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The top risks for Scottish business leaders

We take a deeper dive into the 2023 UK Business Risk Report to explore the insights provided by Scottish business leaders like you.

Their five biggest concerns

  1. Financial uncertainty (36%)
  2. Employee health and wellbeing (30%)
  3. Talent retention / attraction / succession planning (25%)
  4. Cyber events (24%)
  5. Supply chain reliance and disruption (23%)

What steps are they taking alleviate these concerns?

 Scottish leaders have reviewed the following in the last 12 months:  Scottish leaders plan to review the following in the next 12 months:
 Health and safety policy and procedures (47%)  Employee health and benefits offering (34%)
 Insurance coverage (46%)  Workplace culture and leadership (30%)
 Customer contracts (44%)  Health and safety policy and procedures (27%)
 Cyber security controls (43%)  Supplier contracts and relationships (25%)
 Business contingency plans (42%)  Insurance coverage (25%)

How confident are Scottish business leaders?

Expect the following to increase in the next 12 months:

  • Turnover (50%)
  • Productivity (47%)
  • Workplace culture engagement (47%)

Expect the following to decrease in the next 12 months:

  • Profitability (21%)
  • Staffing levels (21%)
  • Hybrid/working from home models (14%)

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) confidence

  • 53% understand it
  • 49% incorporate it in their strategy
  • 47% review related credentials of suppliers

“When contemplating the forthcoming 12 months, a distinctive trend emerges. A worrying 36% of Scottish business leaders view financial uncertainty as their paramount concern – 2% higher than the reported UK average.

This discrepancy may reflect a more cautious financial perspective for the Scottish economy, but there are a variety of ways in which businesses can mitigate these risks. For example, trade credit insurance offers valuable protection against non-payment, enhances credit management practices, and improves access to financing. All of which can enable businesses to operate more confidently and safeguard their financial stability.

Employee mental health and wellbeing remains prominent, as well as talent retention, attraction, and succession planning. Therefore, it is promising to see that over a third of Scottish business leaders are planning to review their employee health and benefits offering in the next 12 months.

Ensuring that your staff feels valued and motivated will affect their productivity. With nearly half of Scottish respondents expecting productivity and workplace culture engagement to increase in the next 12 months, this is an important piece of the jigsaw.

One area that Scottish businesses may need to give more attention to is property risk. Rebuild costs are one of the areas they are least likely to have reviewed (25%), which is the single largest contributing factor for underinsurance and inadequate claims payments in the event of a loss.

We would urge business leaders to work with their broker to periodically review their property reinstatement values and the adequacy of their indemnity period, and adjust their coverage accordingly.

There are many ways Marsh can help with these challenges and our local experts in Scotland are waiting to help.”

Jonathan Webb, Regional Director

Download our UK Business Risk Report

We surveyed 2,000+ business leaders just like you to identify the key risks you're facing and created the UK Business Risk Report - full of practical insights to help you tackle them.