Organizational development refers to advancement concerning performance and the quality of output. It entails identifying the current and future barriers so that the organization can progress towards achieving its mission. Organizational development requires the efforts of all employees in an organization regardless of their position because lack of participation can be an obstacle.
This paper will focus on the procedures followed when implementing the changes intended to stimulate growth, skills in identifying and solving problems, and organizational development knowledge for achieving personal and professional goals.
Procedures of Implementing Changes
Before introducing reforms in an organization, it is important to observe the environment and the internal systems to identify what needs change or advancement. The problems that are associated with the present systems should influence the desire for change. For instance, if the performance of employees has been dropping the organization should identify the exact cause of decline in performance.
The organization can borrow ideas from competitors who are a notch higher because such principles are the ones behind the success of an organization. The management should analyze the changes and determine how those changes can affect the careers of employees. This implies that the implementation of reforms should not happen without first consulting the employees because whatever consequences follow will affect them direct, and if they learn that the management ignored their interests they will loose confidence with the organization and some will exit the organization. This can be very disastrous because if an employee decides to leave an organization he/she exits with the skills that had cost the organization a lot of money (Estlund, n.d). Engaging all employees in drafting the changes will make sure they would not change their attitude towards the reforms, and thus the management should ensure that employees understand that the changes are for their own good. In addition, addressing the weaknesses and strengths of individual employees to ensure smooth transition is important.
Heathfield (2000) points out that inclusive participation ensures that there is a common ground between the employees and the management. When employees do not understand the necessity of bringing changes, they are most likely to reject it or sabotage the implementation processes. The above situation suggests that managers should request employees to express their concerns and the feedback they give should be used in weighing the chances of success.
Before implementing the changes, the management should communicate with as many employees as possible because if the employees are well informed they are the ones who will start pushing for reforms. However, the management should give a valid reason for bringing reforms. Some of the reasons include changes in economy and government regulations among several others. The organization should also notify its clients about the changes because any change process affects them. Informing them in advance will make them understand why the changes are necessary. In fact, knowledgeable clients can become reliable marketers because they will spread the information to their friends and thus help in increasing client base. When the management does not inform the employees in detail, there are high chances of receiving distorted information based on assumptions. Communication about reforms can be formal during official meetings or during personal encounters such as during lunch break.
Moreover, it is important to convey the information to the common communicators such as the employees who are popular because they will accelerate the speed of spreading the word. Furthermore, the management should create an impression that the reforms are urgent and explain the effects that may follow if the implementation of reforms fails. Presenting data of the possible dangers enhances this process.
This will make the employees to make up their minds much faster, as opposed to when the issue at hand was not urgent. This is because each employee looks at the risks from a personal perspective hence the conclusion one makes is for safeguarding the individual’s interests (Mullins, 2004). When the time finally comes for the changes implementation, the transition should be gradual so that the employee can get used to the new processes.
This means that the management should be very patient when employees are responding slowly to the changes. There is no gain in implementing changes at a very fast pace and compromise the quality of output.
Skills in Solving Problems
When organizations are implementing changes, various problems arise probably due to lack of adequate orientation. The managers should be on the frontline while rolling out changes and the manner in which they handle matters is the evidence. The management should assume leadership, and thus should be the role model of the employees. When problems arise, the managers should move swiftly to assess the situation on the ground because that way he/she will understand the problem much better. According to Dekler (2007), solving the problems that hinder organizational development requires combined efforts of the management and the employees. Both parties should pull in the same directions.
The situation should be double-checked to identify the indicators that suggest that things are not working out as planned. One particular and reliable indicator is the result of productivity. If the volume of output has gone down then something is wrong, and the problem may persist if not solved. It is important to find out exactly where the problem is happening because in an organization, there are various departments and owing to their differences, the intensity at which they are affected varies.
If all departments are affected attention should be focused on the ones that are most affected. If the managers and their respective teams understand how the problem is manifesting itself then they can develop appropriate strategies to solve the problem. On the contrary, if the teams do not have an idea of how the problem occurs the solutions they will develop may not solve the problem (McLean, 2006). Sometimes, a given problem occurs at specific times such as when the demand of goods and services is high. This means that if the problem is caused by the increase in the number of customers during certain times like holiday seasons, then the organization should come up with tailor made solutions because once the season is over the problem is no more. For instance, the management should lay off employees hired during peak seasons and recall them only when the need arises. If one or a few employees are causing the problem, then managers should explain the problem in details. If anything, victimization is not an option, but allowing employees to give their side of the story is better.
