Public health events, cyber and employee wellbeing are some of the top risks Canadian businesses are facing, according to a new report.
Aviva Canada, a top-10 Canadian property and casualty insurance company, released the research-based report so Canadian business leaders can better understand the unique risks facing their organizations.
Risk Insights Report listed the top five risks identified by Canadian businesses as:
- Public health events
- Cyber security and cyber incidents
- The health and mental wellbeing of employees
- Shortage of skilled workforce
- Business interruption, including disruptions in supply chain
According to the report, 45% said they feel COVID-19 will have a negative long-term impact on their businesses while 47% reported that impact will be positive. Only 8% say the pandemic will have no impact on their business.
“Businesses that have been positively impacted say they’ve undertaken more risk mitigation efforts overall, turned to a higher number of sources for support and are more likely to look to other business organizations (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) for advice,” the report said. “They’re also looking to innovate.”
In the area of cyber, security incidents took off during the pandemic. The report emphasized the fact that any sized business can be a target — and more than once. Retail was tied with manufacturing as having the third-highest risk rating by industry, behind professional services and realty.
“For corporations we spoke with, their biggest concern is that a cyberattack would not only impact business operations but also damage their relationship with their customers and tarnish their reputation,” the report said. “Close to half of corporate businesses feel that a cyber attack could expose them to a loss of data.”
Retail also placed third when it came to concern for employee and customer health and wellbeing, behind only, again, professional services and realty.
“For many businesses, it was already becoming a key pillar but the pandemic completely changed the way we think about both physical and mental health, especially in the workplace,” Aviva’s report said.
“COVID-19 has exacerbated the skilled labour shortage and workforce dynamics don’t point to this ending anytime soon.”
Shortage of skilled workforce is one the automotive aftermarket knows very well. But it’s not alone. Hospitality and construction are two highlighted by the report.
“COVID-19 has exacerbated the skilled labour shortage and workforce dynamics don’t point to this ending anytime soon,” Urs Uhlmann, managing director of global corporate and specialty at Aviva Canada, commented in the report.
“Overcoming this challenge will require a balance of investing in the team’s health and wellbeing, incentivizing talent and upskilling internally.”
Business interruption can happen for many reasons — fire, flood, terrorism. A global pandemic like COVID-19 showed how essential business continuity plans are. Supply chain issues can also lead to business interruption.
“The disruption caused by the COVID pandemic are enormous and long-lasting,” Colin Simpson, Aviva’s chief financial officer, said in the report. “Supply chains have failed to adapt quickly and this has had a meaningful global economic cost. The pandemic forced the closure of one in three businesses in the last 18 months and is a stark reminder to prepare for the unknown and frequently reassess plans in order to withstand the risks of the future.”
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