So Said Gordon Gekko, 30 years back in the 1987, block buster “WALL STREET”
30 years on, Has Anything changed?? Yes, it has gotten worse, 2017, even Greed is super good in Emerging economies, III world etc! (Disclosure:- I have benefitted immensely from Wall Street on NYSE Stock Options, so love the Wall Street!)
So what Wall Street has to got to do with EHS!? The Answer is, Read this lead article in EHS Today ” Are Injuries Still the ‘Cost of Doing Business’ at Some Companies?
Sandy Smith, touches up on based on research data, that companies in order to meet wall street expectations and favoring shareholders, look to turn the other way on spending on EHS aspects, Skill enhancement of workforce through Training etc when pushed. While, this is not unknown or not a shocker, what is now coming out in the open is the deep research study that has gone in to it! This is the situation in USA which is a nation that is compliance driven, liability conscious, Guilty until proved innocent environment. Also to note is agencies method seen by companies as agents of “COMPLIANCE TERRORISM” Goes to show, when pushed against to show profits, companies can get blinded by short term benefits and lose out on long term gains.
So one can imagine, what would be the case in a III world environment where laws are archaic, poorly enforced, rampant corruption with enforcing agencies are hand in glove in a coteire,with their demand of a share in the pound of flesh (I call them the Shylock). Companies spending in EHS beyond the need, enhancing employee skill would be seen as a waste, as well as competitive disadvantage?
I Don’t think so? Here is why!
- Compliance is only 30% of operational excellence even in the best of work environment. Compliance can be only reactive, as organisations need to adapt and change which can be a painstaking process. Many times relying on compliance without systems, process, procedures, programs, ownership can lead to the following situation.
WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAY???
This is a story about 4 people
Every body, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody
There was an important job to be done;
Everybody was sure Somebody would do it
Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about it,
because it was everybody’s job
Everybody thought anybody could do it,
but nobody realized that Everybody would not do it
It ended that Everybody blamed Somebody
when Nobody did what Anybody could have done
2. In today competitive scenario, it has been proven, that organisational excellence with EHS linkage in concept, design, execution, implementation and followup can add value to business with as high as 2 to 3 times on ROI. PDF 2017 WSI
3. In 2017, Accident prevention/loss prevention is key to sustain business. With a very weak compliance laws, one can’t do much. (Despite poor enforcement, and companies doing their bit to bribe out authorities) The shit can’t go on forever, more so in the Social media watch dog age, you cant be lucky all the time.
5. With the next generation of workforce coming in to the workplace, (The millennial—> The disruptors) fully armed with the interconnected world. They would look work place from a far different perspective. Get ready, for them compliance is least of the priority, else organisations are sure loser! ( I have a 23,25 yr old children, who look and view their work place far far different from I did in my 20s!)
I can add-on and on, but the bottom line is Companies in which ever part of the world, need to work beyond compliance and focus on operational excellence that adds value to business. So shrinking on EHS spending, not doing enough on skill building wont take entities very far. So, I am optimistic that competitive pressure, stake holders outreach, Employee feedback, Social Media as watch dog, would make organisations take up the path which would bring rich dividends.
Take care, God Bless.
17/5/17. 1645 Hrs.