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People risks a low priority for NZ firms: Marsh survey

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New Zealand companies are not focusing as much as they should on addressing talent retention and other people risks, a Mercer Marsh Benefits survey of human resources leaders has found.

About 58% say people risks are not a priority at their companies and 28% cite lack of leadership buy-in as a key reason behind the attitude. Budget constraints and lack of resources are the other reasons mentioned.

Asked if people risks are reviewed regularly, 25% say quarterly, 18% annually and 27% are not sure.

“Lack of senior leadership buy-in is disappointing,” the survey says.

“People are of course an organisation’s biggest asset and, in a market where talent is scare and it is difficult to attract and retain people, it should really be more of a priority.”

Marsh partnered the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand for the August survey, which is based on responses from 229 institute members.

Around 55% list hiring the right talent as the top people risk, followed by key person risk, talent scarcity, talent retention and succession planning.

On key person risk, 56% say there is no contingency plan in place if the employee left or suffered permanent disability.

Taking out key person insurance is one way of financially protecting the company, the survey says.