Connectivity, transparency of information and collaborative, creative working relationships have always been the backbone of any successful business. These are informalities fashioned into being by those who do the work, and as such cannot be ordered into existence by management mandate.
Current wisdom states that workplaces today are even better situated to maximize those attributes because there is less hierarchy, and redundancy combined with more easily shared and accessed information. That stripping away the layers assists in creating workflows that are more efficient and productive and allows people to do their jobs better. However, how will you know without ONA?
Because no matter how talented, dedicated and hardworking of people you hire, if they are hampered from accomplishing their best work, they cannot contribute their talents and cannot move the company forward – they may even leave.
Just as there are influencers on social media, there are influencers in your organization. They serve the same function. They are the go to people. Do you know who they are?
Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) is an unvarnished look at what is really occurring in the organization. There is certainly no lack of policies and procedures to tell employees what they should be doing and how. However, ONA is like an undercover analysis that shows what is really occurring in your organization, how and by whom. Knowing how to do an organizational network analysis can not only assist targeted work outcomes to be more likely but also help you identify talent, minimize informational blocks (and blockers), and increase employee satisfaction.
ONA can be used throughout the organization for any purposes. For example in a strategic sense, ONA can help spot who are your upcoming emerging leaders. An example of using ONA in a targeted approach would be to spot communication blockages in a process or department.
In some ways, ONA is the analysis of who has the real “power” in organizations. The power to inform, sway others, make decisions and determine how outcomes are accomplished – or not. ONA will likely reveal that you have people with no formal authority who are the real leaders that make decisions and who sway others with their personality and expertise.
Employees can worry that ONA will not used for purposes of good. That ONA will be just another tool used by management to determine where to reduce jobs, increase work and reduce resources. Even to standardize away that which makes them enjoy their work and able to accomplish their goals.
Employees worry that less than forthcoming or less talented and controlling managers will launch into survival mode and in that, they may just be correct. So all the better reasons to undercover those dynamics.
When organizational network analysis tools are used for forces of good, employees can breathe a sigh of relief in that management is finally focused on the reality of what is occurring in the workplace. That a level of honesty and truth can occur and forthcoming dialogues regarding how work is best conducted and by whom, can occur. What a refreshment to be able to be honest as to what occurs regarding how work is accomplished. Work and communications can flow in a natural, truthful, direct and organic manner. No more hiding, hedging, or covering up.
Any technology that helps accomplish better work, while making people more efficient and reducing stress is important to explore. When people are working at their best, the company performs at its best.
Organizational network analysis (ONA) is the practice of attempting to gain better understanding of the informalities and informal relationships that affect the effectiveness of individuals and groups in the workplace. How to harness the power of informal relationship in an organisation, the transfer of information, real decision makers, deployment of resources and workflows that while not plotted on any organizational chart, or controlled by formal process, policy or procedure are the factors that create success – or not.
Understand how organizational network analysis (ONA) can help you understand the undercover structures of your organization that either contribute or hamper success.
Executives, Division Supervisors, Supervisors, Location Managers, Human Resources, Safety
Teri Morning, MBA, MS, SHRM-SCP, is President of Hindsight Human Resources, LLC. and specializes in solving company “people problems.”
Teri also sources software solutions for compensation and performance management.
Twenty+ years human resource and training experience in a variety of fields, including retail, distribution, architectural, engineering, consulting, manufacturing (union), public sector and both profit and non-profit companies.
Teri has enjoyed consulting with employers on their problems and trained managers and employees for over 20 years, meeting and working with employees from all types of businesses.
In addition to a MBA, Teri has a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development with a specialization in Conflict Management.
Teri was certified by the State of Indiana in mediation skills, Teri is certified in Project Management and IT Management, qualified as a Myers-Briggs practitioner and holds the SHRM certification of a Senior Certified Professional.View all trainings by this speaker