AGL Energy Reviews

Updated June 12, 2014
Updated June 12, 2014
14 Reviews
2.0
14 Reviews
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Michael A. Fraser
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    great place to work great benifits

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

    I worked at AGL Energy for less than a year

    Pros

    great working conditions and great hours

    Cons

    unforgiving managers, but whiling to help

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Horrific organisation to work for - Retail Energy

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

    I worked at AGL Energy full-time

    Pros

    Very good at promoting work life balance. Actively supports the community through several public, and well known programs. Good remuneration which is perhaps slightly better above industry standard. Melbourne office is located directly opposite main train terminal (Southern Cross) and is close to the CBD. You can get recognized if you worked with a team as part of project that did well.

    Cons

    Worked in Retail Energy for just over a year. Was the worst experience of my life and I couldn't wait to leave. Executive heads need to be cleaned out along with some senior managers. Executives have no idea how to run a competitive business in a global environment. Retail Energy did not have an industry standard strategic business plan. Meant that staff below just made things up as they went along. Share price has only moved $1 in 5-10 years which highlights lack of vision by Executive management. Lots of opportunities to consolidate dominance in hugely competitive environment but management have no desire (nor any idea) on how to do so. Lots of arrogance at the senior manager level who love bullying and shaming other staff in public. Saw staff sexually harassed and bullied on several occasions. Senior managers have little or no experience outside AGL. Corporate Facebook page is littered with customer complaints yet Executive publicly refused to do anything about it. Basic business concepts get lost on them. Innovation and new ideas quickly get killed. Executive and senior management hated feedback about their performance from lower level staff. Training is abysmal and targeted towards kindergarten-level intelligence. Most staff have not finished high school or even been to university which came as a huge shock for me when I arrived. Many staff started off in the Call Centre and worked their way up through the ranks over many years into key decision making positions. Nepotistic culture means that only staff that belong to a certain clique get promoted. Clique groups are very close and go out with each other after work and on weekends. No outsiders allowed. Many also have inter-marital affairs meaning you don't know who to trust. No desire by either staff or management to learn industry best practices in customer care, technology or business efficiency. Staff were always late to meetings or didn't turn up to meetings at all. Retail Energy and ISG (AGL's IT Department) were always being held hostage by their technology vendors. Outsource vendors were charging AGL phenomenal consulting fees for poor work. These vendor consultants saw Retail Energy as a bank whereby they could withdraw money at any time. Retail Energy uses SAP CRM5 which has been heavily customized beyond repair despite SAP Consultants advising against such changes. VMO (AGL's project office) refused to provide assistance and some of their staff would scream at you unless you followed their inflexible processes. All in all, it was the hardest, most toxic organisation I've ever worked for run by people who fail as being respected individuals in the real world. After reading other reviews on here I'm so happy I'm not the only one who has a similar view about this organisation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A lot needs changing. Firstly, Retail Energy needs to be more diligent with their hiring. Staff should have a Bachelors degree at a minimum. They should also have industry standard certifications for the areas they work in (ISO, PMBOK, SAP certification etc). The culture also needs changing. Bullying and sexual harassment should not be treated as something that's welcomed by senior management (which it was).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall a good company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager  in  Sydney (Australia)
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in Sydney (Australia)

    I worked at AGL Energy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Excellent career progression and professional development opportunities. Great offices, flexible working arrangements, option to purchase leave, annual merit bonuses.

    Cons

    Siloed work environments. Culture can vary greatly from team to team. Restructuring happens often which can lead to redundancies and an inability to see a project through from start to finish. Some departments are wholly based in only one location making transfer without an interstate move impossible.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Customer Service

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service  in  Adelaide (Australia)
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Adelaide (Australia)

    I worked at AGL Energy full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good location with easy parking both onsite and offsite.
    Good group of people to work with.
    A relaxed environment.

    Cons

    No challenge in the roll at all. It was the same brainless task every day. I got very bored just waiting for the day to end.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management seem to do very little work. It is hard to inspire your team to do work when you don't actually do any.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    A toxic, nepotistic, career-killer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Analyst  in  Melbourne (Australia)
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Melbourne (Australia)

    I worked at AGL Energy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    AGL is a big company which offers plenty of opportunities to move around in different areas.

    The more competitive / well run divisions of the company are supposed to be better places to work.

    Cons

    Unless you are mates with your manager and don't mind having a career nodding at everything he/she says, this is not the place for you.

    AGL is a massive company that has some divisions that are extremely profitable, resulting in other areas being subsidised for incompetence.

    There is no competition in many of the divisions to drive delivery, change or innovation. Middle-managers prevent their staff from being innovative or delivery-focussed, they promote 'yes' men & have no real skills to impart.

