Maximizing employee engagement

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Employee engagement is one of the benefits of organizational development. Organizational development is the planned and systematic approach to improve the beliefs, attitude, and values of the employees working in an organization to improve their performance and effectiveness in reaching the desired goal. The development process begins when the performance and success of the organization are impacted by an identifiable problem. Some of the steps taken include: organization development professional meets the client and they both agree to work together, they decide on the best way to work together, the techniques and technology used to get results. This consultant and the client then assess the results of the organization in terms of culture, strengths and weaknesses and share the information with all members, and action planning is then carried out. This is where, depending on their previous assessment, they decide on how the organization has to change and how to achieve that. The new plans are then implemented, and after some time they are evaluated to see if they were productive and successful. If the evaluation shows that the new strategies worked, they are adopted permanently into the organization. The final stage is separation where the client and the consultant mark the end of their working relationship, and they agree on how the consultant will follow up and get feedback from then henceforth.
Organizational development is mainly conducted using the action research model, which is the intensive research processed in an organization to make improvements on the methods and approaches used based on frequent assessments of the organization. This model consists of several stages that include the following. The client shares some ideas with the consultant about the current organization’s developments and changes needed in the organization depending on their willingness to commit to the change. The consultant gives directions on how to work together and states the importance of undertaking the changes. Then they all agree on the roles of the members, the client and the shareholders. The research is then carried out to help the consultant learn more about the organization regarding culture, leadership, and beliefs. It may be achieved through conducting interviews or other forms of collecting data in the organization. The plan is then initiated, and the consultant discusses with the members, managers, and shareholders the impact of the change to the organization and how roles may change if needed. The plan is then implemented in the organization. At this stage, every activity is carefully monitored to make adjustments for good results. After some time, the research is processed to see if to the plan was useful and if not, what needs to be changed. Interviews are essential at this stage. The final step is separation. At this stage, the consultant gives the client recommendations for how to maintain the change, and that marks the end of the client-consultant relationship.
Scenario 1: XYZ Widget Corporation
XYZ Widget Corporation failed to go through the research step that involves in-depth fact-finding about the daily activities of the organization, its employees and the external environment and learning about the problems facing the organization and the desired solutions. By missing this critical step, the consultant failed to understand the entire set-up of XYZ Widget Corporation including its culture, the opinions of the employees and other external factors affecting the organization. The consultant was unwilling to conduct the entire process extensively, namely interviews, data collection, and study. He made a conclusion by comparing the client organization to another one he had worked for with similar issues. In doing so, the consultant lacked the insight to devise an action plan that could suit the current client company, on the contrary to the applied one that proved to be wrong since the sales remained down. If the corporation had gone through this crucial step, one could have had a clear picture and apply a more particular theory concerning the feedback and the data collected, and this would facilitate action planning for XYZ Widget Corporation.
Scenario 2: HN Motors
The client corporation, HN Motors, failed to follow the action step of the model. At this stage, after the research and action ones, the implementation of the recommended plan of action is implied. HN Motors had the initial steps. However, they relieved the consultant of his services before he could finish all the steps of the action plan needed to help the organization achieve its desired outcome. Once the consultant was not around to see his job through, the departments fell back to their old habits of disagreement and de-motivation, and the management failed to control the matter. This was because the consultant was the one who had conducted the extensive research among all parties involved and come was able to formulate the recommendations but it did not happen due to management decisions. The company should have allowed the consultant to actualize his plan for it to be more efficient. Due to severe decision by management, the crucial step of ‘action’ was not implemented accordingly, hence leading to the failure of the whole project.
Scenario 3: Ace Carpet Cleaning
The CEO of Ace Carpet Cleaning failed to take the organization through the entry step of the action research. This decision, motivated by the discount offered by Dr. Joseph Hotshot, proved to be the wrong one since he failed to get the advantages involved with this particular step. The entry steps provide the management and the organization with an insight into the required changes once their necessity is identified. The CEO failed to learn if there was any change needed or desired in the organization and instead chose to hire the consultant for the discount offered. The organization thus did not experience any difference as a result of engaging Dr. Joseph Hotshot due to there being no change needed by the organization; hence it proved to be simply the loss of money for something not worth it.
Scenario 4: The Kooltrendy Internet Software Company
The client company failed to apply the contracting step in the research model. At this step, the consultant was supposed to find out how best he could implement the action plan without stepping on anyone’s toes by learning about the both organization’s cultures and the employee’s beliefs. This could be achieved through detailed verbal agreements on all matters about how the data would be collected and interviews conducted.This would have helped establish the boundaries that needed not be crossed by the consultant when devising the action to be implemented.The belief of hard work and severe corporate ethics could have been identified by the consultant and helped to create a more appropriate action plan that would have been suitable for the employees

Schein E. H., (1995) “Process consultation, action research and clinical inquiry: Are they the same?” Journal of Managerial Psychology, 10(6), 14-19.
Haneberg, L. (2005). Chapter 3: The action research approach to change. Organization development basics. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development. [EBSCO eBW.ook Collection].
McLean, G. N. (2006). Chapter 1: What is organizational development? Organization development: Principal processes, performance. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. [EBSCO eBook Collection].
McNiff, J, & Whitehead, J. (2005). All you need to know about action research. London, UK: Sage. 3-5.
Stringer, E. T. Action (4 ed.). Thousand Oaks, California. ISBN 9781452205083. OCLC842322985.
French W.L., Bell C. (1973) Organizational development: Behavioral science interventions for organizational development. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

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