Spirit AeroSystems
2.7 of 5 86 reviews
www.spiritaero.com Wichita, KS 5000+ Employees

Spirit AeroSystems Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014

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2.7 86 reviews

                             

20% Approve of the CEO

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Larry Lawson

(5 ratings)

38% of employees recommend this company to a friend
24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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The new management has changed this company from a very desirable place to work to one that is threatening.

Information Technology (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGood pay, including overtime for Exempt positions. Good benefits. Offers flexible schedules, irregular workweeks, and flextime.

ConsThe company culture and company values have steadily declined in the past three to four years and that decline began a significant acceleration in late 2012. At one time it was an enjoyable environment, even with the immense workload. People pulled together "to get the job done" - and did. It has deteriorated into a threatening environment in which employees are afraid to identify problems and concerned for their jobs and careers. Employees seemed to be viewed as liabilities rather than assets and treated as objects rather than as people. Employees no longer team as they did. One issue is self-preservation. The "knowledge is power" syndrome has become "if I am the only one who knows, maybe I will be able to keep my job." Another is the incredible workload created by laying off too many people and cutting in some areas to the point it is no longer possible to keep up. People don't have time to stop and help someone else think through an issue or solve a problem. They are also stressed to the max, which is taking it's toll on many of them physically. The work environment at Spirit is no longer a "healthy" environment in any way.

Advice to Senior Management(1) Adhere to your operating value of "dignity and respect" for all. Even if you have to share bad news, including layoffs, do it in a dignified way, rather than the demeaning way in which it has been done over the last year. (2) Quit blaming "the worker bees" for the financial problems caused by poor management decisions and directions. Take responsibility and deal with it at the appropriate levels. Quit rewarding the executives with pay increases and bonuses when they perform poorly while you lay off "workers" who have are needed and have performed well. 3) Most of all, stop mandating that managers give an employee a poor performance review (presumably to provide "cause" for layoff) when that manager's assessment is that the worker performed well. Let performance reviews be done fairly by those who know the employees performance.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Be very cautious.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 8 years

ProsOppportunity to work in a major aerospace manufacturer

ConsTremendous pressure and major fluctuations in management direction.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Down hill ever since the divestiture. Not sure where the bottom lies.

Engineering (Current Employee)
Wichita, KS

I have been working at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 5 years

ProsInteresting work and products. Some good people to work with. Company could be positioned in the market for a stable, profitable future if it can overcome past and current problems.

ConsCulture mostly one of every-man-for-themselves. Very little teamwork and no coordination across enterprise. Organizations work to achieve goals without regard to additional up- or downstream costs. Toxic work environment from recent financial troubles has been made worse by the new leadership adding in fear, mistrust and intimidation.

Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate. Pick a strategy and stick to it. People will work harder if they have some idea of the company strategy and how they can help. View employees as an asset to achieve goals instead of viewing them as the cause of past trouble.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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The company has changed the way it treats employees.

Technical Illustrator/Writer (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe company provides good pay and benefits.

ConsSpirit management no longer treats employees as partners. I got laid off in July of 2013 along with more than 350 others and we were ALL classified as not available for callback.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Good company... but they are loosing touch with their employees

Structure Design (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGood people to work with, good benefits and work conditions.

ConsUpper management not very good at communicating, no loyalty to staff.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your people

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Was screwed by manager.

Industrial Engineer (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 3 years

Prosenjoyed working with the people. lot of great people.

Consupper management do not know how to take care of the employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementCover your butt, then you laid me off. If your are going to laid people off be up front about it. we are adult and know about aircraft.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Management doesn't have a clue

Design Checker (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 8 years

ProsGood experience people to work with

ConsUpper Management makes bad decisions

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the folks that do the work

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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They provided an average salary and a free education

Resource Coordinator (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 8 years

ProsEducation, hours, insurance, some short term stability, support YMCA in wellness program. Try to hire the brightest and most productive.

ConsLay offs, short term vision, listen but don't act. Leaders do not work together. Terminate senior members for cheap contractors, inexperienced employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees, then act to make the company better.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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You're a Commodity and a Number - Nothing More

Project Management (Former Employee)
Wichita, KS

I worked at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 8 years

ProsThe company offers competitive salaries and benefits, but that's mostly due to the bargaining contracts in place. The tuition program is generous: They covered the cost of my Bachelor's degree as well as the MBA program I was in before I was laid off. The hours can be flexible on the salaried side of the company; if you need to take an extended lunch for a doctor visit or leave early to pick up a sick kid from daycare, your manager will often allow you to make up the time during the week rather than use sick leave.

Spirit is an active partner in the Wichita community by committing to charity drives and encouraging management to take the lead on doing the same in their organizations (i.e. back-to-school drives, sponsoring families for Christmas, etc.).

