Behavioral Risk Management

What is behavioral risk management?

Behavioral risk management is the process of analyzing and identifying workplace behavioral issues and ensuring that the potential for damage from risk is minimized.

Workplace behavioral issues include individual risks such as behaviors of employees and directors, and organisational behavior which is a collective behavior taken by the organisation.

What is the importance of behavioral risk management?

Workplace can be affected by many risky behaviors and conditions such as stress, conflicts, violence, substance abuse, work overload, job insecurity, organizational changes, etc.

They can all lead to poor communication, lack of motivation, decrease in the quality of work, absenteeism which in the end costs employers and can taint the company’s reputation.

Main steps in behavioral risk management process

  1. Identifying the risks in the organizations
  2. Monitoring the processes and services that affect those risks
  3. Taking precautionary action to ensure company's well being

Model programs for behavioral risk management

A range of model programs has emerged over the past 15 years. The ultimate goal of any of these methods is to ensure that employees are productive, engaged, and at work. Progressive employers have implemented some or all of the following approaches with great success. The first takes an enterprise risk management approach, while the others are more program- and functional area–specific.

  1. Organizational assessment to flush out toxic environments and supervisors (audit)
  2. Assessment and triage - utilizing early intervention and psychosocial intervention
  3. Functional assessment - by a trained MHP (including fitness for duty)
  4. Treatment plan review - analyzing treatment, disability durations, and RTW goals
  5. Prescreening utilizing "red flags" and other identifiers of behavioral risk by claims personnel, nurses, or even supervisors with "warm" transfers to MHP
  6. Behavioral safety programs to identify and analyze accident repeaters, stress claims as prevention measures
  7. Disability teams with a "psych" orientation and EAP representation to review high-profile cases
  8. RTW and job coaches to support early and sustained return to the workplace

Best Practices in behavioral risk management

Many of the best practices that employers have found effective in their programs involve little in terms of expense and more in terms of a change in process, focus, and culture. Raising awareness, defeating stigma, and taking a holistic approach underscore the effectiveness and success. The top 10 key best practices are:

  1. Include a behavioral component in your integrated and coordinated program.
  2. Provide EAP benefits, and promote their utilization.
  3. Incorporate EAP referrals as a RTW program element.
  4. Employ early intervention, identification, and communication with employees and supervisors.
  5. Review performance as a key indicator to detect underlying behavioral health issues, using the supervisor as the first point of information.
  6. Initiate three-point contact (company, provider, and employee) as part of the process. Encourage communication between employee and provider.
  7. Conduct interim touch-base meetings with employees.
  8. Utilize MHP for all claims (including physical), and consider telephonic connections.
  9. Conduct depression screenings at intake.
  10. Utilize predictive modeling from claims data.
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