Industrial Social Work
Role & Status of Industrial Social Workers
Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people’s lives. Social workers help people function the best way they can in their environment, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and professional problems. Industrial social work is one of the area in which the social workers extend their skill and expertise in helping HR personnel in the industry directly and for organizational development indirectly, by their intervention at the appropriate moment.
Industrial organization forms a secondary setting for the proactive professional social work. It is different from other secondary welfare setting due to its primary orientation to production and profit rather than to the welfare needs of the workers. The functions of an industrial social worker cover an intangible out put. He/she can work with conviction and commitment in a profit oriented setting only if his/her functions are balanced with the primary interest of the organization. A clear understanding of the social workers role responsibilities and status in relation to the concerned department is of great relevance. It is a known fact that it is the attitude of the employees, which control the quality of production, quantity of the production and the productivity. Improvement in the attitude improves productivity; increases profit and in turn the quality of life of the employees.
It is essential to understand the areas of responsibilities associated with each functionary, so as to gain a clear perspective of role and status of the social work professional in industries.
Usually the place of social worker in an industrial organisation is within the administrative purview of Personnel or Human Resource Management department. Occasionally they are placed under the direct control of the line managers. Industrial social work should emerge as an accepted professional filed in India that will enable Human Resource Managers and Personnel Managers in the effective employee management and organizational development.