Is Brexit affecting your business brain?

Unless you’ve (probably wisely) conducted your own media blackout in the run up to June’s general election, you’ll no doubt have heard Theresa May’s countless claims that what the UK needs right now is ‘strong and stable’ leadership – strong and stable leadership that she asserts only she and her party can provide.

And she’s right, the UK is in need of strong and stable leadership – no-one knows how Brexit will eventually play out, whether it will ultimately be good or bad for the UK, or what affect it will have on jobs, industry, and our everyday lives.

The snap general election means we don’t even know who’ll be running the country to lead those Brexit negotiations. And these factors, coupled some serious drum-banging and jingoism from politicians and citizens alike, means the UK is a divided nation.

So ‘strong and stable’ leadership is what’s needed, but it’s anyone’s guess which party can best provide it. And if you’re letting all the political posturing and Brexit bandwagoning affect your business decisions, you could be putting your company and its employees in jeopardy.

UK employees looking for leadership

It’s not just needed on a national scale though – as the instability in the UK political landscape continues, almost half (46%) of UK employees are looking for clear leadership to set the direction for an uncertain future, according to figures from the 2017 Global Talent Trends Study.

The latest annual study by Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, has revealed that when asked what aspect would most help improve their work situation, close to half (46%) of UK employees want leaders who set clear direction.

The Brexit effect

The Mercer study took in the views and experiences of over 7,500 professionals, including senior business executives, HR leaders, and employees, and it seems all the bluster surrounding Brexit has had a profound effect on those based in the UK – when asked what external challenges they thought would have the biggest impact on their business, just over a third (34%) of UK executives stated increased border control, compared to just a fifth (20%) of executives globally.

When the same executives were asked if an ageing workforce posed a significant challenge, just over a tenth (11%) of those from the UK executives concurred it was a problem, compared to over a third (37%) globally.

In reality, no business leader should be putting their focus mainly on migration, as Mark Quinn, Mercer’s UK Career Leader, said: “Although clearly aware of the negative impact Brexit is likely to have on talent availability, UK executives do not seem to realise how this will amplify the ageing workforce crisis.

He added: “The demographic time bomb has already gone off as our recent Mercer workforce monitor research shows; the combination of a rapidly ageing workforce and potential restrictions on migration is sending the UK towards an unprecedented labour shortage. Companies need to look intelligently at their workforce data to understand the potential impact and plan their workforce strategy.”

Don’t let Brexit blind you to the other major challenges facing your business, keep your focus on the bigger picture and take an holistic approach to protecting your business, and it’s employees, from the challenges the next few years, and beyond, will bring.

Image from Pablo by Buffer.

What external challenges are having the biggest impact on your business? Let our business community know your thoughts in the comments below.

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