Introduction: The United Kingdom, Post-Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities
Context of the Assessment: What Brexit Means for the United Kingdom
On 23 June 2016, Great Britain made the decision that was unanimously considered controversial all over the world. Termed as Brexit (a portmanteau word made of “Britain” and “exit”), the said decision implied that Britain would leave the European Union and, therefore, abandon the single market that it offers to its members. The decision in question has already had a series of tangible effects on the British economy, including the increase in the GDP (0.1%) and a rapid drop in the value of the British pound (see Appendix A) (Bowler 2017).
However, these are private organizations that Brexit has affected most, triggering major organizational changes. Because of the threat to diversity, the talent pool shrinkage, and the rise in the insecurity levels, it is crucial for any UK organization that the promotion of multicultural values should be coupled with an emphasis on meeting the staff’s needs and investing in human resources to encourage further professional growth among them.
Statement of Aims and Objectives: Determining the Ways of Improving Performance Quality and Investing in the Staff
The goal of the paper is to examine the challenges to which the target company is subjected in the context of the post-Brexit UK economy and develop the approach that will allow managing the identified issues successfully. To be more accurate, the tools for creating the workplace environment in which the staff members will feel inclined to excel in their performance despite the temporary difficulties associated with Brexit will have to be identified.
Furthermore, the significance of investing in the human resources will have to be evaluated. Given the complicated socioeconomic situation in which Great Britain found itself after Brexit, the gravity of dismissing the employee-related factors affecting the performance of the organization is bound to be quite tangible. Therefore, determining the issue that affect the levels of internal motivation of the staff and developing the tools for increasing engagement levels should be viewed as the priority of the company at present.
Definition of Terms: Essential Concepts and Notions to Be Addressed
Before proceeding with the analysis of the current situation and the suggestion of the available solutions, one will have to define several crucial notions. Thus, a better understanding of the subject matter will become a possibility. The table provided below offers brief descriptions of the essential concepts that will be used throughout the paper.
Table 1. Terms and Their Definitions.
|Brexit||The process of Britain leaving the European Union and the single market|
|Soft Brexit||Withdrawal from the EU with the UK market being open to trade-offs and foreign customers||Goldstein 2017, p. 18|
|Hard Brexit||Complete withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the single market of the EU||Goldstein 2017, p. 18|
|Great Repeal Bill||The bill that is supposed to facilitate a smooth transition from following the EU trade regulations to meeting the British trade standards||Goldstein 2017, p. 18|
|Balanced Scorecard||Performance management tool allowing one to assess the delivered results based on a system of indicators||Soltes & Gavurova, 2013|
Conclusion to the Task: Brexit and the Future of the British Economy
The effects of Brexit are yet to be experienced by the citizens and organizations of the United Kingdom, yet there is a need to forecast possible outcomes so that the negative ones could be identified and that the appropriate management strategies could be developed at the earliest stages possible. Thus, the further success of any organization operating in the environment of the British economy, including the target organization, will have to take the specifics of the changes into account. Because of the significant alterations in the nature of the relationships between employers and staff members, a significant emphasis must be placed on the promotion of the latter’s professional development, which will require substantial investments and a change of the corporate philosophy (Armstrong 2009).
Addressing Essential HR Issues: Why Valuing People Is the Key to the Company’s Success
Recruitment Process and the Associated Concerns: Managing the Emergent Issues
The talent pool is shrinking: searching for experts. When considering the essential implications of Brexit, one must refer to the fact that it will inevitably trigger a rapid decrease in the amount of workforce and, therefore, a rapid shrinkage of the talent pool. The
The identified change points quite clearly to the fact that the organization needs to reconsider its current approach toward the management of its human resources.
Furthermore, the very foundation on which the relationships between the company’s stakeholders are built will have to undergo significant changes. Particularly, it will be necessary to focus on promoting active learning among the staff members and fostering the required qualities among the employees so that they could evolve professionally, as well as engage in the active personal growth.
