A lot has happened this year. So much so that Brexit, one of the most discussed and publicised topics at the start of 2020, ended up taking a back seat and almost fell off the radar completely for some people.

Taking its place was, of course, the coronavirus pandemic. This continues to demand attention worldwide.

However, as 2020 draws to a close, we are reminded that the end of the Brexit transition period, and the deadline for UK-EU trade negotiations, really is looming (in fact several trade deadlines have already been missed).

Some changes in relation to Brexit, such as immigration, have already been put in place, but it doesn’t end there. Businesses that trade with, or operate within, the EU will likely need to factor the impact of Brexit on their operations from the beginning of next year.

This could involve a Brexit lens on workforce planning.

Looking ahead for your business

Signifying the end of the year, Christmas is typically a reflective time. It is only natural to want to summarise the year past and begin to form goals and resolutions for the year ahead.

This time last year, a “just in case” pandemic policy was unlikely a priority for many businesses.

However, after the events of 2020, backups, emergency protocol, insurance and military style preparation may just be top of the to-do list from now on.

Along with crisis management plans, you may find that new opportunities have arisen and need your attention. For example, is there a chance your business will become permanently remote next year?

Perhaps you are seeking new and varied revenue streams which will require fresh thinking and idea generation.

It may be that the suspected impact of Brexit on certain supply chains has got you thinking about bringing more work in house to meet demand.

Whatever your plans, they are undoubtedly going to involve the people that you employ.

Finding power in your people

Much of the power of your business lies within the people you employ.

Now is a good time to think about how you might harness this power for a productive year ahead.

  • Are you nurturing employees and preparing them for the future with skills-based training?
  • Are you providing them with the necessary tools to adapt to your industry and meet the changing needs of your customers?
  • Do employees have easy and open lines of communication for knowledge sharing and collaboration?

These are essential components of any successful people management strategy. They can help your team and business to thrive amidst a changing economy.

A new year in business can also lead to thoughts of recruitment. Who will you need working for you next year and in what capacity?

Before you begin a new recruitment campaign, it’s worth taking stock of who you already have in place. You may find that with the right training and mentorship, existing employees have the potential to fill these new positions.

With the expected dip in overseas talent arriving from the EU post-Brexit, upskilling your current employees is a sure-fire way to avoid future skills gaps in your business and industry.

Making use of available support

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open until March next year, meaning that if your business needs it, you could continue to furlough employees through the first quarter of 2021. The extended scheme allows for flexible furlough which is a helpful method to bring your team back on board.

There are other government schemes that may benefit your business next year, for example the Kick Start Scheme. This involves subsidised wages for eligible new hires between the ages of 16-24.

Then there’s us, your local HR Dept. People management is what we do best. So whether you’re seeking some advice on who you’ll need in place next year and how you’ll get them, or want to make sure your employment processes are compliant, even in the event of an emergency, we can help.

Start your people plan today to start 2021 the right way.