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Organization Development

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Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
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Lesson 40
Developing and Assisting Members
This lecture presents three human resources management interventions concerned with developing and
assisting the well-being of organization members. First, organizations have had to adapt their career
planning and development processes to a variety of trends. For example, people have different needs and
concerns as they progress through their career stages; technological changes have altered organizational
structures and systems dramatically; and global competition has forced organizations to redefine how work
gets done. These processes and concerns have forced individuals and organizations to redefine the social
contract that binds them together. Career planning and development interventions can help deal effectively
with these issues. Second, increasing workforce diversity provides an especially challenging environment for
human resources management. The mix of genders, ages, value orientations, thinking styles, and ethnic
backgrounds represented in the modern workforce is increasingly varied. Management's perspectives,
strategic responses, and implementation approaches can help address pressures posed by this diversity.
Finally, wellness interventions, such as employee assistance and stress management programs, are
addressing several important social trends, such as fitness and health consciousness, drug and alcohol
abuse, and work-life balance.
Career Planning and Development Interventions:
Career planning and development have been receiving increased attention in organizations. Growing
numbers of managers and professional staff are seeking more control over their work lives. As
organizations downsize and restructure, there is less trust in the organization to provide job security.
Employees are not willing to have their careers "just happen" and are taking an active role in planning and
managing them. This is particularly true for women, mid-career employees, and college recruits, who are
increasingly asking for career planning assistance. On the other hand, organizations are becoming more and
more reliant on their "intellectual capital." Providing career planning and development opportunities for
organization members helps to recruit and retain skilled and knowledgeable workers. Many talented job
candidates, especially minorities and women, are showing a preference for employers who offer career
advancement opportunities.
Many organizations--General Electric, Xerox, Intel, Ciba-Geigy, Cisco Systems, Quaker Oats, and Novotel
UK, among others--have adopted career planning and development programs. These programs have
attempted to improve the quality of work life for managers and professionals, to improve their
performance, to increase employee retention, and to respond to equal employment and affirmative action
legislation. Companies have discovered that organizational growth and effectiveness require career
development programs to ensure that needed talent will be available. Competent managers are often the
scarcest resource. Many companies also have experienced the high costs of turnover among recent college
graduates, including MBAs, which can reach 50 percent after five years. Career planning and development
help attract and hold such highly talented employees and can increase the chances that their skills and
knowledge will be used.
Organizations are discovering that the career development needs of women and minorities often require
special programs and the use of nontraditional methods, such as integrated systems for recruitment,
placement, and development. Similarly, age-discrimination laws have led many organizations to set up
career programs aimed at older managers and professionals. Thus, career planning and development are
increasingly being applied to people at different ages and stages of development--from new recruits to
those nearing retirement age.
Finally, career planning and development interventions increasingly have been used in cases of "career halt"
where layoffs and job losses have resulted from organization decline, downsizing, reengineering, and
restructuring. These abrupt halts to career progress can have severe human consequences, and human
resources practices have been developed for helping members cope with these problems.
Career planning is concerned with individuals choosing occupations, organizations, and positions at each
stage of their careers. Career development involves helping employees attain career objectives. Although
both of these interventions generally are aimed at managerial and professional employees, a growing
number of programs are including lower-level employees, particularly those in white-collar jobs.
Career Stages:
A career consists of a sequence of work-related positions occupied by a person during the course of a
lifetime. Traditionally, careers were judged in terms of advancement and promotion upward in the
organizational hierarchy. Today, they are defined in more holistic ways to include a person's attitudes and
experiences. For example, a person can remain in the same job, acquiring and developing new skills, and
have a successful career without ever getting promoted. Similarly, people may move horizontally through a
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series of jobs in different functional areas of the firm. Although they may not be promoted upward in the
hierarchy, their broadened job experiences constitute a successful career.
Considerable research has been devoted to understanding how aging and experience affect people's careers.
This research has drawn on the extensive work done on adult growth and development and has adapted
that developmental perspective to work experience. Results suggest that employees progress through at
least four distinct career stages as they mature and gain experience. Each stage has unique concerns, needs,
and challenges.
1. The establishment stage (ages 21-26 years). This phase is the outset of a career when people are
generally uncertain about their competence and potential. They are dependent on others, especially bosses
and more experienced employees, for guidance, support, and feedback. At this stage, people are making
initial choices about committing themselves to a specific career, organization, and job. They are exploring
possibilities while learning about their own capabilities.
2. The advancement stage (ages 26-40 years). During this phase, employees become independent
contributors who are concerned with achieving and advancing in their chosen careers. They have typically
learned to perform autonomously and need less guidance from bosses and closer ties with colleagues. This
settling-down period also is characterized by attempts to clarify the range of long-term career options.
3. The maintenance stage (ages 40-60 years). This phase involves leveling off and holding on to career
successes. Many people at this stage have achieved their greatest advancements and are now concerned
with helping less-experienced subordinates. For those who are dissatisfied with their career progress, this
period can be conflictual and depressing, as characterized by the term "midlife crisis." People often
reappraise their circumstances, search for alternatives, and redirect their career efforts. Success in these
endeavors can lead to com inning growth, whereas failure can lead to early decline.
4. The withdrawal stage (ages 60 years and above). This final stage is concerned with leaving a career.
It involves letting go of organizational attachments and getting ready for greater leisure time and retirement.
The employee's major contributions are imparting knowledge and experience to others. For those people
who are generally satisfied with their careers, this period can result in feelings of fulfillment and a
willingness to leave the career behind.
