Corporates have very different views on their most important business asset

People population

People are a company’s most important asset. For any business to succeed, it needs to have a talented workforce. Human capital needs to be managed with care, but not all companies rate people risk as a top priority.

StrategicRISK’s people risks survey found wide ranging views on the importance of people risks. For 42% of risk managers, people risks are within the top five risks of their company. A further 37% of respondents said it registers as risk 6-10 and the remaining 21% cited people risks as not among their company’s top 10.

Anders Esbjörnsson, group risk manager for Swedish construction company NCC and a FERMA board member, says he is surprised by these findings. “My opinion is that there is a human factor that causes the majority of all claims, while being able to attract and retain skilled staff is the key to any company’s success. The reason for the different views could be that not everyone shares my opinion that most claims incidents are due to the human factor and/or that they are focused more on other risks at the moment: cyber risks, political instability, snowstorms (at least in the Nordic region), and so on.”

Lance Henderson, head of sales and relationship management at Zurich Global Employee Benefits Solutions, however is less surprised by the different levels of priority given to people risks. He believes awareness of people risks partly depends on the industry a company operates in and how easy or difficult it is to attract and retain talent. “If they are in an industry where there aren’t enough qualified employees then people risk is probably much higher on the scale. It’s really about demand for talent.”

He adds that he is seeing an increasing awareness of people risks among companies, especially multinationals, where it is often part of a holistic enterprise risk management approach that some of these larger multinationals are adopting.

Click here to read the full report on StrategicRISK’s people risks survey

Absenteeism 7%
Ageing workforce 23%
Attracting and retaining a talented workforce 88%
Injury to workers (physical and mental) 37%
Increased cost of employee benefits programmes 12%
Merging work cultures during M&A activity 14%
Seasonal workers 2%
Travel risk (terrorism and geopolitical violence, kidnap and ransom) 26%
Understanding and management of employee benefit programmes globally 9%
Unethical or fraudulent activities of staff or contractors 42%
Other 14%