The manufacturing industry is set to drastically change as a result of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, regardless of what terms are agreed. Manufacturing currently accounts for 45% of all UK exports, proving to be an industry that the country highly depends on. It is therefore important that Brexit does not impose too much of a threat to the industry as a whole, as this could have detrimental effects on the economy.

With all the speculation surrounding Brexit consistently put to the forefront of the media, it will be common for those who work in manufacturing to express doubts about the future of the industry. In addition to this, employees may also begin to convey frustrations regarding their individual roles. Business leaders in the sector can help to ease doubts and maintain a positive workplace environment despite any sector changes through effective manufacturing workplace training.

Commercial skills

Developing the commercial skills of employees should be a priority in any manufacturing workplace training programme, but it is even more critical with Brexit on the horizon. If employees in the sector are unaware of how the industry is developing in light of a potential national restructure, employees are more likely to become frustrated with a lack of understanding about how their roles could possibly change in the future. In turn, this may damage the quality of products or halt production in serious cases.

To keep a workforce updated with any potential changes to their positions or the industry as a whole, those in management positions can dedicate time during manufacturing workplace training to give employees the opportunity to research any Brexit-related developments. Leaders can also provide their people with the relevant materials to improve their commercial skills to be prepared should any changes come into effect, thus reducing the likelihood of staff departures at all levels.

Open and honest communication

With the impact of Brexit on the manufacturing industry predicted to be largely negative due to increased regulations on UK trade and export, adopting a transparent form of communication between leadership and the rest of the workforce may be critical to ensuring that morale does not falter. By utilising experiential learning workshops and team-building activities correctly as part of manufacturing workplace training, the potential implications to the business as a whole along with how individual employees will be affected can be communicated in a clear and concise manner. Withholding information regarding Brexit developments from employees at any level is likely to break trust across the hierarchy of a company, leading to unrest amongst the workforce which could prove to be disastrous alongside the economic uncertainties that may occur. Trust is a crucial aspect of a healthy working environment and must be maintained. For more information about how to build trust in the workplace, read our blog on influencing skills.

With Brexit imminent, and the future of the industry in the UK still in doubt for the time being, the importance of developing a manufacturing workplace training programme that keeps employees updated with any developments has never been greater. By giving employees a platform to develop their commercial skills and maintaining an open channel of communication across a company, employees are more likely to feel valued and continue engaging with their roles regardless of any implications.