How to talk to your team about Brexit

Retain your best talent by opening up the conversation.

A Deloitte study found that 47% of highly skilled EU workers are considering leaving in the next five years, citing concerns over feeling welcome and a felt increase in the cost of living as the pound weakens against the Euro.

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In 2017, EU nationals contribute 7% of the UK labour market (2.2 million), yet ***52% of non-British workers in the UK say there has been ineffective or no communication on Brexit from their employer*.**

At CharlieHR alone, we spend our day in the company of a Norwegian designer and a Spanish developer. Considering that creative and technical workers with high-level expertise are most likely to be contemplating leaving, companies that don’t open up clear lines of communication with these team members now might find themselves losing valuable talent in the coming months and years.

You can’t control the political landscape, but you can ensure that your team is strong and stable from within. 😉

Here are our top 5 tips for starting the conversation around Brexit:

1. Open the phone lines

We get it, you’re busy, and (depending on your business) Brexit probably isn’t the first thing on your mind every day. But just because it isn’t your company’s primary concern doesn’t mean it isn’t on your employees’ radars.

However you voted, take the time to acknowledge that this is still a cause of anxiety for EU citizens. It’s best to talk about these things as a company, but it’s also a discussion that you can start up in private with individuals who are most affected.

Remember that beyond being a practical cause for concern, this may still be an emotional topic, and that individuals also may have friends and family who are also worried. Go above and beyond to reassure everyone that you are paying attention to the situation, and that they can talk to you at any time.

There’s no need to make any big promises, just be a listening ear.

2. Take responsibility

Some parts of being a leader are amazing, while others can be a total drag; from staying on top of your admin to running disciplinary processes, part and parcel of being in charge is expanding your circle of concern beyond your own tunnel vision.

Ensure that you’re setting aside time to educate yourself on what’s happening. Read different sources and understand expert opinions. You’ll feel far more prepared to lead the conversation if you’re confident that you have a grip on the facts.

For a fast summary, Finimize is an excellent daily financial newsletter (which often touches on wider landscapes), and The Spoon is new but gives a good overview of politics in brief.

3. Carry on as normal

Your product is amazing, your marketing is on point and business is booming. Now’s the time to keep calm and carry on building your team as if you live in an ideal world.

If you work in tech, it’s likely that you’ve already been looking to Europe for incredible developer talent. Keep sharing your job posts internationally, using platforms like Honeypot and landing.jobs.

There are still plenty of amazing potential employees looking to come to the UK (perhaps right now more than ever!), and there’s no reason to help raise the drawbridge just yet.

4. Strengthen your skill set

Brexit is one drop in the ocean of a changing landscape for employment. As global migration patterns change, automation increases and AI takes over, the job market is going to favour individuals with flexible, innovative talents.

Challenge your team to move beyond traditional notions of professional development and focus on transferrable attributes. Excellent writing, active listening, and critical thinking are going to be more valuable than ever.

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Think laterally about how everyone in your company can become even better versions of themselves, so that whatever happens, they’re prepped to succeed in uncertain times.

CharlieHR is the HR platform for teams with big ideas. Building a company is hard, running one shouldn’t be. Find out more here.



Neo Sepulveda

Neo Sepulveda

Software engineer at CharlieHR 💻. I like climbing things quite a bit 🐒.


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