Tracey Skinner thinks risk managers should work more closely with HR to tackle people risks

Tracey Skinner, group insurance director for BT Group Plc, has been appointed the new chair of the Airmic board for the following 12 months. Skinner succeeds Tim Murray, group director of Enterprise Risk at Serco Group.

“Having taken so much from Airmic through its content, networking, special interest group involvement and thought leadership, I thought it was really time to give something back and step up to the plate and act as the chair,” Skinner said in a podcast with Airmic Talks. “It is going to be an honour to help steer this organisation and take it forward for another year.”

Every new chair is asked to pick a theme for their tenure, and the experienced insurance director is keen to highlight people risk as an important area for members to get a better understanding of within their organisations.

“There has been a tendency within organisations to almost silo the way they look at people risks,” she explained. “You might have the risk professionals concerned with the physical side of things, and then the HR side focused on the softer side. If you silo, you don’t get the opportunity to look at the whole picture.”

Skinner adds: “There has never been a time such as now where we are all very focused on the safety and wellbeing, in terms of the mental health agenda, of our people. Let’s face it, our staff are the greatest assets of our organisation.

“This is something we need to look at in a different way and if I can drive this forward over the next year it is going to be very exciting for me to be able to do that.”

In the podcast, Skinner also discussed the hard insurance market, what insurers and brokers can do to better serve their customers, and how members, especially those going through a hard market for the first time, can be well prepared for challenging renewals.