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Organizational Development Consultant Duties and Responsibilities

While the everyday duties of an organizational development consultant can vary, most share several core responsibilities:

Analyze Operations and Personnel The organizational development consultant's central role is to analyze operations, processes, and management of the business as a whole. In addition, they may examine individual departments and interview personnel to learn more about employee development processes and how they support business goals and identify areas where these processes can be improved to help the business run more efficiently.

Advise and Guide Leaders Organizational development consultants provide direct advice, guidance, and oversight to executives, human resources departments, and managers. This can include sharing strategies to improve efficiency, drive revenue growth, and retain talented employees through development programs. The organizational development consultant may need to present their ideas to leaders and teams to convince them of the benefits of a particular course of action.

Support Hiring Efforts In some cases, organizational development consultants may directly assist with interviewing and hiring candidates for key positions. They may work with HR departments or leaders to create or identify positions that fit into new plans for organizational development change, provide direct input on candidates, and even sit in on interviews.

Train Employees on New Methods Organizational development consultants work closely with employees to introduce new methodologies and train staff and departments. In this aspect of the role, organizational development consultants may organize group training sessions or work one-on-one with employees. They may also train HR professionals to conduct regular training and development sessions.

Guide Restructuring Activities In some cases, the organizational development consultant may take an active role in restructuring departments or changing the way they utilize personnel to increase efficiency and align department activities with overall business goals. The organizational development consultant also helps determine how their clients can best allocate resources and personnel and employs methods to increase cross-functionality and interdepartmental cooperation.

Measure Impact of New Programs and Efforts Finally, organizational development consultants assess the impact of their advice and guidance through follow-up visits and meetings with clients. In these meetings, the organizational development consultant measures the impact their changes have had on performance, efficiency, employee retention and satisfaction, and overall business goals. They may also provide further advice and guidance if certain elements are not working.


Organizational Development Consultant Skills and Qualifications

Organizational development consultants provide advice and guidance to help businesses enhance efficiency, profitability, and performance through effective talent development. Most organizational development consultants have advanced degrees and the following skills:
  • Analytical thinking - organizational development consultants need to analyze information to assess businesses, personnel, and departments to determine what is working and what can be improved
  • Personnel development - this role also requires a high level of familiarity with business strategies and techniques for improving efficiency, enhancing employee performance, and streamlining operations
  • Research skills - organizational development consultants frequently need to research the companies they are working with, which includes gaining knowledge of industry trends and competitors
  • Persuasion skills - a organizational development consultant also needs to ensure that business leaders and decision-makers adopt their ideas and strategies, so they should have strong persuasive skills and be able to successfully present their ideas
  • Leadership - team coordination and collaboration are also important in this role, since organizational development consultants need to coordinate department activities throughout the company
  • Communication skills - effective written and verbal communication is key to an organizational development consultant's role, since they need to work with executives and employees

Organizational Development Consultant Education and Training

While organizational development consultants can come from a variety of educational backgrounds, the vast majority of workers in this role have an advanced degree in a related field. Generally, organizational development consultants have master's degrees in fields including organizational psychology, organizational development, or business administration. There are also industry certifications available for organizational development consultants, which can help improve a consultant's reputation and open up more opportunities for employment.

Organizational Development Consultant Salary and Outlook

Because most organizational development consultants work on a freelance or contract basis, their salaries can largely depend on their client base and level of expertise. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does maintain salary data for training and development specialists as a whole. According to the BLS, training and development specialists earn a median annual salary of $60,360. The highest-paid 10 percent of workers in this role earn more than $102,340 per year, while the lowest paid earn less than $33,150. The BLS expects employment of training and development specialists to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 11 percent through 2026.

Helpful Resources

We found a number of resources on the web if you'd like to learn more about working as an organizational development consultant:

Organization Development Network - organizational development consultants can join the ODN to connect with other professionals in the field, learn about industry developments, and attend events and conferences

Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change - author Donald L. Anderson examines organizational change and dynamics, exploring how technology, globalization, and economics affect organizations and personnel

International Organization Development Association - IODA is another professional network for organizational development consultants offering networking events, publications, and educational materials

The Consultant's Big Book of Organization Development Tools: 50 Reproducible Intervention Tools to Help Solve Your Clients' Problems - read this book to learn useful techniques and tools that organizational development consultants can use with their clients

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