Thursday, 28 June 2012
Risk management and HR try to bridge gap in France
As a recent survey revealed that human resource (HR) professionals at French companies know little about the work of their colleagues in the risk management department, France's risk management association has taken a step towards integrating the two functions at a conference this week.
Gilbert Canameras, President of Amrae
The first Rencontres Risk Management & Resources Humaines, which took place on the French Atlantic coast, attempted to deal with the challenges that are common to both functions.
Almost 300 participants gathered in the village of La Baule, close to Nantes, to debate at length areas where risk managers and human resource professionals can work together to mitigate risks.
The aforementioned survey, released during the event, confirmed an impression held by many that the two departments often ignore each other, even though they deal with the same kinds of issues and risks.
“The more each function works in isolation, the less competitive a company is,” said Gilbert Canameras, President of Amrae, during the event.
The survey of human resource officials at more than 140 French companies found that 78% are not aware of the work their colleagues in the risk management department perform.
“That is a sign that isolation still exists to a large extent,” said Frédéric Lucas, Secretary General of Amrae, who was the driving force behind the conference. “There is margin for substantial improvement.”
Other numbers confirmed the trend. A whopping 60% of those surveyed said they had never seen a risk map. Another 31% said they had seen their firms' risk maps, but had not contributed to the identification of risks. Only 9% reported they had actively participated in risk mapping exercises.
Amrae has been dealing with human resources risks for a considerable time. It has a dedicated commission, headed by Mr Lucas, which promotes debate and publishes white papers on the issue.
Representatives of human resources professionals at the conference also acknowledged the need for the functions to work more closely together.
Jean-Christophe Sciberras, President of Association Nationale des Directeurs de Ressources Humaines, the body that represents the heads of HR at French companies, said risk managers can help them to better identify, evaluate and mitigate risks linked to human resources. “We want to be challenged by risk managers,” he said.
Participants at the conference stressed the need to promote collaboration between the departments. “Risk managers are not there to pray the gospel to anyone,” Mr Canameras said. “We are there to convince people about the risks faced by the company.”
The full version of this story will appear in July’s issue of Commercial Risk Europe.