Massey University’s School of Psychology is launching consultation services to help SMEs and NGOs deal with issues like company expansion, occupational health and conflict amongst staff members. Massey director of professional training Stuart Carr says the consultation service will offer businesses access to a range of problem-solving expertise.
“You might have a business issue but it might be connected to occupational health or you might have a clinical issue or be feeling depressed at work,” says Carr. “We have that ability to cross-refer.
He says smaller companies often need help to build up the skills they need.
“Business owners carry a lot of stress overload, dealing with occupational health regulations – all those kinds of things that mean you’re having to deal with people without necessarily having the training.”
Carr says some of the other issues NGOs and SMEs face are stress, time management, cultural diversity in the workplace, productivity and job selection. At $70 for half an hour, Massey’s charges are cheaper than some other providers, he says.
“Work psychology – industrial and organizational psychology – is often fairly expensive to access.
Businesses can drop-in at the Albany campus or access the consultants via phone or Skype, with the first 30 minutes of the consultation free.
“It’s a service to the community but not entirely selfless. It’s about trying to find a middle ground of covering our costs but also providing a service to those businesses.”
Carr says the service will help the university better teach its business students, who have an interest in one-day running SMEs or NGOs.
“Students always want to know about some of the issues arising in SMEs and the services will help to inform our students on how to prepare for the world of work.”
Having businesses use its services on a regular basis opens the door to Massey students interning at these SMEs and NGOs, says Carr.
“We will learn more about SMEs and NGOs and be able to feed that back into the service.”
The consultation service had a soft launch in mid-April, but marketing this week.