The hysterical cult classic film Office Space is populated with iconic characters we can all relate to on some level. We’ve all had a micromanaging boss the likes of Bill Lumbergh. We’ve all channeled our inner Michael Bolton as we consider throttling a piece of essential office equipment that breaks down at critical moments. For many of us at Antea Group, consultants Bob Slydell and Bob Porter are two of our favorite relatable characters.
“The Bobs,” as they’re referred to, are brought in as efficiency experts to help provide software company Initech — the setting for much of the movie — a third-party perspective on internal operations, and ultimately provide recommendations on who to keep and who to fire as the company looks to downsize.
As an environment, health and safety consultant, we’re often brought in by companies around the world to provide that external perspective on what is and isn’t working, and provide actionable next steps to strengthen EHS programs and a company’s bottom line.
But when is it the right time to engage our services? With the help of the Office Space characters, below we outline five signs it’s your time to bring in our Bobs.
1. It’s unclear what your EHS program actually does around here
Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes featuring The Bobs is their discovery session with “people person” Tom Smykowski. As The Bobs attempt to ascertain Tom's role in the company, Slydell simply asks: “What would you say you do here?” Of course, Smykowski didn’t have a great answer.
If you’re an EHS professional, chances are you’ve fielded similar questions surrounding your EHS initiatives from several of your key stakeholder groups. Executives and investors want to understand the business value, employees want to know the purpose, regulating bodies want to ensure compliance — and the list goes on.
From our perspective, the key to building value and momentum behind your initiatives is smart stakeholder engagement, to build a rapport, strengthen communication, gain useful insights, and mobilize participation.
Antea Group is a proven stakeholder engagement expert, offering stakeholder mapping and prioritization services, as well as access to a network of partnerships with industry and cross-industry consortiums, to help our clients achieve and sustain positive impacts.
2. You've missed the compliance memo
Early in the film, our main protagonist Peter Gibbons is annoyingly reminded by several of his bosses and co-workers about “the memo” — which details that a new cover sheet is to be added to all future TPS reports. Later, during his meeting with The Bobs, Peter laments that when he misses something — even something as inconsequential as a memo — he has eight bosses to answer to.
EHS leaders like yourself are often an “army of one” when it comes to managing EHS compliance across your organization's global operations. Regardless of facility location or the growing number of facilities in the company portfolio, you’re expected to be regulatory compliance experts. But despite your best efforts to keep on top of changing regulations and the happenings at each of your facilities, things can get missed — and you’ll likely have a host of different people to answer to.
Antea Group, and our global partners through the Inogen Environmental Alliance , bring broad-based and local knowledge to the table, helping you understand local, regional and federal regulations that drive compliance. Our expert footprint spans six continents, enabling us to deliver you on-the-ground insights and support.
3. You're struggling to craft your own TPS reports
Throughout the film, TPS reports are the bane of Peter and his co-workers’ existence; pointless paperwork designed to make their work life hell. But for EHS managers, reporting is essential for managing compliance, tracking and recording regulatory requirements, and helping prevent incidents.
To help our clients implement their own version of TPS reports, Antea Group leverages our decades of knowledge and expertise with cutting edge software. Just as The Bobs helped Initech fix the payroll “glitch” that had been sending poor Milton Waddams paychecks for five years after his botched layoff, our services can help create efficiencies and uncover insights that drive EHS performance.
4. Your employees' safety is endangered by office or facility equipment
One of the most iconic Office Space scenes involves Peter, Michael Bolton, and Samir Nagheenanajar destroying the fax machine that regularly delivers ill-timed error messages. While they all leave the scene unscathed with a sense of relief, there was certainly risk of injury — not to mention the permanent effects of past run-ins with the machine.
For many EHS leaders, managing EHS risk is a core responsibility — not only for protecting employees and the environment, but also the business. Fines for noncompliance, employee turnover, workers’ compensation payouts, and damage to a company’s reputation are just a few of the costly consequences a company can face when risks turn to realities.
Antea Group offers a wide range of services such as environmental audits and health and safety risk assessments to help you identify risks and gaps, and manage compliance. In addition, we also offer fit-for-purpose solutions such as RiskRight EHS that address the unique nuances of your facilities, business, and industry.
5. Your employees are noticeably disengaged
When Peter sits down with The Bobs for the first time, they tell him they want to learn what a typical day looks like for him. Of course, Peter throws out several insightful and honest nuggets, telling them at one point: “It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care. … It’s a problem of motivation.” To The Bobs, it’s clear that the organization hasn’t built a strong work culture, where employees feel compelled to go the extra mile.
When it comes to EHS, we believe building a culture of EHS is key to success. When EHS is integrated into company culture, there’s more sustained awareness around a safer, healthier, and more productive workplace. In addition, employees are shown that their health and safety is a priority, and they play an important role in the process. But the question for most EHS leaders is: Where do I start?
Antea Group can conduct an EHS culture assessment to gather insights from your key stakeholder groups through a survey. Then, we’ll analyze and interpret the results, deliver you with insights on the intangible aspects of your company culture, and provide actionable next steps for developing a plan to intertwine EHS.
Find Out What's Happening With Your EHS Initiatives
If you find yourself using Lumbergh’s signature “What’s happening?” line, it’s time to bring in our Bobs. With more than three decades of experience under our belt, and a global network of consultants, we’re dedicated to helping you develop, implement, and bolster your EHS programs. And we’d like think we do it with just the right amount of flair.
To learn more about our EHS consulting services, explore our practice areas or get in touch with us today.