Effectively communicating the importance of risk management fundamentals in a way that business operations and leadership can understand is critical to the success of any risk manager. During a session at the WCI’s 2017 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference a panel of speakers discussed three diverse perspectives in risk management and how to effectively gain agreement across business.
The panel included:
-Michele Adams, Vice President, Risk Management Services, Walt Disney World Resort(Moderator)
-Michael P. Fenlon, ARM, ARe, CPCU, Sr. Director, UPS Global Risk Management
-Steve Perroots, Vice-President, Global Claims and Occupational Health Services, Marriott International,Inc.
-Kurt Leisure, Vice President, Risk Services/Asset Protection,The Cheesecake Factory, Inc.
How Risk management is viewed in your organization and how has it evolved?
UPS evolved immensely over the past 25 years. Significant costs to make this possible. There is full cooperation across the business with risk management because in the end it impacts the bottom profit and loss line.
Biggest challenge for Cheesecake Factory is reporting through Finance and risk management doesn’t fit into spreadsheets. The return on investment is important for others to see to buy into your risk management program.
When you are trying to convince management on a change, how do you get their buy in?
C-suite has to be involved. Annual risk assessment with board of directors, engage them and survey them on greatest risk and get feedback. Make them part of the process.
When there is negative outcomes there is something to learn there and you can gain the attention of your C-suite or management level then so changes can be made to deter from those negative outcomes. Most of the time it’s dollars and cents but ERM helps.
Change makes people nervous but sometimes there is a big reward when you take a big risk. Net profit talks.
How do you communicate these meaningful numbers?
Cheesecake Factories use cheesecakes to measure success or deficits. Marriot uses cost per room. It depends who you are talking to, C-suite wants to know big numbers. Operations groups like costs per room more. The stakeholders are the people under the C-suite so they are the ones you have to get onboard and quantify these successes of deficits. Once they are on-board, easier to gain ground with C-suite.
Do you consider brand management part of your risk management decisions?
Yes, most successful companies will agree that your brand is one of your most important success items. Perception is key with companies and their brand. Minor events can look severe because your brand elevates that exposure.
How do you encourage your teams to return to work after an injury?
Marriot has a mandatory program for about five years. It is very successful. Operations managers believe that getting the injured worker back to work as soon as possible even if it’s for modified work that boost morale and incentive to get back to work sooner. Some companies call this alternative work. Companies are looking into alternate work at charities or anything outside their own home to get them motivated to get back to work as soon as possible.
How do you maintain an agile group of risk manager for the future of risk management?
Systems and processes have to be able to keep up the changes as well as the group of risk managers and employees. Companies are leaning on telemedicine data more to understand the future.