Environmental Resources Management

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  www.erm.com
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Environmental Resources Management Reviews

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
124 Reviews
2.8
124 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Environmental Resources Management CEO and Director John Alexander
John Alexander
57 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Undue Pressure on the Consultants, Office atmosphere can be political.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Engineer
    Former Employee - Associate Engineer

    I worked at Environmental Resources Management full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I've worked on some very cool projects and learned a lot in my experience. ERM has big clients that need assistance with big projects. It can be very cool to participate. There are still a few very smart people left in the ranks that are willing to take a junior consultant under their wing. I owe my current position (at another company) to the great project experience I got at ERM.

    Compensation is so-so, raises are based on annual inflation +/- a fraction of a percent depending on annual reviews (how billable you were the past year).

    Cons

    The company is run by investors whose primary goal is for the company to be as profitable as possible. This puts stress on all the employees there to be a billable as possible. Billability goals of 95% or 100% are typical for ERM consultants (you have to be working on something that ERM can charge for at least 38 hours per week). If you consistently work 60 hours per week, don't expect to get much more than a "thanks for helping our office's billability numbers". The burden is on each employee to meet the goal, otherwise you attract negative attention and predictable conversations with management. This is BS especially for the entry-level workers who have little to no control over what is handed to them. It is expected that you work over your 40 hours to meet these goals. Workers get stressed and it affects their personal lives if they're not billable enough. Project Managers get stressed out over this too. A lot of stress in general.
    Office atmosphere can be cold and political; I attribute this atmosphere to the stresses listed above
    As others have said, development of junior employees can be better. Opportunities for classes and training are available, but that may take away from your billability, which can be problematic

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Global vision of the company is good, Atlanta office not so good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Environmental Resources Management

    Pros

    As a global firm, this is a good place to get experience working on a variety of projects. They are very safety conscious and encourage employees to be aware of surroundings when working offsite. They give money to help environmental programs overseas. I definitely was impressed by the leadership outside of the Atlanta office. They really seemed to want to get junior staff plugged into cutting edge projects.

    Cons

    Leadership in Atlanta would refuse to communicate with staff, local HR representative told me very blatantly that I was "a trouble maker" for asking for constructive criticism and bringing up gender/salary questions. Many people left the same year I did because local leadership performed unethically and made allowances for behaviors by staff which was offensive and against corporate policies. They expect you to be "100%" billable which means working in excess of 50 hours or more. In December I worked two 80 hour weeks and was not given a day off or compensated financially afterwards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your Atlanta office has received negative reviews during private surveys. However, when people offer suggestions to make things better, we have been punished. That is not the way to retain employees nor does it bring out the best in staff. Stop covering up for office managers and HR staff who you know have performed badly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Sweatshop with Disfunctional Management and Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager  in  Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Irvine, CA

    I have been working at Environmental Resources Management full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting projects that provide technical challenges, decent benefits consistent with other large public companies, decent work environment, support staff that wants to be helpful.

    Cons

    Ineffectual management with unrealistic demands and expectations, poor quality work product, very risk-adverse company perspective, management greed is at the expense of the workers, burdensome policies and procedures, unrealistic company growth metrics, high staff turnover (> 17%), several (but not all) management in western division exhibit questionable ethics and will lie to you and others to meet their personal objectives, no continuity with project teams and staffing due to high attrition and pressure to be billable, performance metrics used to deny and punish rather than reward and motivate. Worst place I have ever worked; management cannot be trusted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pressure on individuals to meet sales goals creates competitive atmosphere among coworkers leading to staff doing what is best for them, and not what is in the best interest of clients or the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Working in sustainability proves unsustainable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Environmental Engineer  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Staff Environmental Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Environmental Resources Management full-time for less than a year

    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 ManagementAdvice

    The 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)."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    No place to build a career

    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX

    I worked at Environmental Resources Management full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Office location - They are using the office location to attract talent who want to work in trendy downtown Austin. Downtown Austin is a great place to work, lots of walking distance lunch places and always special events going on that you can catch during lunch or after work etc. The open office concept they are going to is great, the offices are big open areas with a telemarketing or customer service call center atmosphere.

