11th Jul 2024
3 Min Read

Change is here. Are you ready?

Russell Norton
Russell Norton
People & Change

Help your people navigate personal and political change, so your workplace can be a sea of calm in the storm of uncertainty.

“Change begins now” were among Keir Starmer’s first words as the new UK Prime Minister. But no one knows for certain what that change will actually look like.

That hasn’t stopped many large UK organisations from preparing for a new government for some time, despite not knowing what lies ahead. They’ve been busy attempting to influence decisions that will boost their revenue and minimise their costs.

But behind every organisation is an army of employees with their own personal agendas, which often go unheard. People are just as concerned about how much they earn, sustaining their lifestyle and achieving their own goals as businesses are. It’s this concern that will influence their decisions in the near future: if colleagues aren’t listened to or their needs aren’t met, your organisation could lose some great talent.

But you can help them weather the storm. Here are five ways you can guide your people through change and into a new era.

1. Talk total reward

If tax policy changes, your top earners may be tempted away by higher salaries elsewhere, either in the UK or abroad. But the grass is often not greener.

Remind people of the total value of their reward, not just in cold, hard cash, but the broader financial gains such as pensions, investment options or benefits, and the non-financial, such as culture, recognition and purpose.

Organisations that offer a great package and communicate it well are the ones that will retain their best people through times of change.

2. Flex appeal

Recruitment is costly. By the time you’ve advertised a role, worked with recruiters, interviewed and selected people, then brought them onboard and inducted them, it’s far cheaper and easier to retain someone that replace them. Remind your managers of this.

If it comes down to a choice between a great employee leaving or offering them a little extra to persuade them to stay, the latter could save you money. Start the conversation between your HR and finance team now and communicate to make sure your managers know how much they can flex.

3. Power to the people

    Many HR teams are working on upgrading employee policies and benefits for their people. Take parental leave, for example, where many companies are offering more support to women returning from maternity leave and to families with increased caring responsibilities.

    While unionised workforces are likely to have more backing than before, all organisations should be working closely with their people to offer a range of benefits that help colleagues to balance their personal and professional lives.

    That’s why now’s the perfect time to revisit your listening strategy and build a range of colleague networks that provide the insights you need to make great decisions about upgrading your employee experience.

    4.Celebrate the super-savers

    Some people are more financially savvy than others. There will be people in your organisation with a nose for a bargain and the drive to make the most of what’s on offer to them. Those people are a fantastic source of employee support as things change.

    Pull together a panel of people that are confident with their cash – your money saving experts – and give them the access and permission to work with your rewards team to understand the range of financial benefits on offer, and communicate them in a way that others can truly understand.

    Consider hosting drop-in sessions, where your experts can give advice to less savvy savers on how to make the most of the rewards on offer, or how to navigate government changes to tax or policies.

    5. Don’t damage diversity

    Organisations have worked hard to increase representation and retain people with diverse experiences. But if you’re at risk of losing talent, it’s likely that talent could include people from minority backgrounds – women, people with disabilities, people of colour and LGBTQ+ people.

    Keeping your diverse talent on board is vital if you’re to retain the range of perspectives that makes your organisation truly great. So, how can you do that?

    • Appoint a senior leader to check in with anyone from a minority community who hands their notice in or faces redundancy. Their role is simply to question the teams involved to see if there is any way to avoid losing that person
    • Work closely with your networks to test how changes to policies or benefits might impact their communities. Use this to unearth any unintended consequences to these groups before a policy comes into play
    • Step back and consider how well your total reward package supports all your people. For example, a senior male decision maker may assume that financial rewards in your organisation are adequate – but they have a non-working partner at home to help them manage. When both parents need to work, the cost of childcare on top of rent and expenses can be a challenge, and means families make a choice for one parent to either move jobs or quit altogether. Zoom out and ask different questions to make sure you retain your best people.

    Keeping the calm

    Change always has an impact on your people, but it’s up to you to keep the calm, to guide your people and make your workplace – and their role – their safe space in the stormy seas. And with great support, you can do just that.

    Our team works with large organisations every day to help them create a better world of work for their people. From articulating total reward to upgrading policies and benefits, listening strategies and communication plans, it’s our aim that your employees feel their best, so they can be their best and do their best.

    We can’t predict the future, but we can help you optimise your employee experience.

    If you’re looking for advice, get in touch with one of our expert consultants:

    • Hayley Exon – employee experience specialist
    • Alastair Atkinson – employee value proposition specialist
    • Lu McKay – leadership and coaching specialist
    • Russ Norton – diversity and inclusion specialist

    More on this TopIC

    The Point.

    The latest thinking from the team, direct to your inbox.
    We’d love to hear from you

    01904 633 399

    AWARDS BADGES Agency Business white

    The Old Chapel,
    27a Main Street,
    YO10 4PJ


    The Black & White Building,
    74 Rivington Street,
    EC2A 3AY

    © scarlettabbott 2024 Privacy Notice