact Diane if you have suggestions about how APA can better serve the needs of psychologists involved with the workplace (dmaranto@apa.org).
  • We have developed liaisons with the APA Monitor to ensure that I-O related topics get better coverage in that publication.
  • We are working on promoting I-O psychology to other psychologists via educational materials. The Education and Training Committee has created and publicized a number of instructor modules on I-O for other psychologists to use in their introductory psychology courses (see SIOPs Web site). E&T is working on making certain that the topic of I-O is included in materials APA is preparing for high school lesson plans as well as for an APA-sponsored high school text on psychology.
  • I have discovered that part of my role as president is writing letters to the editor whenever our field is ignored or mischaracterized by other psychologists in some scientific or professional publication. Please alert me or others on the Executive Committee when you see something in print by other psychologists that ignores our existencewe will respond.

As with our visibility to the general public and the business world, each member makes the organization and the field more visible to other psychologists. I encourage you to do the following:

  • publish in journals with audiences in other areas of psychology
  • write letters, columns, and other pieces for state association newsletters, publications of other APA divisions, the Monitor, the Observer, and so forth, that highlight who we are and what we do
  • speak up at conferences, faculty meetings, and other gatherings when those from other areas of psychology lack clarity about who we are and what we do

Other Concerns

As an organization of scientists/practitioners, we strive to serve a lot of different constituencies with a lot of different needs. The survey responses did indicate a number of other concerns that we are attempting to address. Just a few of these are noted below.

  • The survey results suggest many of our members are unconcerned about licensure and do not feel the need to be licensed. However, members in certain states have grave concerns about licensure laws restricting their ability to do what they do. Our task force on licensure (contact Peter Scontrino mpeterscontrino@aol.com or Laura Koppes laura.koppes@eku.edu) is seeking to develop criteria for what is a licensable I-O psychologist to aid those members in those states for which this is a serious problem. While these efforts may not be seen as important by some members, they are vital to the continuation of our profession in certain geographic regions of the U.S.; thus, SIOP needs to invest energy and resources into these efforts.
  • We regularly hear comments (and did in the survey) about whether the focus of SIOP activities and the Conference is too much practice, not enough science or too academic. As we hear both concerns from our members, I feel we are doing a great job of hitting the middle! However, the validity of these concerns is being reviewed. Note that the conference program is based on what you submit and what the hundreds of members of our society who serve as reviewers think is worthy of presentation. If you feel content is missing, then submit and review! Further, SIOP is not a trade association and cannot be involved in promoting the businesses of members in a direct way; however, we can and will do what we can to promote the profession as a whole. SIOP is also not a gatekeeper that decides the direction of research in our field; however, we can and will do what we can to support scientific endeavors broadly. If you feel SIOP ought to be doing more for members in either academic or practice settings, send us your specific ideas (contact Mark Schmit, chair of Professional Practice, mschmit@gantzwiley.com, Tim Judge, chair of Scientific Affairs, tjudge@ufl.edu, or Laura Koppes, chair of Education and Training, laura.koppes@eku.edu).
  • Many members desire greater means of interactive electronic communication. Our Electronic Communications Committee has been working to develop electronic mailing lists around particular research and practice topic areas. If you are willing to serve as an administrator for a particular topic area, contact Mike Brannick (mbrannic@luna.cas.usf.edu).

Many members are concerned about the inclusiveness of the Society. As I noted in my presidential column, this is a personal priority for me. CEMA is also working on a number of different efforts to increase the inclusiveness of the Society and the profession and to recognize individual and program efforts in those directions. Please let Kecia Thomas know your ideas (kthomas@arches.uga.edu).

Strengthening the Strengths

Three areas of high satisfaction for members are the Conference, TIP, and the Administrative Office. In striving to maintain and enhance that satisfaction, the Conference Committee, TIP editorial board, and the Administrative Office are all engaged in continuous improvement. For example, TIP is incorporating member suggestions from the survey. The Conference Committee is developing a conference evaluation process for next year to provide more specific and immediate post-conference feedback for our future planning efforts. The SIOP Conference Program Committee is continuing to explore new and innovative formats that foster greater interaction at the Conference. The Administrative Office continues to improve online services, including the institution of online dues renewal. We are working to make our best even better.

As you can see, the SIOP member survey serves as a valuable planning tool for the Society. We appreciate your input via the survey, and encourage you to continue to provide input via e-mails and phone calls on an ongoing basis. Contact information for all committee chairs is always provided on the back inside cover of TIP, and we welcome your comments and suggestions.


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