ConsIf you do accept a position with the company, be prepared to be stuck at the job you were hired at for a long time or network every chance you get. Spirit makes bold claims about employee advancement but falls short terribly on execution. Your next transfer or promotion will largely boil down to who you know and what you can do for them (aka advance their career). The unwritten rule of advancement is FBI - Friends, Brothers, and In-Laws - and this is reflected by who gets the job. A large majority of the job requisitions on the internal career page are simply for show - the hiring manager already knows who they will hire. But to keep up the appearance of "fairness" and appease the unions, HR posts the job and goes through the interview process for all candidates, falsely boosting the hopes of numerous interviewees and wasting everyone's time. Bottom line - unless a senior level manager or above takes an interest in you, you are expected to keep your nose to the task at hand - your hopes, ambitions, and goals matter not.

The ONE exception to this rule is the engineers, particularly design engineers, because they can be moved and transferred at any time. I understand the company's need to do this, which is why I think it can be a pro or a con - it just depends on the circumstances. It's great for when new programs launch and you're looking for a change from the projects you've been working on. It's not so good when you're established with a good team which works well together or if they throw you on a program with severe issues requiring you to work large amounts of overtime to help catch up. But whether you see it as a pro or a con, the bottom line is this - you are a commodity, a tool to be used wherever they want to use you.

But my biggest beef with the company is the one thing I fell victim to - retention ratings. They are based on the employee's performance for the PREVIOUS year. Many of the employees who were walked out in July had a history of good to great performance over several years, myself included. But, for whatever reason, their performance for 2012 was subpar and was the SOLE BASIS for being laid-off. And what makes this even more frustrating is some of them had over half a year of solid improvement for 2013, but this was not factored into the decision to lay them off.

Advice to Senior ManagementThis will probably fall on deaf ears because I imagine the only people who use this website are potential employees. But, in the event a random Spirit manager should happen upon my review, here is my advice to you:

For starters, don't promise what you can't deliver. This goes for your customers and your employees. I understand none of us are guaranteed to achieve our goals and when we don't, we are free to leave the company to start anew elsewhere. But you have a number of employees committed, if not to the company, to their programs, managers, and co-workers to produce a great product, and they are willing to make some sacrifices for the betterment of the company. And they are looking for advancement, new opportunities, or even just a change of scenery from the mundane. Don't ignore them.

Second, if you notice an employee slacking in their performance, missing work, or has simply developed a foul attitude at work - don't just say "get your act together" to them. You may find sitting down with them for a few minutes and genuinely asking them what is wrong and what you can do to get them on track will do WONDERS. I'm not saying turn into their problem-solver because they still need to hear the "get your act together" part and ultimately they are the one who needs to make improvements.

For an industry that is keen on root-cause analysis for business and production issues, Spirit seems awfully reticent to use those same principles when determining WHY an employee's performance has suddenly turned poor. It may be personal problems, substance abuse, or any number of issues which are beyond management's control. But it may be something you can help with - job satisfaction, work assignments, career development, etc. Some of your poor performers are really just people struggling to come in every morning to a job they used to love but now despise.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Lots of problems, come back in 5-10 years

Technical Designer (Current Employee)
Wichita, KS

I have been working at Spirit AeroSystems full-time for more than 5 years

ProsFilled with lots of talented, highly experienced, and good hearted people.

The people (on average) are what make this employer bearable. It used to be an incredibly open and friendly place to work, but not so much any more.

Compensation is actually not half bad for this city. However, on a national or international scale, it is below average.

The health benefits are average, not the best and not the worst.

This is a great place to get your career started, but definitely not finish it. If you are still here after 5 years, either the company has become profitable and re-established a sense of work-life balance, or you need to have your head examined.

ConsManagement could not manage the assembly of a Lego set.

I was hired in at the tail end of the "golden age", and have since seen a steady slow decline of this employer as a whole. The atmosphere is changing back to the Theory-X form of management, where you are dictated how to do your job, and are expected to report your progress at every infinitesimal point along the way. Micromanagement is slowly working its way back into the culture. Sadly, management thinks they know how to design and build aircraft, this could not be farther from the truth. As management decisions are made, it becomes more and more evident every day that they do not fully understand what we do here.

Additionally, the politics inside of this organization are stifling. If you do not have the same view as your manager, and make it known, you truly run the risk of being terminated.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees. Chances are, they know how to perform the job better than you do. Then guess what, you will see your organizational performance skyrocket.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Spirit AeroSystems reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Spirit AeroSystems CEO Larry Lawson. All 24 reviews posted anonymously by Spirit AeroSystems employees.