Report: The Five Pillars of People Risk | MercerMarsh Benefits

HR Effectiveness

The COVID-19 pandemic brought new, unforeseen risks to light for many organizations. And as firms continue to shift to a post-pandemic environment, they mustn’t let their guards down to the possibility of these threats surfacing in the future. This 64-page report focuses on one element of risk in organizations: people risk. As shown on page 3, the research grouped 25 people-risks into five major categories. 1) Health and Safety (e.g., workforce exhaustion), 2) Governance and financial (e,g, increasing health, risk protection, and well-being benefit costs), 3) Accelerated digitization (cybersecurity, skills obsolescence), 4) Talent practices (e.g., succession and critical person risk), 5) Environmental and social (e.g., diversity, equity, and inclusion, social unrest). Based on feedback from a small sample (n=1,380) of global risks managers and HR professionals, Page 4 plots the 25 people-risks on two dimensions: 1) likelihood of the risk occurring in the next three years and 2) the severity of its impact on the business if it were to happen. Accelerated digitization was the top category of risk, followed by talent practices and health and safety. While the survey was conducted in 2021 and based on a smaller sample, the framework provides organizations with a helpful approach for identifying, prioritizing, and managing various forms of risk. Strategies are offered to help firms manage their current and emerging people-related risks across the five major areas.

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