Way back in 2017, the head of the National Audit Office said that the Government could 'come apart like a chocolate orange' over Brexit. As it turns out, this was something of a sugar-coated understatement.

With Brexit less than a week away, we know that, unless businesses and organisations put far more effort and attention into engaging their teams, then we will see some of them crumbling and others completely melting away in the months that are to follow. No matter how things play out, many factors in this long saga remain unknown.

So, as leaders, managing in uncertain times, what can you do to make sure that you and yours come up smelling of Roses (see what I did there)?

Make sure that everyone is on the same Double Decker, heading in the same direction

You’ve heard the expression ‘we all need to be on the same bus.’ But loyalty can come into question in times of uncertainty. With a decrease in EU applicants, the recruitment and retention of great people will become even more competitive post-Brexit. According to Gallagher’s 2019 Organisational Wellbeing and Talent Insights Report, roughly one third (34%) of respondent employers reported difficulty in retaining staff over the past 12 months, compared with 27% the previous summer.

Leaders can:

Adopt a Toblerone approach to individual and team wellbeing

It goes without saying that teams which stick together will be stronger and more productive than ones that don’t. As leaders, we can think of our team’s wellbeing in terms of a Toblerone. Each chunk needs to be present and contributing to ensure the whole bar is strong. And people need to be happy and healthy in order to be physically and mentally present and contributing to the best of their ability.

Good leaders ask people what would make them happier at work, but inspirational leaders go above and beyond that. With increasingly diverse workforces and an aging demographic, they think more creatively about individual wellbeing and what they can offer

For example:

Support, recognise and reward your Heroes

In its 2018 survey, Investors In People found that: ‘Not feeling valued as a member of staff was the third most common reason for wanting to move on, cited by 39% of respondents and up from 35% in 2017.’

The most successful businesses are now looking at their appraisal and reward systems to check they are still fit for purpose. In order to feel valued, people often want to know what their career path might look like, what ongoing support is in place to help them develop and how they can manage a healthy work/life balance. Whilst earning a competitive salary is important, people who feel that their contributions are recognised are less likely to get itchy feet.

Leaders should consider:

And Finally:

As a leader leading in uncertain times, it’s important to look after yourself as well as your team. Make sure you get regular Boosts (physically, mentally and chocolatey) and when you make small, impactful changes, which you’re proud of, feel free to give your team a Twirl.

After all, Brexit may or may not be a Picnic, and it’s likely to be more of a Marathon than a sprint, but when it comes to the Crunch-ie – you’ve got this.

(Laughology would like to apologise for the gratuitous confectionary puns, Sarah really Dairy Milked it, it was totally over-Creme Egged…we’ll stop now)