Alcoa Reviews

Updated October 8, 2014
Updated October 8, 2014
191 Reviews
3.2
191 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld
Klaus Kleinfeld
102 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance programs, working from home 1 day a week is common (in 11 reviews)

  • Good benefits, although they were better at one time (changed to be more "competitive") (in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance, no idea of what it takes to advance (everything is secretive) (in 11 reviews)

  • Senior management talks a good talk, but regularly policies don't reconcile with the values they claim to promote (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

38 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Less than enjoyable start to a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Cleveland, OH

    I worked at Alcoa full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Large international company - many locations and business units, strong history and brand, some exposure to executives in corporate roles, opportunities are available (if willing to take only opportunities that benefit the company), opportunities to learn if you choose to take it upon yourself, many contacts available across company

    Cons

    Very political, extremely bureaucratic and close door-ed, will block employee movement within company if BU or plant desires to keep employee in current role, zero talent development, little regard for growth opportunity desires of employees, managers regularly put employees down if bad performance occurs, awful work life balance, extreme expectations on performance causing a stressful work environment, very little recognition of good performance, regularly ask employees to shoulder more responsibilities without compensation if company restructures office or decides not to back-fill a vacant position, management always adds more to plate of employees without taking anything away

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees better. Work-life balance is a must for engaged employees. There is only so much time in a day. A few hour turn-around is not reasonable on some requests. Do not expect employees to work late evenings and weekends just because you feel like asking them to get so much done. Talk to employees about what works and what doesn't. Listen when concerns are brought up. Acknowledge the successes of your teams and the Spend WAY WAY WAY more time developing talent. Allow locations to submit realistic forecast expectations and do not topside and punish employees when can't make unreasonable forecast.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Alcoa is killing people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Common Factory Worker in Cleveland, OH
    Current Employee - Common Factory Worker in Cleveland, OH

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    good paid fair benefits all about safety

    Cons

    overworked, not enough hours in the day, got to wear 10 different hats, worried about p&l

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    think about the people on front line who are doing the hard labor to makr this company a sucess

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Way too many hours - way too few people.

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

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time

    Pros

    Fair pay, good benefits, good fellow workers.

    Cons

    No work/life balance, no idea of what it takes to advance (everything is secretive).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire young help that the experienced boomers can train before it's too late in 2-3 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall, a disappointing experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer in Whitehall, MI
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer in Whitehall, MI

    I worked at Alcoa full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The industry is very interesting. Benefits are average to above average. Place a very high importance on safety.

    Cons

    Work-life balance isn't good. You should be ready to give up lots of personal time without being compensated if you plan on working here. They need to increase staffing levels in many of the salaried positions but can't/won't.

    They'll ask you to do many different cost savings tasks, many of which are outside the realm of your discipline, not implement your ideas, then penalize you when it comes to performance reviews and bonuses because not enough money was saved. So not only have you wasted much of your time (which you could have devoted to the projects which inevitably get behind on unless you work extremely long hours) but you're ultimately punished for it.

    Salary increases were consistently delayed and minimal during my time there. Not much mobility within the company as far as I can tell - mostly lateral moves or moves with more responsibility but no added benefit beyond the title. They are "doing you a favor" by "promoting" you (even though they won't call it a "promotion.")

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the feedback that you require your employees to give. Reward your hard working employees and quit settling for the mediocre performance that most of your salaried employees bring. Treat your salaried employees as well as the union hourly employees get treated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Give up your personal life when checking in!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    They pay you as planned. Good Benefits. Some really nice people work here and they get the treated poorly.

    Cons

    Communication. Everyone has a different Mission. Everyone has a different professional desire which takes precedence over the various misaligned business decisions. Everything is last minute and they play favorites and they do not care who see's it and what's said about it. They are laying off now because the company fell off the Dow sometime last year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look inside before you start cutting the little people doing all the work which is impossible to keep up with.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Horrible Internship

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

    I worked at Alcoa as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Met leaders in different areas of facility
    Visited manufacturing companies within the community
    Employees open to lending advice to interns

    Cons

    Little to no direction during internship
    Assigned tasks or project duties of little importance
    Barely interacted with supervisor because of scheduling conflicts
    No team project with other interns
    Lack of innovation and forward-thinking overall

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to be innovative and attract young, motivated employees and retain them. Use traditions as a guideline rather than the only option

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was a badly aging factory in a dying Midwestern industrial backwater of a town, peopled by unskilled geriatrics.

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

    I worked at Alcoa full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Actually, the pay was fairly high, considering the area, and the skills and education of the people doing much of the work - too high, actually, in many cases.

    Cons

    Most of the people there were nearing sixty, and had never worked at another job in their lives. They graduated high school and came to work there. They were xenophobic, jealous of their legacy knowledge, unhelpful, unschooled, and not terribly interested in making their process or their product any better. The middle management was recruited from those who were good at doing the manual labor, and there appeared to be no other requisite for those positions. Promotion from within does not work if those promoted are not qualified. The entire culture of this facility was a holdover from the 1950s; xenophobia, paranoia, fear and distrust of anything new (especially technology). Employees commonly sabotaged one another's work in hopes of coming to favor with their supervisors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house. Do it today. I can't actually specify my job because there were so few people doing it that it would be easy to narrow my identity to one of just a couple people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Awful place to work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Alcoa

    Pros

    I have had my share of overtime in a previous job and there was not much overtime here. Mostly volunteer

    Cons

    Mass confusion there, they are trying to do timing on your work and rush you and meanwhile spouting off how much quality is the most important

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the timers!

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not exactly the best place to work :(

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

    I worked at Alcoa full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are pretty good.

    Cons

    Education is apparently not enough here. Must play the political game to get ahead... unfortunately. Feels less like a professional organization and more like high school with the drama and favoritism. You may feel like the life is being sucked from your being.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure what could be done because the bad management will just play games as usual to remain off the radar.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    High turnover

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Production Worker in Lancaster, PA
    Current Employee - Production Worker in Lancaster, PA

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The pay scale can be generous if motivated to advance within production departments. Pay for performance quarterly bonus. Inclusive work environment.

    Cons

    12 hour swing shifts. Forced overtime. Loss of experienced workers, who, are not appreciated. Overtime burden on motivated employees. Mid level managers out of touch with employees on the floor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more qualified people. Find a way to stop the bleed of talent. Learn that "Disciplinary action" is not a motivator but a morale buster.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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