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Brexit: seven workforce-related questions that your organisation should be asking itself now

Organisations are eagerly searching for how their business may be impacted by Brexit, in both their internal and external operating environments. These preparations are now becoming more acute, so here we offer seven questions that organisations should be asking themselves now, or be reviewing as the Brexit withdrawal process unfolds.

These questions are drawn from previous Institute for Employment Studies research into workforce planning and Brexit, on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

  • How will Brexit’s impact on your business affect the demand for your goods and services and the size and nature of the workforce you need to deliver those business results?
  • Do you have adequate workforce data on nationality to determine the size of the ‘problem’? Members may want to conduct an ‘intention to leave’ survey or engage with relevant sections of your workforce on whether they might feel the need to leave the UK for emotional or regulatory reasons.
  • Have you undertaken a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to establish what opportunities and threats Brexit might bring?
  • Have you undertaken a risk analysis of the consequences of Brexit on workforce demand and supply? In this analysis you might want to focus on the likeliest risks with the biggest impact and then consider what mitigating actions you might want to take.
  • Have you conducted scenario planning to discover the drivers of Brexit-related change and which circumstances could have particularly powerful effects on your business, on both demand and supply sides?
  • Have you developed contingency plans, such as relocation or task automation, in the event of a ‘worst-case scenario’? You will need to consider how much of this preparation can be achieved at a reasonable cost and what may trigger you to take action and pursue each contingency.
  • Are you monitoring events both externally (in the Brexit negotiations, the state of the economy) and internally (resignation rate, ability to hire)? Additionally, are you evaluating the actions you have taken to improve organisational resilience?
    These questions were originally posted on the Institute for Employment Studies website.

Need help with your workforce planning? BFI are delighted to have Duncan Brown, Head of HR Consulting at the IES, delivering a session on 'Formulating and delivering a workforce and skills strategy' at the 'Workforce Planning Post-Brexit Conference' in London on Tuesday 26th February 2019.