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Managing change: HR directors feel leaders are prepared to deal with Brexit

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UK leaders are getting better at dealing with change, could organisational agility and forward planning assuage employees' fears about the stability of their job?

HR Directors feel that leaders are prepared for Brexit as they have improved at managing organisational change.

90% of UK HR directors are anticipating organisational changes in the wake of the referendum. Despite this, 42% are either not worried or ‘not at all worried’ as 79% of HR directors say leaders are getting better at managing people through change.

The survey, conducted by Full Potential Group, found that only 8% of HR directors and managers feel that their company is getting worse at managing change.

Carole Gaskell, managing director at Full Potential Group said: “These results are especially promising when in the past, it’s commonly been found that 70% of change initiatives fail to deliver results. It’s a sign of greater investment in developing leader’s skills and in measuring change.”

Respondents cited an organisation’s ability to be agile and responsive to changing markets as a key factor in a businesses’ success over the next five years.

However, companies should be aware that a lack of organisation-wide understanding and communication about why change is being implemented could derail company productivity. A quarter of respondents also cited too much focus on processes over employees as potential pitfall.

Gaskell commented: “Success is about people, not processes so it’s imperative to involve employees throughout every stage of the initiative. 

“Personal ownership and empowerment means greater control which lessens stress or uncertainty, which is often felt through times of change.”

The result may seem surprising, as a recent survey of HR directors suggested that many companies had no strategy to deal with Brexit. UK employees also feel that impending change is making less secure in their roles. Does planning for change lead to a greater feeling of stability in the workplace?

Gaskell replied: “Better management of change only leads to greater strength, confidence and resilience in the workplace if people focus, not just on the task and process of change, but also on the softer people and relationship implications of change. 

“Showing understanding of how people feel and paying attention to their motivational drivers generates greater inner stability, more self belief and resilience and engenders a powerful environment where people can thrive.”

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