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People Risk Academy Forum promotes risk and HR collaboration

Published on Thu, 09/01/2020 - 11:24

Risk and human resources professionals shared an informative and engaging day considering the evolving nature of people risk at Airmic's last Academy Forum of 2019.

Hosted at Zurich's London office on Thursday, 5 December, more than 40 members and their colleagues from HR heard presentations on how careers and employment are changing, how to identify people risks and the different options available for multinational employee benefits programmes.

The Academy Forum also served as the launch of Airmic's latest guide - Managing risk: the human factor.

Lesley Harding, vice president of insurance risk solutions at BP, opened the day by sharing observations from the Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott book The 100-Year Life and her own experiences of how the priorities of employment are changing and the knock-on effect that is having on workplace culture and risk management considerations.

Julia Graham, Airmic's deputy CEO and technical director, moderated a panel with Crispin Marriott, Client relationship director at Willis Towers Watson, and Harry Blanchard, manager at Arthur D Little, that addressed the identification of people risks.

Blanchard highlighted examples in the transportation sector, where managing fatigue among operators and crew is rising higher up the risk register, and Marriott explained the need to switch the mindset to view employees as investors in an organisation, rather than assets.

"Employees choose to invest their human capital with your firm, (their knowledge, skills and experience) and they have choices about where to place that investment," Marriott said. "As an organisation you need to attract that investment and make it grow. Treating employees as investors opens up a whole new mindset and unleashes human potential."

Members also heard three short practical presentations on health & safety, travel and wellness, while Generali Employee Benefits' Daniela Masters and Damian Ross demonstrated some of the tools and techniques risk and insurance professionals can bring to healthcare and wellness programme design.

Airmic's Richard Cutcher moderated the final panel of the day on insuring employee benefits. Mark Cook, Senior director at Willis Towers Watson, Kareena Hooker, global head of insurable employee benefits at HSBC, and Tom Laidler, regional distribution manager UK & Ireland, Zurich Global Employee Benefits Solutions, discussed the evolution of employee benefit programmes and the benefits that they can bring to organisations.

"Multinational employee benefit programmes is an exciting growth are for insurance managers to become involved in," Cutcher said. "These projects usually provide senior management and board exposure and require a strong collaborative approach between insurance and risk professionals, procurement and HR departments.

"As healthcare costs continue to spiral, it is becoming increasingly important to take control of the spend."