Being ahead in life is great.
You’re on top of the game, and you’re achieving your wildest dreams when you’re ahead of the crowd. When it comes to your business, getting ahead of your competitors is a great way to bring in potential customers.
There’s only one problem: the world is pretty crazy right now. Fourmillionpeople have quit their jobs every month this year, leaving us all unsure of how to recruit talent. Also we’re still adjusting to this new post-pandemic normal of remote work and hybrid offices and new working expectations.
So how can you possibly get ahead in this wild world of business today?
One solution: optimizing your organization development process. That’s a pretty fancy term, but it’s actually a great way to really take your business to the next level. Don’t believe us? Let’s walk through organizational development, why it’s important, and finally the process for you to help your company work through the process of getting ahead.
What Is Organizational Development?
Let’s start at the beginning. Not the beginning of everything, just the beginning of where to start with organizational development. What is organizational development anyway? Basically, it’s aligning people, processes, strategies, and structures in order to create more growth at your organization. But it’s not just any ol’ idea. Organizational development actually is science-backed and highly researched. The processes and techniques recommended by experts aren’t just opinions.
In addition, organizational development is all about effectiveness. The process you implement is designed to make it so that your organization is more effective, developing, and improving as you go. But organizational development isn’t a small scale thing. It’s not really about how a specific process you do improves. Instead, it’s about holistic improvement that helps your entire organization improve and grow. It’s all about changing things within an organization to create better, more efficient outcomes and growth. Think big picture, big progress.
Why Is Organizational Development Important?
That all sounds nice, but does it actually matter? Yes! Organizational development is a big deal right now for good reason. One of the biggest companies in the country right now has shifted its focus to organizational development. Amazon invested $700 millioninto improving its organizational development processes. So yeah, it’s a big deal right now with so many companies following suit.
But why? Why do so many top companies care about organizational development in the first place? Here are some of the amazing benefits of organizational development aka the reason why everyone is talking about it right now:
- Continuous improvement.Business stagnationkeeps getting companies stuck in place. But since organizational development is all about improvement, you can kiss stagnation goodbye. Focusing on organizational development will keep you always improving.
- Employee growth. If employees aren’t growing, they might leavetheir jobs. Culturematters to them. Obviously you love your employees and want them to stay. Luckily, organizational development is a way to work toward that. Helping the entire organization grow helps the individuals to improve and grow as well. Starting with the big picture helps make all the other improvements your team members want a reality.
- Increased communication. Employers are looking for team members who can communicate, and the same is true for employees: they want communication too. Everyone wants clear communication. And you know what one of the major goals of organizational development is? Communication! Boosting organizational development can then boost your communication.
- Increased profit margins. Business is business, and you do have to make a profit to stay afloat. The great news is that organizational development is a way to help boost profits too. Can it get any better than this? But the core of this benefit is that when your company is running well and improving, you’re going to improve on the business-side too. Business improvements then lead to profit improvements.
- Improved products and services. When your company is growing and everything is going better than ever, you have the unique opportunity to really buckle down and work on your products and services. If you’re not spending every second on operations, you can make sure your products are top of the line and designed to benefit customers and clients.
The Organizational Development Process
Now we’re getting into the meat of organizational development. It’s time to dissect the process itself. In general, there are a few ways to go about implementing organizational development, and optimizing this process is a great way to give your company a competitive edge. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s the secret ingredient to getting ahead. So what is this process? Here are all of the steps and the details about them:
First up is identifying the problem. Usually you implement something like organizational development when you have some kind of problem you want to solve. Maybe it’s that you’re falling short on monthly goals or that you just want to see your product development process speed up. Whatever it looks like, the first step is to identify the problem. You could identify the problems by data gathering, listening to employee reports, performing assessments, etc.
The next step is to do an assessment before moving further. This assessment should be a formal assessment, not just guesswork. There are many ways to assess the situation, but here are a few ideas: focus groups, interviews, surveys, and reviewing all documentation around an aspect of the company. The goal is to document what’s happening, so you can easily and officially analyze results and compare them to the original situation.
Ready, set, action, right? Not so fast. Before you take any action, you need to plan. This step of the process is one of the most important because it’s where you come up with what you want to do to improve your organization. Let’s say you’re trying to figure out how to meet monthly goals more often, and you did a formal assessment to figure out exactly where slip-ups seem to happen. In the planning stage, you then come up with specific actionable steps to try and improve what’s falling short. Maybe it’s switching an approval process or reorganizing communication. However it looks, make sure you have a great plan ready before taking action.
You have the perfect plan now, so all you need to do is put it into action. After all, there’s only one way to see if it works. You have to try it. Keep in mind you may need to hold training or other steps to make sure the implementation goes smoothly.
Don’t just let your plan happen without seeing how it works. And there’s a great way to know if your plan actually works: data. Data is the backbone of most companies and for good reason. Gather data on your implementation as it’s happening, so you have ample information to determine if your action plan is working. Data will be what lets you compare the initial situation with the results. Maybe your data is numbers, maybe it’s more interviews and focus groups, and maybe it’s a combination of all of that.
So you’ve run your plan and collected data. What’s next? It’s time to take a look at what happened. The goal here is to determine what went down. Did anything improve? Stay the same? Accidentally get worse? Affect something you didn’t want it to touch? This is the time to note all of that by comparing situations and using your data.
Let’s say your solution did speed up a process. That means it’s time to immediately implement it permanently, right? Not so fast. Before you decide if something is a great solution, you need to determine how it affects your team members. If something shows results but makes the workplace worse for your employees, it’s not a good solution.
Repeat (if necessary)
This step is optional for those of us who get really lucky. If your first plan works great, you probably won’t need to do the whole process again. But for most of us, something won’t work as well as planned, and tweaks are necessary. That’s the beauty of organizational development: it’s a process and a cycle. You get to the end in time to do it all again but hopefully better. And once your plan does work perfectly… Well, there’s probably another problem that could benefit from organizational development.
The Bottom Line
Overall, organizational development is all about growing as an organization. It’s your big picture solution to help your company improve. The trick is using the organizational development process to your advantage and keeping the cycle going. Ready to get started with the organizational development process? We’re here to help you with your company’s benefits and improve that process. Talk to a wellbeing specialisttoday!
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.