Organizational development is a business process that helps companies transform and expand to improve structures and strategies. It is a popular tool because it helps companies diagnose problems, enhance employees, increase profits, and assess products, services, and operations. Almost all entry-level organizational development jobs are reserved for graduates with a bachelor’s degree. Many employers want job candidates with a master’s degree in organizational development or human resources because these specialized fields are critical to corporate success and performance management.

“Organizational development is a critical and science-based process that helps organizations build their capacity to change and achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures, and processes.”

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Ten Sample Job Opportunities in Organizational Development

  • Organizational Development Specialist
  • Organization Effectiveness Manager
  • Human Resource Specialists
  • Talent Development Manager
  • Learning Specialist
  • Employee Career Cycle Specialist
  • Organizational Psychologist
  • Organizational Consultant
  • Succession Planner
  • Statistical Researcher

1. Organizational Development Specialist

Organizational development specialists plan, coordinate, and execute programs that are usually related to employee education, engagement, retention, and leadership development. This requires them to monitor, evaluate, and record surveys, interviews, and leadership consultations. They may be involved in training activities and continuous improvement programs. To succeed at work, they must understand organizational and performance policies, standards, and expectations. They are usually asked to participate in meetings with current staff and employee orientation for new hires.

Organizational development specialists may design training and meeting guides, handouts, workbooks, and other materials. Some organizational development specialists conduct research and interpret findings to establish best practices and effectiveness gaps. They will need a creative attitude and confident mindset to help form scalable solutions and promote the right values.

2. Organization Effectiveness Manager

Organization effectiveness managers closely partner with human resources and business leaders to solve complex organizational challenges. They must lead strategic initiatives by demonstrating a systems-thinking approach that drives the highest value and positive impacts. Sample projects could include structural redesign, organizational strategy, cross-functional support, high-performance team and integrated departmental systems.

Employers will expect them to be strongly proficient in applying and teaching organization development theories, methods, and tools to business leaders.  Organization effectiveness managers must be able to make clear and persuasive presentations as well as facilitate large group meetings. They will utilize a variety of assessment tools to implement improvements and investigate problems. These include management sustainability, work-group climate, employee satisfaction, contingency planning, and workforce capacity.

3. HR Specialist

Human resource specialists support the HR strategies that enhance individual, team, and company-wide performances. They help implement useful practices, apply tools as needed, and recommend methods to increase efficiency and effectiveness. They may work with HR managers to create and execute initiatives that facilitate change, support performance, and accelerate achievement of objectives. This means that they must have excellent project management skills to set, monitor, and evaluate benchmarks, expectations, workflows, and timeliness.

HR specialists may serve on committees to help determine the best approaches for solving problems and recommend solutions. As professional generalists who perform a wide range of duties, they must have the ability to make sound decisions and independent judgments within established policies and organizational guidelines. Those who work with new hires will know instruction principles and curriculum methods.

4. Talent Development Manager

A talent development manager identifies staffing, employee, and training needs to help the company achieve objectives. They help create strategies, training plans, and development programs that offer incentives, maintain accountability, and help employees achieve goals and expectations. Their assigned training projects may involve new hire training, change management, skill development, succession planning, employee knowledge, best industry practices, and operational excellence objectives.

Talent development managers must have the ability to manage multiple assignments while meeting deadlines and quality expectations. They may be asked to develop outlines, course content, and handout materials that they may use during live or virtual face-to-face meetings. This could involve training about tools to effectively lead others, such as coaching and conflict resolution. Talent development managers must be used to overcoming interpersonal roadblocks and delivering individualized initiatives.

5. Learning Specialist

A learning specialist focuses on the design, development, and delivery of positive educational experiences that align with the organization’s objectives, culture, challenges, and talent skill gaps. Corporations employ these professionals to create custom solutions and disseminate standardize approaches that improve training efficiencies, experiences, and effectiveness. They work with managers and HR to understand the current situation and dynamics to identify and eliminate the root causes of performance gaps.

