An organization is a group of people who are bound together by common goals or a shared vision, for example, a business or company is an organization where the common goal is profitability. Organizational development (OD) involves planning and implementing a detailed process with the ultimate objective of improving the organization, while the benefits of OD are enjoyed not only by the organization, but also by its employees, customers and stakeholders, directly or indirectly.
The main goals of organizational development are:
- Planned change management
- Increasing staff motivation and participation
- Removing barriers which obstruct organizational growth
- Establishing a work culture where continuous improvement and change are “business as usual”
Advantages of organizational development.
Organizational development helps an organization to:
- Increase profitability, reduce costs and wastage of resources
- Provide quality products and services
- Achieve customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Have a motivated, enthusiastic and loyal workforce
- Increase effectiveness and efficiency
- Promote innovation and flexibility
- Build a sustainable organization which blends seamlessly into its surrounding environment and society
How organizational development works
Organizational development focuses on changing the work culture in an organization. Work culture can and will include people and resource management, systems, procedures and processes. The most essential element of the work culture in an organization is human resources, or in other words, the employees who make up the organization. OD works on the premise that while systems and processes are important, people are more important because they are the resources which create and implement processes and systems. A fully automated business is certainly efficient and profitable, but the automation or systems which run the business need employees to manage and ensure that they continue to work effectively.
Tools and techniques used in organizational development
The tools and techniques used in organizational development are numerous and it is up to the organization to identify and use those which will suit the needs of the organization best. A few of these tools and techniques are listed below:
- Continuous learning and training, recognizing, rewarding and retaining talent.
- Managing changes effectively – ideate, design, implement and review systems and processes; take into account inputs from employees, “customer voice” and external associates and vendors and partners.
- Collecting feedback, analyzing data and recognizing trends and influences.
- Using tools such as key performance and risk indicators (KPI&KRI), balanced scorecards (BSC) and techniques such as surveys, interviews, opinion polls, etc.
- Preparing detailed process maps to understand and implement improvements, setting up project teams to handle change management and improvements.
- Identifying and documenting clear job objectives, roles and responsibilities for employees.
- Focusing on qualitative and quantitative performance indicators and initiatives to promote staff motivation and engagement.
Using organizational development effectively will help an organization realize and reach its full potential, enabling the maximum benefits and satisfaction to all the stakeholders and parties involved in the organization.