Ask The Experts

Human behaviour at the workplace

To be a human resource (HR) practitioner is no easy feat.

Many underestimate the type of skills and knowledge required when dealing with the myriad of human behaviour and emotions at the workplace, when in actual fact, a whole field is dedicated towards studying this.

This field called organisational psychology refers to the branch of psychology that applies psychological theories and practices to organisations.

Hetal Doshi, organisational psychologist, certified associate coach, and founder of O Psych Sdn Bhd. Hetal Doshi, organisational psychologist, certified associate coach, and founder of O Psych Sdn Bhd.

“The ultimate goal of organisational psychology is to design methodologies and execute strategies to assess, develop and maximize the performance of employees in an organisation,” says Hetal Doshi - Suhana Daswani, an organisational psychologist, certified associate coach, and founder of O Psych Sdn Bhd, a HR consulting firm.

Hetal has been in the people consulting business for several years, with her forte being the scope of emotional intelligence. Throughout her career, she has conducted talks, trainings and workshops with many renowned multinational companies all over Asia, and has coached many individuals to achieve their career aspirations and personal effectiveness at work.

Here we sit down with Hetal, to find out a little bit more about her work as an organisational psychologist, and her view of the industry in Malaysia.

How is organisational psychology applied in the workplace?

Organisational psychology can be applied to human capital development in organisations at both a strategic as well as a tactical level.

At the strategic level, these principles can be applied to a wide range of organisational activity, from culture transformation, to talent development, succession planning, and employee engagement.

At a tactical level, organisational psychology principles are applied during induction, individual development planning, training, coaching and exit interviews.

How long have you been in the industry, and what is your area of specialty in the field?

I have worked as an organisational psychologist for over eight years now, and in this time, I have had the privilege of working across various industries, such as airlines, banking, telecommunications, and manufacturing, both governmental and private organisations alike.

My areas of speciality include HR Strategic Consulting with a focus on Culture Assessment and Transformation, Employee Assessment and Profiling and Leadership/Talent Development Strategies. About 80% of my time is dedicated to training and facilitating a range of programs that focus on emotional intelligence, team performance and coaching.

As an IO psychologist, what are the most popular areas of work that you do for organisations in Malaysia, and where do the major challenges lie?

To date, the demand for my consulting services tends to lean more towards leadership, culture and talent development. Quite a number of my training requests are also on the topic of emotional intelligence, cultivating high impact team performance as well as coaching.

The major challenge for strategic and long term HR consulting work lies in getting the buy-in from CEOs, executing the intended strategy with speed and ensuring consistent follow up, monitoring and tracking of the progress.

What is your opinion about the state of Malaysia’s human capital development at current, and where do you see it moving towards the future?

At this point in time, most would agree that a big part of HR functions are still sticking to very traditional and transactional approaches.

The big vision for the industry in the future is to position itself strategically to put in place a culture and system geared to attract, develop and engage talent in the most effective, efficient and strategic manner. This vision can be fulfilled through five key focuses which I’ll identify here.

Firstly, HR in the future will move towards being up-skilled and up-positioned to meet organisational challenges around acquiring, developing, retaining and managing talent.

As businesses grow, HR leaders will need to be competent and on the same level playing field as other leaders in the company in order to partner, communicate, strategise and implement strategic HR plans.

Secondly, HR will shift from recruitment to attraction by taking up a strong role in enhancing the culture of the organisation and the company’s employer value proposition.

Thirdly, HR will shift towards best practise talent management solutions that are well integrated and systemised.

Fourthly, HR will shift towards greater mindfulness of the constantly evolving workforce and be more prepared to identify and flexibly implement strategies to retain and engage diverse groups of employees.

Lastly, HR will shift towards setting in place continuous learning and development platforms that are directly linked to the close competency gaps of individuals through clearly defined and measureable job requirements and performance evaluation appraisals.

The role of a HR Strategist in its purest form is a massive challenge and its success lies in its ability gain strong support, value and partnership of all other leaders in the organisation especially ‘C’ level leaders.


For those of you who would like to know more, Hetal will be contributing weekly articles via, discussing personal development topics such as emotional intelligence, leadership, personality and work performance. Stay tuned to for more on these topics!

Hetal Doshi - Suhana Daswani is a professionally qualified organisational psychologist, certified professional coach, and the founder of O Psych Sdn Bhd, with an expertise in work performance, team dynamics and emotional intelligence. To get in touch with her, drop an email to