Brexit: How can we lessen the impact on employee engagement
Brexit has been a controversial issue ever since the 2016 voting. With speculative media stories, from all wings of politics, stirring pandemonium among the working community, it is highly likely that these worries encroach onto the workplace.
Workplace stress relating to job security and workplace well being could potentially be a factor in employee engagement. Brexit could potentially affect both. With a push for Brexit in the works, newsworthy business stories arise of big corporations shifting their manufacturing operations abroad to avoid import tax. Most notably the Nissan manufacturing plant and their plans to abandon manufacture of certain models and potentially move abroad. It is case studies, like these, that could be stirring fears of job insecurity across the UK.
It may not be the case, but as a manager, it may be worth squashing fears or concerns people may have about their position, changes in business operations or finances.
Make sure you are available to talk to
When it comes to being approachable and open about sensitive topics, it is good to reaffirm that you are open to fresh ideas and are there to help people with their problems. With you taking that first step to building trust, you are more likely to maintain an open discourse. Free-flowing communication between your employees will increase employee engagement and reduce stress as they will feel like they have the company and your support.
Do not to withhold information
It is important to make sure that necessary information for your employees is communicated promptly. It is important not to let any issues circulate and stir stress. Tackle them head on. If an issue is detected then a solution can be found and a plan can be implemented. If an issue (caused by Brexit or not) arises it is important to say straight away. Employees will be grateful that you have come to them and been upfront in preparing them for the future.
Take pressure off of yourself
Be sure to give yourself break and cut yourself some slack. There is no need to stress over telling your employees potentially negative news. They should understand and support you as it’s not easy to let anyone down, especially your team. However, we believe that managers and bosses should have their own support networks. The Chartered Management Institute (CMI)’s survey of 1,037 managers found that 23% feel the UK’s decision to leave the EU is affecting their morale, and 22% felt it was affecting their overall psychological well being. It is a problem for managers and bosses as well as it is for the employees. Give yourself a break if things aren’t going 100% your way.
When this changes are implemented, make sure they are maintained. Being consistent and maintaining standards and expectations instills a culture of job rigidity. Feeling like there are constant goals, objectives and recognition for the employees will often wipe out job security related anxiety (or at least distract from it). Remind your employees that you are a team and are tackling tasks and situations together. Unity is a great emotion when it comes to eliminating anxiety over job security so rally your team together. It is the best combatant against employee disengagement. With unity comes responsibility which is a recipe for a good work ethic. Valuing your company and team will drive effort upwards.
Reward and incentivise
Recognition and rewards programs are universally recognised for boosting mood in the workplace. Instilling a feeling of worth in your employees is key to keeping them from feeling as if their position may be on the chopping block. A study, by Each Person, revealed that employees value a simple thank you almost as much as a salary increase . If you are a manager and are looking to motivate your employees with more than just a thank you, Each Person is a fantastic way of doing just that. Contact us for more details.
Brexit poses a lot of uncertainties over jobs, finances and politics. It is understandable with such a news prevalence, it can feel uncomfortable not knowing how it will impact us as individuals. If we keep a cool head and tackle problems, as a unit, we can help boost the workplace in a stressful period.
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