Top people risks faced by organisations in Asia

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On the talent practices front, just four in 10 organisations surveyed have a competitive employee proposition including reward practices — a "significant oversight given the war for talent in Asia," a recent report noted.

Just 48% of HR and Risk professionals surveyed in Asia believe their organisation has effective cybersecurity policies, controls, and systems in place, a recent report has shown.

According to the report, titled People Risk: Resetting priorities to manage risks for workforce and business resilience, close to half (45%) of the respondents cited the ‘lack of skilled resources to understand and address risks’ as the main barrier to managing cyber risks.

In that vein, cybersecurity and data privacy has emerged as the top-ranked risk in Asia, according to the report.

The report, published by Mercer Marsh Benefits, involved 2,594 HR and Risk professionals in 25 countries/territories, including 626 in Asia: 104 in China; 100 in Hong Kong; 105 in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore respectively, and 107 in India. 

Rounding up the top three risks identified in the region were the following:

2. Pandemics and other communicable health conditions

According to the findings, pandemics are still viewed as a top risk in Asia in second place, even ask countries/regions continue to follow strict COVID-19 measures. That said, less than half (47%) of the respondents said they do have effective policies and support systems in place to enable remote, hybrid, or other flexible ways of working, as well as support a culture of employee health, wellbeing, and safety (46%).

3. Administration and fiduciary

Ranked third, administration and fiduciary have emerged as a top risk this year owing to rising costs and economic uncertainty, the report noted. With that, while wage inflation and rising healthcare costs continue to put pressure on organisations's budgets, just 45% of leaders in the region believe they have an effective, articulated cost containment strategy in place for the next three years.

Interestingly, the report also highlighted how the immediate threats may have come at the expense of support for employees. Despite 89% of respondents in Asia flagging the health and safety of employees as a serious threat, risks such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) (17th), mental health (20th), workforce exhaustion (23rd), and work-related illness and injury (25th) have been deprioritised.

In particular, only one in two companies plan to invest in mitigating these risks in the next 12 to 24 months; less than half (42%) have effective, transparent, and measurable plans in place to advance DE&I, and only 48% have effective training, communication, and engagement strategies around the company’s purpose, culture, values, and ethics.

Commenting on the findings, Joan Collar, Asia and Pacific Regional Leader, Mercer Marsh Benefits said: "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 benefits practices should also be aligned with the values of the organisation, and include a clear position on important issues such as climate change policy, diversity, equity and inclusion, and equitable access to benefits."


Image / Mercer Marsh Benefits

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