International SOS urges businesses to address rising geopolitical risks and employee wellbeing

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read
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International SOS, a leading health and security services company, has called on organisations to address the growing challenge of geopolitical instability and its impact on employee mental health.

Their Risk Outlook 2024 report highlights a concerning trend: a majority (65%) of risk professionals believe the world has become more dangerous in the past year. Additionally, nearly 75% expect employee mental health to be significantly affected in 2024.

The report underscores the interconnected nature of crises, where geopolitical tensions can quickly disrupt operations and heighten employee stress, anxiety, and burnout.

These challenges are further compounded by cost-of-living concerns and ongoing uncertainty.

“The current geopolitical landscape is a perfect storm,” says Sally Llewllyn, Global Security Director at International SOS. “Conflicts can erupt with little warning, and political instability can escalate rapidly, creating a constantly evolving threat environment.”

Furthermore, the upcoming wave of global elections raises concerns about misinformation and disinformation. International SOS has observed an increase in these tactics, even in previously unaffected regions.

Rodrigo Rodriguez-Fernandez, Global Health Advisor for Wellness and Mental Health at International SOS, emphasises the role organisations can play in mitigating these challenges.

“Clear and reliable communication is crucial for reducing employee anxiety and fostering a culture of trust,” he advises. “Proactive planning and continuous monitoring of evolving risks are essential as we navigate the second half of 2024.”

International SOS offers a series of recommendations to help organisations navigate the rising geopolitical landscape:

  • Enhanced Situational Awareness: Implement robust information gathering and analysis processes to track geopolitical developments. Access to real-time intelligence and expert insights is crucial. Partnering with organisations offering on-the-ground intelligence and security expertise can provide actionable insights for volatile situations.
  • Targeted Crisis Communication: Develop a multi-channel communication plan tailored to employee location, role, and specific needs during a crisis. This plan should utilise SMS, push notifications, and other channels to maintain contact, confirm safety, and provide immediate assistance or evacuation if necessary.
  • Scenario Planning: Conduct scenario planning exercises for high-impact, high-probability geopolitical threats specific to your organisation’s global operations. Use predictive analysis to plan for various outcomes, enabling you to anticipate potential impacts and develop risk mitigation strategies.
  • Crisis Response Training: Implement a comprehensive training program with interactive workshops, simulations, and e-learning modules to educate employees on geopolitical risks, potential impacts, and response protocols. Thisincludes education on how to stay informed and identify misinformation during periods of uncertainty.
  • Mental Health Support: Provide confidential access to mental health resources and employee assistance programs. Foster a culture of open communication and encourage employees to seek support for managing anxiety, and stress, and building resilience.
  • Continual Adaptation: Conduct thorough post-incident reviews to identify strengths and weaknesses in your crisis management process. Gather employee feedback at all levels to improve your response strategy, particularly regarding communication and support during incidents.
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