Survey sees improvement in managing change as leaders countdown to Brexit

90 per cent of senior management expect organisational changes ahead of Brexit, but 42 per cent are not worried & 26 per cent ‘not at all worried’

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British leaders have revealed they are fully prepared for change as we head towards an EU exit with 90 per cent anticipating further changes within their organisations. Yet  42 per cent  are either not worried, or ‘not at all worried’, as 79 per cent  of HR Directors and 77 per cent  of HR managers say leaders are getting better at managing people through change, according to new research.

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The State of Leadership & Change report by Full Potential Group surveyed 1,000 management respondents split equally across large and SME businesses and found 92 per cent of HR directors are expecting their company to make changes as a result of Brexit, with the top four expected changes being, to source additional markets outside the EU (28 per cent), to restructure and cut costs (23 per cent), to reorganise (16 per cent) and to relocate (13 per cent).

It would seem that companies are better preparing their leaders to manage people through complex times, likely accounting for the lack of concern – with just 8 per cent  of HR directors and HR managers saying leaders are getting worse at managing through change.

Companies should also be aware of potential factors that could derail the success of future change initiatives, with the majority of HR directors believing that these dangers include a lack of organisation-wide understanding and communication on why a change is being implemented (44 per cent) and too much emphasis on process and not enough on people (25 per cent). Fifteen per cent  cited too much change causing ‘change fatigue’ as a cause of failure whilst 15 per cent  believe that poor motivation and staff morale and failure to engage people at all levels, is a real de-railer for change.  

Commenting on the report findings Carole Gaskell, managing director, Full Potential Group said: “Encouragingly, in a new Brexit world our research found that leaders are getting better at change and organisations are also getting better at meeting their objectives for change.

“These results are especially promising when in the past, it’s commonly been found that 70 per cent of change initiatives fail to deliver results. It’s a sign of greater investment in developing leader’s skills and in measuring change. Twelve years ago we found that companies weren’t measuring change but now you would struggle to find an HR and business strategy without metrics to demonstrate the commercial impact of cultural initiatives.”


Debbie Carter

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