New Category : Opinion

Hot Button HR Risks in 2023

Mon, Jan 23rd 2023, 08:37 AM

If well managed, people can be a business’s most valuable asset but also create significant risk. Defending, equipping, and motivating this critical asset requires Human Resources (HR) and risk management to break down silos and collaborate. To address the inherent risk posed by human capital, an HR/Employee Risk assessment should be considered.

An HR risk assessment aims to identify the potential risks that employees pose to an organisation. It involves assessing the risks associated with employee behaviour and adhering to applicable employment laws regarding hiring and dismissing employees, workplace behaviour, and working conditions. Furthermore, your organisation should conduct an HR risk assessment to determine whether your HR practices and procedures align with recommended best practices. Moreover, it would be best if you put in place a plan for preventing and minimising risks in the event they are identified.

Supervised financial institutions (SFIs) are required to perform robust risk assessments. Risk assessments should include human capital risk if it is to be considered thorough and well-designed assessment.

Earlier articles under this writer’s hand have explained how risk assessments should be structured as they aim to identify any hazards in the workplace, assess the risks, and control the risks. But this article will only focus on several human resources hazards that companies should consider. These hazards can be grouped into health and safety, talent practice, environment and social, and governance and finance.

Health and Safety

Mental Health - A high level of anxiety, stress, depression and addiction can affect well-being, productivity, benefits spending, and the employer brand.

Dissatisfaction – Employee work-life balance issues, change fatigue, and a high number of organisational priorities tend to cause overtiredness, high employee turnover and decreased productivity. Wellington Hepburn, the past president of The Bahamas Society of Human Resources Management (BSHRM), noted this state as “employee dissatisfaction” during his presentation entitled “Help! I’m stuck on my job” at the SHYFT into FOKUS conference held this past weekend.

Talent practices

Talent attraction, retention, and engagement -  Lack of talent pipelines, employment value propositions, and growth opportunities necessary to keep and motivate the workforce could be detrimental to an organisation’s goals.

Workplace evolution - In innovation and workforce management, flexible working, technology adoption, and a growth mindset pose new challenges.

Environment and Social

Labour and employee relations - The grievances of employees and the perceptions that the company is uncaring all contribute to increased operational costs, poor customer experiences, and social responsibility problems.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion - Employees, customers, and others risk reputational damage without a truly inclusive work environment.

Governance and finance

Due to a lack of controls or expertise, inadequate benefit plan design, financing, vendor selection and management, and communication and administration decisions can be made. This results in high costs, liabilities, and commitments.  


In short, your organisation may find the above useful to understand the forces and risks. HR and risk management teams can use this information to discuss the implications of not acting now in board meetings and with business leaders.

The honeymoon is over 

Wed, Jul 6th 2022, 07:11 AM

If there is such a thing as a honeymoon in politics, we can say with certainty that the magical, misty-eyed excitement of the new union between the people of The Bahamas and the Davis administration has come to an end.

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and his Cabinet colleagues had the great fortune of taking office after a deeply unpopular Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis was fired by the Bahamian people.

So many were Minnis’ shortcomings, so offensive was his manner and style of governance that the soft-spoken and apparently logical approach the Davis administration took to governance was welcomed it appears by the majority of the Bahamian people, even if they did not support the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), or indeed vote, in the last election.

Gone were the scowls when speaking to the nation.

Gone was the barking at reporters who asked relatively benign questions.

Gone were the frenetic orders upending the freedoms of society at a moment’s notice.

Hubris and fatigue had set in among many in leadership of the last administration.

The public was, for the most part, looking with fresh eyes at Davis and his team when they assumed office.

People questioned the size of Davis’ Cabinet – the largest in an independent Bahamas – but were willing to wait and see if the reasoning that he needed so many people to tackle our many problems proved true.

People questioned why a government still in an extraordinary difficult fiscal position would undertake the expense of having numerous swearing-in ceremonies and the Opening of Parliament at the Baha Mar Convention Centre.

But people were not ready to castigate the ceremonies as an indicator for the possible attitude toward spending by the current administration.

There were also those who questioned why the government would pack thousands of people into the convention center as the COVID-19 pandemic remained a very real threat.

But so bad was the handling of the pandemic by the Minnis administration that Bahamians were willing to look past the risk the current administration was prepared to take to celebrate with its supporters.

However, that was then and this is now.

Ten months have elapsed and the attention of the public is now focused less on that of the former prime minister and his administration than on the current circumstances of their lives and what the people they elected nearly a year ago are doing about that.

Of course, Minnis is helping the government and harming his party by remaining so stubbornly in the media, but he has long cared more about his own political fortunes than those of the Free National Movement.

Unfortunately for the PLP, Minnis has been gone long enough for the public to understand that no amount of ire at the last administration will help deal with what confronts it.

And what confronts it is sky-high inflation, unemployment that is still high despite improvements in the economy, historic high gas prices, a looming depletion of the National Insurance Board fund and no apparent consensus on when those in leadership will come to grips with the fact that electricity prices will also soon rise.

The public is also confronted with rising crime and an alarming clip of murders since the beginning of the year that no amount of deflection will lead the public to consider what the former administration should have done better.

The public also sees an administration that is willing to spend lavishly on travel for large entourages without proper justification, coupled with the insult of public servants who refuse to disclose what is spent on these trips to the public.

There are housing challenges, a precarious level of government indebtedness, a crisis in education regarding learning loss during the pandemic, unions still unsatisfied and a healthcare system that still leaves much to be desired.

The Davis administration has also packed the public service with jobs for supporters with questionable qualifications and abnormal salaries.

