Environmental Resources Management

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Environmental Resources Management Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014

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3.0 114 reviews

78% Approve of the CEO

Environmental Resources Management CEO and Director John Alexander

John Alexander

(54 ratings)

50% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good working environment, opportunity to work with big company and interesting projects(in 11 reviews)

  • well known company in legal and oil and gas industries(in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is hampered by project deadlines and stoked by over-worked partner-level ERMers(in 8 reviews)

  • Terrible customer relations, work environment, health and safety issues(in 5 reviews)

22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Working in sustainability proves unsustainable

    Staff Environmental Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    Pros- One of the more accommodating companies I've worked for with regards to working remotely.
     - Office building is in a super convenient location for public transit, and an unlimited Orca (public transit) card is provided.
     - Colleagues are hard-working and smart.

    Cons- In order to meet your "billability goals" (huge in consulting) you'll be working unpaid overtime. (Potentially lots of it)
     - Sick time counts against you. While it's part of a benefits package, in order to meet your billability goal, you'll have to make that time up with, you guessed it, unpaid overtime.
     - There's little or no incentive to working efficiently, you'll still have to find work to fill those hours. (Even though it's a salaried position, every time card must have 40 hours or more on it.)
     - Even those at the lower levels (CL1, CL2, CL3) who receive bonuses, it's nowhere near compensating for the unpaid overtime spent.
     - Wages are not competitive. The salary I receive is not commensurate with the cost of living in this city. Seattle just passed a $15/hr minimum wage, which, after the unpaid overtime, tracks closely to (and some weeks is greater than) what I take home.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe key to retention is not better training, it's respecting work/home boundaries and not expecting those who work 20 hours over the weekend to still put in 40 hours M-F.

    If you're sending someone into the field on your project, it behooves you to ensure they are prepared. Rather than ask them if they've got it all, take a shot at bullet-pointing the different tasks that you expect to be completed. Even better, prepare a field memo of the different tasks. Those PMs who do this are so much easier to work for.

    Just think of this - if you're building (on) years of CSM, and the results matter, applying an anxiety iron is not the solution. Instead of "are you ready? Why aren't you ready?", maybe try "here's a list of things I thought would be helpful as you _________(develop wells, collect soil samples, etc)."

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Was an excellent place to work before ERM bought out OASIS Environmental.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsClose-knit office, good place to gain great amount of experience.

    ConsERM took over and got rid of smaller contracts. Mass exodus of employees made the office experience less rewarding and fulfilling professionally. Hired too many upper management personnel to help win large contracts, but actually lost a great deal of work. Management couldn't keep employees busy with 40 hours/week, so started asking people to begin taking personnel time off. Not good.

    Advice to Senior ManagementShould have never sold out to ERM.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    EHS Commodity Sellers

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsLarge size clients. International presence. Some (rare) very highly skilled talent

    Cons- Claim to be on the sustainability track = All talk, no nationwide growth strategy, little results. Most senior hires did not last a year before leaving... Huge road blocks internally
    - Commodity EHS provider with a squeeze on human resource and very high billable rates.
    - Career growth is pathetic, have not learned a thing in 7 years.
    - Salaries are miserable and annual bonus are a joke. Expect to get a flat 1-2% per year and a $500 annual bonus if your manager are not promoting your case (12 hours work days efforts for 12 months!)
    - Revolving doors at many offices due to poor leadership...

    Advice to Senior ManagementVision to become a Billion dollar company is blurring top management. Exploiting people is a good thing but need to give back one way or the other... I have not encountered such bitterness to my other 3 former FT500 employers as much as with ERM...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    Use your talent!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsERM is a powerhouse, especially in Oil and Gas. They have a lot of very talented consultants worldwide and really know how to help clients solve challenging problems even in remote regions. I worked on some of the most interesting projects.

    ConsThe focus is always on the partners. The consultants are treated like cattle that can be used only for the benefit of the company. Little support is provided in training to make consultants better, and the pay is definitely far below the industry standard.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn from MacDonald's; your most important resources are those that face the client every day. Take care of the consultants, and they will help grow ERM into a multi-billion dollar company!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Great for Partners, not anyone else

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsAllowed to work at home

    ConsManagers with half the experience of the people they are managing. Partners are treated with respect, no one else is. Everyone works hard on projects but only Partners are financially rewarded. Zero work life balance.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReward everyone who works hard, not just partners. There should be more work/life balance. Most of the managers seem inept at managing staff with less experience than those they "manage".

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Growth? For Partners and shareholder

    Senior Consultant (Former Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsOffices worldwide. Some very talented/ experienced consultants.

    ConsPoor people management at most locations. Wages are low. Bonus are borderline insulting since so low... Complete lack of cohesion in "performance and assurance" group. Sustainability practice is a joke... "Collaboration" is now key to the strategy (2009) due to destructive efforts offices had put up (Opco competition - your P/L vs theirs)... IT structure was amazingly dated in 2007 (Still using Lotus Notes - WOW!).... Limited infrastructure regarding basic HR support/ knowledge management/ marketing... Bill, bill, bill! Claim to be a global consultancy, yet, a vast majority of tools/ approaches are locally developed

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou want to be the next "largest Sustainability consultancy". Look around regarding how you groom/ retain your staff! Let's start with the basics : Salary, promotions, bonuses.... EHS is a small world and word is in the streets

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    6 people found this helpful  

    Culture is changing. Beware of lowered potential for advancement.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsUndoubtedly, the very best reason to work at ERM (Houston, Texas) is to learn technical and practical excellence in the environmental sciences. But that resource may not be there much longer.

