Organizational development Interventions are structured programs designed to solve a problem, thus enabling an organization to achieve the organizational goal. Organizations implement these intervention activities to improve the organization’s functioning. It also enables managers and leaders to better manage their team and improve organization cultures. Implementation of these interventions address the issues and doubts that an organization might be facing. These may include process, performance, knowledge, skill, will, technology etc. In addition, appraisal, career development, attrition, top talent retention may be a part including others.

Levels of Strategic Organizational Development Interventions

There are 3 levels of interventions that an organization should be able to identify and plan to implement.

  1. Individual: Interventions relating to an individual.
  2. Group: Interventions pertaining to a group or a team.
  3. Organization: Interventions related to the overall organization’s strategy and policy.

Activities Involved in Implementing Organizational Development Interventions

  1. Diagnostic activity: This activity involves collection of all the relevant information about the state of the organization. Organizations can do this through the organization’s operations records, observation of task activities and meetings with subordinates. Questionnaires filled out by employees, and interviews with workers can also help. This could provide clarity on the current health of the organization. Organizations analyze this information along with the analysis, and communicate it to the members. Based on this information, some action plans are designed which are intended to improve the health of the organization. The feedback from members measures perceptions and attitudes such as job satisfaction, supervisory style and so on and so forth.
  2. Team building: Team building activities enhance the effectiveness of individuals who work in teams. It is important to recognize work group’s problems as early as possible. This is important so that the organization can derive solutions before the problems do damage. These may be task related problems or personality conflict and personality cult problems within the team. The team’s work-related issues can be streamlined by changing the way things are done. This can also be done by redirecting the resources being utilized and by re-examining the work processes.

More Steps to Consider

  1. Sensitivity training: Sensitivity training refers to a method of changing behaviour through unstructured team interaction. In such training periods, the participants can openly express their ideas and attitudes and they learn about interpersonal behaviour. Such training could result in empathy for others and increased tolerance for individual differences. Improved listening skills and greater trust for each other among team members are also a part. Improved sensitivity is a vital step in implementing Organizational Development Interventions.
  2. Intergroup relationships: Just as there are problems within a group, there are problems between two or more different groups. The activities of these groups must be synchronized and coordinated to achieve the organizational objectives and any unhealthy competition between the groups must be eliminated. Other problems may involve conflicts over overlapping responsibilities or ambiguous lines of authority. Some examples of such groups, where conflicts may arise, are sales and production, line and staff, labor and management, hospital administrators and doctors in a hospital and so on.
  3. Process consultation: The purpose of process consultation is for an outside Organizational Development consultant to assist the management, “to perceive, understand and act upon process events within the organization”. The consultant observes the processes such as communication patterns, decision making and leadership styles, methods of cooperation and conflict resolution methods. He then, acts as a guide who advises on how to improve these processes.

The Concept of Organizational Development

The process of implementing an organizational development intervention begins by identifying the level at which we can implement the intervention, i.e., individual, group or organization. Once the management analyzes and evaluates the level at which the strategic intervention is to take place, it then has to select the activities depending upon the level of intervention.

Determining the activities shall include ancillary processes such as the timing of changeover and training of employees for such intervention. In addition, educating the affected part of the organization about the process and rationale of the organizational development intervention are also important.

This is necessary so that the employees involved stay motivated towards the improvement of the organization and value the efforts made by them by carrying out the required strategic Organizational development interventions.

Organizational interventions are strategic elements. This is because a lot of thought goes in by the top management about the choice as well as the activities that take place in the organization. To make the employees feel secure about the new processes and the changes, the managers must first satisfy themselves about the significance and necessity of the processes.

Is Organizational Development Effective?

An organizational development intervention will do well for the organization only if it helps in tackling an issue for the organization that the organization itself, or the external consultants have identified, and deemed the same to be a major issue for the organization in the future if not addressed at a proper time.

An intervention cannot protect and organization from losses once the problem does damage beyond a point. However, it can help the organization if we deal with the issues at the right time and take appropriate actions following the identification. Thus, to conclude, Organizational Development interventions are not a “be-all and end-all” solution, but indeed a very effective means of mitigating any probable threats or problematic issues for any organization.

Contact us if you are interested in a organizational development training program that is tailored to the needs of your organization or team..