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The Critical Role of I-O Psychology in the Development of National Security Solutions

A strong national defense and security relies on employees capable of performing at a high level when faced with myriad demands resulting from numerous threats. The field of industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology has long been engrained in the national security enterprise, developing interventions to address unique concerns over areas like stress and morale as well as best practices to promote organizational efficiencies and improve hiring in areas of national need like cybersecurity. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) launched an Advocacy Area, which features a working group of I-O psychologists in multiple sectors (defense, private industry, public policy, and academia), to share this expertise directly with federal decision-makers and promote the inclusion of efficient and effective workforce strategies in the development of defense and security policies.

 

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The Impact of I-O Psychology on Workforce Development and Learning

In order to ensure the United States workforce remains a highly skilled workforce and workers can stay up to date with the constantly shifting skills landscape, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is advocating for the use of industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology research findings in creating evidence-based policy around workforce training programs and other federal activities. SIOP aims to ensure that these federal employment programs are based in science and that workforce training organizations have the necessary resources to best serve American workers. SIOP has organized a group of experts to provide input to policymakers and other federal stakeholders on topics including upskilling and reskilling programs; STEM education; the skills gap; work-based and experiential learning opportunities; vocational training, career and technical education, and short-term credential programs; and creativity and innovation training; among other topics.

 

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Evidence-Based Solutions to Policing Reform: Organizational Psychology Applications to Promote Safety and Effectiveness
 

SIOP urges federal, state, and local decision makers to apply industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology’s data-driven methods to enhance various elements of policing reform.  In 2020, in response to emerging federal legislative proposals to address policing, SIOP formed a new working group to assist policymakers in this effort by providing first-hand I-O expertise. As a first step, the working group developed a guidance document that includes some examples of I-O solutions to address challenges related to bias, community trust, leadership, and wellness, among other areas.  In addition to listing effective, scientifically-based solutions to many of the challenges facing police departments across the United States, the document provides recommendations that would address several notable gaps in proposed major legislative solutions. This document does not provide a complete summary of I-O findings related to policing reform and is intended to serve as a conversation starter between policymakers and I-O experts on the working group.

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Guide to Federal Outreach and Advocacy
 

SIOP’s Government Relations Advocacy Team (GREAT) offers this comprehensive guide summarizing SIOP’s approach to advocacy at the federal level and providing practical advice and resources for members who wish to pursue advocacy work. The “Guide to Federal Outreach and Advocacy,” was created with assistance from SIOP’s advocacy partner, Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC.


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Impact of I-O Psychology on Understanding the Changing Technology-Enabled Workforce
 

With the nature of work rapidly evolving, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is advocating for the consideration of evidence-based I-O psychology as policymakers address the various challenges and opportunities related to areas such as the impact of automation and new technologies on the workforce.  This guidance document aims to inform federal stakeholders on the expertise of industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology and how it can help shape policies to better integrate technology into the workforce and build an effective “workforce of the future,” an emerging priority for Congress and federal agencies. SIOP has also organized an advocacy initiative to address the technology-enabled workforce, which will focus on topics such as automation, cybersecurity, teleworking and contingent workforces, STEM education and training pipelines, and implementation of new technologies.


 

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The Impact of I-O Psychology on Transitioning Veterans To Civilian Work
 

As federal and congressional policy makers consider programs and legislation regarding the transition of service members from the battlefield to the workforce, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) urges the application of evidence-based methods in industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology to enhance veteran employment experiences. This guidance document is meant to better inform policy makers about I-O psychology’s data-driven approach to identifying and alleviating a wide range of modern employment challenges facing veterans, including the translation of skills, decision-making capabilities, and support networks from military life, as well as the difficulty for civilian employers in recognizing promising veteran candidates. SIOP has developed an advocacy initiative of experts to provide guidance and assistance to federal decision makers as they seek to address issues related to the transition of veterans to the workplace.


 

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