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Brexit creates imperative to tackle workforce productivity and efficiency

The referendum result has created seismic shocks that are being felt across public and private sectors.

Despite uncertainty around the country’s future direction, organisations can ill afford to sit around and wait to see how the situation unfolds.

If the UK wants to be in a strong position to meet future challenges and opportunities, it’s crucial our businesses and institutions tackle some key underlying workforce issues.

The imperative was highlighted within hours of the referendum result by Andy Palmer, the Chief Executive of Aston Martin, who said: "As the UK could now be subject to new trade tariff barriers, we also anticipate the need for additional productivity and efficiency in the medium term."

Brexit should be the catalyst needed to fully address some of the biggest drags on UK productivity and efficiency - sickness absence, staff/asset under-utilisation and the inflationary labour costs generated by unnecessary use of overtime and temporary workers.

In our experience, the design, implementation and management of optimised shift patterns has the potential to create step change improvements in all these areas (not to mention improving employees’ wellbeing and work-life balance).

However, until now, many organisations have put the Working Time changes necessary to achieve this in a folder marked ‘too difficult’ or ‘too disruptive’.

Brexit should be the wakeup call we all heed. Outdated legacy working practices now pose an existential threat to organisations.

With the status quo gone, workforces will need to be flexible and capable of quickly adapting to change, particularly if the UK wants to remain competitive globally whilst protecting or creating jobs and maintaining living standards.

From the potential for new Working Time legislation, to the role unions can play in accelerating change, there are far too many discussion points around Brexit to cover in a single blog.

That’s why as a leading specialist in workforce planning and management, we've created a white paper which explores the issue in more depth and provides guidance around developing flexible and optimised shift patterns.

You can also read our earlier article on the dynamic nature of Working Time legislation and how effective workforce planning is essential to anticipating, understanding and adapting to any changes which might come down the line.

We also run regular Shift Planning Clinics which provide an opportunity for you to confidentially discuss your situation with our highly experienced team. 

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