    ConsThese comments are specifically for ERM-Southwest as the author has had no perceivable contact with corporate management. This is the Business Unit headquartered out of Houston, Texas with offices in Austin, El Paso (1 staff member), Beaumont, Baton Rouge (La), New Orleans (La), and Mobile (Al). Suffice to say, this is a company that had a distinguished history but appears to be quickly losing professional and ethical eminence in its market. There seem to be two diametrically opposed groups of employees (which count in their ranks both management and staff). One is you might call "the Old Guard." These are geologists and engineers and others that have been with the office anywhere from 15 to 20 years or more. The scientists in this group have spent significant portions of their careers actually in the field with hands-on experience in environmental investigation and remediation. As a whole, I found this group to be exceptionally intelligent, highly scrupulous, and passionately dedicated to good science at a good price. They are not generally aggressive or ambitious. Then there appear to be the "Next Generation" which have a completely different appearance. They are ALSO highly intelligent. However, they are also extremely savvy players and suave salesmen & women. They are highly ambitious. They generally (there are exceptions) have little or insignificant field experience (having quickly moved up to management and/or having no real skill in these areas). They tend to specialize in areas of the business including construction management, sustainability, social impacts, ecological assessments, etc. As a GROUP, my perception of the "Next Generation" is that they have questionable ethics (with regard to project budgeting) and seat-of-the-pants project management styles. Their projects commonly go wildly over budget. This group owns the bulk of the business and organizational savvy and the management of the company in ERM-Southwest has almost completely passed from the Old Guard to the Next Generation. If it were not for a couple of factors, this would not necessarily be a problem (and might even be good for the Company). Unfortunately, there are at least two negative aspects: 1) The Next Generation (and actual age is somewhat irrelevant in this grouping), again, AS A GROUP, appears to have a lower ethical standard than the Old Guard and 2. The activities of the Next Generation, from what I have seen, are steadily corroding the satisfaction and dedication of the Old Guard personnel, who's scientific resources are still the basis of the Company's work. Conversely, the Next Generation seems to find the Old Guard to be necessary but stodgy, stubborn, and vaguely contemptible, if management's treatment is any indication. The recent downturn economy has only sharpened these dynamics. Newcomers to this company are then faced with two options based on their personality: align with the Next Generation and advance in the Company or align with the Old Guard and become a technical expert in your field. From this author's perspective, most young talent took the second path and learned as much as they could before exiting the company within 3 years or 3.5 years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGood luck. I sincerely hope you can cultivate the best of both groups and resolve the differences to maintain and/or rebuild the Company's reputation.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great technically, but too focussed on excessive profit

    Environmental Consultant (Former Employee) Auckland (New Zealand)

    ProsGood projects, global networking, opportunity for transfer, cool people.

    ConsFocus on excessively high profit and growth targets result in overworked and frustrated employees. You're either in love with the company and willing to do anything for the partnership's aspirations, or better off elsewhere.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLower targets and invest in the quality of your employees lives.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Some interesting project work... Below average pay, no/little career development support for more junior consultants...

    Risk Consultant II (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsSometimes bring in interesting projects
    Employees range from (a few) talented individuals to incompetent
    Varied experiences, alot of inconsistency across regions, offices...etc.- for me some positives some of my colleagues had much worse experiences others were better off
    Some good people.. for consultants with less than 10 years it is a good place to get foot in the door and be thrown in the deep end to learn on your own but not a place to stay or progress

    ConsSalary is way below industry/competitors
    Poor leadership, alot of mismanagement
    Alot of politics especially partner level (this affects every one further down the chain)
    Attempt to show that there is a flat structure when in fact it is overly bureaucratic
    Alot of inconsistencies re-promotions, salaries, allocation of project work...The company does not have consistent processes and systems across offices. Attempts to correct this seem to make things worse rather than better!
    Generally overrated and does not live up to its 'aims/ambitions' (e.g. The world’s leading sustainability consultancy or more specific to me: top global risk consultancy...etc.)
    Management claim the increased rates are because ERM is as good as the market's best (e.g. for tech safety/risk: DNV) or better than it's competitors, which is fundamentally untrue...

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement need to realise what the market are paying in terms of salaries and close the gap (or at least try!)
    Need to get some consistency across offices/regions (at least start with getting conistency across Business Units in the same country!)
    Improve management of projects and project work allocation
    Be more honest and transparent with Junior and mid-level consultants

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, but zero incentive and poor salary

    Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- The people (party due to the inevitable Stockholm syndrome)
    - Great projects
    - Varied role

    Cons- Poor pay
    - Poor prospects
    - Micromanagement
    - Bureaucracy
    - Blame culture
    - No actual love for the environment - all about the bottom line
    - Outdated
    - Zero inegrity
    - A tendency for management to put their fingers in their ears and sing whenever you raise concerns.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in people, not projects that go against the environmental statement you supposedly adhere to. Otherwise, your sub-standard consultancy will hire more and more sub-par people as the talent leaves for companies with integrity. Find your soul again ERM.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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