Bob Forsyth – Culture and values are core to a sustainable business

Bob Forsyth - Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management
Bob Forsyth - Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management

In his latest blog for, Bob Forsyth, Managing Director of MITIE Total Security Management discusses quality, health, safety and environment (QHSE). Bob writes:

“Culture and values are at the core of any organisation – no business can succeed in the long term if it does not embed behaviours of a caring company where its staff can thrive. Creating a great culture must start at the top of the organisation and be driven by key team members through every aspect of the business.

“Quality, health, safety and environment (QHSE) are critical building blocks, which if supported in the business, enable the right culture to prosper.

“We are all aware of QHSE, what it entails and why we have it. It is often thought of as a support function in an organisation but actually having robust processes and embedding QHSE in your business strategy will improve how you operate, thus positively impacting the bottom line.

“No doubt it is easier for large PLCs with standardised management systems in place to meet legislative requirements, compliance, and governance – all integral to managing a business. But companies of all sizes should take QHSE further and not just tick the boxes to comply and simply meet the minimum standards.

“QHSE provides direction and control to a business, driving the right behaviours and a culture of good practice. Mitie has a strong QHSE culture, investing heavily in awareness campaigns and building systems to support our day-to-day business operations.

“I embrace challenge at all levels across all business functions in Mitie’s total security management business, particularly around QHSE. You may not consider it as an area that can enhance customer experience and overall service satisfaction, however many of the elements of QHSE – health, safety, and risk awareness – are critical factors in running a contract efficiently.

“If we take our drivers as an example, enhanced awareness of risks whilst driving and providing additional training can make a real difference. We have seen a 40% reduction in driver-related incidents in our mobile services team since Mitie invested in its vehicle simulator, showing how embedding a safety culture saves lives.

“It is important that QHSE behaviours extend beyond the workplace to the home as well. Mitie’s Work Safe Home Safe! programme asks our people to think safety, look out for each other and get involved at all times. And whilst we use several communication tools to embed these messages, it has to be embraced by the leadership team to make sure it becomes a culture and not just a campaign. Senior managers have the ability to enact this change and set the example, but to do so must see the benefit of QHSE for its people and businesses.

“Whilst the safety of our people is the priority, not establishing core health and safety values can impact your bottom line. If you don’t have a positive safety culture you might start to see a trend of rising incident stats, leading to reduced productivity, absence and even claims.

“My lasting thought on QHSE is never sacrifice safety in favour of getting the job done – it is everyone’s responsibility to make the working environment a safe one.”

With over 17 years’ experience in the security industry, Bob is a proven achiever at a high level. He is a strong relationship builder who is financially astute with excellent negotiation and communication skills, with the ability to work with people at every level. A team player, Bob is able to lead by example.

Bob was promoted to the position of Managing Director of MITIE’s security business in April 2010 after several notable achievements since joining the company in 2004, including his win of the prestigious MITIE new business award.

Having successfully implemented the merger with Initial Security in the Southern region and developing a profitable part of the business, Bob has continuously worked towards expansion including the implementation of the response service, and has significantly contributed towards year on year growth. In June 2009, Bob initiated the launch of the business’ total security management ethos; to take an integrated risk-based approach to security, incorporating people, technology and consultancy services.

Bob continues to move the business forward and has delivered record EBITA profit. He has increased business retention and launched new services lines including lone worker, void secure, employee screening, and security risk and business resilience. Under his leadership, MITIE’s total security management business has grown into an organisation with a turnover in excess of £280m. He takes every opportunity to promote MITIE’s presence within the industry through his involvement with industry bodies such as City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) and the British Security Industry Authority (BSIA).

Mitie Website

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