The different career stages represent a broad developmental perspective on people's jobs. They provide
insight about the personal and career issues that people are likely to face at different career phases. These
issues can be potential sources of stress. Employees are likely to go through the phases at different rates,
and to experience personal and career issues differently at each stage. For example, one person may
experience the maintenance stage as a positive opportunity to develop less-experienced employees; another
person may experience the maintenance stage as a stressful leveling off of career success.
Career Planning:
Career planning involves setting individual career objectives. It is highly personalized and generally includes
assessing one's interests, capabilities, values, and goals; examining alternative careers; making decisions that
may affect the current job; and planning how to progress in the desired direction. This process results in
people choosing occupations, organizations, and jobs. It determines, for example, whether individuals will
accept or decline promotions and transfers and whether they will stay or leave the company for another job
or for retirement.
The four career stages can be used to make career planning more effective. Table 18.1 shows the different
career stages and the career planning issues relevant at each phase. Applying the table to a particular
employee involves first diagnosing the person's existing career stage--establishment, advancement,
maintenance, or withdrawal. Next, available career planning resources are used to help the employee ad-
dress pertinent issues. Career planning programs include some or all of the following resources:
·  Communication about career opportunities and resources available to employees within the
organization
·  Workshops to encourage employees to assess their interests, abilities, and job situations and to
formulate career development plans
·  Career counseling by managers or human resources personnel
·  Self-development materials, such as books, videotapes, and other media, directed toward
identifying life and career issues
·  Assessment programs that provide various tests of vocational interests, aptitudes, and abilities
relevant to setting career goals.
Application 9 describes the career planning resources available at Pacific Bell. It provides an example of the
range of resources that can be provided and how these programs can be implemented flexibly.
According to Table 19, employees who are just becoming established in careers can be stressed by concerns
for identifying alternatives, assessing their interests and capabilities, learning how to perform effectively,
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and finding out how they are doing. At this stage, the company should provide considerable
communication and counseling about available career paths and the skills and abilities needed to progress in
them. Workshops, self-development materials, and assessment techniques should be aimed at helping
employees assess their interests, aptitudes, and capabilities and at linking that information to possible
careers and jobs. Considerable attention should be directed to giving employees continual feedback about
job performance and to counseling them about how to improve it. The supervisor-subordinate relationship
is especially important for these feedback and development activities.
People at the advancement stage are mainly concerned with getting ahead, discovering long-term career
options, and integrating career choices, such as transfers or promotions, with their personal lives. Here, the
company should provide employees with communication and counseling about challenging assignments
and
Table 19
Career Stages and Career Planning Issues
Career Stage
Career-Planning Issues
Establishment
What are alternative occupations, organizations and jobs?
What are my interests and capabilities?
How do I get the work accomplished?
Am I performing as expected?
Am I developing he necessary skills for advancement?
Advancement
Am I advancing as expected?
How can I advance more effectively?
What long-term options are available?
How do I get more exposure and visibility?
How do I develop more effective peer relationship?
How do I better integrate career choices with my personal life?
Maintenance
How do I help others become established and advance?
Should I reassess myself and my career?
Should I redirect my action?
Withdrawal
What are my interests outside of work?
What postretirement work options are available to me?
How can I be financially secure?
How can I continue to help others?
Application 9: Career Planning Centers at Pacific Bell
Pacific Bell, a Pacific Telesis company, provides local telephone products and services to residential and
business customers throughout California. The company operates ten career centers, each managed by an
on-site career development specialist with at least ten months of intensive on-the-job training. In addition,
the company operates two mobile vans that serve the career needs of employees in outlying areas.
Employees come to the center on their own or may be referred by their managers or a medical health
services counselor. Their visits are completely confidential.
Each center has a reference library of print, audio, and video resources on career planning, retirement
planning, job titles, and corporate culture. Employees have access to the company's job posting systems
and computerized, self-guided career-life planning programs. All of the center's resources are linked to the
corporate business plan. The center's staff also provides workshops on resume writing, interviewing, group
interpretation of career assessments, and career planning.
An employee can make an appointment with the career development specialist who will help him or her
examine personal skills, interests, abilities, and values and identify appropriate career choices. The
counseling process helps the worker answer the questions, "Who am 1? How am I seen? Where do I want
to go? How do I get there?"
The specialist will help employees research career options within the company or outside, if necessary, and
to appraise their skills and abilities realistically against the job requirements. Personal issues affecting career
options are considered and incorporated into each employee's individualized plan. Specialists also provide
ongoing support while employees are making job changes and transitions.
Brian Cowgill, the career counselor who provides clinical supervision to the northern California centers,
says that the centers were created in response to Pacific Bell's strategic changes as well as to changes in the
work environment and employees' values and needs. "Pacific Bell has changed its corporate mission to be
more focused on the customer," says Cowgill. "As a result, job descriptions and job duties have changed
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for many employees. They are challenged to examine their interests and abilities in order to keep up with
the changing work environment."
In addition, employee values have shifted. For example, younger employees are challenging old
assumptions about work and are feeling the need to explore all the options open to them. Employee loyalty
and commitment are low, especially among the newly hired who have highly sought skills and knowledge.
A flattening of organizational structures leaves these employees with fewer opportunities for upward ad-
vancement, and they are actively making themselves available to the highest bidder. The career centers
enable these employees to discover how best to use their skills and abilities.
possibilities for more exposure and demonstration of skills. It should help clarify the range of possible
long-term career options and provide members with some idea about where they stand in achieving them.
