AES Corporation Reviews

Updated September 2, 2014
Updated September 2, 2014
90 Reviews
4.0
90 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
AES Corporation President & CEO Andrés Gluski
Andrés Gluski
53 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great global company that really trys to do the right thing socially worldwide (in 7 reviews)

  • Great people, different backgrounds, cultures and nationalities (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Required to give it your all, work long hours and keep up with the competition (in 10 reviews)

  • There are a lot of changes going on, office redesign, people being laid off (everyone is over-worked) (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Challenging environment, with lots of opportunities to learn and grow.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    A changing complex business model provides great learning opportunities. Great people who work together towards a common goal. Long term compensation and bonus potential make up a good compensation package.

    Cons

    Since it is an international business employees are expected to work some long hours and check email on weekends. The new open design of the Corporate office provides challenges for getting work complete and is not a good match for the type of work most people need to do on a daily basis.

  2.  

    AES has a very unique culture and is an exciting and challenging place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst  in  Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    AES is value driven, and the company clearly cares about its people. The AES mission to provide "safe, reliable, and sustainable energy" is incredibly meaningful, especially because safety is valued above all else. Those who have written negative and nasty remarks singling out individual AES leaders obviously do not belong at AES. Our leadership team does a remarkable job in communicating AES' long term strategy with its people. Our CIO, Elizabeth, is constantly encouraging feedback from all individuals, no matter their positions within the company. She did a phenomenal job transforming the workplace into a collaborative and more efficient work environment.

    Cons

    Requires long hours, but I am sure that is the same for any other Fortune 200 company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing!

    Recommends
  3.  

    AES is a great company that challenges and give you the opportunity to grow.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Vice President in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    People and Values. The people at AES are great. They work together in teams to make AES and each other better. AES is steadfast in its values regardless of management or changing business direction. The company is demanding so don't come here unless you enjoy a challenge, change and a desire to grow personally.

    Cons

    You must be strong enough to manage your work-life balance. If you want to grow with AES expect to move several times internationally. In some areas of the company you are either an insider or an outsider. One must be politically savvy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Andres and the ELT are committed to the strategy and this is great for AES. There is opportunity to improve alignment of goals/KPIs/incentives among Corp teams and SBU's. Management sometimes sweats the small stuff, stay focused on the big items that drive success and trust your teams to manage the rest.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    What is it that we believe in?

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

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I think the company is finally, but marginally headed in the right direction, only in last couple of years. It will be interesting to see how it pans out. A Fortune 200-sizes balance sheet provides healthy compensations but mask inefficiencies.

    Cons

    Currently the company is going through a period of rediscovery/reinvention. The structure at the corporate level shifts constantly in an effort to find the right strategy. Historically the company has had ample access to capital so it grew through acquisitions of power plants. Right now the strategy is to divest and simplify the portfolio and regain liquidity in an effort to offset the ridiculous level of leverage the assets were exposed to. The corporate values are well articulated, but the people do not buy into them anymore. Although the values are noble by nature, they are not engrained in the DNA of the businesses. The overall culture lacks a passionate vision for the future. The company is trying to figure out how to get back on track. For that same reason it may be an opportunity for someone with the right vision to come in an really make a difference.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote risk taking, in fact, reward risk taking and honest mistakes. People are walking on egg shells, trying hard not to disrupt the operation, being zapped of their creative juices in the process. The open collaboration environment was a step in the right direction.
    Delete the "strategic temple". The temple is nothing more than a list of operational efficiency goals, which is important to have. TRS greater than the S&P 500 is a worthwhile objective. It does NOT communicate the company's strategic intent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Challenging and fulfilling place to work

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

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time

    Pros

    The mission of the company is pretty fantastic, and it's great to work in an industry that makes such a positive impact on people every day. The work itself is challenging and interesting--lots of opportunities to initiate and lead new projects. Since it's a multinational company, the global exposure is great too.

    Cons

    If you need structure, defined policies and constant direction--this is not the place for you.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Manager in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Challenging work and great people. New office redesign is better than expected. It is a great example of the culture being driven by the CEO who is a visionary. The company is focused on its strategy which hasn't changed since the CEO took over. He and his executive leaders don't shy away from the tough decisions required to transform the company.

    Cons

    The company is still working on development and training programs. It is getting better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue with your strategy and the cultural transformation underway. Some recent departed employees are disparaging to the company and I don't agree with their comments. If you want to know how people feel talk to those dedicated and committed who work at AES - I am sure you will find the counter negative comments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    AES a GREAT place to work!

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

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    As a global company AES offers a wide variety of opportunities working alongside great people. Management is doing a good job setting and articulating clear strategy and driving performance by holding people accountable. AES provides excellent benefits and a great new work environment.

    Cons

    Due to the company mission long hours are involved. It is a challengeing environment with multiple time zones and cultures.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay the course, too much change, too fast, will not render sustained results. There have been many positive improvements and organizational changes that just need time to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Entrepreneurial spirit in a large company

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

    I have been working at AES Corporation full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great people, values-based leadership and abundant growth opportunities.

    Cons

    Admin creep has occurred, but that's just the pendulum swinging back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Proactively communicate to AES people how the company is positioning itself in the face of significant industry changes.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good learning experience and pay but.......................

