UJ’s Prof Carin Hill calls for increased use of assessments to improve employee wellbeing

“Assessments are crucial in organisations for promoting employee wellbeing.”

This pronouncement was made by Professor Carin Hill, Professor of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics (CBE) as she addressed invited guests at her inauguration held on Thursday, 17 August 2023 at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

Prof Hill explained that these assessments are used to identify individual needs, to identify and prevent burnout, and to create a supportive culture.

Her address delved into the meaningful role psychometrics and personality assessment can play, showcasing how these tools can be utilised to navigate the intricate landscape of work-related wellbeing, fostering a harmonious and fulfilling professional journey while maintaining a balanced and flourishing personal life for each employee.

Prof Hill conveyed this message to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UJ, Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi and the Executive Dean of the CBE, Professor Lungile Ntsalaze at the Ubuntu Chambers, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus.

The title of her address was “Work Well, Live Well: Navigating the Journey of Work-Related Wellbeing by Harnessing Psychometrics and Personality”.

“South Africa is a country rich in cultural diversity, with a history marked by significant social and political changes. Psychological assessments used in this context need to be culturally relevant and sensitive to ensure accurate measurements,” she said, adding that Industrial Psychologists and assessment developers in South Africa face the challenge of developing tests that capture the experiences, beliefs, and values of various cultural groups, while still maintaining reliability and validity.

She continued: “This effort ensures that individuals from different backgrounds are accurately assessed, and their unique attributes are accounted for.”

Prof Hill reflected on the Employment Equity Act that regulates the need for precise psychological assessments. She added that the legislation can serve to reinforce  commitment to perform tasks diligently as Industrial Psychologists, ensuring that their actions positively impact the well-being of all South Africans.

“Adhering to these regulations, our work becomes a crucial piece in the puzzle of creating a more equitable and inclusive, but also healthy workforce. Assessments measure the impact of well-being programs, enhance productivity, and manage risks.

They aid in recruitment and selection, and talent retention, and so contribute to a healthier workplace environment. Having reliable psychological assessments in an organisation is crucial for several compelling reasons, all of which contribute to the overall success, productivity, and wellbeing of both the employees and the organisation itself.”

Prof Hill completed all of her studies at the North-West University in Potchefstroom in the North West Province. In 2003 she joined the South African Police Service as an Industrial Psychologist at the Psychological Services unit under the leadership of Prof Lené Graupner.

She provided professional psychological services to the members of the SAPS in the North West Province, including psychological screening and assessments, offering specialised consultation, counselling, and trauma debriefing, developing well-being programs, and conducting interventions.

At the end of 2009, she moved to UJ’s Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management.

During the course of her academic career, she has successfully supervised and co-supervised 29 Masters students and three PhD students. She has co-authored three book chapters and 28 journal articles. She is NRF C-rated researcher and has received various research grants over the years.

A brief response by Professor Lené Graupner, Industrial Psychologist and Professor at the School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management at North-West University, followed after the address by Prof Hill.

Watch the Professorial inauguration here:

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