Having a well-developed organization means high efficiency, high productivity, and high profits over a long horizon. As organizations grow, competitive advantages with technology or pricing can quickly become outdated and what was once bringing you to the cutting edge can become a deterrent to growth.
It is important to assess your organization and to identify key strategies for enhancing effectiveness and longevity. Employers Council's organizational development (OD) consultants can partner with you to fully integrate your organizational mission into your day-to-day business practices, so you can fully realize your strategic objectives. Just as you develop employees into leaders, you must develop your organization as a whole if you want it to appreciate over time. Our development consultants approach the workplace from a systems perspective and advise you on the processes that would improve its basic functions and operations, then help you implement the changes you choose to pursue.
Ready to develop your organization?
Become a Member to Access OD Consultants
What Organizational Development Means
Organizational Development is the diagnosis, strategy, roles, systems, processes, and measurements which enable workplaces and employees to achieve their goals.
Today's organizations face lots of challenges, from attracting top talent and retaining it to answering questions like when to invest in new technologies and what kind of an environment is most conducive to workforce productivity. Organizational Development (OD) is the field of research, theory, and practice dedicated to expanding the impact of people to accomplish more successful organizational change and performance. Its goal is to transfer knowledge and skills in order to improve an organization's capacity for solving problems and managing future change. While it originated in the 1930s, today's OD focuses on aligning organizations with their rapidly changing and complex environments through organizational learning, knowledge management, and transformation of organizational culture, norms, and values.
How to Assess Your Organization's Competencies in OD
Employers Council can help you assess how developed your organization is when it comes to OD by guiding you through a series of questions:
1. How well do you know your organization's climate?
Organizational climate is defined as the personality of an organization. This includes the attitudes and beliefs about organizational practices influencing collective behavior. For example, do you have a climate that celebrates transparency and learning from failure, or do you have a climate that perpetuates a fear of making mistakes? When an employee is upset with another employee, how is the issue typically resolved (and is it resolved)? Climate can be shaped by factors like leadership, openness of communication, participative management, role clarity, and conflict resolution.
2. What is the culture of your organization?
Culture is a set of deeply seated norms, values, and behaviors that members of a collective environment share. The five basic elements of culture in organizations include: Assumptions, Values, Behavioral Norms, Behavioral Patterns, and Organizational Artifacts.
For more information on how to create an effective culture, read these articles from Employers Council OD consultants and development experts:
3. What organizational strategies do you employ?
A common OD approach used to help organizations negotiate change consists of four steps: Diagnosis, Action Planning, Intervention, and Evaluation. Each of these steps supports an organization as it attempts to move through and adapt to change in an intentional manner.
Employers Council can help you assess competencies in each of these areas and develop a growing awareness for how your organization is maturing over time. Our OD experts can even help you anticipate future issues and risks based on what's happening today.
How Employers Council Approaches Organizational Development
We can help refine your strategic direction in several ways:
Denison Culture Assessment
The Denison Organizational Culture Survey (DOCS) assesses an organization's strengths and weaknesses under the umbrella of organizational performance by measuring four key cultural traits and twelve related management practices.
Once the survey answers are received, Employers Council compares your results with other organizations to see how you stack up. Once you have a clear understanding, Employers Council's OD experts can facilitate the identification and implementation of improvements that will help move your organization towards a healthier culture.
Vision, Mission, Values, & Norms Facilitation
While you may have a clear identity and vision for your organization, it may not be shared at every level. Clarity around vision, mission, values, & norms can help align every aspect of your organization towards a singular goal and provide you with clear metrics of performance and behavior. Employers Council can help with every aspect of this arena – from identifying what they are, to clarifying the story you tell across divisions and departments, to how you present them to your employees for the first time.
Even the best organizations are subject to change to stay relevant. Sometimes technological, sometimes personnel-based, sometimes structural – change is always difficult to implement and manage. One of the most common pitfalls that can quickly complicate change is a knowledge gap between change leaders and employees. While leaders are ready to execute a change when they announce it (often having deliberated over it for months), employees typically hear for the first time without having participated in the process of coming to that decision. They typically focus on the personal impact before considering the organization's needs, and can meet large organizational shifts with feelings of confusion and frustration. The human element of change needs to be addressed as well as the functional need in order for the change to be successful.
