Take 10 with... Lixin Jiang

Dr Lixin Jiang, lecturer in the School of Psychology, gives us 10 minutes of her time to discuss employee wellbeing, being patient, and balancing reading with writing.

Dr Lixin Jiang, School of Psychology
Dr Lixin Jiang, School of Psychology

1.  Describe your research topic to us ten words or less.

Occupational Health Psychology with the goal to promote employee health.

2.  Now describe it in everyday terms!

How to reduce work stress and negative impacts of work stress on employees.

3.  What are some of the day-to-day research activities you carry out?

Writing manuscripts, analysing data, and studying the most recent publications.

4.  What do you enjoy most about your research?

Discovering new things that enable organisations to improve their working conditions and ultimately improve employee health and wellbeing.

5.  Tell us about something that has surprised you in the course of your research.

In general, I found it surprising that some individuals hate their job and feel miserable during both the working and after-work hours. On average, we spend one third of our life working. So why don’t we find a job that we are passionate about?

I also found it surprising that some organisations do not care about employee wellbeing at all; but rather, they only care about organisation profits. Happy employees are more productive. So in order to increase profits, organisations need to make their employees happy.

6.  How have you approached any challenges you’ve faced in your research?

The challenge I have faced in my research is that I do not know the answer to a research question. Reading the literature normally solves this problem.

7.  What questions have emerged as a result?

I often ask myself, should I read articles on a daily basis, or read them for the sake of developing a research project? How much time should I spend on reading journal articles each day? How do I balance the time spent on reading and writing?

8.  What kind of impact do you hope your research will have?

I hope my research can increase the awareness of the importance of employee wellbeing. Ultimately, I hope my research can change organisation practices and improve employee health and wellbeing.

9.  If you collaborate across the faculty or University, or even outside the University, who do you work with and how does it benefit your research?

I work with colleagues who share similar research interests. They are from other universities because I am currently the only researcher working in organisational psychology at the University of Auckland! Colleagues can provide different perspectives on a research project. They may also have resources that I do not have (for example, access to a particular organisation). Finally, working with colleagues often makes me work harder because I don’t want to look bad in front of others who I highly respect!

10.  What one piece of advice would you give your younger, less experienced research self?

Be patient. Hard work does pay off!