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Risk in Context

Risk Professionals Emphasize Enterprise-Wide Risk Training

Posted by Brian C. Elowe May 11, 2015

Training employees across the enterprise about risk management issues and practices will be a top area of investment for many companies over the next two years, according to the 2015 Excellence in Risk Management* survey.

Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents said that investment in risk management training for employees with roles outside of risk would increase, while only 2% said it would decrease; 51% said it would remain flat. At the same time, 37% said training for risk management staff would increase, with 61% saying it would remain flat.

The emphasis being placed by risk professionals on training those outside the risk management function is interesting to see. And it connects with the bigger trend of risk management playing a larger role across a growing number of companies.

Training for a Common Language

It’s not uncommon for employees in separate parts of an organization to view and speak about issues differently. For example, during a focus group held as part of the Excellence survey, a risk executive at a large energy firm talked about how various groups approach the goal of promoting environmental sustainability.

“If you talk to some of our operations people compared to some of our sustainability people, there's a very broad divergence about what that actually means and what that looks like,” he said. “That creates some challenges in terms of timing and sequencing and prioritization of different activities. Our sustainability folks will want to do one thing to help manage a risk, while the operations folks will want to do something completely different.”

Expanding risk management training opportunities beyond the confines of the risk management department can help colleagues speak a common language, potentially alleviating misunderstandings.  In addition, training can play another important role: establishing and/or deepening connections between risk executives and other part of the business, from finance to operations and more.

* The 2015 Excellence in Risk Management survey and report were joint projects of Marsh and RIMS.

Brian C. Elowe