Workforce Risk Management: Strategies for Mitigating Employee-Related Risks

People are the backbone of every business, but they generate significant risk. Employee-related exposures, such as health and safety, geopolitical risks, and digitization have been rapidly boosting risk registers and are demanding increased board attention. This trend has been accelerated by the pandemic which illustrated that threats to the health and well-being of the workforce threaten the overall resilience and success of a business.  Workforce risk management is crucial to protect, equip, and motivate this most critical asset: people.

Whether you are a plant supervisor or corporate risk advisor, managing your workforce and protecting employers from hazards and geopolitical workforce risk requires vigilance and planning. It’s critical to be aware of workplace risks, develop strategies to reduce their prevalence in the workplace, promote a safe work environment and keep employees protected. 

Workforce Risk Management: Strategies for Mitigating Employee-Related Risks

What is Employee-Related Risk Management?

Employee risk management is the process of identifying, analyzing, accepting, and mitigating risks that arise from work activities and employee processes.

Trending Employee-Related Threats Facing Organizations

  • Cybersecurity
  • Talent attraction
  • Employee retention
  • Data privacy
  • Workforce exhaustion
  • Geopolitical threats
  • Remote work environments

Mercer Marsh People Risk Framework

Mercer Marsh is part of Marsh McLennan, a global leader in the health and benefits marketplace. They have grouped 25 people-related risks into five main groups to help organizations identify, prioritize, and manage the threats that are most pertinent to them and take the appropriate mitigation approach. Read on to learn more about this important categorization.

25 People-Related Risks

Health and Safety

  1. Mental health issues
  2. Workforce exhaustion 
  3. Non-communicable health conditions 
  4. Communicable health conditions
  5. Work-related illness or injury

Talent Practices

  1. Talent attraction, retention, and engagement
  2. Conduct and culture
  3. Succession and key person risk
  4. Changing nature of work
  5. Travel and mobility

Accelerated Digitisation

  1. Misalignment of HR and business strategy
  2. Skills obsolescence
  3. Cybersecurity
  4. Data privacy
  5. Obsolescent HR technologies 

Environment and Social

  1. Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  2. Environment 
  3. Labor and employee relations
  4. Social unrest
  5. Catastrophic personal life event 

Governance and Financial

  1. Increasing health, risk protection, and well-being benefit costs 
  2. Pension financial risks 
  3. Administration and fiduciary 
  4. Legal and Compliance  
  5. Benefit decision-making and accountability

These risks are relevant to all businesses but will play out differently and take on differing levels of priority, depending on the industry and risk appetite.  No matter the industry, though, Covid 19 has put health and safety on the top of the list for everyone!

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Risk Management in the Workplace

Mitigating risk and promoting safety is a proactive strategy. You need foresight to create a work environment that encourages workers to make safety a top priority. We’ll share some strategies to help you manage people-related risks in your workplace.

  • Get Input From Employees

Because employees are immersed in the work environment, they have a firsthand understanding of work conditions and potential hazards. Employee feedback can result in more efficient, effective means of resolving safety vulnerabilities.

  • Perform a Risk Assessment

Work with stakeholders to assess their employee activities and identify the employment practice risks their line of work exposes them to.

  • Schedule Inspections

Perform regular inspections of your site to ensure any defects or hazards are noted and addressed. If your workplace is inherently dangerous, you may need to hire a safety manager or train supervisors to monitor the workplace for dangers. You should also make sure your employees know what to do if they encounter a potential hazard.

  • Create a Risk Mitigation Plan

Once you’ve identified the risks at your site, formulate a plan to help employees avoid injury for each risk. Break down the risks as part of a risk assessment and make a list of all the steps that must be taken to prevent an accident. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of organizations that ignore such steps, especially those in low-risk environments. Remember, accidents can happen anywhere.

  • Implement the Plan

Set controls to ensure your plan’s desired effectiveness. Whatever the strategy may be, it’s important to constantly evaluate its performance to make sure it works as well in practice as it may have looked on paper.

  • Monitor and Review

Situations and risk factors keep changing, so business owners should stay on their toes by regularly evaluating their risk management program, insurance policies, and employee compliance with policies and procedures. This agility will enable them to quickly address developments that can negatively impact them.

  • Insurance coverage

Even after setting ground rules, things can still go wrong. Comprehensive insurance coverage transfers employee practice liability to an insurance company, which will protect the business’ funds and operations in the event of claims and lawsuits.

  • Employee Education

Some risks are due to ignorance and errors by employees. Business owners should set up programs and workshops to educate their teams on workplace policies and professional best practices. Consider offering training on workplace safety regulations and strategies to reduce workplace injuries.

  • Facilitate Workplace Risk Management with OSHA

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) provides assistance in building safe work environments. The organization, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides ample resources to help companies facilitate risk management in the workplace and communicate potential dangers.

OSHA’s standard recommendations include:

  1. Widely publishing and disseminating safety policies
  2. Labeling and placing signs in hazardous areas
  3. Multilingual training classes and materials
  4. Regular medical examinations
  5. Periodic safety inspections
  6. An effective incident reporting system
  7. Protective gear for employees
  8. Equipment testing and maintenance.
  9. Onsite security for vulnerable facilities

Take a Proactive Approach to Workplace Safety

Keeping employees safe should be a top priority in any work environment. The pandemic has thrown workers’ well-being into the spotlight and highlighted the understated dependence on employees that is necessary for business resilience. 

Centraleye’s risk register helps you identify and analyze potential workplace hazards, infractions, and risks. The platform is built with over 70 risk and compliance standards across a wide array of industries and needs and facilitates risk management and compliance processes. 

Reach out today to learn more about our innovative process.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Looking to learn more about Workforce Risk Management?
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