Major demographic trends and implications for organizational development/design
One trend is a growing recognition that diversity means more than simply cultural or racial differences; there’s recognition of this definition is too narrow. Diversity comes about from people with different resources, perspectives, and needs, preferences, expectations and lifestyles in addition to their cultural and racial makeup.
Another trend is the serious effort organizations are undertaking in order to account for these differences in order to attract and retain productive workforce and maintain competitive advantage.
Specific enduring trends and the types of interventions that are suggested from OD theory, taken from table 19.1, include:
Age: median age is increasing and the distribution is broadening which suggests personal or motivational approaches such as: wellness programs, job design, career planning and development, reward systems.
Gender: an increase in females in the workforce suggesting OD interventions like job design and fringe benefit rewards.
Culture and values: a rising proportion of immigrant and minority groups leading to OD interventions such as career planning and development, employee involvement, and reward systems.
Sexual orientation: an increase in the number of single-sex households and broadening acceptance of sexual orientation, suggesting interventions like equal employment opportunities, fringe benefits, education and training.
The Army is at a crossroads with respect to sexual orientation and organizational values and traditions. There is a firestorm of political controversy between the administration and the chiefs of staff concerning the potential repeal of don’t ask don’t tell. When the chairman of the joint Chiefs came and spoke at a college that was the number one question on people’s minds, since he had taken a position in opposition to the traditional military response which was that homosexuality was incompatible with military service, because of the effect on good order and discipline in the organization.
The administration has been talking about repealing the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, but have done little to take the leadership role in this regard and so we see the issue being played out politically in the newspapers which is unseemly, unprofessional and nonmilitary. There is a risk of politics nation of the officer corps on this issue which would be the worst possible outcome regardless of which way the policy is resolved
Q4. Discuss various methods to diagnose employee stress OD interventions aimed at alleviating it in the work place.
Organizations are becoming more aware of the relationship between employee wellness and proactivity, with one estimate suggesting job stress costs US businesses over 300 billion annually. The response has been a rise of OD interventions such as fitness, wellness and stress management programs whose goals include individual well-being or wellness. Health is an important subcomponent of wellness as well as a cost for organizations.
Diagnosis of stress in the workplace can be diagnosed as he function of: physical environment, individual factors, group factors and organizational factors. Stress from all four dimensions lead to a variety of negative consequences for individuals as well as the organization. These consequences have personal organizational and monetary costs. The results in typical OD interventions include programs to improve things like: job clarification, supportive relationships, stress inoculation training, health facilities and employee assistance programs as outlined in figure 19.2.
Preliminary evidence suggests that fitness programs help reduce absenteeism and improve health as well as better mental health and resistance to stress. This remains an area where additional research is needed to pinpoint cause-and-effect relationships between programs and results but it’s clearly an area of great interest and potential.
Our college is leading the way for the Army when it comes to identifying total soldier fitness programs. The wellness program is the single dominant program which can allow officers to miss class without question. We have mandated physical and mental wellness checks and are looking at pushing this down to the Captains career course so that we get the benefit of establishing baselines and the development of stress management skills earlier in their career.
The latest topic that is on everyone’s mind is the nature of posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD where we are having difficulty in convincing the culture that this is a biological fact and an injury every bit as debilitating as a gunshot one. There are lingering superstitions and outdated cultural values related to manliness, courage and soldierly virtues which inhibit people from seeking the help they need and receiving the support from their peer groups.
This is an issue that is number one on the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army’s agenda and he made a special trip to our college to lay out the nature of the issue so that our officers can take good information in proper values back to the units after graduation.
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