Human Resource and Organizational Development in 2021

Human Resource and Organizational Development

Human Resource (HR). The concept does mean something to do with people. Originally, it meant hiring new talent. Recruiting workers ­– human resources – for a job and letting them go once their contract was over.

However, today’s HR comprises several more duties and performances. They have come a long way from simple recruiting and terminating. In a way, they have taken on the functions that were once performed by dedicated Organizational Development (OD) professionals.

Duties of Human Resource

HR acts as a vital supporting pillar of the business. And likewise, OD is also necessary for smooth workflow and improvement in business. Many people assume Human Resource and Organizational Development are the same thing.

But that’s not exactly the case (will be discussed later). Following are some of the duties of HR. These are the original roles that a pure HR department is supposed to perform.

·         Streamlining the entire hiring process.

·         Developing compliance contracts keeping in view legal and governmental policies.

·         Setting up proper policies and procedures and enforcing them.

·         Catering for employment-related risks.

·         Optimizing labor costs.

·         Ensuring workplace health and safety.

·         Maintaining sufficient equity and diversity in the workplace.


What is Organizational Development?

The purpose of organizational development is to apply the knowledge of behavioral sciences to ultimately help companies improve. This can be in the form of helping individuals to get better in any aspect. It can be by taking care of the employees.

Refining their skillset or providing them with resources that help them perform better. Because productive employees mean a high-performing company. OD introduces purposeful and meaningful changes in the company.

The aim of an OD is to help individuals perform better with the intent of it being beneficial for the firm itself.

Duties of Organizational Development

·         Improving organizational effectiveness and resolving hindrances.

·         Enabling employees to perform to the maximum of their potential.

·         Auditing existing processes and identifying areas of improvement.

·         Helping to promote the company’s vision throughout the firm.


also read: The 6 Functions of Human Resource Management


A Hybrid Human Resource and Organizational Development

Companies have been evolving towards a type of HR that also performs the duties of an OD. Have you heard the term STRATEGIC HR?

This is mainly due to the reason that HR has been incorporated into businesses. Rather than being foreign to the company, it performs as an integral part of the company. It incentivizes to provide best solutions and strategies.

It may be because of human psychology. Because people (or organizations) work exceptionally better if they are working for themselves.

What does this mean for OD?
Instead of an HR that performs only transactional services, many companies go in the favor of hiring a strategic HR. This often means not having an OD department. This has been proven over the years by different functional forms of HR by performing duties of an OD.

So, does this bode poorly for OD?

Well, the answer is a bit complicated. OD can continue as a separate identity. Many who are exceptional and are well established would undoubtedly be successful. But this does mean for many to compete for their place occasionally.

However, there is an easier solution.

They can become a separate functional part inside an HR department, providing their services as a subdivision. They can keep performing their services such as teaching, promoting, and developing key principles. These facilities, along with many others, are unique to OD and have their source originating from OD.

The Principal Goal is…
Having a strategic HR that also provides facilities of OD is alright. Having an independent organizational development is OK as well, as long as the purpose is clear. To constantly improve the persons-side of the business.

Instead of focusing on what does what, the attention should be towards effectively completing the task at hand. This also means HR professionals understand (and appreciate) what matters require an HR solution and what requires OD solutions.



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