With Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC all under the Yum! brand, there are thousands of reasons why people risk is one of the company’s top exposures

One of so many KFC stores in Beijing, KFC is one of the most popular American franchises in China.

With more than 6,800 restaurants in more than 1,000 cities in China alone, Yum! is one of the leading food retailers in the China.

So with so many restaurants to manage and run, it’s no surprise that people risk ranks as one of the top risks that the group has to manage.

Yum! Brands risk and insurance manager Richard Zhang said the group defines people risk predominantly as “talent risk”; that is, “the loss of intelligent people within the company who can do the job”.

It’s a common risk faced by many Chinese companies that struggle to find and retain staff as they go through rapid periods of growth, particularly in the more regional areas.

For Yum! Brands in China, managing people risk is all about prevention.

“We’ve worked hard to develop a unique company culture to make sure [Yum! Brands] has an attractive company culture and our employees like to stay and work here,” he says.

“This company’s culture is unique because we’re an American-based company but [the culture] is mixed with western style and Chinese culture. So people can very easily fit into the environment and also have an advantage to touch base with a different culture, which is a great advantage.”

Team building activities and company-wide initiatives have also helped to engender a positive work environment.

“People are recognised, rewarded and thanked for their help or work. It really lets people feel that they belong to the team and their work has been recognised,” Zhang says.

Another mitigation strategy has been changing Yum! Brands staff directory and keeping the details confidential.

This is because staff were frequently being called by recruiters and rival firms, who had easy and direct access to the individuals they were looking to poach.