How organisational development improves company performance

Where to begin with an OD plan?
When a company decides to create an organisational development plan they want to align strategy, people and processes to improve performance. This is an ambitious move but where do they start?

Developing leadership capabilities is often at the top of an organisations development plan – and rightfully so. Leadership behaviours have a significant impact on motivation, retention and productivity. Equipping managers with effective leadership tools and behaviours will help organisations achieve their objectives. What shouldn’t be forgotten, however, is the relationship between leadership behaviours, the company culture and infrastructure.  Why is culture so important – you may ask?

What about culture?

Leadership behaviours undoubtedly influence organisational culture. However, culture is often not the subject of leadership development programmes and in my opinion, should have a rock-solid place there!

Most organisations have created a strategy and a vision, but are these up to date now the company has grown? With companies having to deal with change on a regular basis, it’s important to revisit the strategy, vision and the values and check whether the right behavioural norms are in place across the organisation. It’s likely that some skills are needed, others redundant, some attitudes and behaviours desired, others not. Once an assessment of current culture has been carried out, the leadership team can start looking internally to assess how their own behaviours, skills and attitudes need to change to successfully enable the vision to be achieved.

Change in leadership behaviours will impact on the overall company culture, as employees will be treated in ways that fall outside their expectations and experience. There will be different responses to the change – some will work with it, others not. What companies often don’t realise is that leadership programmes – if successful – will dramatically impact the company culture but are often not prepared for managing the culture change process.

So, remember when implementing an organisational development plan in conjunction with leadership development, companies should address the following points to ensure successful transition and productivity:

8 tips to successfully build an OD Plan:

Build skills in line with aspirational culture – assess where you are now in terms of how shared norms, values and behaviours are being displayed and introduce development tools to build skills and behaviours required to achieve aspirations.

Create a culture of trust – people feel comfortable to share ideas and own problems, plus feel safe approaching leaders whom they trust. Trust provides an environment from which cooperation, higher performance and more positive attitudes are likely to exist.

Recruit in line with values – ensuring new employees share values with the organisation will set the foundation for a committed workforce and higher retention.

Employee evaluation – performance management systems need to be transparent, employee driven, corporately supported and monitored, with a focus on achieving company objectives and broader mission.

Create Open communication channels – regular, transparent communication needs to be facilitated up and down the organisation and between managers and their subordinates. Communication helps build employee satisfaction, commitment and performance. Not only is communication central to successful change initiatives, it helps create a sense of ownership and commitment to organisational goals.

Review the process – periodic assessment of management processes and practices is critical in ensuring goals are met and efficiency maintained.

Collaboration is key – promoting collaboration and a proactive attitude in an organisation ensures efficiency and productivity are enhanced and problems are tackled more creatively.

Transformation – Dynamic organisations are constantly evolving. Organisational culture needs to promote proactivity and collaboration as well as company-wide involvement

At Think Forward Consulting we can help with organisational development, leadership and support with changing cultures. If you’re looking to improve the performance of your company, we’ll be happy to help. Please get in touch or call 0797 197 9541.