Workshops, developmental materials, and assessment methods should be aimed at helping employees
develop wider collegial relationships, join with effective mentors and sponsors, and develop more creativity
and innovation. These activities also should help people assess both career and personal life spheres and
integrate them more successfully.
At the maintenance stage, individuals are concerned with helping newer employees become established and
grow in their careers. This phase also may involve a reassessment of self and career and a possible
redirection to something more rewarding. The firm should provide individuals with communications about
the broader organization and how their roles fit into it. Workshops, developmental materials, counseling,
and assessment techniques should be aimed at helping employees to assess and develop skills in order to
train and coach others. For those experiencing a midlife crisis, career planning activities should be directed
at helping them to reassess their circumstances and to develop in new directions. Midlife crises generally are
caused by perceived threats to people's career or family identities. Career planning should help people deal
effectively with identity issues, especially in the context of an ongoing career. This may include workshops
and close interpersonal counseling to help people confront identity issues and reorient their thinking about
themselves in relation to work and family. These activities also might help employees deal with the
emotions evoked by a midlife crisis and develop the skills and confidence to try something new.
Employees who are at the withdrawal stage can experience stress about disengaging from work and
establishing a secure leisure life. Here, the company should provide communications and counseling about
options for postretirement work and financial security, and it should convey the message that the
employee's experience in the organization is still valued. Retirement planning workshops and materials can
help employees gain the skills and information necessary to make a successful transition from work to non
work life. They can prepare people to shift their attention away from the organization to other interests and
activities.
Effective career planning and development requires a comprehensive program integrating both corporate
business objectives and employee career needs. This is accomplished through human resources planning
aimed at developing and maintaining a workforce to meet business objectives. It includes recruiting new
talent, matching people to jobs, helping them develop careers and perform effectively, and preparing them
for satisfactory retirement. Career planning activities feed into and support career development and human
resources planning activities.
Career Development:
Career development helps individuals achieve their career objectives. It follows closely from career
planning and includes organizational practices that help employees implement those plans. These may
include skill training, performance feedback and coaching, planned job rotation, mentoring, and continuing
education.
Career development can be integrated with people's career needs by linking it to different career stages. As
described earlier, employees progress through distinct career stages, each with unique issues relevant to
career planning: establishment, advancement, maintenance, arid withdrawal. Career development
interventions help members implement these plans. Table 20 identifies career development interventions,
lists the career stages to which they are most relevant, and defines their key purposes and intended
outcomes. It shows that career development practices may apply to one or more career stages. Performance
feedback and coaching, for example, are relevant to both the establishment and advancement stages. Career
development interventions also can serve a variety of purposes, such as helping members identify a career
path or providing feedback on career progress and work effectiveness. They can contribute to different
organizational outcomes such as lowering turnover and costs and enhancing member satisfaction.
Career development interventions traditionally have been applied to younger employees who have a longer
time period to contribute to the firm than do older members. Managers often stereotype older employees
as being less
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Table 20
Career Development Interventions
Intervention
Career Stage
Purpose
Intended outcomes
Realistic job preview
Establishment
to  provide  members
Reduce turnover
Advancement
with
an
accurate
Reduce training costs
expectation  of  work
Increase commitment
requirements
Increase job satisfaction
Job pathing
Establishment
To  provide  members
Reduce turnover
Advancement
with a sequence of work
Build
organizational
assignments leading to a
knowledge
career objective
Performance
feedback Establishment
To  provide  members
Increase productivity
and coaching
Advancement
with knowledge about
Increase job satisfaction
their career progress and
Monitor
human
work effectiveness
resources development
Assessment centers
Establishment
To select and develop
Increase person-job fit
Advancement
members for managerial
Identify  high-potential
and technical jobs
candidates
Mentoring
Establishment
To
link
a
less-
Increase job satisfaction
Advancement
experienced
member
Increase
member
Maintenance
with a more-experienced
motivation
member  for  member
development
Developmental training
Establishment
To provide education
Increase  organizational
Advancement
and
training
capability
Maintenance
opportunities that help
members achieve career
goals
Work-life
balance Establishment
To
help
members
Improve quality of life
planning
Advancement
balance
work
and
Increase productivity
Maintenance
personal goals
Job
rotation
and Advancement
To  provide  members
Increase job satisfaction
challenging assignments  Maintenance
with interesting work
Maintain
member
motivation
Dual-career
Advancement
To assist members with Attract and retain high-
accommodations
Maintenance
significant others to find quality members
satisfying
work Increase job satisfaction
assignments
Consultative roles
Maintenance
To help members fill Increase
problem-
Withdrawal
productive roles later in solving capacity
their careers
Increase job satisfaction
Phased retirement
Withdrawal
To assist members in Increase job satisfaction
moving into retirement
Lower  stress  during
transition
creative, alert, and productive than younger workers and consequently provide them with less career
development support.10 Similarly, Table 20 suggests that the OD field has been relatively lax in developing
methods for helping older members cope with the withdrawal stage because only two of the eleven
interventions presented there apply to the withdrawal stage--consultative roles and phased retirement. This
relative neglect can be expected to change in the near future; however, as the U.S. workforce continues to
grey. To sustain a highly committed and motivated workforce, organizations increasingly will have to
address the career needs of older employees. They will have to recognize and reward the contributions that
older workers make to the company. Workforce diversity interventions, discussed later in this chapter, are a
positive step in that direction.