And we are still unclear of the way forward on reconstruction for Grand Bahama and Abaco as the third anniversary of Hurricane Dorian approaches.

We do not note all of the above to be unfair to the Davis administration; there are still four years left in its tenure.

And there have been many positive things that have occurred in the last 10 months that have helped Bahamians and made a difference in the lives of many.

We wish the current government continued success, but the initial bliss has faded and the people expect results.

Struggling to buy gas? Blame Joe Biden

Tue, Jun 28th 2022, 07:00 AM

Dear Editor, Who would've thought that Bahamians would have to pay an astounding $7 for one gallon of gasoline?

A 2022 Chevrolet Equinox gasoline tank holds 14.9 gallons. For Equinox owners on New Providence, to fill theirs would cost $110.11, which is over half the minimum wage.

With New Providence’s daily traffic jams, due to heavy congestion, motorists are consuming large amounts of fuel with no relief in sight.

On Mayaguana, gasoline costs $9 a gallon, which means that an Equinox tank would need $134 to fill.

This fuel crisis is beyond the control of the Bahamian government and is impacting virtually every aspect of the economy.

This is the inflation nightmare we are currently experiencing, in large part because of US President Joe Biden’s climate change policies that have frustrated US domestic oil producers since his inauguration in January 2021.

Biden has attempted to ram his climate change policies down the throats of Americans and it has had disastrous consequences. One of Biden’s first moves as president was the canceling of the important Keystone XL Pipeline project, which would’ve provided the US with over 800,000 barrels of oil per day out of Canada.

In recent days, Biden seems to have eaten his own climate change words, as he has reached out to oil giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Marathon Petroleum, British Petroleum and Phillips 66 asking them to use their high profits to invest with the aim of increasing their capacity in oil production.

It is these oil producers who have endured a hostile environment since the advent of the Biden presidency, living under the constant threat of new taxation on windfall profits; termination of federal oil leases; the obstruction of constructing new pipelines and the imposition of onerous environmentally friendly requirements.

It is these oil producers who have been demonized by climate change lobbyists, many of whom are staunch Biden supporters.

With inflation at 8.6 percent — a 40-year high — coupled with the national average price of $4.98 for gasoline, Biden has seen his overall approval rating plummet to 39 percent, according to Reuters. He is currently more unpopular than former President Jimmy Carter.

The midterm elections are scheduled for November and the Democratic Party is in grave danger of losing control of the Senate.

One of the most vulnerable Democrat senators is Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who has supported the Gas Prices Relief Act in the Senate, which is only a discount of 18 cents per gallon.

Americans are placing the blame for the oil inflation nightmare at the doorsteps of 1,600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. They’re not blaming the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In all things considered, Biden is probably now realizing that the average American household cannot afford his climate change pipe dream.

Wealthy celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Emma Watson, and Prince William and Princess Kate, who attended COP26 can, but most people are financially unable to.

This can explain why 56 percent of Americans, many of whom voted against Donald Trump, disapprove of Biden’s performance.

Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Biden is scheduled to meet with OPEC head Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman next month to prod OPEC to ramp up oil production.

This is the same Saudi leader Biden had called a pariah, due to allegations that Saudi authorities were involved in the demise of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 in Istanbul.

Biden had once promised to reduce his country’s reliance on Saudi oil, perhaps in keeping with his green Earth rhetoric.

I read that Biden also wants to ease sanctions on Iran and Venezuela — two OPEC countries at odds with the US.

However, Iranian and Venezuelan oil has a higher sulfur content than US oil, as US oil firms are under stricter regulations than OPEC. This fact alone has led some US observers to query if Biden considers OPEC oil to be better than American oil.

Another thing, if OPEC member states such as Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela ramp up production, wouldn’t that harm Mother Earth? These countries share the same planet with the US.

Remember, the average price of gasoline in California in 2020 was $3.04. That was when Donald Trump was president.

California is a Democratic Party bastion. It is the home of Governor Garvin Newsom and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Biden won California’s 55 electoral votes on 68 percent of the votes.

Today, the average price of gasoline in The Golden State is $6.38.

Understand, the ongoing fuel inflation nightmare was brought upon us by the anti-fossil fuel policies of Biden. When you pay $134 on New Providence to fill up your Chevy Equinox, remember that.

Remember that it is his climate change policies that have brought this crisis on us, not Putin or Volodymyr Zelensky or COVID-19.

It is his administration’s cumbersome regulations that have tied the hands of US oil firms, resulting in this limited supply and high demand crisis.

Letter to the Editor "Crumbs for Thought"

Tue, Dec 28th 2021, 11:32 AM
2019 Cruise Arrival Out Island tourism spend $28,264,946.00 2019 Cruise Out Island Cruise arrivals 3,578,077 passengers. Leakage ~85% Net/Net Out Island spend, after leakage, equates $1.18 per passenger. Carrying the Grand Lucayan cost Bahamians in excess of $150M of borrowed money. We would need 127,118,644 out island passengers for Bahamians to be reimbursed for RCL’s time and money wasting. 35 times more than 2019’s arrivals!

Bahamians have been left to scrap for crumbs.
Download Cruise Expenditure Brochure HERE.

Sincerely yours,
Capt. Toby C.S. Smith, President.

Tips for the new administration
Tips for the new administration

Mon, Sep 27th 2021, 07:15 AM

A look at Bahamian culture
A look at Bahamian culture

Mon, Sep 27th 2021, 07:15 AM

A new day has dawned, pt. 2
A new day has dawned, pt. 2

Mon, Sep 27th 2021, 07:13 AM