The survey, which took place between 24th October and 5th December 2019, saw 1,104 UK-based CMI members respond to various aspects of the UK’s exit from the EU.
Almost 3 in 4 respondents (73%) feel that their organisation is at least fairly prepared for Brexit. This is a significant increase on the 58% of managers who said that they felt their organisation was at least fairly prepared in December 2018.
“For businesses, the increased feelings of preparedness that we are seeing from managers up and down the UK is certainly good news,” said Niamh Mulholland, Director of External Affairs at Chartered Management Institute. “However, while we may have Brexit approved in Parliament, the complex process of defining what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will look like – and the implications it will have for business – is only now beginning in earnest. Confidence is a key element of good leadership, and the more prepared managers feel for post-Brexit business, the more confident and able they will be as leaders of the workforce.”
On involvement in preparations, nearly half of managers (45%) have had at least a little involvement in their organisation’s contingency planning for Brexit – an increase on our 2018 survey which found that only 40% were at least a little involved. However, business size and sector, and staff seniority levels emerged as areas where managerial involvement differed:
- Managers from SMEs (small/medium size enterprises) were 26 percentage points more likely to have had involvement in their organisation’s contingency planning for Brexit, compared with managers from large organisations (61% compared to 35%).
- Private sector managers were 13 percentage points (51% compared to 38%) more likely to have had involvement in their organisation’s contingency planning for Brexit, compared with public sector managers.
- Senior managers were over twice as likely (66% compared to 31%) to have had involvement in their organisations contingency planning for Brexit, compared with junior managers.
“We now have the political certainty provided by a Government with a strong majority to proceed with its legislative agenda,” said Niamh Mulholland. “CMI will work alongside the Government to provide support and clarity to business leaders and managers preparing for life outside of the EU. It’s important to ensure managers invest in skills to deal with uncertainty and are involved as much as possible in Brexit preparations during the transition period.”