Preparing for workforce change in 2019


sign change ahead2019 is fast approaching and it promises to be a year of intense economic change. With Brexit drawing ever closer, UK businesses are still unclear as to the impact it will have on them.

Alongside this, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which describes the advancement in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing and biotechnology, looks set to continue reshaping the way we work, live and play.

With so much political and economic ambiguity ahead, organisations are already unsure as to the impact upcoming changes will have on their workforce. Firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers have not moved their stance from early 2018 that Brexit will result in redundancies, and, with studies finding that 35% of the British workforce are in roles considered at high risk due to automation, businesses must look for uncomplicated, cost-effective ways to support their people through 2019.


Although the plan hasn’t been finalised at the time of writing, the UK leaving the EU looks to be the likeliest outcome.

Some organisations are already feeling the pressure of a weaker pound and future uncertainty. The negotiations that are currently taking place are already influencing the nature of workforce planning into 2019, with organisations positioning themselves to respond with as much agility as possible to the UK’s expected departure from the EU in March.

The CIPD is recommending that organisations take a proactive approach to preparing for possible Brexit outcomes through methodical workforce planning, understanding more about where the risks and opportunities are going to come from and how they can ensure they have the resources to respond.

PricewaterhouseCoopers reinforce this, stating “Without complete clarity until after the Brexit negotiation process, scenario planning now puts your business in a position to take charge, adapt, grab new opportunities and take full advantage of whatever the ‘new normal’ turns out to be”.


First coined by Klaus Schwab in 2016, it is almost impossible to predict the ultimate impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is already affecting the ways in which we work, live and play.

The underlying basis for the 4IR lies in developments in communication and connectivity, and these advances will continue to connect billions of people to the web, drastically changing businesses and organisations. As well as this, huge advancements in robotics and automation are plainly making waves across all industries, resulting in workforce uncertainty.

We are already seeing the human impact and workforce restructure caused by these advancements. From professional services, such as accountancy and law, through to retail and manufacturing, organisations are reviewing the way they integrate technology, which in some cases is leading to a significant reorganisation of workforce. This may result in redundancies as new technology is implemented, or in the need for recruitment of staff with up to date expertise in new systems and processes.

Workforce Change in 2019

Whether affected by uncertainty surrounding Brexit or changes resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, It is imperative that organisations review the support that they provide to individuals to help them transition effectively if their role is made redundant. Whether the transition be an internal redeployment or an external move, organisations will reap the benefits of supporting staff in the short term with a more flexible and engaged workforce, and in the long term through increased employer brand recognition.

Renovo are a provider of innovative Outplacement and Redeployment solutions, having supported tens of thousands of people return to work twice as fast as the national industry average. If you are an employer concerned about workforce change in 2019, Renovo can help. Contact a member of the Renovo team on 0800 612 2011 or email

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