By: Sam Oakley-Watson & Katie Huyton
With far reaching consequences for organisations Brexit poses a threat to business-as-usual – how are you engaging employees in the process? And, have you taken the time to consider the impact to them and how to have the conversation?
As the first member state to leave the EU, uncertainty and confusion tend to surround the majority of Brexit-related conversations – what does the future look like? Who will we be trading with? What will happen to the EU nationals residing in the UK? It therefore comes as no surprise that this confusion has trickled into workplace conversation.
The referendum resulted in an (almost) equally split vote, dividing industries, age groups, regions and political standing. This has lead to an already divided workforce within the majority of organisations across the UK. They all, however, have one thought in common – what next?
The role of internal communications in UK organisations is arguably more important now than ever before. Uncertainty is clearly rife and employees are looking to their leaders for reassurance.
Despite the unpredictable nature of Brexit, it is key for organisations to be open and honest with their employees, even though they may not have all the answers at this stage. As the exit process is finalised, clear and timely communications surrounding this should be developed. In the meantime, employees should be kept informed and up-to-date with internal discussions to reassure them that there is a plan in place. Due to the unprecedented nature of Article 50, planning content in advance can be difficult, making reactive communications even more important.
Opening up a two-way conversation can be extremely beneficial, as it will enable employees to cite any areas of concern and ask any questions they may have. This can, in fact, be the perfect opportunity to discuss your strategy and bring employees on-board with helping to shape the organisation’s future. This will help to create a sense of ‘one organisation’ and a feeling of unity and stability despite impending change. Because at the end of the day, regardless of how we voted in the referendum, we are all in it together now.