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People Risk 2024

People risks are financial risks. Use this report as your guide to managing the top people and business-related risks. Data and insights from over 4,575 HR and Risk professionals, with 660 of them from Europe.

People risks are financial risks. Explore the 25 top people risks as ranked by over 4,575 risk and HR and Risk professionals, with 660 of them from Europe. 

Risk, finance, health and safety, and HR professionals across 26 markets shared the most significant people risks impacting employee health and well-being.

The People Risk report is your guide for a proactive, predictive, and disciplined approach to people risk management. It outlines key workforce threats facing employers worldwide organized under five pillars of risk, the impact they can have on your organization, and practical approaches to addressing critical risks today and tomorrow.

Use this report to identify, prioritize, and manage the most critical people risks across your organization:

  • Discover the most significant people risks facing businesses globally
  • Learn strategies to proactively manage your people risk
  • Understand how to identify and overcome barriers to mitigate people risk
  • Determine innovative and collaborative actions you can take to effectively manage risks and plan ahead

Are you ready to explore the top people risks and strategies to mitigate them?

Explore the full report

Click to learn more about each of the five pillars of risk

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Technological change and disruption

  • The cybersecurity workforce gap has reached a record high, with 4 million professionals needed to adequately safeguard digital assets.
  • 1 in 2 executives believe AI will fundamentally change their business model but mismanagement of AI is only ranked 18th as a People Risk by Risk/HR.

Technology is forging new jobs, delivery channels and products, but it is also introducing new risks and deepening existing ones. 

Managing these risks means creating a culture that is committed to protecting the organization from cyber threats, data breaches and intellectual property theft, as well as one that is genuinely addressing AI and other disruptive technologies both as an opportunity and a threat.

Talent, leadership and workforce practices

  • 70% of companies report not having an effective employee value proposition in place today.
  • 1 in 3 HR/Risk professionals are concerned about senior leadership’s lack of expertise in crisis management.

Organizations can only remain competitive if they can recruit and develop the right skills, talent and leadership. However, equally as important is ensuring employees’ needs are met in order to promote thriving and productivity.

Leadership needs to be able to recognize employee needs, inspire engagement and loyalty and take action on supporting their people through critical moments in their lives and in moments of company crises. These actions engender trust and are critical in supporting a culture of risk management.

Health, well-being and safety

  • 1 in 2 Risk/HR professionals are concerned about productivity losses associated with employees spending time and energy on sourcing, navigating and/or travelling for health care.
  • 46% of employees said they would give up a 10% pay increase for more well-being benefits, an increase from 32% in 2022.

Employee health and safety is a staple of any people risk agenda, but organizations must broaden the scope of how they define well-being at work.

As suicide, conflict and burnout trend in the wrong direction, psychological health and emotional well-being now demand equal recognition with physical safety in terms of risk mitigation.

Employers have a unique opportunity to advance health support for their employees and fill gaps within traditional systems of healthcare.

Governance, compliance and financial

  • Increasing health and benefit costs is the highest-ranking people risk, driven by its high likelihood.
  • Changing legislation and heightened scrutiny has jumped from the 12th to 5th most highly ranked risk due to an explosion in regulation impacting rewards to investments to use of AI.

As inflationary pressures on benefit costs persist, organizations must plan for changes to their benefit programs now. Managing underlying risks and keeping focus on ensuring employees remain well can help to manage claims costs.

As it relates to people risks more broadly, increasing stakeholder scrutiny, litigation and legislative activity across different regions means that identifying and getting ahead of emerging governance gaps is crucial. 

Environment, sustainability and protection

  • 38% of HR/Risk professionals are concerned about lack of benefits to cover climate-related health conditions.
  • The impact of the rising cost of living is costing, with 6 employee work hours per month lost to money worries. Ensuring that people can live decently is critical with only 35% of executives reporting a living wage for all workers.

Environmental risks have traditionally been interpreted as related to property, but the potentially catastrophic impact of extreme weather events and natural disasters on the health and well-being of employees and their families is an imminent threat.

Issues such as the cost-of-living crisis have compounded hardships for many employees over this decade. Widening disparities between executive and worker rewards as well as values are now having an impact on workplace dynamics as well as labor relations.​

Explore the top 3 risks by region and industry

How do key trends compare and differ by region and industry? We have captured the top trends across 8 regions and 12 industries for you to explore where they align and how they differ. Download the report to explore for all 25 risks and implications and actions for organizations and their workforce.

Report FAQs

The People Risk report, surveying over 4,575 professionals, evaluates 25 key people risks across five pillars, including technological change, talent practices, health and safety, governance, and environmental sustainability. Respondents assessed the impact and likelihood of each risk over the next one to two years, using a Risk Rating Score (RRS) to prioritize them. The report highlights critical workforce challenges and opportunities faced by risk leaders in various industries and regions. Its aim is to aid in understanding and mitigating the people risks most likely to affect organizational health and success.

The People Risk report is a critical resource for risk professionals, including anyone involved in an HR function in their organization and with responsibility for managing business and people related risks.  It is an essential resource for those involved in the growth and success of their business and helps inform decision-making when prioritizing and mitigating workforce-related risks. 

This report equips risk and HR functions with actionable insights necessary to navigate current and future uncertainties for different industries across regions and markets. Read client case studies and find out how we are helping other organizations, the lessons they are learning, and the value we are delivering.

The People Risk report provides risk and HR professionals, and those that work with you, with innovative strategies to prioritize and effectively manage workforce-related risks within your organization. As stakeholder expectations increase, you can better collaborate to help your business and its people thrive.