COVID-19: Risk Management During a Time of Unknown

The difficult thing about managing risk is that just when you think you understand how it impacts your company and how to avoid it, you get hit. In light of what’s going on in the world right now with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the risk is the unknown, not knowing how bad the situation will get and what can be done to address it.

Managing risk through times of uncertainty is tough. Right now, not only are we all dealing with fear and how we can ensure the wellbeing of our greatest asset — our employees — but we know our clients are also struggling with how to react to this rapidly changing risk. Our President, Den Bishop, said it best recently: “Insurance is about protection in times of unexpected events and circumstances. COVID-19 has clearly created one of these unexpected times. We’re made for this, and we’ll be here to help you, our customers, navigate the insurance and risk questions and actions so you, your employees and families, and our communities can bounce back to normal as efficiently as possible.”

With this in mind, we’re working closely with our clients to tackle how they can get their products to market (despite the economic uncertainty), continue to serve their own customers, and connect with their employees about this topic.

Here are just a couple of ways we’re doing this:

  1. In addition to verbal conversations with clients, we’ve created a COVID-19 Resource Center that contains the latest information on this threat as well as a Business Continuity Checklist and other materials that may help you make decisions.
  2. Our ethOs team is dedicated to helping you navigate this situation with employ If you aren’t sure how to talk with your employees, ethOs President Ali Payne offers this advice:
    • We recommend thinking about how human your workplace is. Do your employees feel fully supported and empowered to make the right decisions? It starts with your leaders — all of them. Do your leaders have the skills and tools to help navigate the fear your employees are feeling? As a leadership team, be sure you have a consistent message that shows you’re human and caring.
    • Making sure employees understand all the resources you provide for them in a total wellbeing strategy could help them in a number of wellbeing areas — career, financial, physical, emotional, and community. The really cool thing about a strategy that includes all the wellbeing dimensions is it allows your employees to personalize their experience, and they value the resources you provide more!
    • We know mental wellbeing is an area we need to put front and center at time of uncertainty like this. In addition to our ethOs team, we offer a program called Joyages to help employees manage their mental state and connect to great resources in the mental wellbeing

From Holmes Murphy’s own business perspective, we have a Business Continuity team that meets daily to ensure we’re able to operate at optimal performance at all times. They’re tasked with several items, including but not limited to:

  • Assessing the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation
  • Updating policies and procedures to ensure employee safety
  • Updating Business Continuity plans to reduce or eliminate disruption to our clients
  • Providing recommendations to our leadership team
  • Communicating actionable steps to employees, when necessary

Viewing this kind of worldwide issue through a risk management lens is difficult, but you’re not alone. One thing is certain — during times of turmoil, anxiety, and risk, we have a track record of overcoming! Let me know how I can help with your business during this time.

Contact us for more information.

Gerald Johnson

Senior Vice President