SME owners voice concerns post-Brexit

At this point, employees may need your reassurance that their jobs are safe and the future of the business is bright.

The post-Brexit business world is uncertain; particularly because it doesn’t yet look like Britain has a plan for exiting the EU. Due to this, the world of business has reacted relatively negatively to a potential Brexit, with small business owners voicing their concerns alongside big businesses.

A recent survey has revealed that many SME employees have concerns for their job security after the Brexit vote. The survey, conducted by Close Brothers has shown that:

  • 26 per cent of UK SMEs have acknowledged that their employees have raised concerns about the impact of Brexit on their job security
  • Employees in the engineering sector have the most fears about job security, with 38 per cent of SMEs reporting that their employees have raised concerns about job security
  • In Greater London, over half (52 per cent) of employees actively raised their concerns about Brexit with their employers.

Why are employees concerned?

Many employees are concerned because of the unprecedented and unpredicted nature of Brexit. It appears as though this has stoked many to believe that businesses generally, and their employers specifically, do not have a coherent plan for their business in a post-Brexit landscape.

This is especially true for SMEs that have recently expanded to export overseas. If a company will no longer export when Britain leaves the EU, then they may not need as many employees, which would lead to redundancies. At the very least, they’ll want to know that you’re looking at new markets to cover the business that you’re losing from Europe. In addition, if your business receives EU funding – as thousands do – then they’ll want to know that you’re going to fill this funding gap so that they’ll still get paid at the end of each month.

Ultimately, employees simply want to know that the business that they work for has a plan to adopt its business model and pick up new business.

What can I do to ease the concerns of my employees?

So, with this in mind, if you’re an SME owner, how do you reassure your employees that their jobs are safe and the future of the business is bright?

Well, the easiest and simplest way is the most efficient: talk to them about it and give them the opportunity to ask questions.

To ensure that messages are not mixed among your employees, and to ensure that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet rather than acting on hearsay and whispers, call a full team meeting with every employee. This way, you can talk them through the company’s response face to face, and they can ask any questions or seek any reassurances that they require.

By doing this, you’ll know that your employees feel secure in their position in a post-Brexit environment and your business can get back on track.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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