On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak executed a comprehensive Cabinet reshuffle, responding to recent turbulence in the political sphere.
Notably, Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been ousted from her position, making way for James Cleverley to step into the role. Meanwhile, the former Prime Minister David Cameron, now a life peer, has taken up the mantle of Foreign Secretary.
The unexpected appointment of Cameron has drawn attention and commentary from various quarters, with business leaders weighing in on the significance of such decisive actions.
So, what lessons can HR and business leaders take away from this?
The importance of decisive action
Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula, offers insights into the implications for businesses. “While there’s been speculation for several days about the future of Suella Braverman, the move to appoint David Cameron has come as somewhat of a surprise,” Palmer notes.
Drawing parallels between political reshuffles and business leadership, Palmer emphasises the importance of decisive action. “As a leader, it’s important to move decisively. This applies for all business leaders, not just politicians,” she advises.
Palmer highlights the potential damage that can arise from disruptive elements within a company. “If an employee is being disruptive or bringing a company into disrepute, then it’s important to take control of the situation. Bad publicity can cause significant damage to reputation, reducing the level of trust that clients and the public have in you and your company.”
How can you successfully manage personnel changes?
The key takeaway for business leaders is the importance of managing personnel changes effectively. Palmer suggests that leaders should consider disciplinary action if an employee’s actions are contrary to company values. “Talk to the employee, remind them of the behaviours expected, and follow your disciplinary procedures as appropriate, based on the level of their actions. This could be up to and including termination.”
Furthermore, Palmer underscores the significance of the recruitment process, urging leaders to carefully evaluate the experience and qualifications of potential candidates when filling a role. “When applications come from previous employees, this shows that you have got your offboarding processes right.”
The impact of employees leaving your organisation can be significant
In an era where online presence is paramount, Palmer emphasises the lasting impact of employee departures on a company’s reputation. “How you allow employees to leave your company is just as important, if not more, than the way in which they join.”
Palmer concludes with a piece of advice for business leaders, “Don’t think of it as a slight when an employee leaves your company. People move on for a variety of reasons, but the way you handle this will speak volumes about you as a boss and your company. It’s always best to leave on positive terms wherever possible as nobody knows what the future may hold.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.