Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

www.optimalsolutionsgroup.com
Engaged Employer
Add Review

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
32 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
1.0
32 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC President Dr. Mark Turner
Dr. Mark Turner
23 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (10)

    The good reviews are written by COO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in College Park, MD
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in College Park, MD

    I have been working at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    on the metro. some contracts are interesting.

    Cons

    The positive reviews posted here are written by the COO. If you work here long enough you recognize her writing. And they (COO and CEO) don't like the bad rap they get from employees on glassdoor so they write their own. and the billable hours fraud has been going on for years. Understaff the project, overwork the employees, overbill the govt is not an ethical model.

  2. Helpful (9)

    If it was possible to give negative stars, I would.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst III in College Park, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst III in College Park, MD

    I worked at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I got a huge salary increase when I was hired, so that was something I was able to take with me. But other than that, nothing else is worth it. Management seems to think that if they provide enough crappy food/snacks (instant oatmeal and crackers) their employees will be happy, but trust me, it's not worth it. If you are going to take the job, make sure you negotiate on the salary and provide lengthy explanations for why you deserve the salary you deserve (qualifications, experience, languages, etc). They were surprisingly easy to work with on that. Perhaps they have changed their practices on it (or will change it after they read this review), but it's always worth a try.

    Cons

    Everything else. I read the GlassDoor reviews prior to my interview and was a bit concerned, but chose to brush it off because I was desperate for a job due to the crappy economy. I regretted it on my first day of work. After speaking to numerous co-workers, I found out that the reviews here were totally true. I was even told by two co-workers that the two of them don't bother to learn anyone's name unless they've been with the company for at least 6 months, because it's not worth the trouble due to the high turnover. Employees who left before and after me all had the same issues that were already discussed in other reviews on here, so I won't repeat them. All I can say is that the reviews are true, and that you should accept a job with them with GREAT caution.

    An example of their poor management: I asked the HR director whether they would consider increasing the metro subsidy back to what it used to be based on the new employee manual they gave me. I even supported my request with evidence that the metro fares would be increasing soon, so an increased subsidy would make sense. I also emailed coworkers that I knew used the metro to see if they'd support me on getting an increased subsidy, and due to the scary, intimidating, oppressive work culture of the company, those who used the metro the most and had been with the company the longest were afraid to email me back while those who barely used it were not as afraid to email me back. The HR director said he would check on this for me, and two weeks later I still had no reply. Then randomly while passing by me he basically said that management said no to the increase and I asked why, and he replied, "They didn't give a reason and they don't have to." I kid you not, that was his actual, rude reply to my face.

    People are afraid to talk to one another and socialize in the office, for fear of looking "not busy enough." It is a very quiet and unwelcoming atmosphere with a palpable, huge gap between those who've been with the company for at least a year and those who are new. They lied to me about what projects I would be working on, and in general there is very poor communication in the International Practice, as the practice manager is overloaded with too much to do and is based on another continent. There is no training and no patience for tiny mistakes. If you are a quiet, introverted perfectionist that is totally unflappable (i.e. a robot), this might be the perfect place for you.

    They have also told employees in an all-staff meeting to bill everything to the client (i.e. the federal government, who is running a huge deficit and really can't afford to pay for anything) and don't bill anything to "Overhead" so as to maximize profits. I felt this was highly unethical. But if you're cool with working for an unethical company who is trying to fleece our government out of taxpayer dollars, go right ahead and take a job here.

    The most damning thing I can say here is that I was relieved to be terminated because I was thinking of quitting, but was afraid to. They made the decision for me, and it was probably the best thing that could have happened, given the circumstances, because I went on to get hired into a federal agency, which came with another raise. And after I was terminated, 4 people quit, including a very senior practice manager that was forced out.

    Advice to Management

    What's the point of suggesting anything? You don't take any of the advice here.

    Optimal Solutions Group, LLC Response

    Oct 26, 2014CEO

    Thank you for your feedback. I'd like to address some of the points that you raised.

    Our client requirements are within a regulatory framework and drive our management decisions. Yes, some
    ... More

  3. Helpful (14)

    Worst company to work for in DC area

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in College Park, MD
    Current Employee - Research Associate in College Park, MD

    I have been working at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It's very easy to get hired at Optimal. But beware of everything you hear -- not everything they tell you will come true.

    Cons

    The working environment at Optimal is ruined by the top management, who choose to manage through fear and misinformation. I was lied to outright about several different things during the interview process, including what projects I would be working on, as well as the success and nature of past projects completed by the company. Be very careful to check everything they tell you against an external source before accepting a position.

    One of the main things that kills any joy that employees at Optimal take in their work is the poor communications skills of the top brass. They seem to delight in dressing down individual employees in front of other employees -- and they call this motivation. They also seem to enjoy diatribes leveled against employees as a group via email. It's a very emotional and volatile place to work. The top brass does a really great job of presenting a happy face while courting prospective employees. They are really, really, excellent salespeople for their company. But it is a facade, and after about or 4 months of work, the new employee finds they are actually in the worst job imaginable.