Realistic Job Preview:
This intervention provides organization members with realistic expectations about the job during the
recruitment process. It provides recruits with information about whether the job is likely to be consistent
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with their needs and career plans. Such knowledge is especially useful during the establishment stage, when
people are most in need of realistic information about organizations and jobs. It also can help employees
during the advancement stage, when job changes are likely to occur because of promotion.
Research suggests that people may develop unrealistic expectations about the organization and job. They
can suffer from "reality shock" when those expectations are not fulfilled and may leave the organization or
stay and become disgruntled and unmotivated. To overcome these problems, organizations such as Texas
Instruments, Prudential Insurance, and Johnson & Johnson provide new recruits with information about
both the positive and negative aspects of the company and the job. They furnish recruits with booklets,
talks, and site visits showing what organizational life is really like. Such information reduces the chances
that employees will develop unrealistic job expectations and become disgruntled and leave the company.
This can lead to reduced turnover and training costs, and increased organizational commitment and job
satisfaction.
Job Pathing:
This intervention provides members with a carefully developed sequence of work assignments leading to a
career objective, although the notion of a job path in the new economy is being challenged. It helps
members in the establishment and advancement stages of their careers. Job pathing helps employees
develop skills, knowledge, and competencies by performing jobs that require new skills and abilities.
Research suggests that employees who receive challenging job assignments early in their careers do better in
later jobs. Career pathing allows for a gradual stretching of people's talents by moving them through
selected jobs of increasing challenge and responsibility. As a person gains experience and demonstrates
competence in the job, she or he moves to another job with more advanced skills and knowledge.
Performing well on one job increases the chance of being assigned to a more demanding job.
The keys to effective job pathing are to identify the skills an employee needs for a certain target job and
then to lay out a sequence of interim jobs that will provide those experiences. The interim jobs should
provide enough challenge to stretch a person's learning capacity without overwhelming the employee or
withholding the target job too long. Some banks, for example, have used job pathing to provide employees
with a specific series of jobs for learning how to become a branch manager. In one Los Angeles bank, the
jobs in the path include teller, loan officer, credit manager, and commercial loan manager. Job pathing
reduces turnover by offering opportunities for advancement. It also can build organizational knowledge. As
employees advance along career paths, they gain skills and experience to resolve organizational problems,
to assist in large-scale organization change, and to transfer their accumulated knowledge to new members.
Performance Feedback and Coaching:
One of the most effective interventions during the establishment and advancement phases includes
feedback about job performance and coaching to improve performance. Employees need continual
feedback about goal achievement as well as necessary support and coaching to improve their performances.
Feedback and coaching are particularly relevant when employees are establishing careers. They have
concerns about how to perform the work, whether they are performing up to expectations, and whether
they are gaining the necessary skills for advancement. A manager can facilitate career establishment by
providing feedback on performance, coaching, and on-the-job training. These activities can help
Application 10: Realistic job Preview at Nissan
James Mandelker had two minutes to grab fifty-five nuts, bolts, and washers; assemble them in groups of
five; and attach them in order of size to a metal rack. But he fumbled nervously with several pieces and
finished the task seconds after his allotted time. "I've got to get a little better at this, don't I?" he frowned,
as he pulled the last of the fasteners out of a grimy plastic tray. His tester, Gloria Macaluso, encouraged
him: "You're close. For the first night, you're probably doing a little better than normal."
James is trying to get a job at the Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.
The thirty-one-year-old department-store employee will be devoting seventy hours worth of his nights and
weekends during the next few months doing similar exercises. James and about 270 other job seekers are
participating in Nissan's preemployment program. In exchange for a shot at highly paid assembly-line jobs
and Nissan's promise not to inform their employers, these moonlighters will work as many as 360 hours
without being paid. They will be tested and instructed in employment fundamentals by the Japanese
automaker. "We hope the process makes it plain to people what the job is," says Thomas P. Groom,
Nissan's manager of employment. "It's an indoctrination process as well as a screening tool."
Not all participants are fully satisfied with the program. One candidate who works as a machine adjuster at
an envelope factory says the long pre-employment period "worries you, because you get your hopes up."
And some candidates bemoan the lack of pay for their time. But many participants feel that the training and
experience outweigh the unpaid work required to get hired. For one thing, they get a shot at some of the
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best-paying jobs in the state. If they are not hired, they can take elsewhere the skills they have learned there.
Loraine Olsen, a press operator who went through the program, said, "It gave me a chance to see what
Nissan expected of me without their having to make a commitment to me or me to them."
Employees get the job done while meeting their career development needs. Companies such as Intel and
Monsanto, for example, use performance feedback and coaching for employee career development. They
separate the career development aspect of performance appraisal from the salary review component, thus
ensuring that employees' career needs receive as much attention as salary issues. Feedback and coaching
interventions can increase employee performance and satisfaction, and provide a systematic way to monitor
the development of human resources in the firm.
Assessment Centers:
This intervention was traditionally designed to help organizations select and develop employees with high
potential for managerial jobs. More recently, assessment centers have been extended to career development
and to selection of people to fit new work designs, such as self-managing teams. When used to evaluate
managerial capability, assessment centers typically process twelve to fifteen people at a time and require
them to spend two to three days on site. Participants are given a comprehensive interview, take several tests
of mental ability and knowledge, and participate in individual and group exercises intended to simulate
managerial work. An assessment team consisting of experienced managers and human resources specialists
observes the behaviors and performance of each candidate. This team arrives at an overall assessment of
each participant's managerial potential, including a rating on several items believed to be relevant to
managerial success in the organization, and pass the results to management for use in making promotion
decisions.
