Psychological Strategies Can Push Performance

Psychological Strategies Can Push Performance

“In a vastly diverse, global, and multicultural marketplace where all other factors are becoming increasingly equal, human performance serves as an enterprise’s predominant competitive differential,” says Rodney Stigall, senior recruiting manager for Florida-based Harris Corp.

In October 2007, Stigall, an M.B.A. graduate, enrolled in The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where he studied the application of psychological strategies to improve organizational productivity amid task-oriented groups in the workplace. Although the degree can be completed in as little as 20 months, non-degree-seeking students may enroll in a three-course certificate program in an area of specialization.

Stigall says the 35-credit hour program assisted him in understanding how organizational management has shifted from a tactical exercise of singular actions–hiring, training, terminating, etc.–for solely economic reasons, to a more strategic, integrative systems approach impacted by constantly changing organizational dynamics.

Since completing his degree in June 2009, Stigall adheres to the following guidelines:

Acknowledge that behavior is king. “Education, experience, and tactical workplace skills are quickly becoming secondary to behavioral competencies and aptitude,” insists Stigall. His team consistently refines the employee selection process and crafts tools to predict, manage, and develop performance.

Reward effective behavior. “If you can’t manage what you don’t measure, then you certainly can’t sustain what you don’t reward,” says Stigall. He points out that a well-structured incentive program inspires high-performing behavior on individual, group, and organizational levels. Stigall relies on best-practice research to identify appropriate incentives.

Address bad behavior. “The success of an organization depends on its ability to recruit, retain, and when necessary, replace talent,” states Stigall. While changes in organizational infrastructure resulting from acquisitions, mergers, downsizings, and deployments can negatively affect employee attitudes and performance, Stigall’s team conducts rigorous interventions to confront behaviors that compromise the company’s mission.
For more about The ExCEL Track for the MA Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program, contact The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at

This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.