Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated March 24, 2021

The Top Organizational Effectiveness Jobs, Roles, and Responsibilities

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The Top Organizational Effectiveness Jobs, Roles, and Responsibilities

It is important to note that most organizational effectiveness jobs don’t go by the term “organizational effectiveness specialists.”

In fact, many organizational effectiveness jobs even use the term “organizational effectiveness.”

Therefore, for anyone interested in working in this area, it pays to gain a deeper understanding of the concept.

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Organizational Effectiveness: A Quick Recap

Organizational effectiveness refers to how efficiently and effectively that organization can meet its stated objectives.

There are a number of approaches to improving organizational effectiveness, such as The Leadership Circle’s Six Systems, which focus on:

  • Leadership, or those business leaders that define, refine, and execute key processes
  • Communication, which helps keep people focused, shapes beliefs, and helps to mold the culture
  • Accountability, or systems that maintain discipline and clarify expectations
  • Delivery that removes complexity and maximizes operational efficiency
  • Performance systems designed to attract and develop the right talent
  • Measurement, through reviews, metrics, and other systems of control

McKinsey’s 7-S Framework, another organizational effectiveness framework, predictably has seven components, each of which starts with an “S”:

  • Strategy – The organization’s strategy
  • Structure – The structure of the organization
  • Systems – Business processes, workflows, and activities
  • Shared values – Organizational culture and shared beliefs
  • Style – The style of management and leadership
  • Staff – Who works at a company
  • Skills – Workforce capabilities and skills

There are plenty of other models that have evolved throughout the years.

But regardless of how a company models effectiveness, these frameworks clarify a couple things.

On the one hand, they offer insight into what organizational effectiveness is.

On the other, they explain the many potential jobs and roles that are involved with improving an organization’s performance.

Organizational Effectiveness Jobs, Departments, and Roles

There are several departments that deal directly with organizational effectiveness, such as:

  • Human resources. Human resources handles many tasks and duties related to the workforce. And in many organizations, they are responsible for key tasks related to organizational effectiveness, such as employee training, employee experience management, talent management, and more. 
  • Employee experience. Larger organizations may have entire departments dedicated to employee experience management. These departments, teams, or individuals will be responsible for improving workflows, workforce capabilities, and the workplace experience.
  • Change management. Any organization that attempts to improve its effectiveness will need to make changes. These organizational changes can impact any area of the business, such as those covered in the models above. Because the outcomes of a change project affect the level of improvements to the organization, change management specialists play a key role in improving an organization’s effectiveness.
  • Organization development. Like change management, organization development is a business function devoted to improving organizational effectiveness. These improvements are carried out through planned interventions and organizational changes.
  • Business development. Business development is another term that is often used interchangeably with organization development and related business functions.
  • Organizational effectiveness. Finally, an organization may have an entire department devoted to organizational effectiveness. While change management, as mentioned, plays a key role in managing organizational changes, their primary function is just that – managing change. Organizational effectiveness departments will be solely tasked with analyzing, measuring, and coordinating improvements.

In any of these departments, there are a number of potential jobs, each with varying levels of responsibility.

Here are a few examples:

  • Executives – The senior executives at a business, such as the C-suite
  • Directors and Managers – The leads of specific departments or teams
  • Specialists – Specialists that focus on specific areas related to organizational effectiveness, such as employee experience management, operations, and human resources
  • Consultants – Third-party consultants or agencies that offer expertise and consulting services to assist organizations with improvement projects

Clearly, there are quite a few pathways that professionals can take if they want to help organizations improve performance.

When carving out a career in this area … or continuing down a career path … it pays to learn about these possibilities and develop one’s career strategically.

Tips for Career Development in Fields Related to Organizational Effectiveness

There are several ways to improve career prospects in the area of organizational effectiveness.

Here are a few tips:

  • Start from where you are. If you are already in human resources, then plot a trajectory from your current position to your target. Those already in the workforce shouldn’t backtrack and start from scratch.
  • Choose a target specialty. The specialties most connected to this area are, of course, organization development and effectiveness. However, there are other ways to achieve the same aims. Digital transformation jobs, for instance, take a digital approach to organizational improvement.
  • Get certified. Certifications and degrees can add credibility, skills, and knowledge. Change management certifications, for instance, are affordable and useful for anyone who wants to work in this area.
  • Target the right jobs at the right companies. Find attainable jobs at good companies. These can serve as stepping stones towards your area of interest. 
  • Develop skills on the job. On-the-job training and skills development is the best way to gain experience and abilities. Seek out opportunities and responsibilities, which will help you gain experience that much more quickly.

There is no magic recipe for becoming a specialist in this field.

And, as we have seen, there is no single pathway to becoming a specialist in the field of organizational effectiveness.

The most relevant fields are organization development, change management, and organizational effectiveness itself.

However, there are many jobs related to organizational effectiveness and performance … which means there are many paths one can take to work in this field.

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