    I worked in the Retail and ISG (IT for everyone else) divisions and they were shocking. So much dead wood. So many problems. No-one did anything to change it. Middle-managers on fat salaries surrounded by their mates criticised and sometimes disciplined anyone that challenged them / the processes or tried to make an improvement.

    The size of the company also make it extremely slow moving and risk-averse.

    HR (referred to as P&C) have too much power due to poor middle- management. Management are constantly deferring issues to HR as they don't know what to do. The result is a confusing mess as nobody is honest about what the problems really are (poor management), so they go around in circles trying to boost engagement.

    The IT systems and support at AGL is the worst I have seen at a company this size. They are being taken for a ride by their outsourced Vendor & senior management wont do a thing about it, despite the impacts to the business (far too manual, slow & error ridden) and staff.

    Avoid this place like the plague.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest and follow the values you have penned. Your company is too fat and slow. What sort of company do you want to have and what sort of people do you want to attract? You know who the smart and effective people are, take the initiative and clean out the rest. Reward good performance and be critical of poor performance in an open and even way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    A poorly run company with a toxic culture that does not live to its values.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  Melbourne (Australia)
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Melbourne (Australia)

    I have been working at AGL Energy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    HR (People and Culture) at AGL have established some really great initiatives for their employees as a program. Great above average industry pay. Great employee benefits such as purchased leave, maternity leave, career break, equal opportunity workplace for women, volunteer days. Flexible working arrangements (depending on your manager), carer's leave, lots of training opportunities and training program available for you to steer your career development. AGL has deep pockets and has purchased a wide array of the latest technologies but at the same time do not know how to use implement it effectively. Depending on your work situation, you could work out of the Melbourne or Sydney office if it suits your business unit. Good career progression if you're in the right business unit with the right support.

    Cons

    The customers and shareholders don't have a key focus in the company's main strategic vision.

    A severe lack of authenticity. There is a crippling culture of politicking where employees and managers are running personal agendas seeking the best outcomes for themselves and not for the greater good of the company. Nobody will call a spade a spade for fear of persecution or being labelled as "negative". If you're on a project that is going pear shaped, the norm is to pretend everything is fine and make sure that everyone perceives everything is hunky dory - and then when the charade is all worn out, eventually and reluctantly admit that the project is a failure. If your working style is to say one thing and do something else, then AGL is the place for you. If you're not two faced, you don't fit in! Relationships across the business are fake and not built on trust and consistent delivery to a customer/stakeholder.

    Another example, is that outsourced vendors will bring in inexperienced graduates which are sold to AGL as "experienced consultants" for projects. If this issue is raised, you are deemed to be trouble maker where you are not making an effort to work in "partnership" with the vendor.

    There are lots of manual processes which could be automated by systems that cause a glut in AGL's workforce. Some of these are heavily turf protected by dead wood employees who do not want to be moved onto other opportunities. Working with these employees is a rewarding challenge if you can get them going in the right direction, however senior leadership need to make it a strategic directive to run this business more efficiently.

    Optics are valued over facts. Many a time, people are more concerned about how they or their business is perceived. To the point where so much effort is spent on manipulating truths to senior management or spreading lies then actually addressing a business problem or driving a positive business outcome. Senior managers are not competent enough to dissect the employees who are making a difference to those who are undermining AGL.

    Executive team is not aligned. This is evident as to how different business units are running off executing their own agendas without attempting to work together.

    Expensive outsourced IT with company processes that are repetitive, inefficient and slow. You will spend more time filling IT paperwork passed around in Microsoft word document templates which change without notice. If you run a business in AGL and need good IT solutions you will pay through your nose for low quality solutions delivered by outsourced vendors that are beyond your control.

    There are lots of new people coming into AGL every month. Lots of these people have good experiences from other companies that should be taken on board, but they end up coming up against a massive wall of resistance by dead wood.

    AGL has deep pockets, almost too deep. It's like rich spoilt kid who spends his money on shiny new toys and gadgets (and most of the time unopened and not played with!) but fails to get basic things like clothing or feeding him/herself properly right. As a result millions of bucks are spent on failed projects and initiatives that add no value to the AGL customer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put more focus on delivering positive outcomes for your customers and shareholders as part of your strategic vision. Remind your employees every day and make it blatantly obvious, because an integrated strategy is great, but it doesn't have the focus on the most important components of your company - your customers and your shareholders.

    Live to the values that you set out to your employees. They are great in theory but the majority of the organisation does not live up to them. It's so fake that it is destroying your company. People should be able to have frank and honest conversations about the company and its performance and deal with it. The good times come with the bad ones and they must be acknowledged and addressed. Oh and reprinting and hanging these values around the office isn't going to do squat. It happens when you start acting and enforcing them right from the very top.

