In today’s age of the digital revolution, organizations face a new challenge; being relevant to the times and adapting to the continuously changing environments.
Organizations that fail to understand the importance of change will be stuck in the past and eventually fall apart. This opens doors to a valuable new skill set that employers are actively looking for today.
To become and work as an organizational development expert, you will need to have certain knowledge and expertise. A great way to acquire those things is through completing organisational development courses.
This guide will help you understand how you can start a career in organizational development, and reap the benefits from it. Let’s get started!
What is Organizational Development?
Organizational issues are usually caused by poor systems, people, strategies, or a combination of the three. If everyone in the company was operating at maximum capacity, everyone’s work would be a lot simpler, but how do organizations even get there?
The best course of action is to implement organizational development (OD) initiatives. This is because they can easily support organizational changes through ethical and concise methods that put workers at the center of the whole process.
Simply put, organizational development is a process that boosts productivity inside a business.
The process of organizational change can be made simpler by using methods based on social and behavioral science.
Whatever definition you go for, the fundamental goal of organizational development is changing.
Companies must adapt to change on a constant basis because customers want more changes, investors expect results, and technical advancements are happening quickly.
Therefore, businesses must embrace change in order to successfully improve their procedures, organizational (and economic) structures, technology, and business strategies.
Why is Organizational Development so important for businesses?
Organizations around the world have started emphasizing the importance of organizational development, and for good reasons.
After all, two of the main goals of any organization are to increase productivity and profits. But how does organizational development help achieve those goals? Here’s how;
1. Continuous improvement
Entities that incorporate organizational development into their operations will constantly invest and improve business models. This process involves building, testing, analyzing, and improving new strategies. These strategies are often in response to changing environments and are often assessed by their quality of results.
2. Improved communication
If you are knowledgeable about how to run businesses, then you probably know the value of effective communication. Organizational development allows for better communication, cooperation, and coordination between all departments of an organization.
This helps steer the entire workforce to work towards a common goal. Not only that, having everyone in an organization involved in conversations can make them feel important and significantly increase their motivation and overall productivity.
3. Better products and services
Organizational development is a great way to improve and boost innovation within an organization. Innovation leads to a better product or service and can also provide businesses with a competitive advantage in the market.
This benefit can be achieved by improving employee training and development programs. A more skilled workforce is always admired by every organization hence organizational development is so sought after nowadays.
4. Increased Profit margins
This is the main driving force behind every entity’s obsession with organizational development. Because of the reasons mentioned above, organizations are ultimately rewarded with higher profit margins.
The overall improvement in employee training, better communication, strategy trial and error, and better products or services leads to a significant reduction in costs. And as a result, organizations enjoy higher profits through organizational development.
The steps you need to take to get a career in organizational development
There are many ways to get into careers based on organizational development, but one thing is certain, it will require a lot of time and effort. A part of the reason why it can be time-consuming is that colleges don’t usually offer degrees in organizational development.
But these careers usually require a candidate to hold some sort of certification or a degree in a related field. With that being said, here are some of the steps you could take to get a career in organizational development.
• Earn a bachelor’s degree or a graduate certificate
The most logical first step would be to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as human resource management, behavioral sciences, business administration, etc. You can also complete organisational development courses; these are often shorter courses that can be completed quicker than a degree.
• Start working
Find any job related to your qualifications and jump right into understanding how businesses work on a day-to-day basis. Having some experience rather than none is always better when it comes to finding a job because employers always prefer someone with experience.
• Demonstrate your knowledge and skills
When you start a job, you should continuously look for opportunities where you can spot organizational issues and then address them right to your superiors. This will show that you are actively working and looking to improve the company.
• Get an advanced degree
If you think you are ready, then you might want to consider taking the next big step, which is pursuing a masters degree in organizational development. This is a no-brainer in terms of practicality and usefulness. Get this advanced degree to expand your knowledge and expertise, increase your chances of being hired, and earn a higher salary.
• Expand your network
This next one is more of a tip than a step. It is to always network with as many people as you possibly can. You will always learn from other people’s experiences and mistakes. Not only that, but this also opens doors to opportunities that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
So how do you start working as an organizational development expert? It’s highly advised that you get a bachelor’s degree or a graduate certificate. This will allow you to start working, regardless of the scale of work.
You also need to demonstrate your skills while you work. This will help you build a bigger professional circle and get more opportunities later on.
Getting a masters degree is also recommended, but it’s something you can worry about later. Your main goal is to step foot in the field, so make sure you follow these guidelines. And lastly, best of luck chasing your passion!