Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

www.epri.com
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Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) President & CEO Michael W. Howard
Michael W. Howard
6 Ratings

Pros
  • The employees are very devoted to their research, but the company allows healthy work-life balance (in 4 reviews)

  • Most employees work schedules are flexible enough to allow them to work from home as needed (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • The only way to break through glass ceiling is to leave the company (in 2 reviews)

  • Project managers have little skill in being people managers (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

8 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    IT and Marketing Incompetence

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Brilliant engineers and research Office locations Research excellence Global Contributions

    Cons

    Last 5 years has shown the utter incompetence of IT staff and particular lower level management. Incompetent staff rewarded for incompetence.

    Advice to Management

    Cleanup existing IT staff. too many people who do minimal work.


  2. Helpful (12)

    One of the most disappointing experiences of my life.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Manager in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent pay and benefits. Unfortunately, no amount of pay can justify the excessive office politics, leadership hubris, non-strategic thinking, and "shiny object" projects one will endure.

    Cons

    Incredibly incompetent leadership who exercise their power without regard to the mission and principles that brought EPRI into existence. In my first year of employment, the organization stood for what it is supposed to do: provide objective research in the name of shaping the future of electricity. I was particularly impressed with the leadership exhibited by several individuals, and their commitment to fulfilling EPRI founder Chauncey Starr's vision. Unfortunately, these individuals and several others were removed "for cost"--at a time when targets were being met. Curiously, what followed these individuals' questionable removal was a slow descent into scattershot efforts that not only, in my opinion, jeopardized EPRI's standing as an objective Institute, but also raised concerns about the prudent use of members' dollars. It is no surprise that certain leaders' actions and pet projects drove employees into a state of poor morale that continues to devolve. Even in the face of hard metrics garnered from employee surveys, Leadership turned the cheek and even sugar-coated the lackluster results. Efforts to ameliorate employees' concerns were half-hearted at best, even when good employees offered hard strategies and options for leadership to take action. In addition to the woes of Leadership, there is zero accountability in place at EPRI. Misused dollars, failed projects, improper conduct with employees, and lack of adherence to the organization's mission plague the workplace. Whether it is a sense of entitlement because of their tenure at EPRI, the money they are being paid, or the special relationship they have with someone in power in the organization, many are able to get away with things that would almost always be punishable by demotion, termination, and in many cases, legal action in another organization. The one word, and ultimate reason for my departure, is disappointment. Disappointment because I intensely care about the mission that EPRI was founded upon. And while there are great projects and work still trickling out, the overall trajectory is poor. I believe it is only a matter of time before EPRI members realize the lack of return on their investment, and that employees leave en masse (which is indeed happening). It is my hope that the historically detached Board of Directors realizes the issues outlined in this review, amongst many others, and clears the decks so that one day, EPRI can return to the great company it once was.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the employees and take real action. Begin to hold people accountable for their work and their actions. Recognize the talents of employees who aren't in the "inner circles," and better yet, stop creating the inner circles by stopping politicking. Finally, never lose sight of the principals that brought EPRI into existence.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Going downhill fast!!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits (401k, paid time off, health insurance)

    Cons

    The corporate culture is not befitting of a non-profit company, pay is below industry averages, little opportunity for advancement, horrible work life balance. This used to be a nice place to work, but has gone downhill and continues to at an exponential pace. Upper management WAY out of touch with reality, most of whom should never have been promoted into these positions. The only image of management that comes to mind is fat cats rubbing there full bellies, while the worker mice try to fight over the fallen crumbs.

    Advice to Management

    Stop reorganizing the company as often as the wind changes, be honest and stop backstabbing your employees, invest in your people not your processes.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    Once was good and now is horrible

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Leader in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Technical Leader in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I can't think of a single positive thing about working at EPRI. Management goes out of the way to treat employees badly and make themselves look good. Excellent work is rewarded with termination and the bad actors and family members of management continue to move upwards. Communication is totally non-existent, unless you count hearing about the accomplishments of executives family members and what their dogs are doing. They share no information about the status of the company or where we are headed.

    Cons

    Executives believe they are the best thing that ever happened to the world and all employees are just a necessary evil that takes some of their bonus money away. If you want a stagnant job with absolutely no chance of advancement or even a piddly annual increase in salary, this is the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Get real and understand that without the employees you are nothing. Blowing smoke up everyone's hind end does not make you an excellent CEO worthy of multi-million dollar compensation.


  6. Helpful (1)

    An Evolution of Great to Awful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Management in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great location. Good balance of work and family/personal life possible. Good place to learn a technology other than computer technology if one finds the time. Friendly people at the technical level.

    Cons

    Very expensive location to live for the Palo Alto, Ca facility. But other company locations like Knoxville, Tenn may not appeal to most people. Poor upper management that came from outside the organization and have little if any understanding of how and why the work gets identified and done. Absentee management in most cases. Management has allowed to many virtual employees. Very poor involvement and understanding by the Board of Directors. Membership revenue is limited and therefore don't expect much company growth if any. Small company. Therefore don't expect much advancement in responsibility and salary over any reasonable period of time. Company has evolved from a NASA type organization to one of mostly involving paper pushers. Downward trend started when Board of Directors brought in an outside CEO and continued this approach with future CEOs. Innovation completely absent. Don't consider this company in the same light as those companies that make up the majority of Silicon Valley. Young professional people shouldn't even consider this place.

    Advice to Management

    Find out what the members want and ask them what do they think its worth to them. If the worth is not substantial enough to effectively run the present company as its structured with viable growth, start shutting those worthless portions of the company down. Evaluate whether there is a real need to have a substantial marketing and sales departments for a membership supported organization as this. Considerably reduce the size of these departments and transfer the revenue to the technical side of the organization for it to do the technical work more effectively and support the membership for which purpose the organization was created for in the first place.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Join this company if you are waiting for retirement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice office location, go for walk/run during lunch

    Cons

    Horrible work culture ... Too much politics

    Advice to Management

    Clean up


  8. Bad place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Non-profit and easy to have work/life balance

    Cons

    Dirty politics Need to be well connected to survive

    Advice to Management

    Fire poor managers


  9. No recognition of effort

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Industry leaders in reearch and utilities

    Cons

    HR poor -- pay not based on performance

    Advice to Management

    n/a



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