HR teams unprepared for Brexit

Written by
Changeboard Team

05 Sep 2016

05 Sep 2016 • by Changeboard Team

The majority of companies continue to ‘wait and see’ before they take any action to prepare for Britain leaving the European Union (EU).

56% of respondents to a survey by Willis Towers Watson replied they had no strategy to deal with the fallout from the referendum, despite two-thirds (66%) of employers believing their business will be significantly affected by Brexit. 

While almost four-fifths of companies (78%) have considered the broader implications of the vote, only 24% have carried out a detailed impact assessment. 

Richard Veal, director of Willis Towers Watson’s talent and rewards practice GB said: “The results show that UK business is concerned about the effects of Brexit, but uncertainty appears to be hindering many companies taking immediate action.

“It is important that companies think about what the next steps should be and get into a more action-oriented state of mind.”

The report showed that the biggest concern was the impact on the UK’s workforce. 76% of respondents were worried about employees, with 51% citing concern about organisational change.

Just under half of respondents were concerned about rewards and company engagement and communication (49%).

Veal added: “Minimising the impact on the workforce seems the obvious area of attention and it should be the area of immediate concern. The ability of business to understand the number of workers affected and how it impacts the business will be crucial to any organisation going forward.”

Half of the companies surveyed are thinking of reassessing their current operating model, while just under half (47%) are looking at the HR implications of business disruptions or delays to corporate transactions.

Veal commented: “The data implies that many businesses are not assessing the effect Brexit will have on their business structure. 

“This is particularly noticeable in the HR space where the research shows less than half of businesses are creating a specific HR Brexit team, suggesting that HR may be lagging behind other business areas in terms of readiness.”