One misconception about human resource managers is that they are only responsible for making sure a company’s employees adhere to policies and protocols. In reality, HR teams also focus on a dynamic approach called organizational development.
Organizational development is a way of enhancing a business’s effectiveness using tenets culled from the behavioral sciences to help develop and reinforce organizational processes. Modern companies are complex systems, and their effectiveness increasingly depends on how well they manage and develop their employees. HR leaders who use these techniques are more likely to take active roles in coaching employees rather than merely directing them to follow standard operating procedures.
A Value-Based Approach
Organizational development is a value-based approach with the primary purpose of empowering employees by helping them function more autonomously within their organizations. It encourages a collaboration between a company’s workforce and its clients. Tools and resources, such as survey feedback, interviewing, focus groups, storytelling, consultation and observation, help align employees to the business’s central mission and core principles.
As part of organizational development, HR leaders encourage employees to share their business’s vision and to view problems as a natural part of the learning curve. Because all employees are part of the planning process, they have a vested interest in making sure company plans come to fruition.
Human Resource Leaders as Change Agents
Today’s HR leaders are change agents in their companies, implementing new procedures to help the company thrive. HR leadership teams may have to help employees expand their horizons so that they can be open to learning from fellow employees of all ages. Similarly, HR leaders may need to help erase the “us versus them” model that has dominated traditional thinking about the relationship between employees and customers. A talented HR leader can help employees understand that customer satisfaction is paramount and that all employees, regardless of role, must remain mindful of consumer demands.
Organizational development has become a core part of graduate-level human resources curricula at many colleges and universities. HR managers who would like to learn more about this approach can take continuing education classes or enroll in an online human resource master’s degree program.
Organizational development is a holistic approach that encourages HR leadership to view their company as a dynamic environment. By helping employees recognize the synergy that exists between a company’s value propositions and its prospective customers, HR managers play an increasingly important role in helping their companies prepare for the future.
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