are rife in the business world. Right now, organizational development is one of
them. In reality, though, organizational development is more than just a
buzzword. It can be truly beneficial to Human Resources (HR) and the company as
So, what is OD or
organizational development? Organizational development theory has been
percolating since the 1930s when research showed that organizational behavior
influenced employee behavior, performance, and group dynamics. Using the
correct structure for the organization affected its success. With this
knowledge, people begin to plan how they could use their corporate structures
more effectively, problem solving, planning, and adding benefit to the company
The new question
surrounding OD is how do human resources functions relate to organizational
development? They actually relate really well. Human resources professionals
can use OD to support company goals while creating a smoother internal
personnel system. Creating positive organizational systems means employees are
motived to support and assist the organization’s goals. HR can also see how
company systems affect morale and how to increase it if it’s low. All of this
can be done using organizational development.
and those with organizational development jobs know that organizations are
becoming more complex and diversified which makes employee management more
complicated as well. Old style corporate structures are shifting to become more
fiscally responsible and efficient but this increases the chances that of an
anxious internal system. The move to outsourcing, contracts, globalization,
generational issues, and an aging workforce means that the old corporate
structure is no longer fully effective. HR has all this in on their plate while
also trying to manage the employee anxiety it brings. By using organizational
development, they can smooth the path of change.
Development and Human Resources
HR’s main goals
are to manage and support employees and to help management by assisting staff
to do its best within the organizational structure without systemic blocks
hindering them. Meeting these objectives isn’t always easy. With OD, HR gets a
set of tools to fix issues that they couldn’t before when bound by the
organization’s current organizational structure. While a supervisor and
department lead have more pull in regards to a work environment, OD allows
human resources to make some positive changes without damaging that
Development and Hiring
resources on the front line of hiring, their goal is to get the right people in
the right jobs in the first place. Proper employee placement means you have
chosen smart, well-trained, ambitious people who want to make the workplace
positive and work to its full potential, pursuing development and leadership in
the future. If you are using recruiters, make sure they are aware of your OD
plans and are sending candidates that fit into that business scenario.
also looks at career planning and employee engagement when working with OD.
These areas both fall into the realm of HR and benefit the whole company when
utilized. HR can also use OD to identify the best way to fill an open role in
the company, putting together a job description and compensation offer to bring
in the best candidates.
The other benefit
of OD in HR is that they can propose changes to the organizational design to
management when they see a need. If there are issues with finding the proper candidates,
HR is can offer ideas that might solve the issue, for example, perhaps the role
can be divided or the employment package increased to make sure the right
person is hired for the right spot.
Organizational Development and the HR Touch
While hiring the
best candidate for a job is at the forefront of what HR does, they also have a
hand in compliance. They aren’t lawyers but certainly need to understand
employment law and other regulations. Keeping organizational development going
is supported by making sure a company is meeting all the regulatory and legal
guidelines. Insurance, workplace safety, and other regulatory issues should all
be monitored by HR to keep OD in line.
Along with hiring
and compliance, HR needs to make sure OD is incorporated when an organization
decides to move with a new business strategy. It is no surprise to anyone in
Human Resources that staff fear change, even if it’s positive. The staff knows
that change may mean threats to jobs, benefits, and the status of some individuals.
If someone is afraid of losing their job, they aren’t going to be supportive of
changes within the organization. While OD can be a positive change, HR needs to
act as the department with a human face and understanding. Fears should be
addressed by communicating properly with staff. HR can help redirect and
clarify information that is causing angst, becoming the bridge between the
staff and the team that is trying to bring about OD implementation. The
effectiveness of clear communication that creates understanding is critical.
is Never Simple
In most organizations, change is never simple. Human resources organizational development should bring the hope of positive change but can also bring fear to those who feel threatened by the changes. HR can incorporate OD into their work and by doing this begin to help ease the changes and relieve the fear of the unknown. Change can be good and often needed but it needs to be managed to make sure the organization can move forward without fear and stalling.
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