Occupational health and the search for talent, among the main concerns of companies in the post-Covid era
The recent report “The Five Pillars of People Risk: Managing Risks for Workforce and Business Resilience,” prepared by Mercer Marsh Benefits, concludes that cybersecurity; attracting, retaining and engaging talent; data protection and occupational health are the big challenges companies are currently facing. The results show the impact that the declaration of the pandemic has had on the functioning of businesses around the world over the past year.
The survey classifies 25 human capital risks into five main categories: health and safety; governance and finance; acceleration of digitization; talents and social and environmental issues. For its preparation, MMB had the participation of 1,380 professionals from the sector.
Globally, both human resources directors (46%) and risk managers (54%) agree that cybersecurity and talent are the top two risks. While the HR and risk management departments of Spanish companies have not only expressed concern over the recruitment and retention of key talent, but also claim to be concerned about the deteriorating health, both physical and mental, of their employees.
In fact, one of the most important factors is the deterioration of mental health and the different relevance accorded to it in each region. Globally, there has been an increase in anxiety, stress, depression and substance abuse disorders. The US and UK see it as the number one risk they face, but in Asia it does not appear in the top ten risk ranking. Alberto Puente, CEO of Mercer Marsh Benefits, says HR and Risk Management concerns about burnout and employee mental health have yet to elicit a response from company management. Puente argues that, “for the risks associated with human capital to be addressed satisfactorily, organizations must ensure that support is coming from the highest level and that there are committed leaders, sufficient resources and budget to support them. changing the cultures of employee support programs ”.
Already in February this year, the Mercer study on global talent trends in Spain 2021, showed that the appearance of COVID-19 has led to significant readjustments in work processes and the redistribution of resources essential to success. . Changes that may have affected the health of employees and lead to a certain level of attrition. For this reason, mental and emotional health was the top priority in almost half of the organizations (43%), with new benefits such as subscriptions to meditation apps, mental wellness platforms, and counseling. . Likewise, 39% of Spanish companies are implementing so-called “virtual health mechanisms” to provide better access to remote healthcare (telemedicine), in addition to expanding service options.
The MMB report also highlights important differences between industries. So, for example, financial institutions see burnout as the biggest risk they face, while the automotive and manufacturing industries identify skills obsolescence as their biggest risk. The retail sector, however, is facing environmental challenges and the construction sector with rising employee benefit costs.
Regionally, cybersecurity is the most perceived risk in the world, with the exception of Latin America and Asia. The biggest concern in Latin America is the cost of health-related social benefits; in Asia, the attraction and retention of talent.
Alberto Puente, CEO of Mercer Marsh Benefits, explains that COVID-19 has radically changed the expectations of workers and the way companies manage human capital risks. He believes that health, wellness and risk prevention programs have become one of the most valuable issues in finding employees. “The pandemic has put human capital risks on the map and leaders of organizations need to make it easier for HR and risk management to work in a coordinated fashion with all teams to minimize these risks,” Puente concludes.