Suitable adjustment of workers to their surroundings is important in establishing a smooth-running condition in any business or industry. Ask the average business man if he needs a psychiatrist in his business, and he will think you are mentally disturbed. Psychiatrists, most people believe, spend practically all of their time finding people who need to be confined in institutions because they are wholly irresponsible.
Most large industries have employment interviewers, who have knowledge of the positions to be filled, of the persons in the department, and, therefore, of the kind of employee who will fit best and serve most satisfactorily under the circumstances. Most employment interviewers can recognize easily a prospective employee who is so far “off the beaten path” from a mental point of view as to be unsatisfactory for any job. No one suggests that employment interviewers should be replaced by psychiatrists or psychologists.
What a businessman wants is a worker who can respond to the particular problems and procedures of the job for which he is employed. The boss seldom wants to be troubled about the general personality of an employee or the question of how he gets along with his wife. Nevertheless, that very situation may be important in relation to the quality or amount of work. Problems may arise which are due to a neurosis or psychosis in some employee whose mental condition has not been recognized.
Mental hygienists are convinced that training ought to be made available to employment managers or to the workers in the personnel divisions of industries. Workers are frequently transferred into personnel departments because they appear to be able to get along well with other people —but sometimes because they are hard and skeptical. Generally they work out their own techniques, whether for the handling of personal problems or for the selection of new employees.
Already there are plenty of reports of instances in which employees who failed to respond acceptably to their executives were given scientific study and thus saved for the organization. We have learned how to modify the attitudes of parents and to improve their relationships with their children. Similar tactics are needed for executive businessmen to improve their relationships with their employees.