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Cutting through the Brexit noise: Is your people strategy robust for the future?

Our previous article on Brexit explored some of the questions business owners might want to ask themselves to mitigate any short-term risks. Here, Ally Maughan looks at ways businesses can stay robust in the long term.

Deadlines come and go, and we still have no clarity over Brexit. Rather than sit in stalemate, here are three ideas that will help to improve your business regardless of if, when, and how Brexit actually happens!

1. Have a clear strategy, but be nimble for change

If your overarching strategic plan and big picture is clear and up-to-date, then decision-making is much easier.

That said, your leadership team should be having regular meetings to discuss the big issues (market conditions in your sector, the wider UK economy, potential risks to your business, etc), and how they might impact your business in the future.

You can also make your team more resilient by ensuring they understand the process of change management and the stages you need to go through to implement sudden or wide-ranging shifts.

2. Have a people strategy to achieve your business plans

Whether or not the noise around Brexit has impacted your current workforce and ability to recruit staff, you’ll still benefit from having an overarching people plan that covers:

  • Finding the right people: Have you explored all of the recruitment options open to you? Do you need to hire people with specific experience or skill sets or can you train your own people who have aptitude?
  • Workforce planning and developing skillsets: Developing your current staff means being less reliant on finding the right people. If you identify what skillsets your team needs in 12 or 18 months’ time, you’ll be able to plan your training accordingly.
  • Reducing staff ‘churn’: High staff turnover could be a sign your people processes aren’t right. Do you have a mechanism in place to measure how happy your staff are? Do you conduct exit interviews to find out their reasons for leaving? Reviewing your recruitment and onboarding processes can ensure you’re getting the right people in and getting them off to a good start; then have a look at your performance processes to make sure you’re nurturing your star performers, recognising their achievements and giving them sufficient challenge and support so they can perform at their best.
  • Attracting talent: If you want to attract great people into your business, it helps if you have a great culture that people want to be part of. Do you have a set of values to run your business by? If yes, do your current values need reviewing? Does your team understand the meaning behind your values and the behaviours associated with them? Do you recognise people who go above and beyond to demonstrate those values?

3. Be attuned to employment law changes

Accessing useful information about any employment law changes and how they affect you is always difficult for mid-tier businesses with no dedicated people function. Regardless of whether or when the UK leaves the EU, there are always changes in the law forthcoming.

The good news is that we at People Puzzles always have foresight of this and have experts on hand to help businesses to review their policies and procedures to ensure they’re staying compliant with the law and don’t get caught short.


Would you like to stay resilient in the face of all the current uncertainty? Why not take our HR Health Check and find out how your business compares with other ambitious businesses, or call us on  0808 164 5826 to discuss your needs.


Ally Maughan

Ally Maughan, Founder

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