If I asked you what success looks like for your organisation post Brexit, what would you say?
Would it be to ensure the sustainability of your business while managing the impact(s) of Brexit? While this may well be achieved, you are likely to hit some speed-bumps in the short term. And it is while you are dealing with these, you will be more reliant than ever on your people.
With all the discussions around Brexit, I find the lack of focus on people, your employees and customers, startling. It’s almost like they are just taken for granted, they will still be here, do whatever is required, when it is required and they are of little consequence in the ‘bigger scheme of things’!
In real terms, in the ‘bigger scheme of things’ these people, your employees especially, are your single biggest asset. They are also your biggest resource in terms of understanding what Brexit will do to and for your business, how you might offset some downsides and leverage potential opportunities. They know the nuts-and-bolts of your business, the interdependencies between your processes and systems, your customer profiles and they deal directly with your trading partners, local and international. Simply put, they are the pulse of your business.
How many of you have discussed Brexit with your employees – with ALL of them, from the security personnel through to the executive management team?
It is important to emphasise here that sustained success in business results from strong leadership where you value, care about and lead your people. I have written about valuing your people before and in the context of preparing for Brexit, I urge you to show you value your people, by including them in the discussions around how your organisation will weather the Brexit storm.
There is an old saying – people will not remember what you say, nor will they remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel. So make them feel valued!
It’s not too late to pull all your people together to discuss your Brexit strategy. Particularly if you are involved in import and export either with or via the UK, where there will be customs and financial implications and get their input on this. Ask them if you are registered for your Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number (EORI) and if not, whether you have reviewed all international trading contracts and if you are in a position and ready to re-negotiate them. How many of your employees are non-EU citizens, or are from the UK and what is the status of their visas, their freedom of movement and the implications should they need to leave Ireland when the deal is done? Do you have cover in place for all key positions, are they trained and skilled to cover more than their own key function, do they work well as a team with a shared goal of ensuring the sustainability of your business post Brexit and most importantly, do they feel more valued than your business processes?
To show you care about your people and truly value them; to ensure the sustainability of your business post Brexit and to deliver on the commitments made in your vision and mission – engage fully now with all your employees and get them involved in preparing for and managing the impact of Brexit on your business.
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