The managers should collect views from the employees because they are the ones who can give reliable information. Anderson (2003) recommends that when looking for solutions, requesting everyone to give his/her opinion is important. This will ensure that the organization will have a wide pool of options to choose. The most logical and appropriate solution should be given the first priority. Discarding the remaining solutions is not appropriate because they can help in solving the problem if the initial solution fails. When identifying the best option, it is important to consider the time it is going to last, that is if the alternative is going to solve the issue temporary or it is going to eliminate the problem. Short-term solutions are costly because repetition is essential once they are exhausted. The manager should also consider the availability of resources to roll out the solution.
Some solutions require extra money and technical skills. Usually, it is not the money that matters but the availability of skilled personnel to oversee the implementation. If there are employees who posses the required skills then it becomes easier, but if the experts come from outside the organization the issue becomes complicated. This is because if the solution is going to run for a long period the experts require incorporation into the organization, which comes with extra costs. Once the above-mentioned issues are addressed, the management should isolate resources and facilities specifically for the implementation of the solution. In addition to that, allocating a certain period to the implementation period is important because if rolling out the solution takes too long, it may be too late and thus the solution will be of no use.
Besides that, establishing an oversight committee is essential because when things are not working out they become accountable. The monitoring unit should act as the bridge that connects the employees and the management. This means that the management should channel official communication through the committee. However, this does not mean that informal communication is unacceptable.
Organizational Development Knowledge
The development of an organization relies on the knowledge that it has in terms of the skills possessed by the employees. Besides that, organizational development inspires the employees to stick to the organization because they feel that their careers will advance along with the growth of the organization.
McLean (2006) explains that employees tend to exit from organizations that do not show any symptoms or the willingness of growing. This is because they develop an attitude that they will remain stagnant as long as they are in such an organization and thus the urge to exit early comes in. As an organization prepares to develop it should have a valid succession plan. This means that the employees update their skills as an organizational requirement. This is important because the trends in markets keep on changing, and thus if the employees do not advance their knowledge the organization will not be in a position to respond to future challenges. Moreover, knowledgeable personnel will be part of the solution to potential problems. For instance, if an employee has advanced his/her skills and a problem arises that requires the expertise that he/she has it will benefit the organization because it will not hire experts from outside the block.
The management of the organization should encourage employees to advance their skills and provide favorable environment for them to proceed with the learning. This is because as an organization grows new positions will emerge, and this implies that people with relevant skills should take the positions. For instance, if new branches are to be established it is the employees who have leadership skills who should fill such positions.
Promoting employees who advance their skills will encourage the rest to advance their skills too. Additionally, when employees advance their skills they improve the quality of their output. Knowledge enables employees to reduce errors and increase accuracy and this will make them improve the quality of products. Likewise, basing an organization in the service sector means that the quality of service delivery will improve because the employees will have acquired interpersonal skills. The management should pay attention to the career desires of their employees so that they can understand the path that each individual employee wishes to take. This is because some employees would wish to change their career but this should not be a problem as long as there are opportunities in respect to the choice of the employee. It is certain that some employees do not like their present roles and thus the management should swap roles among employees based on their respective skills. This will make them work with a lot of enthusiasm because of the pride they will have towards their new roles.
After training the employees, providing an opportunity to share their skills with their peers is important. Similarly, they should integrate their skills into their roles because it will improve their performance. For instance, they will identify alternative ways of carrying out their tasks with minimum risks. In conclusion, it is important to involve employees in decision-making processes because that is what will make them feel appreciated. Communication is important to organizational growth because it enables all the participants to express their views.
This means that organizations that are willing to grow should first establish working relationships with their employees. This will enable the entire organization to move collectively without leaving some players behind.
Anderson, C. M. (2003). Bottom-line Organization Development: Implementing and Evaluating Strategic Change for Lasting Value.
Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann. Dekler, M. (2007). Healing emotional trauma in organizations: an O.
D framework and case study. Organizational Development Journal, 25 (2), 49-56. Estlund, S.
Techniques of Organizational Development. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_6332218_techniques-organization-development.html Heathfield, M. S.
(2000). Change Management Tips. Retrieved from http://humanresources.about.com/od/changemanagement/a/change_tips.
htm McLean, G. N. (2006). Organizational Development: Principles, Process, Performance. San Franscisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. Mullins, L.
(2004). Management and Organisational Behavior. London: Pitman Publishing.