Assessment centers have been applied to career development as well, where the emphasis is on feedback of
results to participants. Trained staff helps participants hear and understand feedback about their strong and
weak points. They help participants become clearer about career advancement and identify training experi-
ences and job assignments to promote that progress. When used for developmental purposes, assessment
centers can provide employees with the support and direction needed for career development. They can
demonstrate that the company is a partner rather than an adversary in that process. Although assessment
centers can help people's careers at all stages of development, they seem particularly useful at the
advancement stage, when employees need to assess their talents and capabilities in light of long-term career
commitments. Research suggests that assessment centers can promote career advancement to the extent
that participants are willing to work on the center's recommendations for development. When participants
develop themselves in such areas as clarity about career motivation and ability to work with others, their
probability of promotion increases.
Assessment centers are being used increasingly to select members for new work designs. They provide
comprehensive information about how recruits are likely to perform in such settings, which can increase
the fit between the employee and the job and consequently lead to higher levels of employee performance
and satisfaction. Application 18.4 shows how such centers can be used for selection purposes in a team-
based organization. It illustrates how this intervention can help organizations select the right people,
shorten training cycles, and improve productivity.
Mentoring:
One of the most useful ways to help employees advance in their careers is sponsorship. This involves
establishing a close link between a manager or someone more experienced and another organization
member who is less experienced. Mentoring is a powerful intervention that assists members in the
establishment, advancement, and maintenance stages of their careers. For those in the establishment stage,
a sponsor or mentor takes a personal interest in the employee's career and guides and sponsors it. This
ensures that a person's hard work and skill translate into actual opportunities for promotion and
advancement. For older employees in the maintenance stage, mentoring provides opportunities to share
knowledge and experience with others who are less experienced. Older managers may mentor younger
employees who are in the establishment and advancement career stages. Mentors do not have to be the
direct supervisors of the younger employees but can be hierarchically or functionally distant from them.
Other mentoring opportunities include temporarily assigning veteran managers to newer managers to help
them gain managerial skills and knowledge. For example, during the startup of a new manufacturing plant,
the plant manager, who was in the advancement career stage, was assisted by a veteran with years of
experience in manufacturing management. The veteran was temporarily located at the new plant to help the
plant manager develop the skills and knowledge to get the plant operating and to manage it. Once a month,
a consultant helped the two managers examine their relationship and set action plans for improving the
mentoring process.
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Several of Boeing's divisions have well-developed mentoring processes. High-potential members are
identified and paired with a corporate manager who volunteers to be a mentor. The mentor helps the
employee gain the skills, experience, and visibility necessary for advancement in the company. Senior
executives strongly support the mentoring program and believe that it is necessary for managerial success.
They believe that "mentoring improves the pool of talent for management and technical jobs and helps to
shape future leaders. It is also an effective vehicle for moving knowledge through the organization from the
people who have the most experience.
Application 11: Assessment Center for Employee Selection at Hamilton-Standard
The Hamilton-Standard Commercial Aircraft Electronics Division of United Technologies manufactures
environmental and jet engine control systems for commercial aerospace applications. In 1991, the division
moved to Colorado Springs when it was awarded a contract on the Boeing 777. To achieve demanding
standards of quality, cost, and time, Hamilton-Standard used a high-involvement work design. This design
included a relatively flat hierarchy and self-managed work teams composed of members who were certified
in a variety of technical, business, and interpersonal skills. The teams were highly flexible and able to follow
the product through all areas of production. Although a number of workers, staff members, and managers
moved with the division to Colorado Springs, the increased scale of operations needed for the Boeing
contract required hiring and training a large number of new team members over the next eighteen to
twenty-four months--a daunting task in a new geographic location.
To find the right people for the team-based structure, Hamilton-Standard created an assessment center. It
was run by division personnel, including existing team members, staff, and managers, who underwent
extensive training to learn how to review resumes, conduct interviews, and assess experiential exercises.
The assessment center included a number of activities aimed at evaluating the ability of job applicants to
work in teams, make decisions, and learn new skills.
Preliminary assessment began with an information session for candidates who submitted resumes to the
division. Groups of about 150 applicants engaged in an interactive, two-hour meeting that addressed the
firm's products and expectations for new employees. Candidates also discovered what they could expect
from Hamilton-Standard in terms of compensation, benefits, work environment, and developmental
opportunities. At the end of the session, participants were invited to complete formal job applications,
which subsequently were reviewed to identify high-potential candidates who would be asked to participate
in the center's evaluation process.
The assessment center was designed to evaluate sixty-five to seventy candidates in a single day--typically a
Saturday, to accommodate recruits who were employed elsewhere. In the week before they attended the
center, candidates completed a battery of tests that measured generic work skills, social competence, and
mathematical knowledge. These assessments helped Hamilton-Standard identify applicants' strengths and
weaknesses and became part of the data subsequently used to accept or reject candidates.
At the assessment center, candidates underwent two interviews--one oriented to technical competence and
the other to business knowledge. They also participated in a team-consensus exercise aimed at assessing
team skills and decision-making capability. The technical interview presented candidates with a flowchart of
the manufacturing process and asked them to identify areas in which they could add value. Their responses
enabled interviewers to assess technical depth and breadth, ability to learn, and desire to be cross-
functional. The business interview evaluated candidates' understanding of material flow processes,
configuration management, computers, finance, and human resources practices. In the consensus exercise,
participants worked in small teams to build a model airplane. Their behaviors were observed and assessed
on such team-performance criteria as participation, support of the process, interpersonal skills, quality of
thought, and flexibility.
