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Top Construction Risks Are Geopolitical Instability and Workforce Management, Report Says


Construction sector executives named geopolitical instability and workforce management issues as the biggest challenges facing their industry, according to new research by leading global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson. The company surveyed 350 C-suite executives across the globe to look at the most significant megatrends and critical risks facing the construction sector.

Geopolitical issues are the number one threat overall, primarily caused by uncertainty of government support and financing, postponement and delays, changes in strategy, and commitment to project pipelines.

Workforce management issues are the second leading threat, triggered by the increasing requirement for digital skills, a global employee network and disparate labor laws making workforce demands even more complex. Combined with aging populations, the need to attract talent is likely to have the most long-term impact on the industry, according to the report.

“Our data show that the biggest challenges to the success of construction companies are heavily influenced by political stability and human resources,” said Paul Becker, global industry leader of construction practice for Willis Towers Watson. “Risk management strategies must continually be reexamined to meet these challenges and should remain a top boardroom priority for construction companies so they can protect themselves from emerging risks and build a competitive advantage.”

The research also highlighted the extent to which digitization and new technologies continue to be neglected by industry leaders in spite of the increased security threat from cyberattacks and data privacy breaches.

“The industry is vulnerable not just to the loss of data but also during the design stage, where the increase in the use of technology could lead to catastrophic results,” said Becker. “As technological uses grow, cyberthreat awareness and training should form part of any cybersecurity strategy, focusing on helping employees identify, report and mitigate an attack effectively.”

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