Report: Nearly half of UK businesses are unprepared for workforce change

Almost half of UK firms are struggling to lead their teams through workforce change, according to new research from global people management business, Lee Hecht Harrison Penna.

The research surveyed 1,000 managers in small and large companies in the UK. It found that 47 per cent of organisations are adequately prepping leaders and managers to manage change, such as restructuring and office relocation.
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According to LHH Penna, 94 per cent of UK businesses have either recently undergone significant workforce change or are due to undergo it in the near future. 
But the research showed that over a quarter (27 per cent) of employees felt that senior management lacked the skills to successfully manage these transitions.
Nick Goldberg, CEO UK & Ireland of Lee Hecht Harrison Penna, said: “While many may fear workforce change and the impact it has, this shouldn’t be the case. By embracing change, businesses stand to better serve their customers and transformation plans are ultimately designed to have a positive effect on the organisation’s financial performance. Yet our research has shown that inadequate leadership and talent planning means many businesses are not able to realise these benefits.”
Two thirds (65 per cent) of managers are dealing with more workforce disruption than in the past, the survey showed. 
Businesses with more than 2,500 employees found workforce change the most challenging, with nearly a quarter (22 per cent) blaming poor management and communication.
Goldberg added: “Organisations need to acknowledge this [benefits of preparing for change] and then take the vital steps to future-proof themselves. This should begin by developing change management capability in leaders and senior managers but at the same time facilitating a more effective relationship between the two groups, so they are ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’.
“The amount and rate of workforce change is only set to increase, therefore the quicker firms embrace this, the more they ensure they will be able to meet the headwinds they’ll face.”
The research was conducted by Opinium in September 2016.


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