Starting salaries must be raised: considering financial incentives
The post-Brexit environment also implies that companies such as the one in question need to increase the starting salaries. On the one hand, the firm is forced into making the identified step because of the reduction in the number of knowledgeable and skilled candidates (Roth 2015). While the identified step seems quite legitimate and necessary, the company under analysis should also consider the idea of investing in the staff members by offering them free training courses, encouraging them to engage in lifelong learning, etc. (Armstrong 2009).
Restricted opportunities for creating a training budget
At this point, one must also address the fact that the current financial opportunities for creating a sufficient training budget have shrunken to a considerable extent due to the exit from the EU free trading zone. According to a recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2017) (CIPD) report, there has been a propensity toward caution in the course of the recruiting process. Furthermore, it is very probable that the competition for talented and highly qualified staff is going to be very tight in the next few years.
In light of the fact that the target company cannot be defined as the leader in the industry and has few chances of competing with the corporate monsters operating in the identified niche, it will be crucial to invest in the staff massively by offering them extensive training opportunities and fostering the development of skill together with building the experience.
Solution: the Expectancy Theory and Maslow’s Theory perspectives
The suggested course of the company’s development (i.e., the emphasis on the employees’ individual needs and the attempt to link them to the organization’s goals) can be approached from the perspective of Maslow’s theory of needs (see Appendix B).
Particularly, the necessity to cater to the needs of the organization’s employees aligns with the [primary principles of Maslow’s Theory (MT). Particularly, the proposed solution suggests that the financial incentives coupled with an opportunity for professional growth helps meet the employees’ needs for safety, belonging and esteem by reinforcing the idea that the company values them as people. The necessity of self-actualization, in turn, is satisfied by the opportunities for professional growth and the acquisition of new knowledge and skills (Armstrong 2009).
The Expectancy Theory (see Appendix C) should also be considered as one of the standpoints from which the subject matter should be explored. The theory suggests that the staff members act in a certain way because the organization sets certain expectations which they strive to meet (Armstrong 2009). Therefore, the change in the company’s values and the promotion of a multicultural standpoint should be accompanied by
Equality and Diversity: Focusing on Gender and Ethnicity Issue
Women’s rights: no longer protected by the EU
A closer look at the challenges to which British companies will be exposed in the nearest future shows that the equality issue is also going to become the reason for concern. At this point, one must mention that women’s rights were governed by the regulations set by the EU when Britain was a part thereof. However, with the exit from the EU, the threats of women’s rights being infringed will appear:
The asymmetrical impact of the financial crisis on women is blind to women’s sustained contribution to the formal and informal economy. Couple this with ideologically loaded prescriptions, the discourse of ‘crisis’ legitimizes, the implementation of exceptional measures that are disproportionate in relation to the impact they have on social cohesion and vulnerable groups. (Guerinna 2016, p. 873)
Therefore, although there is currently no direct threat to women’s well-being and rights, the prerequisites for companies to infringe the said rights have been created In light of the identified issues, one should consider the redesign toward the corporate philosophy and values that herald the principles of diversity, multiculturalism, and equality as the foundation for building relationships, developing organizational behaviors, solving conflicts, and carrying any other type of communication in the context of the firm.
Thus, the issue of women’s rights will be handled successfully. Particularly, the current benefit package provided to the company’s staff will have to be reconsidered. For instance, opportunities for women with children, including single mothers, should be offered to the staff members. Maternal or parental leave must be included in the set of options for the employees.
Diversity as the reason for concern: cross-cultural communication
Because of the reduction of foreign workforce, which Brexit is bound to entail, the levels of diversity will inevitably shrink in the organization. Thus, the few representatives of other cultures and nationalities that will remain the members of the organization will find themselves in the environment that can be characterized as lacking diversity. Hence, the atmosphere in which they will feel comfortable will have to be designed; thus, the basis for maintaining the performance levels at the required high level and even increasing the quality of the delivered results will be created.
