Uncertainty is something organisations and individuals have become accustomed to for many years now. Having said that, with the shadow of Brexit constantly on the mind it’s important to understand the possible impact of uncertainty on the working environment and to consider strategies to create and maintain positivity in the workplace.
Regular communication along with effective workforce planning are key to reassuring employees and stakeholders during uncertain political times. Let’s explore these areas in more detail.
Whilst you can’t be certain of what changes are coming, you can be transparent in your communications and offer genuine opportunities for questions and input.
Make sure line managers are supported and trained to deal with such conversations with their teams and empower them to address any concerns. This will also help you understand employees’ attitudes towards work issues relating to the uncertainty, including their possible intention to move jobs.
Employee surveys and focus groups may be useful to help give you an indication of the likely rate of turnover in your company, enabling you to plan for the future more knowledgeable.
You also need to reassure any migrant workers that you have by keeping them up-to-date with what you do know about the latest laws relating to Brexit and what is in your power to help them with. Encourage them to ask questions, let them know you’re available to help fill in any necessary applications - you could even add this to your business’ benefits package
Regardless of what happens with Brexit, workforce planning should remain a top priority for your business to ensure you have the resources ready to negotiate the potential changes in a timely manner.
You need to assess the external factors impacting your organisation to better understand the risks Brexit might bring about in terms of how it will impact your workforce, so you can plan how to address these where possible. It’s also a good chance to look at what opportunities there might be. This will help instil a sense of security for the business, your employees and clients alike.
Whilst the only certainty at the moment is uncertainty, being openly collaborative and honest with employees will stand you in good stead both now and after Brexit happens (or doesn’t happen). If you’re building long term relationships with employees through open and honest two-way dialogue then you will go a long way to gaining a trusting employer-employee partnership that can only be a good thing for your workforce morale and retention of top talent both now and in the future.
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