At the conclusion of the assessment center activities, results of the tests, interviews, and exercise were
entered into a spreadsheet to facilitate comparison among candidates and to help focus selection decisions.
Evaluators then met as a team to examine the records, to discuss each candidate, and to make final
selections. Consistent with Hamilton-Standard's team-based culture, all hiring decisions were made by
group consensus.
The assessment center enabled Hamilton-Standard to recruit extremely capable people who fit well with a
team-based work structure. In less than two years, the division was able to hire, train, and retain a talented,
cross-functional workforce with certified skills covering more than fifty-two areas. To date, the teams have
been effective at improving customer-acceptance rates while lowering costs, thus making Hamilton-
Standard a highly competitive supplier of aerospace electronics.
Research suggests that mentoring is relatively prevalent in organizations. A survey of 1,250 top executives
showed that about two-thirds had a mentor or sponsor during their early career stages, when learning,
growth, and advancement were most prominent. The executives reported that effective mentors were
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willing to share knowledge and experience, were knowledgeable about the company and the use of power,
and were good counselors. In contrast to executives who did not have mentors, those having them received
slightly more compensation, had more advanced college degrees, had engaged in career planning prior to
mentoring, and were more satisfied with their careers and their work.
Although research shows that mentoring can have positive outcomes, artificially creating such relationships
when they do not occur naturally is difficult. Some organizations have developed workshops in which
managers are trained to become effective mentors. Others, such as IBM and AT&T, include mentoring as a
key criterion for paying and promoting managers. In a growing number of cases, companies are creating
special mentoring programs for women and minorities who have traditionally had difficulties cultivating
developmental relationships.
Developmental Training:
This intervention helps employees gain the skills and knowledge for training and coaching others. It may
include workshops and training materials oriented to human relations, communications, active listening,
and mentoring. It can also involve substantial investments in education, such as tuition reimbursement pro-
grams that assist members in achieving advanced degrees. Developmental training interventions generally
are aimed at increasing the organization's reservoir of skills and knowledge. This enhances its capability to
implement personal and organizational strategies.
A large number of organizations offer developmental training programs, including Procter & Gamble,
Cisco Systems, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard. Many of these efforts are directed at mid-career managers who
generally have good technical skills but only rudimentary experience in coaching others. In-house
developmental training typically involves preparatory reading, short lectures, experiential exercises, and case
studies on such topics as active listening, defensive communication, personal problem solving, and
supportive relationships. Participants may be videotaped training and coaching others, and the tapes may be
reviewed and critiqued by participants and staff. Classroom learning is often rotated with on-the-job expe-
riences, and there is considerable follow-up and recycling of learning. Numerous consulting firms also offer
workshops and structured learning materials on developmental training, and an extensive practical literature
exists in this area.
Work-Life Balance Planning:
This relatively new OD intervention helps employees better integrate and balance work and home life.
Restructuring, downsizing, and increased global competition have contributed to longer work hours and
more stress. Baby-boomers approaching fifty years of age and others are rethinking their priorities and
seeking to restore some balance in a work-dominated life. Organizations, such as Corning Glass Works,
Hewlett-Packard, Infonet, and the City of Phoenix, are responding to these concerns so they can attract,
retain, and motivate the best workforce. More balanced work and family lives can benefit both employees
and the company through increased creativity, morale, and effectiveness, and reduced turnover.
Work-life balance planning involves a variety of programs to help members better manage the interface
between work and family. These include such organizational practices as flexible hours, job sharing, and
day care, as well as interventions to help employees identify and achieve both career and family goals. A
popular program is called middlaning, a metaphor for a legitimate, alternative career track that
acknowledges choices about living life in the "fast lane Middlaning helps people redesign their work and
income-generating activities so that more time and energy are available for family and personal needs. It
involves education in work addiction, guilt, anxiety, and perfectionism; skill development in work contract
negotiation; examination of alternatives such as changing careers, freelancing, and entrepreneuring; and
exploration of options for controlling financial pressures by improving income/expense ratios, limiting
"black hole" worries such as college tuition for children and retirement expenses, and replacing financial
worrying with financial planning. Because concerns about work-life balance are unlikely to abate and may
even increase in the near future, we can expect requisite OD interventions, such as middlaning, to
proliferate throughout the public and private sectors.
Job Rotation and Challenging Assignments:
The purpose of these interventions is to provide employees with the experience and visibility needed for
career advancement or with the challenge needed to revitalize a stagnant career at the maintenance stage.
Unlike job pathing, which specifies a sequence of jobs to reach a career objective, job rotation and
challenging assignments are less planned and may not be as oriented to promotion opportunities.
Members in the advancement stage may be moved into new job areas after they have demonstrated
competence in a particular work specialty. Companies such as Corning Glass Works, Hewlett-Packard,
American Crystal Sugar Company, and Fidelity Investments identify "comers" (managers under forty years
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old with potential for assuming top management positions) and "hipos" (high-potential candidates) and
provide them with cross-divisional job experiences during the advancement stage. These job transfers
provide managers with a broader range of skills and knowledge as well as opportunities to display their
managerial talent to a wider audience of corporate executives. Such exposure helps the organization identify
members who are capable of handling senior executive responsibilities; it helps the members decide
whether to seek promotion to higher positions or to particular departments. To reduce the risk of
transferring employees across divisions or functions, some firms, such as Procter & Gamble, Heublein, and
Continental Can, have created "fallback positions. These jobs are identified before the transfer, and
employees are guaranteed that they can return to them without negative consequences if the transfers or
promotions do not work out. Fallback positions reduce the risk that employees in the advancement stage
will become trapped in a new job assignment that is neither challenging nor highly visible in the company.