Race: promoting the principles of equality
Similarly, the issue of race and ethnicity needs to be addressed in the company’s philosophy, mission, and vision statements. It is crucial to make a powerful statement showing that the company will maintain its stance on the issue of race and equality despite the political controversy that surrounds Brexit and the socioeconomic outcomes that it may entail Particularly, it is strongly suggested that the principles of the Equity Theory (ET) should be promoted in the context of the organization (see Appendix D). The concept of fair treatment should become the foundation for the HRM strategies used in the organization.
Solution: Equity Theory, Maslow’s theory, and resources distribution
As stressed above, a combination of MT and ET will have to be used so that the needs of all members of the organization should be taken into consideration and that Brexit should not affect equality and diversity in the organization. As stressed above, the changes that Brexit will entail may create the environment in which the outflow of the migrant workforce can be expected. Therefore, diversity may be jeopardized, which means that the company will have to create the environment in which the principles of compromise and cooperation should become the foundation for the multicultural communication process.
Adopting the principles of ET, one should view the reconsideration of the current benefit package and its change so that it could meet the needs of the vulnerable population (i. e., women and minorities) a necessity. In other words, it will be crucial to redistribute the resources so that every member of the organization could be enabled to grow professionally and feel secure in the context of the company despite the changes that will occur to the business realm of the United Kingdom.
Promoting an increase in the levels of security among the staff members, thus, must be considered the ultimate tool for addressing the issues of diversity and gender-related concerns. The recruitment process will have to include a detailed discussion of the benefits that the organization will offer to the applicant in case the latter gets the job; furthermore, it will be crucial to emphasize that the company is open for a multicultural dialogue, as well as completely devoid of any form of prejudices. Otherwise, the threat of overlooking the experts that will feel insecure in the post-Brexit workplace environment will become increasingly high and doubtlessly affect negatively the chances of the organization to recruit a knowledgeable and experienced candidate (Armstrong 2009).
Performance Management: How to Encourage the Staff Members
Increasing security levels: why employees feel uncertain. The focus on the staff members’ security must be consistent. The company’s values and philosophy must be targeted at emphasizing the significance of the employees and their contribution to the company’s development. With the support of the organization, the employees will be less concerned about the possible threats to their security in the workplace.
Enhancing motivation for improvement and learning
Furthermore, the environment in which the employees will feel encouraged to acquire new knowledge and skills should be created. Thus, it will be imperative to invest in the development of courses and programs where the participants will be able to develop and train new skills that will help them become more proficient in their target area. Furthermore, the acquisition of new competencies should also be viewed as an opportunity for the people that will enroll in the aid programs.
Put differently, the staff members will have to not only become active participants of the training sessions but also develop the skills of lifelong learning. Particularly, they will need to embrace the significance of consistent acquisition of the relevant skills and the use of their experience as the foundation for acquiring new abilities. To engage the target audience into the process to an even greater extent, one may have to promote metacognitive skills development as a necessity. In other words, the staff members will have to understand how they learn new information so that they could enhance the process and learn new abilities and information consistently as they acquire new experiences (Armstrong 2009).
For this purpose, the emphasis on the professional growth of the employees must be spelled out in the company’s vision, values, and philosophy. Furthermore, the application of the tools that will allow for a rapid enhancement of the employees’ performance will have to be considered a necessity. Active use of praise coupled with financial incentives should become a priority. Furthermore, it will be necessary to adopt the tools such as Key Performance Indicators (KPI) (Sarkar 2015) and the Balanced Scorecard (BS). While the former will allow setting the performance expectations at the necessary level, the latter will serve as the foundation for supervising the staff’s performance and identifying the tendencies therein (Saudi & Noor 2015).
A closer look at the concept of BS will show that it, in fact, allows detailing the company’s vision and making sure that every member thereof should be aware of the company’s value system and willing to accept it as the basis for corporate decision-making (Bose & Sampath 2015).