    There is no respect for an employee's life outside of work. Billable hours are all management cares about. If you are young and this is your first job out of school, this is not a good place to work, because you'll end up thinking all companies are like this. They are not. Parents, don't let your children take this job. Optimal preys on kids fresh out of school to provide them with cheap labor, but they work the kids 80 hours a week and give them little to no training on the job. Kids fresh out of school would be better off taking a fast food job than working at Optimal. Their starting salaries are not a liveable wage in Washington, DC. I've witnessed so many young interns and new hires get emotionally wasted by this company, for salaries that don't even pay their living expenses.

    In my experience with Optimal, they get government contracts by underbidding every other company (and by virtue of their special status with the SBA). This means that the contract usually requires more work on the part of the employees than is budgeted for. The top brass doesn't want to go over budget, so the employees must put in a lot of unpaid hours to complete the project. If the project is not done on time and well, then the employees are harangued individually during staff meetings. Optimal wlll tell employees that this is standard at all consulting firms in DC. It is not.

    The turnover rate is extremely high, but you probably will not hear about that in the interview. Most employees leave within a year of being hired, with the exception of three or four long-term employees. The negative reviews here on Glassdoor accurately reflect the plight of many people who have worked there. I have witnessed it.

    Walk away. Just walk away.

    Advice to Management

    There's nothing that makes up for your style of management. If you continue to not see yourselves as the problems, you'll just push more people out the door who will end up reviewing your company on Glassdoor.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (9)

    Research Analyst

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

    I worked at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    forward thinking, fast pace
    there were some interesting projects

    Cons

    no care about employees
    no appreciation of employees' contribution
    extremely high turn over
    heavy office politics
    micro-managers
    sometimes management shows a lack of integrity, doing whatever it takes to get profit

    Advice to Management

    be nice to people and people will be nice to you

  6. Helpful (7)

    Don't Work Here - It's Worse than Hades

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

    I have been working at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time (less than a year)

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The only positives are the receptionist and her candies. The building is clean and well maintained. There is a nature trail behind the building to walk.

    Cons

    Management is out of touch with operating a company. Management's approach related to contracts is not focusing on contract requirements but rather telling contractors what to do and what Optimal will do. Staff members are ostracized when negative reviews are posted to GlassDoor and then executive management posts a positive review in an attempt to counter the truth. There is an alarmingly high turnover rate. Unrealistic deliverable time frames set for tasks. Mid level employees directing senior level employees. Executives verbally abusive to staff. There is no balance between work and life. Employee stress levels run high.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing to share for executive team will not listen.

  7. Helpful (6)

    Very abusive work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in College Park, MD
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in College Park, MD

    I have been working at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    small business environment
    attractive location, close to Metro

    Cons

    It is a very abusive work environment. Executive managers bully and intimidate junior staff, by discussing staff within the office and sending demeaning emails. Senior Research Managers do not manage effectively and they do not support or defend their team members against the abuse of Executive Managers.

    Advice to Management

    Take a step back and realize how you treat your staff members. Your behavior is very concerning. A happy staff is a productive staff. People do so much with what little advice and support they get. Imagine if people were not scared and got adequate advice to do their jobs properly. Treat people as though they are human beings.

  8. Helpful (5)

    WHERE DO I START???

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in College Park, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in College Park, MD

    I have been working at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Hmmmm. Give me a minute. Time's up, can't think of anything

    Cons

    Cons - Con artists who can convince you to join this company with promise of career enhancement. Con - will not be allowed to do your job , without constant input from upper management, After all, Coo and CEO know how to do everything JOB within the entire company! What experts. Con - co-workers afraid to talk for fear of losing jobs. An eerie environment.

    Advice to Management

    Please consider having a meeting to research where you're going wrong. Something is seriously wrong here.

  9. Helpful (6)

    Over promise, under bid and under deliver to clients.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in College Park, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in College Park, MD

    I worked at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Small business, so you get to wear many hats. Good if you are independent learner.

    Cons

    Employees asked to work on projects that question their integrity. Training…none. The organization has been through multiple HR people and people come and go a lot. Senior researchers offer no recognition at all and do not know how to give direction. Owners squabble a lot in front of staff making for an uncomfortable work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Senior researchers should not be project managers. Hire real managers to manage projects.

  10. Helpful (5)

    One of the worst experiences of my career

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

    I worked at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It's a paycheck, that's it. I needed a job because of the Great Recession.

    Cons

    I'll just add to what every other review on this board says about Optimal Solutions Group:
    1. Owners are out of touch with employees, and reality
    2. Owners make insane demands of employees while they're pretending to work (with any favorites they have among staff)
    3. Owners create a hostile atmosphere
    4. Owners continually skate into the grey area of the contract world

    Advice to Management

    No advice will be given because no advice will be taken

  11. Helpful (3)

    Work was good, disliked the process

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

    I worked at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You get your hand on every project. Good exposure for career growth

    Cons

    Not a well structured company. Talent falls through the cracks easily because a few gate keepers run the show, and not for the overall good of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job in structuring your company. A well established work assignment structure is not only best for management, but good for work flow. Over-working people and poor job match is what has turned your company to a revolving door.

Work at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC? Share Your Experiences

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.