In the maintenance stage, challenging assignments can help revitalize veteran employees by providing
them with new challenges and opportunities for learning and contribution. Research on enriched jobs
suggests that people are most responsive to them during the first one to three years on a job, when
enriched jobs are likely to be seen as challenging and motivating. People who have leveled off and remain
on enriched jobs for three years or more tend to become unresponsive to them. They are no longer
motivated and satisfied by jobs that may no longer seem enriched. One way to prevent this loss of job
motivation, especially among mid-career employees who are likely to remain on jobs for longer periods of
time than people in the establishment and advancement phases, is to rotate workers to new, more
challenging jobs at about three-year intervals, or to redesign their jobs at those times. Such job changes
would keep employees responsive to challenging jobs and sustain motivation and satisfaction during the
maintenance phase.
A growing body of research suggests that "plateaued employees" (those with little chance of further
advancement) can have satisfying and productive careers if they accept their new role in the company and
are given challenging assignments with high performance standards. Planned rotation to jobs requiring new
skills can provide that challenge. However, a firm's business strategy and humans resources philosophy
must reinforce lateral (as opposed to strictly vertical) job changes if plateaued employees are to adapt
effectively to their new jobs. Firms with business strategies emphasizing stability and efficiency of
operations, such as the U.S. Post Office and McDonald's, are likely to have more plateaued employees at
the maintenance stage than are companies with strategies promoting development and growth, such as
Microsoft and Intel. The human resources systems of firms with stable growth strategies should be
especially aimed at helping plateaued employees lower their aspirations for promotion and withdraw from
the tournament mobility track. Moreover, such firms should enforce high performance standards so that
high-performing plateaued employees (solid citizens) are rewarded, and low performers (deadwood) are
encouraged to seek help or to leave the firm.
Dual-Career Accommodations:
These are practices for helping employees cope with the problems inherent in "dual careers"--that is, both
the employee and a spouse or significant other pursuing full-time careers. Dual careers are becoming more
prevalent as women increasingly enter the workforce. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that more
than 80 percent of all marriages involve dual careers. Although these interventions can apply to all career
stages, they are especially relevant during advancement. One of the biggest problems created by dual
careers is job transfers, which are likely to occur during the advancement stage. Transfer to another
location usually means that the working partner must also relocate. In many cases, the company employing
the partner must either lose the employee or arrange a transfer to the same location. Similar problems can
occur in recruiting employees. A recruit may not join an organization if its location does not provide career
opportunities for the partner.
Because partners' careers can affect the recruitment and advancement of employees, organizations are
devising policies to accommodate dual-career employees. A survey of companies reported the following
dual-career accommodations: recognition of problems in dual careers, help with relocation, flexible working
hours, counseling for dual-career employees, family daycare centers, improved career planning, and policies
making it easier for two members of the same family to work in the same organization or department.
Some companies have also established cooperative arrangements with other firms to provide sources of
employment for the other partner. General Electric, for example, has created a network with other firms to
share information about job opportunities for dual-career couples.
Consultative Roles:
These provide late-career employees with opportunities to apply their wisdom and knowledge to helping
others develop in their careers and solve organizational problems. Such roles, which can be structured
around specific projects or problems, involve Offering advice and expertise to those responsible for
resolving the issues. For example, a large aluminum forging manufacturer was having problems developing
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accurate estimates of the cost of producing new products. The sales and estimating departments lacked the
production experience to make accurate bids for potential new business, thus either losing customers or
losing money on products. The company temporarily assigned an old-line production manager who was
nearing retirement to consult with the salespeople and estimators about bidding on new business. The
consultant applied his years of forging experience to help the sales and estimating people make more
accurate estimates. In about a year, the sales staff and estimators gained the skills and invaluable knowledge
necessary to make more accurate bids. Perhaps equally important, the pre-retirement production manager
felt that he had made a significant contribution to the company--something he had not experienced for
years.
In contrast to mentoring roles, consultative roles are not focused directly on guiding or sponsoring younger
employees' careers. They are directed at helping others deal with complex problems or projects. Similarly,
in contrast to managerial positions, consultative roles do not include the performance evaluation and
control inherent in being a manager. They are based more on wisdom and experience than on authority.
Consequently, consultative roles provide an effective transition for moving pre-retirement managers into
more support-staff positions. They free up managerial positions for younger employees while allowing
older managers to apply their experience and skills in a more supportive and less threatening way than
might be possible from a strictly managerial role.
When implemented well, consultative roles can increase the organization's problem-solving capacity. They
enable experienced employees to apply their skills and knowledge to resolving important problems, and can
increase members' work satisfaction in the maintenance or withdrawal career stages. They provide senior
employees with meaningful work as they begin to move from the workforce to retirement.
