Office of Continuing Education

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Christa Sterling

July 31st, 2017

An organizational development program uses employee training to improve organizational functioning and help employees develop their skills so they can be of greater benefit to the organization. Organizational development is important in meeting established goals, and for growth and gaining market share. Even for organizations not focused on financial goals, like non-profits, organizational development can increase the organization’s reach and help it do more good in the community or help more people.

Here are some characteristics of a successful organizational development program.

1. Training aligned to goals.

The foundation of any successful OD program is to make sure that the training is consistent with the organization’s mission, vision, and goals. Growth and development won’t meet objectives without this alignment — you may reach goals, but they won’t be your goals.

2. Leadership committed to the process.

Organizational development begins at the top. If the leadership isn’t committed to the process, they shouldn’t expect their employees to be committed either. Executive coaching will help leadership get on board so they can support the process as it moves through the rest of the organization.

3. Communication is effective at all levels.

Being able to communicate the principles and skills needed to reach organizational goals is essential, and no one should be left out of the communication process. Written, spoken, and video communication are all important and should be consistent, clear, and targeted to different positions and departments so that everyone knows where they fit and how to do their part to help the organization develop.

4. High quality of training and coaching.

Organizational development will only be as good as the coaching and training employees get, so the highest quality of training and coaching is necessary in order to move an organization forward in significant ways. Not only are many training programs dull, but also many are not even effective at teaching people how to improve and develop their skills. Make sure you have high quality training in place if you want the initiative to succeed.

5. Taking a long term view.

Most organizations have short- and long-term goals. Focusing on only short-term goals doesn’t give organizations the chance they need to develop over time. Meeting short-term goals is one step in the process, but taking a longer view will be more comprehensive and lead to more growth over time.

CCSU is offering a continuing education course through the HR certificate program on training and organizational development that will explain how to institute an organizational development program and make it work. As part of the six-week course, students will design and deliver their own training program, giving them valuable skills to take back to their organizations at the completion of the course.  View open courses to see all the options we offer.