Alcoa Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
182 Reviews

3.1
182 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld
Klaus Kleinfeld
97 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance programs, working from home 1 day a week is common (in 10 reviews)

  • Great pay, great benefits, World class Fortune 500 Company, but many complaints (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance, no idea of what it takes to advance (everything is secretive) (in 10 reviews)

  • Senior management talks a good talk, but regularly policies don't reconcile with the values they claim to promote (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Work seven days a week with only one weekend off a month

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operator  in  Davenport, IA
    Current Employee - Operator in Davenport, IA

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

    Pros

    Pros: Alcoa is a long standing leader in it's field with potentially global positions for salaried workers. Hourly is stuck at location.

    Alcoa is good at training new people for different positions and job tasks.

    The pay is good, not great or exceptional, but good.

    Cons

    Cons: Work schedule is horrible. Be prepared to surrender your life and soul. Work seven days straight and then they'll give you Tuesday and Wednesday off as your "weekend". Then wor another seven days straight. You can and will be forced to work 16 hour days. You will only get twelve real weekends off each year.

    They treat their lower management like slaves. They are encouraged to work twelve hour days and weekends, fired when they don't for "not having enough Alcoa spirit". Or just fired for nothing. I saw one guy fired for caring too much about an injured worker. Upper management dog-beats the frontline supervisors and that permeating despair rubs off on the hourly workers. You can't trust a company that eats it's own.

    Alcoa does not keep to it's promises. Company profits were up 30%, performance pay bonuses for the workers who broke production records dropped from 8% to 0.16%. Not encouraging at all.

    The tuition reimbursement they sell young people on? It's only available to ONLY the currently enlisted (no new people can be added to the program) and the budget is always "unknown". You will never get tuition money from Alcoa, they use it as a recruitment tactic, a bait, but it doesn't actually exist.

    Everyone is tired. I haven't seen my family in a long time. Vacation time is tiny. You'll be here for at least three years before you get two weeks off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Can I have my weekends back? As a human decency thing that would be nice. You're causing massive burn out and killing the morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    A great team environment - wonderful colleagues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Project Leader  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Senior Project Leader in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at Alcoa full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I learned so much and progressed in my career with help from engaged managers. The standards and processes are based on the Alcoa Business System (ABS) - a quality system derived from Toyota's model. The company is an old one, but remains on the leading edge of processes and technology. There are a lot of projects going on and the business units are very engaged in the projects. There are a lot of opportunities within the organization.

    Cons

    You can get stuck if you don't manage your career, especially if your manager isn't helping you. Be sure to reach out to colleagues and mentors to keep your career moving.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Mixed, top management disconnected with facilities

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

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great safety structure and actions, good pay, lots of latitude, stable employment in most locations. Great technology leader.

    Cons

    Forced ranking, vertical integration needs re-vamp, disconnected policies. Too much micro management. Goals are non realistic in some cases, way beyond stretch. Some areas of discipline get no oversight, while others are over managed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove forced ranking, optimize at locations, not all facilities make aluminum, recognize this....

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Good place to learn good responsibilities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Warehouse Utility Worker  in  LaPorte, IN
    Former Employee - Warehouse Utility Worker in LaPorte, IN

    I worked at Alcoa full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay, bonuses and benefits where really great.
    Work environment was very friendly
    Training was great as well.

    Cons

    I have nothing bad to say about them, I think there a very good company to work for.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Stay away!! very toxic, very demanding, intimidating, hostile, stressful, want to learn bad habits this is the place.

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

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Lot of good programs with good intentions but terrible execution. The company likes to shoot themselves in the head due to capricious and illogical requirements.

    Cons

    Management lives in a bubble, reactive, no planning, no support, it is like working with hands tied to your back and wearing blindfolds. No support for line managers and if you say right management will say left and blame you. You survive by finding scapegoats and shifting blame on others. You are always in a constant state of fear so nobody is willing to co-operate or share information.

    Management style is to threaten employees by finding fault, not by looking for solutions or working co-operatively. Constantly understaffed to control costs and expected to meet unrealistic goals with the consequence of being blamed if goals not met and quick to write employees for lack of performance. No regard for talent, abilities or work knowledge. No growth opportunity. It is amazing how a Fortune 500 company with so much talent can operate a plant like this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open your eyes and stop lying to yourselves. You are killing talented employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Friendship based success

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

    I worked at Alcoa full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very safety conscious. Stable company.

    Cons

    Alcoa does not provide a stable training environment for its employees. You have to learn on the fly. Success is not often based on how well your performance is..This will only guarantee you, your current position but success is measured on who you know and how well you are liked. Also pay is not equal to your workload.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate the hardworking employees and promote based on performance. Set realistic expectations.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Overall positive experience.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Alcoa

    Pros

    Great place for those with interest in manufacturing.

    Cons

    Political organization but with pockets of very good people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Aim for more unilateral orginazation. Less politics.

  9.  

    Alcoa is killing people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Common Factory Worker  in  Cleveland, OH
    Current Employee - Common Factory Worker in Cleveland, OH

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    good paid fair benefits all about safety

    Cons

    overworked, not enough hours in the day, got to wear 10 different hats, worried about p&l

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    think about the people on front line who are doing the hard labor to makr this company a sucess

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Good company that could use some upgrades

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Intern in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Alcoa as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Intern program very good with lots of visibility to management. Some new skills will be learned, you get to interact with everyone.

    Cons

    HR is so slow, expect months to get hired. Structure is very flat, you will not be promoted except from junior to normal to senior.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take advice from anyone, there are areas where more money can be made.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Intern

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Alcoa

    Pros

    Good assignments, mentors were helpful and he's meaningful projects. Interaction with management was frequent. Provided very very very good safety training that kept us safe during the day

    Cons

    None I don't have any cons with the company because I was not there for very very very long so

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

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