Table 1. Balanced Scorecard.
|Vision: focus on the professional growth of the employees as the pathway to consistent improvement of the company’s performance and the enhancement of customer satisfaction levels|
|Shareholder Perspective||Customer Perspective||Internal Management Processes||Innovation and Growth|
|Critical Success Factors|| || || || |
|Critical Measurements||Assessment of the company’s performance data (e.g., monthly or annual revenue); |
Evaluation of the customer satisfaction rates
|Evaluating customer satisfaction rates and comparing them to the previous data||Total Quality Management framework as the tool for evaluating the efficacy of the company and the employees||Assessment of the staff’s skills; evaluation of the employees’ satisfaction rates.|
As the BS provided above shows, the tools for measuring the company’s success in establishing the new values and promoting them to the staff members will be an essential step in addressing the challenges that the firm is likely to face as a result of Brexit.
Moreover, it is expected that the employees will be resistant to the suggested change or at least the parts of it that will imply that the employees should acquire new skills and knowledge. Therefore, increasing their intrinsic motivation as the way of changing their attitude to learning, in general, will be required. Particularly, it is imperative that the employees should be oriented toward professional growth. The identified goal can be accomplished by promoting the said attitudes among the staff members with the help of opportunities for acquiring new skills and knowledge (e.g., free training sessions, courses, seminars, etc.) (Armstrong 2009).
The company’s values will also have to be shaped, which his even more important. Particularly, it will be essential to promote the idea of investing in the human resources as the organization’s greatest asset, as well as improving the communication process and meeting the needs of all stakeholders involved.
Providing consistent support and encouraging communication. The emphasis on building a system of communication should be especially strong in the context of the post-Brexit UK environment. The challenges that the staff members are likely to face, particularly, the threat to their financial and persona; security, which Brexit is bound to entail and which must affect minorities to the greatest degree, will create an array of impediments to the delivery of satisfactory performance in the workplace.
Therefore, it is crucial to introduce the tools that will empower the staff members to deliver the best results. As stressed above, the redesign of the corporate values toward a stakeholder-oriented, multicultural perspective must be considered the first step that any British company has to bake in order to retain its staff members and make sure that their loyalty to the firm should remain at the same high level.
In addition, British companies, in general, and the target organization, in particular, will have to place a very heavy emphasis on the promotion of communication with the employees. Gathering feedback and making sure that the communication between the employees and the managers should be reciprocal must remain top priorities at present (Zhao, Shen, & Collier 2014).
Moreover, it is crucial that the company should offer consistent emotional and financial support to the employees. It is essential that the principles of multiculturalism and cross-cultural communication should be used as the basis for communication in the firm. Furthermore, the issue of negotiation deserves to be listed among the primary areas of concern. Establishing a dialogue with the staff members may become problematic due to the lack of security that the representatives of ethnic, gender, or national minorities may be experiencing due to the changes that Brexit is about to trigger.
Thus, confrontations and misunderstandings are expected to occur in the workplace environment. Thus, negotiation strategies as the primary means of successful communication should be used to handle the emerging conflicts. At this point, one must bring up the importance of conflicts in the workplace. While typically viewed as solely negative phenomena and traditionally avoided, confrontations in the environment of a specific organization may be used as the tools for identifying the existing issues and managing them successfully.
Moreover, minor conflicts may become the indication of greater problems and, thus, be utilized as the starting point for eliciting a solution to the future problem. In other words, the company will have to shape its current philosophy of managing human resources toward viewing workplace conflicts, especially cross-cultural ones, as the means of producing an improved framework for communication (Gregory 2014).
The identified aspects of performance improvement will require that the current HR strategies should be altered toward motivating the staff members to accept changes as inevitable and, more importantly, crucial elements of the progress. Particularly, it is crucial to convince the target audience that they are valued and that the company is ready to invest in their further personal and professional growth. The said objectives can be attained by changing the HRM strategies toward the consistent acquisition of new skills and knowledge, as well as on the development of new competencies and exploration of new opportunities. The company must make sure that the staff members should be provided with a chance to gain new experiences and grow professionally (Armstrong 2009).
The promotion of cross-cultural communication skills should be one of the aspects of the said process. While a multicultural conversation must be deemed as the essential tool used by the company to build trust and establish the appropriate relationships with the staff members, it will also be crucial to teach the employees to use the multicultural communication skills is the foundation for a successful dialogue between the company and its customers. In other words, the entire philosophy on which the firm operates must be shifted toward enhancing the principles of multiculturalism.
