Business optimism remains whilst the UK defines what ‘leave’ looks like
Definitive detail on what Brexit means remains elusive despite passing the second-year anniversary of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Previous surveys have tracked businesses and consumers’ continued reluctance since the 2008 recession to plan for the long-term. Delayed investment decisions and incremental, if any, pay increases have characterised the last decade. Ensuring that reward arrangements support recruitment, retention and career planning whilst remaining within steadily constrained budgets has remained the status quo.
Whilst meeting organisations’ immediate needs remains the priority, figures suggest that HR budgets may be gradually increasing alongside projected orders, revenue and profitability. More respondents (60 per cent) expect revenues to increase (compared to 54 per cent in autumn 2017) which may suggest that they are expecting better trading conditions for this year. With 50 per cent of respondents also expected to increase their pay award budgets by up to three per cent, it will be interesting to see whether these results signal the start of longer-term planning and increasing pay levels.