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Interview business unit managers

The aim of the business unit manager interview is to understand:

  • where we are now
  • where we need to be in the short and long term
  • how we might get there.

Stages:

  1. Assess current state of the business
  2. Define your business strategy
  3. Identify business direction and requirements to achieve the desired state
  4. Understand the current state through workforce dynamics and external labour market

1 Assess current state of the business

Goal: Learn the status of the business unit right now and the business leader’s perception of the current state of the organisation.

  • How do specific business units contribute to meeting organisational priorities and outcomes?
  • What are the organisation’s major weaknesses and areas for development?
  • What are some of the critical challenges facing you as you lead the organisation or business unit?
  • What are the most significant recent or projected changes in the organisation, the workplace design and the workforce composition?

2 Define your business strategy

Goal: Understand the short to long-term plans as the business leader sees it, including how it can be achieved and measures of success.

  • What are your key business goals for the next 2 to 5 years?
  • Where do you see the organisation heading beyond 5 years?
  • What major obstacles will the business unit face in reaching these objectives?
  • How will you know if the business unit is successful? What will you measure?
  • What are the key success factors that will make or break the business unit’s success long term?
  • What are the critical issues that put the success factors at risk?
  • What will be the immediate and future impact on business growth or divestment?

3 Identify business direction and requirements to achieve the desired state

Goal: Understand the likely changes over this period as the business leader sees it, and how it may impact on future workforce needs.

How are organisational business requirements going to change over the next 5 years and beyond:

  • Will there be new services provided?
  • Will there be services no longer provided?
  • Is there a likely change to the current business model?
  • What will the service delivery model be?
  • Where do you look for best practices and strategic insights?
  • Will customer needs and preferences change?
  • What changes or improvements do you see will be needed with organisational systems and processes?
  • Describe how you imagine our workforce will look at a point in the future?
  • How will the workplace need to be designed?
  • How will the organisation need to be structured?
  • Impediments to workplace redesign (eg structures, legislation)

What new capability requirements will be needed and what capabilities need to be deployed or replaced? Are there any technology and/or other productivity changes coming that will change the way work is done?

4 Understand the current state through workforce dynamics and external labour market

Goal: Understand the perception of the current workforce demands from the business leader’s perspective. Also gain insights into high priority workforce issues.

What is the current workforce situation in terms of:

  • demographics
  • available skills and capacity
  • job mix and career path options
  • systems (reward, recruitment, training and development, performance etc)
  • engagement
  • other?

What is the outlook for the external labour market? What measurements and metrics best help you get across the current workforce dynamics?

How well do you understand these issues across your workforce against the following occupational groups:

  • management
  • technical and specialist staff
  • support and shared functions
  • external and contingent workforce
  • other?