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Firms now better at managing change

The majority of leaders and HRDs are already planning their response to Brexit

Firms are getting better at managing change, according to research by Full Potential Group.

The State of Leadership & Change report, seen exclusively by HR magazine, found that two-thirds (67%) of heads of L&D or talent management and 64% of HR directors said their businesses had met their objectives for change in the past five years.

Only 9% and 13% respectively said they hadn't, with 64% of all respondents saying productivity had improved as a result. A third (34%) said they had also increased profitability, and 32% stated they had raised customer satisfaction. Only 8% of HR directors and HR managers said that leaders are getting worse at managing change.

The report also found that almost all (92%) HR professionals are expecting to make changes as a result of Brexit. It found that 28% of HR professionals are planning to source from additional markets outside the EU, 23% expect to restructure and cut costs, 16% anticipate a reorganisation of their business, and 13% plan to relocate.

Agility and adapting to a changing market was chosen as one of the top three most important leadership and change factors that leaders think will affect their organisation’s success in the next five years, selected by 62% of respondents. Almost half (47%) chose access to skills and the ability to recruit, while 43% believed success would hinge on strengthening their leadership team and leadership capability.

Carole Gaskell, managing director of Full Potential Group, described the findings as “encouraging".

“[These results are] especially promising when in the past it’s commonly [been] found that 70% of change initiatives fail to deliver results,” she said. “It's a sign of greater investment in developing leaders' skills and in measuring change. Twelve years ago we found that companies weren't measuring change but now you would struggle to find an HR and business strategy without metrics to demonstrate the commercial impact of cultural initiatives.

“Encouragingly, in a new Brexit world our research found that leaders are getting better at change and organisations are also getting better at meeting their objectives for change.”