The risks of pandemics and other contagious illnesses, administration and fiduciary risks, and cybersecurity and data privacy are now regarded as the top people-related risks by businesses in Asia, according to the Mercer Marsh Benefits People Risk 2022 study. The study also highlights the possibility that emphasizing these immediate threats at the price of employee support. Here is the recap from the study.
Over 2,500 human resources and risk experts from 25 different countries were polled for MMB’s research, People Risk: Resetting Priorities to Manage Risks for Workforce and Business Resilience, which also contains information from over 600 respondents from Asia. The research analyzes the top 25 human resource concerns and points out the major challenges these companies confront in dealing with these threats.
Only 48% of respondents in Asia, according to the study, think that their company has adequate cybersecurity policies, procedures, and systems in place, such multi-factor authentication and data encryption. The primary obstacle to managing cyber threats, according to almost half (45%) of respondents, is a “lack of competent resources to assess and address risks.” Furthermore, while 76 percent of respondents in Asia said that their company is managing HR technology obsolescence, less than half (45 percent) think they have the right systems in place to handle people management and benefits administration that is mostly done online.
Respondents in the region continue to rank pandemics as the top danger despite some areas of Asia adhering to tight COVID-19 regulations. Despite this, just 47% of respondents said they have appropriate policies and support mechanisms in place to foster a culture of employee health, wellness, and safety while enabling remote, hybrid, or other flexible modes of working (46 percent ). Administration and fiduciary risk has emerged as a top risk this year as a result of rising expenses in an environment of economic instability, as well as increased scrutiny of the governance of total compensation. Only 45% of Asian businesses feel they have an effective, well-articulated cost conservation strategy in place for the next three years, despite wage inflation and growing healthcare expenses continuing to put pressure on budgets.
Joan Collar, Asia and Pacific Regional Leader, Mercer Marsh Benefits, said: “As the pandemic continues to accelerate digitalization, it is no surprise that cyber risks are considered as the top people-related risk in Asia. 95% of cybersecurity issues are due to human error, so reskilling and upskilling needs to be prioritized to ensure employees are keeping up with the technological development and changing world of work. A large part of human error can be attributed to employee burnout and fatigue due to ongoing pressure and anxiety caused by the pandemic, as well as antiquated systems and lack of proper cyber training.
The study also highlights how the support for employees may have suffered as a result of the focus on immediate concerns. Risks like diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) (ranked 17th), mental health (ranked 20th), workforce exhaustion (ranked 23rd), and work-related illness and injury (ranked 25th) have been deprioritized despite the fact that 89 percent of respondents in Asia identified health and safety of employees as a serious threat. In the upcoming 12 to 24 months, just one in two businesses plans to spend in minimizing these risks. Additionally, just 42% have effective, open, and measurable plans in place to develop DE&I, and only 48% have successful training, communication, and engagement strategies centered on the company’s mission, culture, values, and ethics.
“Companies need to adopt a more holistic approach to develop and engage their workforce and be very mindful of blind spots on the horizon, particularly around DE&I and ethics which are key to attracting and retaining the right people. Talent and benefit practices should also to be aligned with the values of the organization, and include a clear position on important issues such as climate change policy, diversity, equity and inclusion and equitable access to benefits,” Ms. Collar added.
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(MMB) was born out of the unification of one of the world’s most respected HR consultancies, the global leader in people risk advisory and the number one disruptive benefits technology firm to form one unique business. Together they have shaped some of the world’s most loved employee benefit experiences for small companies, growing enterprises and global firms. MMB is 7,000 strong, on the ground in 73 countries, and servicing clients in more than 150 countries. It brings local expertise to more places and works side-by-side with clients, and Mercer and Marsh colleagues around the world. Mercer and Marsh are two businesses of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), together with Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman. The Company’s 81,000 colleagues advise clients in more than 130 countries. With annual revenue of almost $20 billion, through its market-leading companies Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment.