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Mercer Marsh Benefits

People Risk Report 2022

Resetting priorities to manage risks for workforce and business resilience.

2022 research shows the greatest likelihood and impact of 25 workforce-related threats facing employers worldwide according to human resource (HR) professionals and risk managers.

Do you know which people risks provide the greatest threat to your business and how to mitigate them?

We continue to move from one crisis to another with organizations reacting to unfolding events.

Instead, they must learn the lessons of the pandemic, strengthen risk management foundations by being more deliberate, comprehensive and innovative in anticipating emerging and longstanding risks. 

Critical to this is building on the trust established between risk and human resource functions so they work together to protect employees and mitigate people risks linked to health and safety, ESG and the future of work.

The five pillars of people risk that are having the greatest impact on businesses across the globe

MMB people risk research looked at the 25 individual people risks with the greatest power to disrupt business.

Health & Safety

  • Pandemics & other communicable health conditions
  • Employee health & well-being
  • Mental health
  • Workforce exhaustion
  • Work-related illness or injury

Governance & Financial

  • Administration and fiduciary
  • Increasing cost of health, risk protection and wellbeing benefits
  • Benefit, policy, and reward decision making & accountability
  • Legal, compliance, and financial practices
  • Pension financial exposure

Accelerated Digitization

  • Cybersecurity and data privacy
  • Impacts of automation and AI
  • HR technology obsolescence 
  • Misalignment of HR and business strategy
  • Skills obsolescence

Talent Practices

  • Changing the nature of work
  • Talent attraction, retention, and engagement
  • Succession and key person risk
  • Conduct and culture
  • Travel and mobility

Environmental & Social

  • Catastrophic personal life events
  • Environment
  • Working conditions and labor relations
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Leadership issues

Click to learn more about each of the five pillars

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Health and safety is a serious people-related threat facing organizations, according to risk managers and HR professionals.

In fact, 88% of organizations across Middle East and Africa (MEA) said this was a serious threat to businesses. In addition, our Global Talent Trends research showed that 36% of executives have seen measurable returns from their investment in health and well-being.

Business leaders are increasingly aware that health and well-being is a cornerstone of organizational success. However, as benefit costs rise, legislation becomes more complex and supply chain risks become more apparent, Human Resources and risk teams must be more strategic and robust in terms of benefit governance activities.

Accelerated digitization is pushing digital risks, including cybersecurity and data privacy ahead of all risks. More than nine out of ten cybersecurity issues can be traced to human error. 

For the second year running, the MMB People Risk 2022 research showed that HR and risk professionals ranked cybersecurity as the number one risk facing business across MEA.


The MMB 2022 People Risk report found that 83% of HR and risk managers across Middle East and Africa (MEA) agree that talent practice exposures are a serious threat to business. The changing nature of work ranked #5 out of all 25 people-related risks, both for MEA and globally.  

Organizations are increasingly feeling the pressure to ensure that profit does not come at the expense of society or the planet. Environmental and social risks featured prominently in the list of top 10 people risks in Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. This comes from several quarters, including employees, customers, investors and regulators.

Possibility begins with people

People risk is what connects the worlds of Risk and HR together. Learn how to turn possibility into action in our People Risk 2022 global report.

Explore key risks identified by HR and risk managers by geography and industry

What are the key risks and priorities for HR and risk professionals in 2022?

HR and risk managers are aligned on some of the top risks while ranking them differently.  

Explore five people risks, how to mitigate them, and the differences across geographies and industries.

Ten out of the ten top risks identified by HR/risk managers globally can be mitigated by employee benefits, support programs and/or how they are delivered.

Read our report to learn where to start.

About the report

People Risk 2022 includes views from 2,594 HR and Risk professionals in 25 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, North America, the Pacific, and the United Kingdom, from industries including finance, communications, media, technology, manufacturing, automotive and retail.


Global organizations


HR respondents


Risk respondents

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