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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Prioritising people risks as a catalyst for change

Advice for employers

This is a guest blog by Stuart Peall​​​​​​ at Mercer Marsh Benefits

The cost-of-living crisis has presented a new set of people risks to organisations, especially those that are still grappling with the impact of the pandemic. 

Wage pressure is on companies to raise salaries to support employees facing the squeeze, and those that fail to increase budgets are in danger of the ‘great resignation’ fallout as more people move for better pay. 

But throwing money at the problem isn’t the solution. Businesses need to focus on other people risks to avoid financial or reputational losses. 

The Mercer Marsh Benefits People Risk Report shows that the top five People Risk factors include cybersecurity and data privacy; administration and fiduciary; pandemics and other communicable health conditions; changing nature of work; and catastrophic personal life events. 

People risk blind spots 

The latest People Risk Priorities report by Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB) has revealed that more than half of organisations surveyed admitted that their policies and procedures were insufficient and ineffective for tackling people risks. 

It highlighted a glaring failure of only 28% of companies having a competitive employee value proposition in place. 

A lack of coordination exists between risk management (RM) and human resources (HR) teams to mitigate risks, while one in four organisations lack the ability to gather and analyse the necessary data. 

Research also showed that only 37% of employers have effective measures and communication strategies in place to boost a culture of health and well-being – spotlighting significant blinds spots that urgently need addressing. 

Worryingly, one in five employees plan to move jobs this year, compared to one in ten during normal times. 

Positive change 

So, how can employers manage people risks?  

Look for blind spots – paying particular attention to areas which are low down the risk list and not sufficiently addressed. For example, less than one in four companies are adequately tackling upskilling, despite challenges generated by technological innovation. 

The HR and RM teams should be on the same page as a unified front to tackle organisational risk goals head on.  

To instil a catalyst for positive change it’s also essential to create long term strategies – and move from reactionary to proactive action. Addressing people risks only as they become problems doesn’t resolve the root causes and may not be financially sustainable over time. 

At Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB), we have a broad team of experienced specialists that can help clients of any size design solutions that meet their business needs and address the health and wellness needs of their employees. To learn more about how we can help your business, get in touch.