Following more than 50 resignations from Conservative MPs, Boris Johnson has today resigned from his position as leader of the Tory party.


What are the biggest HR lessons businesses can learn from this? Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula explains.


“Long term success in business, as in government, relies on clear and confident communication pathways across an organisation to create a positive culture. Good company culture is essential for smooth-running business operations.


“Staff will always have pay at the top of their priority lists, but leaders should focus on making the workplace a comfortable and encouraging environment, underpinned by integrity and respect. Fail to do so and staff may begin to look for external opportunities, even if this means taking a pay cut.


“Of course, when one senior employee leaves, the impact can be significant. But, where multiple management-level staff members resign, the knock-on impact for those remaining can be devastating.


“Employers must ensure they have the right measures in place to support those taking on new responsibilities. This includes the management of their workload and their personal wellbeing.


“Despite all the short comings, a staff exodus of this nature can provide a unique opportunity to review existing processes and asses what can or needs to be improved.


“MPs have already called for a revamp of the number of ministerial positions and the requirements of their roles. It may be time for businesses to adopt a similar approach and use this as an opportunity to create a more efficient structure in their own operation.”


Here are my top HR takeaways from this week in Westminster:


  • Employers need to have a good succession plan in place – pick out your key players and try to upskill those around them (or those you think that can) with the aim of them being able to quickly step up if the key player leaves so that disruption is minimal.
  • When a manager or a management team leaves suddenly, get in amongst their team and support them until a replacement is found.
  • Work against a toxic culture as much as you can; give employees good channels to raise concerns and take them seriously. Have a written grievance procedure/harassment procedure/whistleblowing procedure. Make changes where you need to.
  • Work out your organisational values and make sure all your staff instil them
  • Gauge the general feeling amongst your staff – yearly appraisals aren’t enough. Try ‘stay interviews’ where you talk to employees about what they like/dislike about the business or the work they do, pull together themes and trends and make changes where you need to.