Managing your people through economic changes

Wednesday January 29, 2020

Earlier this year we touched on January being known as the season of separation. Perhaps then it’s apt to highlight that this January culminates with the most topical separation of the past three and a half years: Brexit.

The legislation is passed, and Britain will be leaving the European Union on January 31st, 2020. What remains somewhat unclear is what happens afterwards. Despite the relief which many will feel that the stalemate is broken, and that the government is providing advice on how to prepare your business for Brexit, a degree of uncertainty continues for many SME business owners. We attribute this partly to the fact that the next step in the Brexit process involves an 11-month transition period of negotiations.

Adapting to change

Whilst the direct impact that Brexit will have on your business and people management may not be immediately clear, we do know that preparing for change comes with benefits. Therefore, we suggest focusing on how you can adapt your business and prepare for change. Because no matter where the change comes from, an ability to adapt is key to survival and success.

We have worked with many SME business owners over the years from a multitude of industries. And we have been on the ground to advise them through major changes. We’ve seen people recruited, let go, companies merge, separate, restructure and more. SMEs have a wonderful ability to be agile and adapt quickly. So whilst a degree of uncertainty or proposed change may feel like a threat at first, we know that, with the right guidance and expertise, a sensible solution can usually be found.

How HR can help

Much of the power of your business lies within the people you employ. Are you nurturing them and preparing them for the future with skills-based training? Are you providing them with the necessary tools to adapt to your industry and meet the changing needs of your customers? Do employees have easy and open lines of communication for knowledge sharing and collaboration?

These are essential components of any successful people management strategy. They can help your team to thrive amidst changes.

Further questions you might like to ask yourself when considering the agility of your business are: Is your company culture attractive and welcoming? Can new starters fit in and hit the ground running when others leave? Do employees work well together and are they motivated to make the most out of the important role they play in your business? How can you make it better?

Retaining good workers who know and understand your business can minimise disruption. Some important aspects of a good retention plan involve flexibility and support. For example, is your business able to adapt when an employee requests flexible working hours? Or give well-being support to manage a personal crisis? Adapting to the changing needs of employees can see experienced staff stay for longer and boost the competence and agility of your workforce.

Having your say

Whilst you may be considering, or making, changes to your business contingency plan in light of Brexit, we understand that there may still be some frustration around not knowing exactly what to expect in a post-Brexit era.

At The HR Dept we strongly believe that the SME voice deserves to be heard and considered in any major decision making that affects British businesses. And that is why we continue to campaign on your behalf for clearer guidance on employment law changes that will concern your business now and in the future.

If you’d like to know more about our lobbying and Voice of the SME campaign, get in touch today. Let us know more about the issues that matter most to you and your business. Together we can create a clearer landscape for the future of SMEs.

Preventing People Problems

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