Employers Council's OD consultants have helped manage changes across industries in organizations of all sizes across the country, in nearly every industry. We can help you identify the need for a change, identify the considerations to weigh when choosing between solutions, and help manage the process of implementing the change itself – from communication with employees to expectations on timing – in order to ensure the change leads to the results you need.
Business Operations Review
Employers Council has the expertise to assess your operations at each level – providing insights from our regional and national survey results to inform you on the competitive landscape and identifying areas where you can improve efficiencies and competencies. These insights can drive changes that result in increased ROI and reduced costs, establishing a path forward that allows you to compete with longevity.
Initiative Planning and Implementation Coaching
Maybe you have already identified the changes you'd like to make for your organization, but you are unsure where to start when it comes to implementation. Our OD experts have decades of experiencing planning and managing organizational change. As a member, you can access a dedicated OD expert to help you map short- and long-term initiatives to business goals and put together an actionable plan that your organization can execute.
Group Level Assessments and Team Facilitations
Often breakdowns in change or performance can be traced back to a specific area of an organization. To help narrow the focus of improvements, Employers Council can conduct group level assessments to evaluate how a particular set of workers or a single department is performing in the context of the organization as a whole. We can help identify the groups you should evaluate, conduct the assessment, and help your organization implement the changes needed to drive growth for the organization collectively.
Conflict Management Skills
Conflict in the workplace can arise in many different ways, and is largely inevitable when working with other people. Disagreements that are left unresolved or changes taking place that prioritize the health of the organization over the growth or health of an individual can lead to escalated conflicts and sow seeds of discontent. These disagreements can grow into larger problems the longer they are left unaddressed.
In order to promote a healthy workplace that addresses problems early and proactively, leaders and employees at all levels can develop conflict management skills that will help them both recognize potential situations of conflict and help mitigate the damage when one does arise.
Employers Council offers training in this area that can provide an exponential return on employee satisfaction and the ability to grow your workers into leaders. Conflict management skills can elevate your workplace, and, on a personal level, help in nearly every area of your life that requires a relationship to another person.
For more information on the importance and facilitation of conflict management skills, read these articles from Employers Council OD consultants and development experts:
Or answers to frequently asked questions on this topic:
Mediation of Conflicts
Training your employees in conflict management can pay off down the road, but sometimes things escalate to a point you need to address today. In times of tense conflict, it can be invaluable to have a third party to help mediate and be a voice for both sides. Employers Council's HR and employment law experts have experience mediating conflicts
in a way that can either mitigate damage to an organization or remove it entirely. The result is a healthier organization with a level of transparency and trust that weren't possible before.
An effective metric of performance and efficiency is the trust between employees who work in close proximity. Employers Council can facilitate team building for its members that translates into a healthier and happier workplace, and, ultimately, into higher-performing teams of employees.
Group Process Consultation
Inside an organization, it can be difficult to reimagine processes that are either time-tested or perceived as essential. The way a new technology company's employees hand off work can benefit from the processes construction companies employ to manage large, often multi-year projects. Employers Council can bring a level of competitive industry and non-industry insights to ensure that a process is evaluated with a world of context in mind. That way you are never left re-inventing the wheel, or trying to drive on one that's broken.
Workplace Policies On Open Space
Open workspaces (often as a part of a coworking space) have grown in popularity for smaller organizations as dedicated office space rises in price. They are positioned as spaces that encourage collaboration and innovation. However, many employers (and employees) fear a loss in productivity by the constant distraction of not having a dedicated place where they can put their head down and get to work.
For some parameters to help think through the best workspace for your organization, read this article from our HR and OD expert Diana Sadighi:
Employers Council can help you make decisions around your workspace that balance collaboration with productivity – so that you don't have to choose one or the other.
To gain access to our OD experts and position your organization for success, join Employers Council.
Become a Member