13th July 2018
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In 2016, when Brexit came into fruition, it was obvious its implications would prove to spread across countless areas. Two years later, those implications are as strong as ever, and one of the most notable areas that have been affected is workplaces.


At the brink of Brexit three years ago, the changing circumstances posed severe HR implications. Many felt insecure in their jobs, whereas others felt they were not being told the extent of the changes that were going to affect them.


An extensive three-year study, as part of The Workforce View in Europe, conducted by ADP shows UK employees heading towards a critical point with three main measures of employee wellbeing – stress, skills confidence, and optimism – going downhill since 2015. The surveys account for around 1,300 to 1,500 employees every year and tracks their changing attitudes and perspectives towards their work and the environment they work in.


The results of the survey are alarming since every factor i.e. the level of optimism, stress, and confidence, has changed for the worse. However, a time has come where emphasis needs to be placed on what can be done, instead of dwelling in the past.




In the wake of these issues, it is as important as ever for companies to realize the importance of employee engagement and to keep morale at the workplace at a high despite the uncertainty created by Brexit. Maintaining a successful company is more difficult than it’s ever been and leaders need to reevaluate their approach towards it.


Uncertainty in a post-Brexit world not only engulfs workers, but also affects other stakeholders, such as trade unions and employers. Due to the unpredictability in labor markets, it is crucial for all affected organizations to tackle these issues with effective strategies, not only for European workers, but all other employees, too.


Such feelings, when left unaddressed, lead to high employee turnover or, in worse circumstances, transfer these negative feelings to clients. Keeping this into account, there are a few steps employers can take to ensure employees stay motivated and optimistic through the current political landscape.


By understanding and facing these issues head-on, businesses can ensure they can resolve any challenge in the midst of uncertainty. Right now, it is not only important to create a good, positive environment for everyone working towards a common business goal, but it is also crucial to protect and build upon the financial performance of businesses impacted by Brexit.


This strategy is not applicable to large organizations, but it applies to all sort of organizations, whether they’re small, medium, or large. One of the numerous ways leaders and managers can reduce their employees’ job insecurities is through communication that is open and effective. Developing HR strategies that encourage open and honest communication is not only beneficial to workforce morale, but is crucial to the business’ success as well. And despite whatever uncertainty Brexit leads to, employers need to keep communicating with their employees. Open and honest communication, while being a simple strategy, results in a better environment where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns and having them rectified.


Transparency in the workplace between different parties establishes trust, improves employee engagement and, overall, leads to a positive and secure environment. There needs to be transparency in the impact Brexit has on a particular work environment, and unaddressed issues only lead to increased stress and anxiety. With any potential change due to Brexit, teams need to understand what it means for them. EU workers, in particular, could possibly feel even more vulnerable which is why additional measures, such as information on residence and registration, need to be provided. Adding to this, in circumstances where information is being shared, it needs to be shared in a way that is simple for employees to understand, to avoid employee disengagement.


Additionally, managers need to be fully equipped to address any and all kinds of concerns. It is crucial for management, and especially the HR department, to stay on track with any changes so they can address questions and concerns properly. There needs to be a plan for the business to incorporate the changes. For instance, if a company is involved with export overseas and will no longer be doing so once Britain leaves the EU, employees are at the risk of losing their jobs. In a case such as this, employees need to be informed of a plan that could help counter this and cover any losses, thus reassuring them that there is an alternative available.


Keeping everything in mind, it is important to realize everything starts at the top. Hence, there is a need for stronger CEOs who create working practices where open communication channels and the need for lifting each other up exist. Change starts from the top and when the upper levels start working on the environment, the lower levels will automatically fall into place.


This, in particular, is critical since the workplace environment is one of the strongest indicators of the health of an organization, whether it’s signalled towards an employee or a customer. The design itself plays a crucial role in ensuring a business has the ability to not only create, but to also, convey the best working environment; one that distinguishes itself and is positive, effective, and looks towards the future. And in case the business operates on a global scale, each office plays a role in contributing to the greater whole.



Although there’s no doubt that Brexit has led to uncertainty in a wide variety of areas, rather than simply waiting for things to fall in place, organizations need to be proactive and take control of the narrative by making their workforce, and HR in general, a priority and ensuring their businesses are equipped with the necessary resources to successfully tackle the coming changes.


For every business affected by Brexit, regardless of whether its directly or indirectly, it is certain this tumultuous time will only lead to more changes and employee engagement is as important as customer experience. Thus, the aim should be to build a strong entity in times of uncertainty and ensure employees remain optimistic about the future, despite the political climate.

Article Provided by Rajesh Bihani courtesy of

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