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It is Critical!

With all the change around the world in technology implementation and the difficulties facing Business world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet even large organizations sometimes fail to fully understand how work is changing, how to develop the workforce they need to achieve business goals, and how to design a workplace to maximize the potential of their workforce.

Reimagining the organization is now critical for all organizations; it is a crucial step to achieve stronger performance and organizational health.

This is the role of the Organizational Development experts but let me start with the understanding of OD.

Organizational development can be defined as an objective-based methodology used to initiate a change of systems in an entity. Organizational development is achieved through a shift in communication processes or their supporting structure; also studying the behavior of employees enables professionals to examine and observe the work environment and anticipate change, which is then used to accomplish sound organizational development.

How to bring about OD? The answer is through OD interventions. Interventions are the set of structural activities in which selected organizational units -individual or their groups- are engaged with a task or a sequence of tasks.

Interventions

Goals are related directly or indirectly to organizational improvement. For this countless number of alternative OD intervention methods exist. One way of classifying these methods, is by the target of change. In practice, the target of change may be the individuals, their groups within the organization, or organization itself.

1. Individual-Focused Interventions:

OD interventions that are targeted toward individuals which include skill training, job redesign, role negotiation and carrier planning.

Sensitivity Training:

Also called T-group training or-laboratory training, sensitivity training is designed to help individuals understand how their behavior affects others. Members are brought together in a free and open environment in which participants discuss themselves.

The discussion is loosely directed by a professional behavioral scientist called facilitator. The facilitator intervenes only to help move the group forward. The objective of sensitivity training is to increase sensitivity toward others. The outcome of such training should, therefore, help employees understand others better, become aware of their own feelings and perceptions, and improve communication.

Skill Training:

Skill training refers to increasing the job knowledge, skills and abilities that are necessary to do a job effectively. Skill training is imparted’ either in formal classroom setting or on the job. The need for imparting skill training is aroused due to the rapid changes that organizations face.

The job knowledge, therefore, needs to be continuously updated to keep pace with rapid change. The objective of training is to enable a worker to be more effective on the job. For example, while new workers can be trained to achieve levels of output attained by experienced older workers, existing workers can be retained to improve their output at par.

Job Redesign:

As an OD intervention, job redesign alters jobs to improve the fit between individual skills and the demands of the job. Examples of job redesign interventions include job enlargement, job enrichment, and job simplification and job rotation. These job redesign methods are used as OD techniques for realigning task demands and individual capabilities, or for redesigning jobs to fit new techniques or organization structures better. This may include either Role Negotiation, Career Planning, or Management Development Training.

2. Organization and Group-Focused Interventions:

OD intervention methods aimed at changing the organization itself or changing the workgroups within the organizations which include survey feedback, management by objectives, quality of work life, team building, and process consultation.

Survey Feedback:

Widely used intervention method whereby employee attitudes are sought using a questionnaire, known as Survey Feedback. The questions included in the questionnaire intend to diagnose the problems within the organization and to identify areas or opportunities for change. The data generated is perceptual and attitudinal in nature.

The data is presented to the employees. These data then become the springboard for identifying problems and clarifying issues that may be creating difficulties for people. Generally, “feedback” of results is given only to the group which generated the data. Thus, once the problems are diagnosed, necessary corrective measures are taken to resolve the organizational problems. After sometimes, a second survey is conducted to measure improvement in the situation.

Management by Objectives (MBO):

Management by objectives (MBO) involves joint goal setting between employees and managers. The MBO process includes the setting of initial objectives, periodic progress reviews, and problem solving to remove any obstacles to goal achievement. All these steps are joint efforts between managers and employees.

Viewed as an OD intervention, MBO meets three needs. First, it clarifies what an organization expects of its employees. Second, it provides knowledge of results, an essential ingredient in effective job performance. Third, MBO provides an opportunity for coaching and counseling by the manager. The outcomes of MBO as an OD intervention are improvement in the levels of performance, meaningful communication and increased participation in decision making.

Quality of Work Life (QWL):

Like other behavioral terms, there have been divergent views as to what really QWL is. According to one view QWL consists of a whole parcel of terms and notions all of which really belong to an umbrella of QWL.

QWL as an umbrella concept encompasses literally dozens of specific interventions that have a common goal of humanizing the workplace. Davis and Newstorm have perceived a wide range of QWL activities as open communication, equitable reward systems, a concern for employee job security and participation in job design.

The International Labor Office (ILO) has listed the following interventions of QWL:

  1. Hours of Work and arrangements of working time.
  2. Working organization and job content.
  3. Impact of new technologies on working conditions.
  4. Working conditions of women, young workers, older workers, and other special categories.
  5. Work-related welfare services and facilities.
  6. Shopfloor participation in the improvement of working conditions.

Any comprehensive list of QWL programs would encompass job redesign, participative management, and involving unions, education, training, and legislative measures”. The overriding purpose of these interventions is to change the climate at work so that a better quality of work life is created.

3. Team Building:

As we all know organization are made up of people working together to achieve a common end. People require working in groups. Hence, there is a need in OD for team building. Team building as an OD intervention is designed to improve the effectiveness of a work group. It usually begins with defining the goals and priorities of the group.

Following four areas in team building are critical to the success of the interventions:

  1. Team building should develop effective communication between the members.
  2. Team building should encourage members’ interaction and mutual interdependence.
  3. Team building should emphasize team goals.
  4. Team building should stress flexibility. It should exemplify effective and ineffective team­work.

Team building, though a relatively new intervention, is a popular OD intervention. A research study indicated that human resource managers considered team building the most successful OD intervention”. Further, team building also helps improve group process.

Conclusion...

No organization operates perfectly. When managers sense that there is room for improving their unit’s performance, but do not know how to improve it, the process of consultation comes to their rescue. Process consultation is an OD method that helps managers and employees improve processes that are used in organizations.

Using the studies of Organizational Development Pinnacle can help in assisting managers to perceive, understand and act on process events with which he or she must deal with. Pinnacle will act as a guide or coach who advises on the process to help the clients or managers solve their own problems.

The role of Pinnacle is to help employees help themselves. The processes most often targeted are communication, conflict resolution, decision making, group interaction, and leadership. The steps involved in process consultation are entering the organization, defining the relationship, choosing an approach, gathering data, and diagnosing problems, intervening, and gradually leaving the organization.

Having described various OD methods, we come to recognize that the organization development methods or interventions are just means to an end, where Pinnacle will guide you through these methods to achieve your Business goals.

Please use contact us and one of our business development managers will be calling you to support.

Pinnacle® is a multi-country consultancy firm. Our consultants are spread around the world; with 70% of our consultants are women. We have built our organization on modern business model with agility, diversity, and resilience to the business dynamics. We have chosen our technology platform to support our modern mindset thus we work from anywhere …. As work is not a place anymore. We implement Lean Six Sigma in everything we do whether internally or externally at our client sites. 

This article is written by:
Abbeya Elessawy
Abbeya Elessawy
Pinnacle, COO and Organization Development Consultant
Pinnacle Ltd.

Pinnacle Ltd. is a multi-countries modern consultancy firm, with offices around 11 countries in 4 continents, and 28 consultants working remotely and virtually managed.

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