How your employees are responding to Brexit

Brexit is significantly affecting employee morale

We’re always interested in how external influences affect our clients, candidates and the wider market, so last month, we commissioned research of 1,000 UK employees to better understand how they’re feeling about Brexit. The survey delivered some interesting results.

Employees are more stressed and anxious

The findings revealed that a third of employees across the UK are already feeling the negative effects of Brexit, two months out from the October 31st deadline. Likely due to the continuing political uncertainty around the practicalities of delivering a successful Brexit deal, many are concerned about what our economy and policies will look like from November 1st.

Of those employees negatively affected, almost half (47%) say they are more stressed and anxious, with 36% stating that they’ve seen a decrease in new projects, 46% have seen a decline in decision making and 33% have seen a reduced level of risk-taking in their businesses.

A candidate-short market

The survey also revealed that, for a fifth of those surveyed, it’s become harder to recruit staff. While this could be attributed to a drop in job applications from EU nationals, the low unemployment rate almost certainly plays a role.

The results, broken down

46% of people surveyed are worried about the future impact of Brexit on their business. Their biggest concerns are:

  • Wages stagnating (58%)
  • Job losses (56%)
  • Fewer opportunities for career progression (30%)

Broken down by region, over half of workers surveyed in London and Scotland are worried about Brexit (54%), while those in the East Midlands and North East are least worried (33%). This correlates with the EU referendum results, where London and Scotland voted majority to remain, while the East Midlands and North East voted majority to leave.

In terms of industry breakdown, those in the legal profession are most worried about the impact of Brexit (59%), whereas those in real estate are the least worried at 15%. A third of medical and health service workers are worried, with 40% of IT, telecoms and manufacturing workers concerned about the Brexit impact.

Group of creative people on a meeting in office, blurred motion of businessman passing in front, view through window

What employers can do

Time and again, it’s been proven that positive employee morale is crucial to ongoing staff productivity and long-term business success. These findings clearly demonstrate that employees need reassurance from their employers throughout this period of uncertainty. We recommend engaging with staff through clear ongoing internal communication in order to maintain a level of transparency. Employee engagement surveys may also help to gauge general sentiment across the business and provide you with opportunities to act on specific feedback.

About the research

Research was undertaken by YouGov between 18th – 24th July 2019. The total sample size was 1,000 adults and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size and geographical spread.

Contact Tiger today for advice in engaging prospective employees and attracting new talent.