Characteristics All Organizational Developers Need
- Organizational Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Communication Skills
Organizational development focuses on making employees more effective within an organization and aligning employees with the values and mission of the company. It is related to the field of human resources, but the two are not the same. Human resources is less data-driven and focuses more on harm reduction while organizational development is rooted in research and focuses on helping people and organizations reach their full potential. Below are five qualities that a practitioner in this area should have.
1. Organizational Skills
One way that organizational development differs from human resources is that it often involves gathering data and using research from fields such as behavioral science to influence how people work within an organization. The person in this position needs to be able to gather data, analyze it, draw conclusions from it and use it to plot out a course for development within the company. All of this requires a high level of organizational skills.
2. Leadership Skills
A person who works effectively in this field has to be a good leader. The job of a person in organizational development is to bring people together into a more cohesive team that will work together to support the company’s mission. This needs to be a person that inspires employees and toward whom they feel respect. A strong leader also acts as a kind of role model for employees and demonstrates such qualities as taking ownership of the organization and making proactive decisions to better it.
One element of developing a cohesive sense of organization within a company is to define and support the organization’s culture. Creativity is crucial to innovation. The organizational developer needs to have a big-picture vision for the company’s future as well as a sense of the steps for getting there. Creativity is also important in other aspects of this job such as problem-solving and conflict resolution.
People skills are necessary for effective organizational development, and this includes empathy. In order to understand what challenges employees are facing and what will motivate them, it is necessary to have empathy. Forbes reported that there may be significant links between empathy within an organization and employee productivity, retention and motivation.
5. Communication Skills
None of the above qualities will matter if the person in charge of organizational development for a company is unable to communicate effectively. Effective communication includes but is not limited to conveying ideas clearly both verbally and in written form. It also involves being persuasive. An effective communicator in this context will be able to increase employee engagement with the aims of the company. As Chron.com describes, strong communication skills reduce the likelihood of conflict. Furthermore, a strong communicator is able to effectively balance delivering information authoritatively with accepting feedback on how to improve.
Organizational development is a field that many people are unfamiliar with, but it can be a critical element in an organization’s success. The right person for the job has the above qualities along with a strong commitment to the health of the organization and its employees. With effective organizational developmental, individuals and companies should thrive.