Brexit is looming over Britain’s businesses. No one truly understands what the outcome of the UK leaving the European Union will be. Nor can we know what kind of effect it will have on companies of all sizes. But no matter what your business does, there are some ways that you can prepare. Here are four ways that you can get your company ready for Brexit.
RELATED ARTICLE: RECENT SURVEY REVEALS ATTITUDES OF UK BUSINESS OWNERS TOWARD AMERICA
1. Focus on Employee Engagement
Ultimately, no matter how and when Brexit occurs, your business will go on as normal. There will be additional challenges and uncertainties. What’s more there could even be opportunities. However, if you want your business to be successful you need to focus on the aspects of the business that will make the biggest difference.
Clearly one of the most important ways that any business can react to Brexit is to ensure that its employees are engaged. There are multiple studies that show productivity increases and absenteeism reduces with engaged teams. One of the most important ways to keep your team engaged is to constantly listen to their feedback.
Ensure that you engage with your team to establish what is working for them. Additionally, learn from them about anything that is standing in their way. When employees feel like a valued part of the team they are more likely to feel engaged with the work they are doing.
2. Be More Pessimistic with Your Forecasting as Brexit Looms
Some forecasters are optimistic about the prospect of Brexit. They reason that it could actually be an exciting time for British businesses. That’s because companies will be forced to adjust to a new marketplace. So it might seem unduly negative to suggest that all British businesses should re-evaluate their forecasts so that they are more pessimistic. However, this is just a sensible way to approach the situation.
Of course no one really knows the reality of what Brexit will bring. However, we can be relatively certain that, at least in the short term, Brexit will create a great deal of uncertainty. What’s more, uncertainty is almost always bad news for business. Less consumer confidence has the effect of making businesses more cautious.
So for the moment, revise your forecasts downwards to account for the uncertainty. With more realistic forecasts you can plan for ways to survive any potential lulls in business. Then you can push forward when there is more clarity in the market.
3. Push for Greater Productivity
As a business, you cannot control the effects of Brexit. This might seem like it is putting you in a position where there is no way to adequately prepare for the outcome. However, this is not necessarily the right way to think. You simply need to focus more on the aspects of your business that you do have control over.
For example, it has been well documented that the UK has had a problem with productivity. IT has revealed in official statistics that through 2017 the UK’s productivity was around 15 per cent lower than that of other G7 countries. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Brexit. (The UK’s productivity troubles extend back to the financial crises of 2008.) However, it is going to be a problem that remains.
With Brexit causing uncertainty and other challenging market conditions, businesses need to do everything within their power to perform at optimal levels. So it is important to take steps now to boost your company’s productivity. It is important to note that this doesn’t mean you need to hassle your staff to work harder. Productivity is not typically associated with an underperforming staff. Instead, it appears to arise from businesses that lack infrastructure, training, and investment, as found in other G7 countries.
4. Retain Key Staff
It is almost certain that one of the effects of Brexit is that there will be a smaller talent pool of staff available. With fewer migrants entering the country, the workforce will not be as buoyant as it once was. This means that it is more important than ever to hold onto key staff. Make sure that you are aware that Brexit could begin to affect your company when it comes to recruitment.