Learn how you can harness powerful risk management technologies to plan employees’ safe return to the workplace and reimagine your business.
Comprehensive enterprise risk assessments have long been used to help businesses identify, prioritize and mitigate their biggest threats. But over the past few years, dozens of organizations have started giving the process a digital makeover.
As businesses grapple with the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, crowdsourcing technologies and collaboration platforms can quickly harness the risk insights of stakeholders located all over the world. This is especially true for global financial services organizations, which are navigating myriad uncertainties as they plan for their employees to safely return to physical offices.
How will workplace policies affect the risk of infection spreading, impacting the health and wellness of your employees? Do you have the right processes, protocols and technology to coordinate pre-work medical screening and clearance? How do you collect and analyze additional personal information to improve the biosecurity of the workplace while adhering to privacy regulations? To what extent do you have the operational and technical capacity to operate a hybrid physical-space model for a sustained period of time?
Given the scope of these threats and the unprecedented scale of the initiative to reopen physical offices, gathering input from a broad array of experts and senior leaders is critical. New digital risk tools place no limits on the number of participants and provide an anonymous platform for leaders at all levels of the organization to share their thoughts – creating a more candid, diverse and inclusive range of perspectives. Meanwhile, because there’s no chance of gathering everyone in the same room, these new tools quickly surface issues to debate, foster remote collaboration and accelerate executive decision-making.
Using risk apps in a post-pandemic world
In a post-COVID-19 world, time is of the essence. Arming executives with apps integrating real-time polling and virtual collaboration with the latest risk assessment techniques is not only quicker but provides a much fuller understanding of risk-management capabilities.
We’ve seen it at work: before the pandemic, one global services firm using an app to guide its annual enterprise risk assessments was able to eliminate almost two months of surveys, executive interviews and endless discussions. Instead, a digital process allowed executives to align on an action plan within a week and focus its efforts into two virtual working sessions.
During the first hour-long session, more than 60 executives from across the organization used the app to input what each identified as the firm’s biggest risks. They considered possible scenarios for the risks, the root causes of those risks and the potential impact if any of those risks were to materialize. Leaders also identified the firm’s existing risk mitigation strategies. As the results were presented in real time, the data became the starting point for additional brainstorming on potential risks that might have been overlooked as well as opportunities to improve risk management.
A few days later, about a dozen or so of the highest-ranking executives returned for a second workshop focused on prioritizing those risks and mitigation strategies. Using the app, these senior leaders rank-ordered the risks based on their perceived likelihood, financial impact and assessment of how well the organization could manage them. As the responses came in, the data was plotted on a risk-action matrix that provided a real-time snapshot of the group’s thinking. That way, executives could focus on ways to address the most important risks and more quickly surface potential disagreements over different strategic priorities and options.
In today’s environment, a risk app leveraging the same technology can power crowdsourced risk assessments and a built-in starting list of “return to the physical workplace” threats, as well as efficient recommendations and controls. It can reconfigure the risk-action matrix to reflect the urgency required by your organization’s response, looking beyond considering just financial exposure and organizational readiness to factors such as how quickly something bad could happen to your operations, employees and customers.
Taken together, this allows you to jump-start your risk identification discussions, stay on top of new and emerging threats, and more quickly align on a risk mitigation plan. As scenarios are updated, risks can be quickly reprioritized and even fed directly into a control tower or other crisis response platforms.