Phased Retirement:
This provides older employees with an effective way of withdrawing from the organization and establishing
a productive leisure life. It includes various forms of part-time work. Employees gradually devote less of
their time to the organization and more time to leisure pursuits (which to some might include developing a
new career). Phased retirement allows older employees to make a gradual transition from organizational to
leisure life. It enables them to continue contributing to the firm while it gives them time to establish
themselves outside of work. For example, people may use the extra time off work to take courses, to gain
new skills and knowledge, and to create opportunities for productive leisure. IBM, for example, offers
tuition rebates for courses on any topic taken within three years of retirement. Many IBM pre-retirees have
used this program to prepare for second careers.
Equally important, phased retirement lessens the reality shock often experienced by those who retire all at
once. It helps employees grow accustomed to leisure life and withdraw emotionally from the organization.
A growing number of companies have some form of phased retirement.
Organization Decline and Career Halt:
Decreasing and uneven demand for products and services; growing numbers of mergers, acquisitions,
divestitures, and failures; and increasing restructurings to operate leaner and more efficiently have resulted
in layoffs, reduced job opportunities, and severe career disruptions for a large number of managers and
employees.
People inevitably experience a halt in their career development and progression, resulting in dangerous
increases in personal stress, financial and family disruption, and loss of self-esteem. Fortunately, a growing
number of organizations are managing decline in ways that are effective for both the organization and the
employee.
Organizations have also developed human resources practices for managing decline in those situations
where layoffs are unavoidable, such as plant closings, divestitures, and business failures. The following
methods can help people deal more effectively with layoffs and premature career halts:
·  Equitable layoff policies spread throughout organizational ranks, rather than focused on specific
levels of employees, such as shop-floor workers or middle managers
·  Keeping people informed about organizational problems and possibilities of layoffs so that they
can reduce ambiguity and prepare themselves for job changes
·  Setting realistic expectations, rather than offering excessive hope and promises, so that employees
can plan for the organization's future and for their own
·  Generous relocation and transfer policies that help people make the transition to a new work
situation
·  Helping people find new jobs, including outplacement services and retraining
·  Treating people with dignity and respect, rather than belittling or humiliating them because they
are unfortunate enough to be in a declining business that can no longer afford to employ them.
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In today's environment, organization decline, downsizing, and restructuring will continue. OD practitioners
are likely to become increasingly involved in helping people manage career dislocation and halt.
Table of Contents:
  1. The Challenge for Organizations:The Growth and Relevance of OD
  2. OD: A Unique Change Strategy:OD consultants utilize a behavioral science base
  3. What an “ideal” effective, healthy organization would look like?:
  4. The Evolution of OD:Laboratory Training, Likert Scale, Scoring and analysis,
  5. The Evolution of OD:Participative Management, Quality of Work Life, Strategic Change
  6. The Organization Culture:Adjustment to Cultural Norms, Psychological Contracts
  7. The Nature of Planned Change:Lewin’s Change Model, Case Example: British Airways
  8. Action Research Model:Termination of the OD Effort, Phases not Steps
  9. General Model of Planned Change:Entering and Contracting, Magnitude of Change
  10. The Organization Development Practitioner:External and Internal Practitioners
  11. Creating a Climate for Change:The Stabilizer Style, The Analyzer Style
  12. OD Practitioner Skills and Activities:Consultant’s Abilities, Marginality
  13. Professional Values:Professional Ethics, Ethical Dilemmas, Technical Ineptness
  14. Entering and Contracting:Clarifying the Organizational Issue, Selecting an OD Practitioner
  15. Diagnosing Organizations:The Process, The Performance Gap, The Interview Data
  16. Organization as Open Systems:Equifinality, Diagnosing Organizational Systems
  17. Diagnosing Organizations:Outputs, Alignment, Analysis
  18. Diagnosing Groups and Jobs:Design Components, Outputs
  19. Diagnosing Groups and Jobs:Design Components, Fits
  20. Collecting and Analyzing Diagnostic information:Methods for Collecting Data, Observations
  21. Collecting and Analyzing Diagnostic information:Sampling, The Analysis of Data
  22. Designing Interventions:Readiness for Change, Techno-structural Interventions
  23. Leading and Managing Change:Motivating Change, The Life Cycle of Resistance to Change
  24. Leading and managing change:Describing the Core Ideology, Commitment Planning
  25. Evaluating and Institutionalizing Organization Development Interventions:Measurement
  26. Evaluating and Institutionalizing Organization Development Interventions:Research Design
  27. Evaluating and Institutionalizing Organization Development Interventions
  28. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Group Process
  29. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Leadership and Authority, Group Interventions
  30. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Third-Party Interventions
  31. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Team Building, Team Building Process
  32. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Team Management Styles
  33. Organization Process Approaches:Application Stages, Microcosm Groups
  34. Restructuring Organizations:Structural Design, Process-Based Structures
  35. Restructuring Organizations:Downsizing, Application Stages, Reengineering
  36. Employee Involvement:Parallel Structures, Multiple-level committees
  37. Employee Involvement:Quality Circles, Total Quality Management
  38. Work Design:The Engineering Approach, Individual Differences, Vertical Loading
  39. Performance Management:Goal Setting, Management by Objectives, Criticism of MBO
  40. Developing and Assisting Members:Career Stages, Career Planning, Job Pathing
  41. Developing and Assisting Members:Culture and Values, Employee Assistance Programs
  42. Organization and Environment Relationships:Environmental Dimensions, Administrative Responses
  43. Organization Transformation:Sharing the Vision, Three kinds of Interventions
  44. The Behavioral Approach:The Deep Assumptions Approach
  45. Seven Practices of Successful Organizations:Training, Sharing Information