Organizational Development — Who Needs It? (Hint: You Do.)

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By: Jennine Leale

If you are not part of a Fortune 500 organization or responsible for one, you may not know that one of the functions of Human Resources is Organizational Development (OD). However, if you own or manage a business, no matter how small, you need OD.

For an organization to grow and develop, it must maximize organizational effectiveness through the best use of its resources. The definition of Organizational Development is the practice dedicated to expanding the knowledge and effectiveness of people to accomplish more successful organizational change and performance. OD is used to:

  • Increase productivity (efficiency and effectiveness) & customer satisfaction
  • Increase employee’s satisfaction with the quality of their work life (increases productivity and employee longevity)
  • Provide ability of the organization to revitalize and develop itself over time (grow and compete within industry)
  • Clearly define the organization and everyone’s role within the organization (better implementation of processes and outputs and provide accountability)
  • Focus the organization as a whole to the organization’s business plan or goals

As a business owner or Chief Operating Officer you may already be doing exactly that. However, if you are responsible for much more than just OD you have your plate too full and may not be able to see the forest for the trees. A real Human Resources professional is what you need.

When I work with people not exposed to the corporate business world, they only think of Human Resources as handling recruiting, payroll (sometimes) and benefits administration. If there isn't a big turn over or benefits not being offered, they likely get along without HR completely. I am hoping that business owners also understand that Human Resources functions as a protection and should be ensuring and implementing legal compliance for the business as an employer at the absolute minimum. That's usually the limit of the HR function for most small businesses and why most have a non HR professional handling the company's HR function. No legal complaints - no harm no foul as they say.

However, as I pointed out previously, HR is more than that. The bottom line is you are responsible for your organization, if you are focused on its sustainability and its growth, you need to implement proper Organizational Development strategies to do that. You may not have know how to legally set up a business so you probably sought a lawyer to help you. When you need to deal with the financial and tax aspects of the business you go to your accountant or CPA. Then it only stands to reason to seek a real HR professional to guide and assist you in Organizational Development.


Jennine Leale is the President & Founder of HRPro Consulting Services, LLC, and a Human Resources Consultant with 25+ years Human Resource Management experience in both large and small corporations, non-profits, small businesses and private consulting. She has more than 12 years of experience owning two successful small businesses, mentoring others to create their own businesses and 2 years in the insurance and financial industry.

Ellevate Network is a global women’s network: the essential resource for professional women who create, inspire and lead. Together, we #InvestInWomen.

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