The data also showed a clear risk to all organizations called an execution gap. While there is behavioral risk — lower decision quality and communication quality — among the senior ranks of organizations — 1 in 15 executives — the levels of behavioral risk increase as one moves down the ranks of managers and professionals, and increases substantially at the middle manager and team leader levels (Figure 2, page 43). When looking at percentage of high-risk behavior, executives have the lowest likelihood with only 6.7 percent, and team leaders have the highest with 14.7 percent.
As organizations develop strategies to engage in today’s turbulent world, a significant impediment to those strategies being translated into effective operations is middle managers and team leaders’ failure to cascade that strategy effectively to the organization’s operational layers.
Talent managers have a critical role in supporting organizations in effectively engaging with risk. Several risks are present in both operational and managerial roles such as compliance, quality, commitment and teamwork (Figure 3, page 43).
It is a misconception to assume risk is balanced evenly across an organization or an entire industry. However, to effectively manage risk, organizations need to consider the risky behaviors their employees present. Doing so can allow talent managers to reduce risky behavior in the workplace.
Noticing these behaviors can help organizations achieve a balance between appetite for risk and caution. Understanding behavioral risk and evaluating risk management within an organization is important when establishing this
balance. Eugene Burke is chief science and analytics officer for employment screening and assessment company SHL. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.