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

    I worked at AES Corporation

    Pros

    Excellent compensation and benefits package. Interesting global company involved in interesting transactions. Company has clearly articulated values and really tries to live by them. Very committed workforce.

    Cons

    Despite hitting most of its financial targets, the company is managed at times like it isn't making any money as evidenced by several layoffs in the past 3 years. Management needs to remember that employees are constituents/stakeholders too, not just shareholders. Long hours and always on call. Limited opportunities for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful not to cut staff too deeply, it will hurt in the long run

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 7 people found this helpful  

    No growth, poor management, ZERO communication

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

    I worked at AES Corporation full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This company has impressive global reach, and you will make great friends working with your colleagues around the world.
    The environments it operates in are risky, challenging, and unique, so you will never be bored.
    There are pockets of really impressive talent at this company, sadly none of it is anywhere near upper management or the C Suite.
    The "no vacation policy" is nice, because you don't have to track hours at work, or log time off.
    It's close to the Metro, so it makes the commute easy if you take public transportation.

    Cons

    This company doesn't communicate, period. The Senior Leadership of the company makes decisions, and none of it flows down to the rest of the company.

    AES has zero efforts around external communication. Andres actually encouraged employees to write reviews on this website. I thought he was kidding at first. Nobody had any clue about what AES was for, or what they did, because they did not focus any efforts on their external comms. And when we did get press, often it was negative. And they wondered why the stock price sucked for years. Nobody knows anything about the company, and the company made no efforts to address that with an external comms strategy, or policy.

    I was there 4 years, and we had 3 reorganizations in that time. Total joke.

    The HR department is an absolute joke. There is no training, no efforts around career development, and little to nothing available to you if you wanted to seek these things out on your own. The worst part though - THEY THINK THEY'RE GOOD AT THIS. Which was ASTOUNDING to me. Andres and other senior leaders would constantly bring up "Talent Management", and the efforts AES was doing in this sphere - I never saw ANY of it.

    If people leave, you will get their work, and you won't be given a raise, or promoted. This is especially true with the more junior members of teams. This is a really unfortunate way to treat your employees. When people are given more responsibility, particularly when another team member departs, salaries, or at the very least, titles, should reflect those changes. This rarely ever happened. I knew someone in one group, which I will not name, that saw two coworkers come and go, and received all of their work without a promotion, or a raise.

    The corporate offices were remodeling to move to "open office space", and one of the floors was completed before I left. There isn't enough space in this review to describe how poorly managed this process was, from start to finish. The company had to participate in focus groups to identify "needs" as the space was reorganized and remodeled. The push was to be more "collaborative", but getting rid of offices, and moving to open space. People participated, and the majority spoke out against the switch, and yet, they pushed it on us anyway. They said it wasn't about hierarchy, or seniority, or about money, but it was, and it was so completely a farce throughout the whole process that it was impossible not to laugh at how clearly the Senior Leadership was lying to everyone else. It actually was about cost savings, and actually, not everyone was going to be in open space, because there actually would be offices, ESPECIALLY on the 11th floor, oh, and, by the way, NONE of the Senior Leadership would be sitting in open space. It was really disappointing.

    The IT group offers very little support, if any, and it's not their fault. The CIO, Elizabeth, is clueless on how to actually run IT and tech teams, and the entire department and their initiatives suffer because of it, particularly at the Corp headquarters. There were three guys in the the IT group that had to triage all the tech support, and they were so grossly understaffed, and under-equipped, I marveled at how they actually get anything done at all.

    The company operates as though it is losing money constantly, even though they are making revenue. Layoffs happened a lot because of this, and the company really suffered. Also, I saw several positions get laid off, that eventually had to be hired back on again. Which is just really poor management and organization.
    Recently, they adopted the mission "Improving lives by providing safe, reliable ad sustainable energy solutions in every market we serve". I can count on two hands the number of energy companies that have "safe, reliable and sustainable energy solutions" in their mission statements, or goals. COME ON. I refer you to prior statements - ZERO communication efforts or strategy.

    The Safety Culture at AES, is a cult at the Corporate Offices. We had to attend monthly "safety meetings", and listen to a power point presentation on the most ridiculous things. It was an insult that the company valued my time so little that they required a monthly safety meeting in a corporate office building in Arlington, VA. There are only so many times you can discuss speeding in the parking garage, and not texting and driving before you lose your mind.

    The company recently made the Washington Post top workplaces of 2014 list. In that write-up, the Post reported "To keep its workforce engaged and growing, AES invests significant time and resources into employee training and career assessment. Last year alone, AES conducted an average of 60 hours of training per person." This is a complete and utter falsehood. It does NOT invest time and resources into employee training and career assessment. They do not even have systems or processes in place to do this. Also, the 60 hours of "training" that they mention - is mandatory Safety training. It's not career training, or useful on the job skill training. I was embarrassed to see such a complete falsehood be printed in a paper of such repute. Andres should be more ethical and walk that statement back, because it isn't true.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to manage talent, because you're terrible at it.
    There are so many absolutely astounding process failures, and yet, little effort is done to change them. Fix the broken stuff! Be a good manager!
    Get an online HRIS system so you ACTUALLY know how many people work at the company, and where they work, and what they do.
    People don't leave companies, they quit management. This happens at AES constantly. It's happening to you. It's a huge reason why I quit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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