•    94% of CFOs say developing resilience amongst their employees over the next two to five years is important, rising to 97% in London 
•    Digitalisation (51%), regulation (49%) and Brexit-related transitional work (47%) mean a constant state of change is the new norm in finance departments
•    Employers plan to upskill staff through proactive measures such as specialist physical and mental health support (43%), providing clarity in goals and expectations (41%) and clear communication (39%)

London, 28 March 2019 – Challenges facing UK businesses in the next five years have heightened the need for employee resilience, according to new research1 from recruitment specialist Robert Half UK.

As businesses adapt to an ongoing period of change, more than nine in 10 (94%) CFOs think developing resilience amongst their employees will be important over the next two to five years, with 43% citing this as very important. This is critical to almost all (97%) CFOs from London-based businesses – the UK’s financial hub. 

Ongoing economic and industry trends affecting the trajectory of many businesses have created a need for employees to be able to thrive successfully in times of continual change.

Nearly half (47%) of CFOs say Brexit-related transitional work is currently affecting their department. A similar proportion (51%) say digital transformation is impacting their department, as a result of automation and an increasing dependence on technology. Additionally, regulatory changes passed in the previous 12 months, including GDPR and MiFID II, continue to create considerable pressures within organisations (49%). Just 7% of CFOs say they are currently not experiencing any change within their department.  

Against this backdrop, business leaders are investing in measures to instil a sense of resilience amongst their staff, to prepare them for the transitional times that lie ahead and ensure they can adapt to any possible disruption. A key element of this is specialist physical and mental health support, being offered by nearly half (43%) of businesses. A similar proportion are focusing on communication, transparency and honesty; providing clarity in goals and expectations (41%), offering an honest perspective (39%) and allowing for an open dialogue within the team (39%).

Ways CFOs plan to instil a sense of resilience among their employees 
Provide specialist support to maintain physical and mental health43%
Provide clarity in goals and expectations41%
Support a positive outlook with my team40%
Provide an honest perspective39%
Offer an employee wellbeing scheme39%
Allow for open dialogue with my team39%
Encourage teamwork37%
Source: Robert Half, 2019. Multiple responses permitted.

With one in four (25%) CFOs who say employees with a sense of resilience will be more challenging to find over the next three years - and a similar proportion who say it will be more in demand (28%) – more business leaders are recognising the importance of successfully upskilling their current employees. 

Matt Weston, Managing Director, Robert Half UK commented: “Ongoing economic uncertainty and significant trends such as digitalisation means the business landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, bringing with it a raft of challenges for employers and employees alike. 

“The ability to successfully adapt and to keep up with this constant change has never been more important, especially as it shows no sign of slowing down. Businesses can reassure employees by investing in their people – in wellbeing strategies and cultural measures to improve their employees’ ability to ‘bounce back’ from adversity and continue to prosper.”

– ENDS –

Notes to editors
* The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in January 2019 by an independent research firm among 700 senior decision-makers in businesses in the UK. This survey is part of an international study on hiring trends and career ambitions in the modern workplace.