They develop learning solutions that are targeted at the greatest needs and problems. Learning specialists may host a variety of professional development and compliance training programs across various departments. Corporations may hire them to deliver and implement effective training solutions to address complex cultural dynamics, global trends, and multifaceted needs. Sometimes learning specialists must help executives strategically apply change management processes to the organization’s culture.

6. Employee Career Cycle Specialist

One of the new organizational development jobs is an employee career cycle specialist. These professionals assess all the phases of the employee career cycles. This includes selection, on-boarding, technical training, ongoing monitoring, performance evaluation, compensation, career progression, and dismissal. Global corporations need to ensure that each employee’s career cycle phases are appropriately structured, analyzed, and managed to ensure quality, consistency, fairness, and efficiency.

Major changes to a specific phase may impact thousands of employees in different companies. For example, if a global corporation decides that it will incentive older employees to retire, then career cycle specialists must start succession planning. This could involve the creation of skill tests for hourly employees as well as merit-based leadership training classes. Work projects may map existing growth trends with impact analyses and change readiness questionnaires.

7. Organizational Development Psychologist

These professionals are usually industrial and organizational psychology experts or occupational psychologists who specialize in consulting, business psychology, and analytical assessments. They are trained to identify the underlying motivations of behavior, facts of information, and principles of reason that influence people and processes. They may investigate things like how the company presents the product as well as how employees engage shareholders and communicate with each other.

One of the insights from their investigation may indicate that marketing, sales, and advertising departments are disjointed and uncooperative. The organizational development psychology may partner with these three departmental leaders to identify the root causes, develop key value propositions, and align interdepartmental goals and procedures. Employers may want these psychologists to hold licensure or have clinical face-to-face experience.

8. Organizational Consultant

Organizational consultants may work with frontline supervisors to ensure that the right staff is properly positioned and that partners are involved at the right times. They try to help employees become their best personal and professional selves through tools and technology. Because they interact with so many types of people, they must be passionate about positive communication and always be thinking about new ways to help others grow.

Organizational consultants must often work with a variety of departments, so they need to know how to quickly build credibility at all levels within the company. They must possess the ability to quickly, efficiently, and collaboratively analyze and resolve problems. Executives may ask them to quantify appropriate goals into the company’s values and mission. They may accomplish this by using data-driven solutions to identify the human factors affecting the organization’s ability to reach goals.

9. Succession Planner

Succession planners prepare for expected and unexpected future changes. They collect research and analyze group data to choose the best solutions. They may implement metric tracking that benchmark the impacts of specific policies, operational standards, or leadership initiatives. For example, employees who are retiring will need to share their wealth of knowledge and advice with newer employees, which could be in the forms of webinars, technical guides, and informal workshops.

They may consult with senior stakeholders on how to best coach managers who are preparing for executive positions. Succession planners will strive to understand risk points and upcoming milestones so they can partner with employees for smooth transitions. Succession planners must sometimes standardize the duties and roles when the same job title comes with different powers and responsibilities in different locations.

10. Statistical Researcher

All organizational development jobs need raw data and informative facts to make decisions and recommendations. Statistical HR researchers analyze data and algorithms through statistical models and software. They evaluate the outcomes and projections of things like workplace cohesion, employee engagement, and operational methodologies. Statistical researchers will produce reports on findings and implications for executives to make better decisions.

For example, a statistical researcher may work with their client to identify seasonal turnover triggers in different geographic regions. They may find that inconsistent employee leave policies are unfair in certain areas. Statistical researchers may explore the need for specific development interventions after a large merger that has resulted in talented employees unexpectedly quitting.

All of the organizational development jobs above will likely prefer candidates who excel at performing in rapidly growing and fast-paced environments. Job candidates must know how to transform simplistic ideas into quantified objectives as well as complex concepts into memorizable mantras. Anyone interested in organizational development jobs should explore relevant education solutions that leverage the best technology and instructional methodologies. The American Psychological Association provides a career overview of organizational development.

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