Possible solution: Model of Intrinsic Motivation (MIM) and Maslow’s theory. As stressed above, it is crucial to focus on the factors that compel employees to excel in their performance; thus, the negative effects of Brexit on the company’s performance will not be as deplorable as they might. Particularly, MIM will allow exploring the issues that the staff members might have with the change in the company’s policies (see Appendix E). Thus, the tools for improving their motivation rates can be discovered.
The possible resistance toward change, which the employees may develop once they realize that the promotion of the learning-oriented corporate model will demand unceasing learning, can also be dealt with with the help of the MIM framework. To be more accurate, the suggested tool can be utilized as the means of promoting the concept of consistent knowledge and skills acquisition as a part of their professional growth. The model suggests that the staff members should find the process of accomplishing the required tasks not only essential to the improvement of their professional competencies but also enjoyable and enticing.
Thus, the members of the organization will define their job as fulfilling and, consequently, will strive toward achieving success, as a recent study shows: “Rather than being instrumental toward some other object of value, intrinsically motivated behaviors are themselves enjoyable, purposive, and provide sufficient reason to persist” (Cerasoli, Nicklin & Ford 2014, p. 2). Therefore, MIM can be considered an essential tool for changing the staff’s mind frame and convincing them to alter the current organizational behaviors so that the new methods of communication could be promoted. As a result, managing the adverse effects of Brexit on the performance within the business environment will become a possibility (Petrakis 2014).
Conclusion: Brexit as the impetus for Investing in People
Reinforcing security in the Workplace Environment
Brexit has caused a significant stir in the British business world, and it is bound to entail an array of challenges in all domains of entrepreneurship, including HRM processes. Given the drastic social implications that may follow Brexit, the focus on creating a safe workplace environment in which the staff members should feel secure and valued is important. Furthermore, it is necessary to invest in the employees so that they could evolve and develop new skills and knowledge.
The said step can be considered rather sensible in light of the fact that Brexit is likely to cause a large reduction in the amount of available workforce. As long as the single market becomes unavailable to the United Kingdom, the talent pool is bound to shrink significantly, which means that the company will have to foster the required skills in the staff members as opposed to searching for the people that already possess them.
Financial Incentives and Other Performance Enhancement Tools
The importance of financial rewards should not be underrated when it comes to reconsidering the company’ policies toward recruiting, retaining, and motivating the staff members.
Equality: Benefit Packages and Other Opportunities
The current benefit package must also be updated accordingly so that the vulnerable population, e.g., women and ethnic minorities, should not feel insecure in the environment of the organization. Therefore, the crucial HR processes, such as the stages involving the recruitment and the performance management, will have to be shaped so that the employees could be motivated to deliver a better performance and at the same time gain new skills and knowledge. By engaging the staff members in the process of lifelong learning, the organization will be able to invest in its human resources successfully. Consequently, the premises for building the team of qualified experts can be created.
Furthermore, the promotion of lifelong learning and equality must be viewed as a necessary step toward a general improvement of the current HR policies. While Brexit has definitely served as a catalyst for the promotion of the said changes, the further emphasis on the promotion of equality and consistent acquisition of knowledge based on the experiences that employees have, including the ones related to multicultural communication, must remain the basis for the corporate development.
Investing in employees is the primary step toward a rapid increase in the quality of the company’s performance and the essential condition of its further growth. Therefore, the environment in which the staff members can grow personally and professionally must be the focus of the target company, as well as any organization operating in the contemporary market.
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Appendix A: Britain’s GDP and British Pound (Trading Economics 2017)
Appendix B: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Botana & Neto 2017, p. 437)
Appendix C: Expectancy Theory Model (Barron & Hulleman 2015)
Appendix D: Equity Theory Model (Pennsylvania State University, 2015)
Appendix E: Model of Intrinsic Motivation
|Opportunity (rewards)||Accomplishments (rewards)|
|From task activities||Sense of choice||Sense of competence|
|From task purpose||Sense of meaningfulness||Sense of progress|