Two years on from the Brexit vote, Britain’s businesses are still wrestling with how to manage their workforce when faced with the possibility of changes to employment regulations.
A recent report estimated the vote to date has cost the UK between £20bn-£40bn and large international companies have expressed concerns about the impact of new trade barriers on the UK jobs market.
EU workers form a large percentage of the talent needed to keep British businesses running. Companies should start planning their post-Brexit recruitment policies as soon as possible to retain talent.
If you wait for the ink to dry on Article 50 before taking action, you’re in for a rude awakening. Even though we don’t yet know what the final deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union will look like, if you don’t start planning ahead you risk being overtaken by your competition come Brexit day.
Rethink your policy on talent
In the virtual world of today, technology enables offices without walls. Do changes in immigration policy have to lead to the loss of talent? Think about how you can redesign roles, leverage technology and engage staff themselves to come up with solutions on how they can continue to add value to your company without physically being present.
Reframe the impact of Brexit
Businesses should look ahead and use Brexit as an opportunity for growth – not as something to be feared. It could be an opportunity to rethink the costs of how you provide a service. Using technology you can find ways to create new jobs and new roles through upskilling or reskilling efforts and save costs at the same time.
Engage your workforce
With company culture at the forefront, how you engage with employees and help them respond to the challenges ahead will set your company apart and create a positive attitude among your workforce. Involve them in the process. Shape the future of the company, rather than have Brexit shape your future.
Future-proof your business
Companies that are able to innovate are often the ones that survive beyond uncertain political climates. By redesigning roles and leveraging technology, you can engage and challenge your workforce to come up with solutions. Political changes aside, we still live in a global world.
Change working practices
In his book Antifragile, statistician Nassim Taleb explained how even the most dominant companies, if fragile, can collapse when faced with randomness or uncertainty. Companies that develop what Taleb calls an “anti-fragile” internal structure – allowing for remote work, for example – will find opportunities to grow even in the most uncertain of times.
About the author
Rita Trehan is an HR specialist and author of Unleashing Capacity. She was top HR executive at Honeywell and at AES Corporation and now advises big corporations on HR strategy.