Risk culture is
one of the key subjects in the Risk Management discipline today and there are
many opinions on how a strong risk culture can be achieved. These views can
range from "endorsements of risk management from senior management” to
"inclusion of risk tasks as part of each staff’s performance measurements”.
An angle that
could be explored further is how the entrenchment of a good risk culture can be
driven through tactically astute internal communication interventions. A
starting point is partnering with the Internal Communication team and getting
their commitment to help promote Risk Management activities.
This should be
followed by including risk specific communication initiatives in the annual
risk plan. These are specific risk activities undertaken to promote risk
management. They need to be varied in their approach and have to use different
platforms to make sure that the risk management message is clear, specific,
repeatable and consistent. The initiatives must also use different communication
channels to ensure that each stakeholder can be reached.
It is said that
the most effective form of communication is ‘face to face’ communication. It
therefore follows that the plan should include face to face sessions for the
risk team to interact with the rest of the business, particularly at the ‘lower
levels’ of staff. These sessions must give an outline of risk management and
set clear expectations of how each staff member can play a role in risk
In addition to
the face to face sessions, other interventions could be a series of profile
articles about individuals in the risk function. The profile articles will
raise confidence by highlighting the background, skills and experience of the
team and also indicate the focus area of each risk specialist or risk champion.
Most importantly, the articles must also highlight ways that risk issues are to
be raised and addressed.
risk team should have its own communication program that specifies topics and
articles that will be published in the internal publications throughout the
year. By having a range of awareness and education published risk articles, the
Risk Management team will ensure there is ongoing communication with staff. The
articles must also highlight successes and achievements made through the risk
effective communication tool that may be used is including a slide on the risk
process in CEO or COO’s annual roadshows or presentations to staff. Including a
risk element into staff road shows help to keep the subject remain top of mind.
These platforms are led by senior management of the company, which demonstrate
buy in and support of risk management by the key figures in the organisation.
Depending on IT
policies and budget other interventions that may support risk process could be
promotions such as having standard wallpapers that will show on each staff
member’s computer at specified intervals and for specific periods. This could
also be followed up with other collateral such as posters, book markers and
mouse pads that promote risk management. Social media platforms are also highly
utilised, therefore using these media to interact with staff may prove
A culture is
generally described as ideas or ways of behavior by a group of people or a
team. By having a deliberate and proactive risk communication process it helps
create the desired ‘behaviours’ in line with the desired risk culture of the
organisation. Risk communication will help promote awareness and education,
whilst ensuring that successes and achievements are acknowledged to ensure that
good risk practices become a norm.