    Cons

    On the other hand once you gain more experience you will realize you are going nowhere. You are either a partner or a worker at ERM. When something goes right the partner takes credit. When something goes wrong its the project manager's fault. You're not allowed to do anything without the partner's approval which is inefficient particularly since they are nonresponsive. They are making a lot of money off the staff and they are ruthless in pushing for higher billability - and you have to find your own work. The staff turnover is high and their business model is ok with that. They plan on you being around for a few years and moving on so that's why they are constantly recruiting. This is no place to build a career. Its just a job for a little while.

    This a white collar sweatshop run by an unethical group of partners. They lied about advancement opportunities to get me in the door. Then they dumped a sinking project in my lap that already had significant budget and schedule problems and held me accountable for it in order to protect the partner and his buddy who had run the project into the ground before I was involved. Also, in many years in this field this is the first time that a supervisor tried to coerce me into taking an unethical track to benefit a client. ERM used to be a place that would roll up its sleeves and get the job done but now it is a risk-averse corporation loaded with bureaucracy and "CYA" procedures that keep you from getting anything done and it thrives on smooth and flashy but empty words.

    They use salesforce.com religiously as a platform to track clients and marketing efforts and project wins but they don't give licenses to everybody so those with a salesforce license are at an advantage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no thanks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Environmental Resources Management

    Pros

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

    Cons

    ERM 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 ManagementAdvice

    Should have never sold out to ERM.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 11 people found this helpful  

    The place is falling apart

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Environmental Resources Management full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The company loves to tout it's "people oriented" focus. It's also considered a growing company although it has handled it's growth incredibly poorly

    Cons

    This is a pressure cooker environment that you do not want to come to work for. The growth has led them to hire outside for about 90% of their leadership positions and they simply do not promote from within. There is no room for advancement and the current leadership pool is of the short term variety that comes in, siphons off what profits and perks they can and then bails out before things go wrong. They've been doing that for a few years now and it's gutted the company of any long term talent. Turnover is astronomical and management likes to capture meaningless buzzwords like "One ERM" and beat everybody over the head with them till we're sick of it. The truth is, our counterparts around the world are treated and compensated very differently and "One ERM" rings very hollow. The growth has caused them to become incredibly centralized with the power concentrated in England. The English tend to be very arrogant and treat the Americas and other divisions with disdain. Local decision making and creativity has completely evaporated and London orders everyone around like children now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ditch the current centralized train of thought. You've abandoned the principles that got you to this point and indeed - fired many of the people who got you here. I'm not sure anything can save this company at this point in time - I think it's probably too late by now.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great people, reasonable opportunities, OK pay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Former Employee - Project Manager

    I worked at Environmental Resources Management full-time

    Pros

    The company is starting to melt its regional differences and develop a coherent culture. The people in general are really nice to work with and there are challenging opportunities if you seek them out.

    Cons

    Pay is comparable to other similar firms but if you're in this industry you know it's not the best. Bonuses are not that good. Promotions become more difficult as you move up as the company has a relatively flat structure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you're going to demand high billability and quality product, try to reward employees more. Concentrate on making training relevant for each person who must attend.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Strategic focus sometimes got in the way of project work (gotta collect those bills and focus on key sectors)!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Indianapolis, IN

    I worked at Environmental Resources Management

    Pros

    Good atmosphere to work in and support by the local partners. Most of the staff (especially senior) were good mentors and willing to help out. Challenging work and lots of opportunities to grow.

    Cons

    Salary is just average. Technical ability appears to be less important than selling ability. Company regions are not consistent with bonus pool or pay causing some resentment. Would have liked less pushing on bill collection by technical staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Those who sleep with their "Partners" get more billable hours for their Night-time Job.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Environmental Resources Management full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    No pros at all. Pathetic company to work for.

    Cons

    Several. The seniors have several billable hours in the budget, but assign the entire project with very minimal "billable" hours to the junior consultants and claim the rest for themselves for their selfish reasons (to maintain billability and a good reputation for themselves without actually working on the project).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    THE BUDGET SHEET SHOULD BE MANDATORILY SHARED WITH ALL CONSULANTS WHO WORK ON THE PROJECT. AND STOP CHEATING YOUR OWN EMPLOYEES.

    Doesn't Recommend

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