    Bring your critical IT business functions like SAP back in house. Actually build and develop a team of employees who care about AGL and will work in its interests to automate the tonnes of manual business processes that are carried out by outsourced employees in Manila and Kolkata. AGL needs to review this strategic approach to IT and outwardly admit that it is a massive failure with its outsourced partners. The costs of implementing IT are so expensive that they are similar if not more expensive to running a permanently staffed IT team to do the work. The costs of doing IT work is insane. Your outsourced partners are laughing all the way to the bank delivering shonky solutions. IT and AGL's business processes would benefit from having a smaller team of high quality permanent employees who care about AGL to a huge army of low quality consultants who learn on the job and jump ship after a couple of years.

    Make it a strategic focus to eliminate manual processes and employees who are turf protecting business processes that can be automated. Build a culture of running your business more efficiently and deliver these outcomes quickly instead of placing so much emphasis of governing them. Re-align displaced employees to value-add or analytical activities and reward this approach. Reduce the cost of doing business and reward employees who achieve outcomes that run the business more efficiently.

    Simplify your business and get your basics right. Champion simplicity in the way you do business and your business processes to reduce complexity. As an AGL customer I want you to bill me on time and correctly. If I was a big business customer, I'd expect the same plus some great value added services to help me reduce my energy usage. You're currently in the right direction, but you could do it better by getting your business basics right in the SAP systems with less errors. You could also be faster at signing me back up when my contract is up for renewal! Get rid of the winery, get rid of the stupid online shop, shut down those crappy smarter living stores - focus on the core stuff and do it better than Origin and Energy Australia. I now know why AGL energy prices are expensive - it's because you guys don't know how to run your business efficiently!!

    Align your executive team to your vision - do it with an iron fist if required. It is so evident when some business units are working with others whilst the others are flipping each other the bird. It's non-productive and as "One Team" we're spinning our wheels.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lack of reward for merit

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Melbourne (Australia)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melbourne (Australia)

    I worked at AGL Energy full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    A large organisation, with a bright future and a friendly working environment. There is a huge potential for personal progression and development.

    Cons

    No real recognition for the achievers. No real progression within the company unless you tow the line. Obey or be destroyed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should remove the financial cap on the bonuses for your sales employees as they are trying to increase your business revenue and should be rewarded not reprimanded with a cap on their incentive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Needs to drive change and innovation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CRM Administrator  in  Sydney (Australia)
    Former Employee - CRM Administrator in Sydney (Australia)

    I worked at AGL Energy as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Good offices, facilities and work life balance.

    Cons

    Lack of career development and business unit red tape

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Drive more innovative change

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Change Manager  in  Adelaide (Australia)
    Current Employee - Change Manager in Adelaide (Australia)

    I have been working at AGL Energy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    It really is a great company to work for with good pay, conditions and work colleagues. The benefits are first class

    Cons

    AGL are still bringing together many purchased assets and therefore still struggling to get away from a silo mentality and create an overarching company culture.
    In some parts of AGL such as at Torrens Island which has been in operation for almost 45 years there is an entrenched culture of entitlement and most of the workforce are totally out of touch with the economic hardships in the 'real world'

    It can also be a very frustrating company to work for as the head offices in Sydney and Melbourne despite their best efforts seem to forget about involving any site or person who isn't sitting in the same office as them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to strive for a merged and common culture and to encourage people who are presently trying to do this by themselves that they are being heard by corporate

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Toxic environment in retail sales and marketing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Management  in  Melbourne (Australia)
    Former Employee - Marketing Management in Melbourne (Australia)

    I worked at AGL Energy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Energy industry is stable and can provide a good spectrum of experiences. AGL retail often restructures so there is often a number of jobs up for grabs. Don't need to be particularly skilled or competent to do well here, and be promoted. People are generally very good to work with. There are many departments here that are well run. Like all large organizations subcultures often exist and are quite different to one another.

    Cons

    Lack of real leadership, Retail sales and marketing struggle to understand management in the 21st century is often about leading 'from behind' so people can grow. It can be a dictatorial environment, top down and narrow focused on optics rather than substance. HR supports senior management often at the expense of employee rights and company benefits. HR use 'values ' as a discipline tool. And they cant do change managment to save their lives. At least 6 restructures in last 4 years indicates management really dont know and cant commit to anything. Management can also be decision frozen and usually employ millions of dollars worth of consultants to make decisions which makes them less accountable themselves. Low engagement scores are often used to bully employees to leave or tow line rather than fix any problems. Employees that are good at sucking up tend to do well here as a result.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start acting like real leaders. Stop defering to HR to manage your issues and staff problems. They are given a ridiculous amount of power over the staff that intimidates. Real managers learn to manage people and their staff themselves. Learn that respect is earned and doesnt come just with a title. Actually act on bad management and not ignore or bully people on bad engagement scores. Think about something other than your career advancement once in awhile, like ethics, morals and principals. Start making your own decisions and be accountable for them. Try long term strategic planning and actually stick to it..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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