About Us


Professional Development

Knowledge Hub




Coronavirus Guidance


The B word... Lots of noise, but why the IC silence on Brexit?

Let's talk about Brexit. OK, we know, we're all fed up to the back teeth with Brexit, but come the 11th, we'll finally know whether Theresa's deal made it across the line or whether we are in for
pre-Christmas chaos.

Perhaps it's time to consider moving Christmas Day to the day before the vote. At least we'll be so hungover to actually care what happens!

One thing that is interesting about Brexit: despite all the political grandstanding and endless media commentary, why are our organisations remaining tight-lipped, and not talking to their people about it?

This year started, as it so often does, with a flurry of fresh strategic messaging to colleagues, helping them understand the direction their business is heading and their part in achieving the end goal.

Now, as we near the culmination of those endless Brexit negotiations you'd think it's probably a good time to start the conversation with colleagues.

However, Brexit isn't featuring much, if at all. That may well be because, as yet, there's not a lot to say (until we get to the deal). Yet, we know companies are beavering away in the background preparing for all scenarios.

Sometimes silence is golden, but we also know, silence can be filled with doubt, suspicion and rumour. It seems more than a bit odd that there's an internal radio silence on possibly the biggest decision to affect the UK workforce in a lifetime.

To mix metaphors, continually brushing the proverbial "elephant in the room" under the carpet might become a little tougher –especially as the one thing that affects us all is job security. With that in mind, are companies not at least obliged to communicate their business position to their people, even if it's simply a case of "keep calm and carry on"?

The trouble is, none of us know what to expect come 11pm on 29 March 2019. We know the lack of certainty makes answering the Brexit question tricky, particularly as those who lead us can't even agree.

From an external point of view, it's a highly charged and political sensitive situation, but it shouldn't excuse organisations from acknowledging it internally. Not saying, or barely saying, anything could well be undermining trust, fuelling the rumour mill with questions: "What's my company planning? Why won't they tell me? Something must be up!"

Obviously, companies don't have to reveal everything, but perhaps they should at least start the conversation and try and answer some of the pressing questions, namely…

• How will the possible Brexit scenarios affect me and the business?
• Has the business planned for all scenarios?
• Is my job at risk?
• Will our strategy change?
• When will we be told, and know, more?

It only seems fair that companies update their people and strategy comms, but in doing so, they need to be a bit braver. Ensure Brexit features, even if there isn't absolute certainty (when is there?).

Finally, they need to reassure their people that plans are in place, and colleagues feature at the top of all those plans. Only then, will we all be prepared for what lies ahead.

November #AskFutureNet call: What are employers lo...
Seven things we learned at October’s #AskFutureNet


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, 13 August 2020
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.
Our Sponsors

Room Booking

Thanks for staying with us! Please fill out the form below and our staff will be in contact with your shortly. The see all of our room options please visit the link below.
See All Rooms
Member Login