This post was originally published in 2016.
So Britain has had it's say on the future of it's EU membership. There is now a huge amount of speculation and uncertainty about the future. If you haven't really invested in your people before, I advise that now is the time to do so.
Historically when the economy looks uncertain the first thing to suffer is your commitment to your people. This time the landscape suggests the opposite needs to be true.
We are in what is widely being reported as "unchartered waters" as the impact of Britain's departure from the European Union starts to reveal itself. So if (and it's a big if...) we see a reduction in immigration and maybe many people who have been happy in Britain for many years making tough decisions to leave and return home as they no longer like the political and social landscape that appears to be developing, that leaves us with one enormous problem in every sector. A shrinking talent pool.
When your talent pool shrinks, and you have a smaller selection to recruit from, employee retention and development must become your number one priority. As the talent pool becomes smaller, employees will start to look for employers that offer a great proposition.
An employer that will invest in their future and work collaboratively to deliver some great results will be their priority.
It really puts the power into the hands of the employee - which is a great thing. Those employees will be able to choose their future and will make that decision on what is best for them.
There are some quite simple steps you can take tout your organisation in the best possible position. Even if the worst case scenario doesn't happen then it will still reap dividends for your business performance. It's proven that companies with higher engagement have higher net profits than those who don't. It's also proven that engaged employees give more discretionary effort.
Here is what to do:
1. Develop your managerial talent to be able to engage employees, communicate effectively and to be able to deliver clear and honest messages in ways that your employees want to be communicated with.
2. Invest in your next level people. Those that need to be future ready for a managerial position. Invest in them now and reap the rewards later.
3. Engage all employees more effectively. Really understand what is important to them and establish clear lines of communication for all. Engaged employees are much more resilient than those who have lost faith and motivation. Up-skilling at all levels will reap rewards.
4. Protect your talent pool.
5. Don't give up hope. In planning for the worst case scenario, you will only reap bigger and better rewards in the long term.
What are the risks of not investing? Your star and highly skilled employees may quickly abandon ship in favour of organisations that are still investing which would leave you with an even bigger talent gap. Your lesser skilled people will feel the pressure and performance will suffer. Wages will rise in a reduced talent pool - and there are no prizes for guessing which investment costs less in the long term.
It's still not too late to invest and future proof your business.
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