The challenge of Brexit? More like an opportunity! Steve Shellabear of Dancing Lion
Have you ever noticed how people always sigh when you mention Brexit? It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re for or against, the initial response is often a downbeat ‘Yes, oh well…’. So many unknowns, such lack of clarity, and how will it affect recruitment and training? Will we still be able to get the right people?
Maybe at this stage, it’s fair enough to be a little apprehensive of how things will ultimately pan out. But even though that may be true, Brexit has also brought some fascinating opportunities which we can all benefit from, if we keep our focus ahead of the curve.
The CIPD conducted a Resource and Talent Planning survey in 2017, which seems to confirm how effective a forward-looking attitude can be. For example, many companies have recruitment concerns, particularly for skilled staff, as fewer EU residents become available in the UK. But rather than sitting and waiting for the problem to occur, new strategies are being put in place to identify and develop talent from within, particularly for skilled and hard-to-recruit positions. It may be early days, but Brexit could be stimulating a more alert and proactive approach to recruitment and development generally, which could have major benefits for the future.
The same survey also highlights an increased competition for top-quality candidates in a reduced pool of available talent. But again, this has prompted companies to become far more aware of how they are presenting themselves as desirable employers. The result –companies are now re-considering their ‘employer brand’. As a consequence, websites are being revamped to be more appealing to prospective employees, and candidate experiences are being re-evaluated to present the best possible impression to prospective employees.
So much for what we’re thinking and planning – how are we feeling about Brexit? Well it’s inevitable that with such a close vote, feelings may even now be running high. And of course, there are EU nationals who are not only working, but also livingin a state of limbo. The implications can’t be understated. This all makes for a potentially charged emotional environment, with some feeling anxious and uncertain, while others may be resentful and angry. This presents a real challenge to HR and L&D departments. Companies are responding by implementing communications strategies, to ensure anyone who is affected by Brexit feels informed, supported and heard. The monitoring of morale, performance and resilience (a curious, optimistic and motivated attitude) has also taken on a new significance, and will surely lead to a culture change in how companies communicate internally, long-term.
Technology also has a big part to play in handling our Brexit challenges smoothly. HR departments need the right data model, analytics and supporting technology in order to make their Brexit plans and projections in an informed way. Companies are already realising this and upgrading their people data accordingly. Would this be happening en masse, had Brexit not appeared on the landscape?
What we’ve presented here is only a very limited selection of the myriad challenges which Brexit is presenting to UK companies and their staff. But it’s clear to see, a challenge truly is an opportunity in disguise.
An enormous amount of debate, review and development is occurring up and down the country due to Brexit, and the message is clear – dancing lion is responding strongly with innovative training solutions to a situation which few people believed would ever occur. Who would have thought that Brexit would bring out the best in us?
Steve Shellabear is managing Director at dancing lion
Dancing lion has worked extensively across industry sectors with private and public sectors organisations in the UK and abroad.
They design and deliver innovative training programmes that build front-line staff capability, develop manager’s skills, maximise the customer experience and help win and retain customers;l their success is based on a combination of experience,personal attention and focus on helping our clients make measurable improvements.