The business-workforce dialogue

A framework of questions to support planning in a time of change

Hirsh W, Evans S, Green L |   | Institute for Employment Studies and Public Sector People Managers' Association | Apr 2013

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The business-workforce dialogue is a tool which has been developed by a working group of the PPMA (the HR professionals’ network for local government), supported by IES.

  • The dialogue framework provides a way of integrating complex sets of strategic and planning issues into a simple model.
  • It links fairly traditional aspects of business, service and workforce planning with broader choices about organisational purpose and priorities and alternative models for service delivery within tight budgets. It includes issues of organisational culture and behaviour, the ‘employment deal’, leadership and change management.
  • The tool is very brief and modular so it can be used flexibly. Each of the areas covered is explored as a set of questions or choices. These will lead to a range of decisions and actions on organisation, service and workforce issues.
  • It is called a ‘dialogue’ because the framework is designed to give greater coherence and clarity to discussions and plans around both business and workforce planning. An ideal tool for HR to use in facilitating planning meetings or processes.

The tool is free to download and use as people wish in their own organisation. Although designed with Councils in mind, much of the tool would be just as useful for other types of organisation.

We also offer this version for use in PowerPoint which may be useful for those using the tool in meetings where slides are more helpful. Users are invited to edit the PowerPoint file to meet their needs, but are requested to keep the copyright statement included at on the last slide.

For more information please contact