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Brexit: Supporting Your Employees Through the Uncertainty That Lies Ahead

Jun 29, 2016


Nearly a week since the EU Referendum and the UK’s majority vote to leave the EU, and without doubt Britain now faces a number of uncertainties that will have an impact on businesses large and small.

Consequently employees are understandably likely to be anxious and worried about the future of their employer and, on a more personal level, the security of their role within the organisation. Whilst many organisations will have planned for the ‘leave’ scenario, no-one knows for sure what lies ahead for Britain and its businesses.

As Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD has already said, it really is vital that: “UK businesses take time to properly assess the long-term impacts of any decisions that they take going forward.”

As specialists in leadership role modelling and advocates of supporting wellbeing in the workplace, the team at Awbery is calling for calm and for all businesses to maintain stability as best they can.

It’s more important than ever that employees are engaged and motivated and not anxious and stressed to help ensure your organisation is able to face the future in a strong position. Equally important is to make certain your employees are equipped with the resources they need to allow them to effectively deal with the uncertainty ahead.

Some areas to consider include:

Resilience training – resilience is the ability to ‘bounce back’ and tackle hardships and adversity effectively. Ensuring your leaders are equipped with the necessary strategies to remain resilient, will ensure they feel stronger and more able to cope with any difficult situation that they may need to face in the future.

Remaining agile – your leaders have to be able to adapt and respond effectively to change, armed with the skill and mind-set to adapt to new ways of doing things. Being agile is vital in adapting to the complex external environment that organisations are now facing. Leaders need to be equipped with the relevant skills to champion a proactive, change-ready culture.

Mindfulness – in times of uncertainty, it’s easy to get carried away thinking about all the ‘what ifs’. Providing leaders with mindfulness techniques, such as the mindful moment, will allow them to stay in the present and think with clarity and consideration.

Coaching – ensuring leaders and managers are equipped with the relevant skills to effectively coach their teams through difficult situations, will result in a more motivated and empowered team. Effective coaching will also facilitate the development of business ideas and strategies.

Whitespace thinking – during periods of uncertainty, it can be tempting to encourage employees to increase the pace and adopt a ‘head down’ strategy. However, it is imperative your team is allowed the time and space to develop pro-active and reactive ways of dealing with the threats and opportunities that may lie ahead. Carefully planned team days to facilitate this, will also help boost team morale and motivation.

Wellbeing – when the pressure is on and managers are expected to deal with difficult situations within their team, stress and burnout can happen. Leaders and managers have to be encouraged to look after their own and their teams’ wellbeing; ensuring they are able to effectively look after body and mind, will allow them to lead effectively and cope with the demands during the difficult times.

Effectively investing in the development of the necessary skills for your leaders, will ensure that they are able to lead your organisation through tough times, including those that are sure to materialise in the coming weeks and months as the impact of the EU referendum vote becomes clear. Whilst it will make you the employer stronger than ever, if your team is be able to remain resilient, agile and motivated during the difficult times, your organisation will be in a strong position to take advantage of potential opportunities in the future.

See: http://www.cipd.co.uk/pressoffice/press-releases/referendum-result-240616.aspx for the CIPD’s full response to the EU Referendum.

Awbery are keen to assess reactions to the Referendum result and have put together a very short survey around risks and opportunities. It would be much appreciated if you could spare a couple of minutes to complete the survey


Category: Expert Blog

Taylor-Smith Jemma

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