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Organisational development (OD) is a model of change in organisations that places people at its core. It involves aligning organisational structure, corporate culture, and day-to-day operations to respond to the needs of the business and help it succeed and grow. 

Given the role that people play in OD, it’s intrinsically linked with HR. Both have their roots in business strategy and align with the organisation’s mission, vision, and values. An OD effort would not work without HR expertise, and conversely, HR departments that deliver initiatives that do not support business goals will ultimately lack credibility and impact. 

OD from an HR perspective

Over the last decade, HR has transformed to become a business partner that provides solutions and strategies, rather than just transactional services.

Today’s HR leaders are required to possess an in-depth understanding of the connection between OD, organisational strategy and the HR agenda. By leveraging this knowledge and expertise, they play a vital role in the early stages of OD by questioning assumptions, raising awareness of any potential issues and diagnosing any barriers to execution.

Here are just some of the other ways that HR is related to OD.


1. Managing change

HR plays a crucial role in communicating to employees why a change is being introduced and how it will benefit them. Additionally, they will gain insights into how employees feel about proposed changes and collect feedback to identify any pain points that need to be addressed – all of which is invaluable in OD. 

2. Re-organising talent

HR professionals are experts in procuring, recruiting, and retaining the best talent through a variety of techniques. Those aligned with organisational structure can improve its overall effectiveness by identifying internal talent and suggesting new roles where their skills would most benefit the business. 

3. Performance management

Adapting to changing markets and ensuring the best person is always in the job is a key element of OD. Employee performance requires expert management and development to ensure optimum productivity at all times and that organisational strategies and goals are delivered according to set timescales. HR professionals help facilitate this by applying their skills in performance management to ensure the company always gets the best out of its people.

4. Training

Employee training, development and support are crucial in creating an agile and inclusive business environment. Any modern organisational strategy relies on training, with a particular focus on management and executive coaching to help change and improve inner processes and procedures that support business growth. 

In-demand skills 

Organisations are increasingly looking for skilled HR leaders who can apply OD concepts to help them achieve their goals. Those with expertise in navigating the complexity of change, diagnosing underlying issues, identifying opportunities and selecting the best approaches to drive strategies remain in high demand. 

Omni Search helps organisations find permanent or interim leaders who facilitate people and culture change, organisational design and restructuring. If you are a senior HR professional or specialise in change and transformation, we can connect you to your next exciting and rewarding assignment.

Click here to find out more about Omni Search and what we can do for you, or contact Ben Fitzgerald on 0161 929 2324 or email ben.fitzgerald@omnirms.com.