American Water Reviews

Updated June 24, 2015
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2.6
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Water CEO Susan Story
Susan Story
23 Ratings

Pros
  • They have pretty good benefits and if you are into brown nosing and cloaking the truth, you will go far (in 12 reviews)

  • great benefits, good education program for employees (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance difficult - on call 24/7 (in 6 reviews)

  • Limited advancement opportunities and no investment in modern technology (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

114 Employee Reviews

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  1. Work conditions

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

    I worked at American Water (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Stability, Fair wages, Good people. Good organization to work for. Depth of knowlege is tremendous. Customer oriented

    Cons

    Demanding due to the business, Dealing with the weather and seasons. Extended hrs required but overall fair company to work for


  2. Very difficult transition in progress

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

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great location, benefits package includes health, 401k, & tuition, exposure to how a large utility operation works. A number of very good people at the individual contributor level.

    Cons

    Still dealing with the effects of their ERP system implementation. Neglected to develop the necessary support organization and are feeling the effects. Project was launched with the assumption that headcount could be reduced and it was earlier this year, however it has really wasn't ready for the change. It's gonna take a lot of work to clean this thing up and the management team has not been up to the task to date.

    Advice to Management

    Take a step back, take a deep breath, and prepare to face the reality of the situation. The definition of insanity is where you double down on effort when you lose sight of your goals.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Fix the Culture and Leadership Issues

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

    I worked at American Water full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits and wonderful co-workers.

    Cons

    Used to be an employee-friendly environment - this is no longer. Culture is severely lacking due to poor leadership and multiple realignments. Did a culture study last year and no actionable plan to address issues has been compiled. Employees are frustrated by performance management system, lack of career development, and clear lack of leadership skills from the managers. This has and will continue to produce excessive turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the culture. Develop managers. Put accountability measures in place for leadership. Great disparity between leadership's view of the culture vs. the employees' view. Something needs to change quickly or you will lose talent.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Good benefits, mediocre management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance in Cherry Hill, NJ
    Current Employee - Finance in Cherry Hill, NJ

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Salary is competitive if you come from the outside. Great 401k match. Great medical benefits. Great stock purchase plan. There's always something interesting to work on if you apply yourself.

    Cons

    Management - Most low level managers have no idea how to manage people. Some will just delegate most of their work and take credit for their employees ideas. Middle management does not associate with low level employees. They claim to care, but nothing has been done to improve the culture. Your manager generally will not go out of their way to help you move up in the company. Managers in general just show a lack of respect for people that report to them.

    Training - there is no formal training for new or current employees. Everyone is too busy after the layoffs to devote their time to training new or current employees

    Internal advancement - it is incredibly difficult to get promoted in this company, finance especially. The best way to get promoted is to know someone important and brown nose. That's just the way it is here. If by some chance you do get promoted, the compensation they offer you will not exceed a 10% increase in what you already make.

    The system is overly complicated - any accountant or finance analyst that currently works here will tell you that the way the system is set up is incredibly inefficient. Between SAP and PowerPlant, it is incredibly difficult to perform even the simplest tasks.

    Peer employees - most of the people that work here are great, but there are those that have been with the company for years that have such a negative view about the company that are impossible to work with. They complain more than they work, and complain that they never get promoted.

    Human resources - I'm really not trying to be mean, but HR is completely incompetent.

    Overall - if you just want to come to work, do your job, and go home, not more or no less, this is a great place to work. If you want to advance your career this is not the place you want to be.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a formal training program. Develop a formal mentoring program between management and high performing employees. Make it easier to advance for people that deserve it


  6. Helpful (8)

    A Proud Company Gone Down the Toilet

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

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Most salaries are modest for the jobs. The company pays well and benefits are pretty good. The company seems to spend on a lot of uneccessary money in the Information Technology area.

    Cons

    My love for this company has turned to hatred. I have been a proud American Water employee for many years and have poured my heart out for this company, as did many of my fallen colleagues. This company is it's own worst enemy. What started years ago as a “family-oriented” company, a fun and rewarding place to work, has truly deteriorated into a selfish evil empire. Top level executives seem to have zero to minimum knowledge of what the incompetent middle and low level management is doing in the destruction of this once proud company. Human Resources is just as much at fault as they are to blame, and provide the back up power necessary to successfully humiliate, patronize, and belittle it's employees to no end. I don't know who is to blame, the new all-powerful regime or the greedy stockholders. My bet would be the latter oppressing the prior.

    Bi-yearly employee reviews are one huge game to management and HR, and are rated on unnecessary and sometimes unrealistic goals that accompany the employee, or “set the employee up for failure”, so to speak. Goal oriented ideas that are just plain nonsense and/or just a waste of time and resources are assigned to each employee. Management and HR sit back and laugh while employees struggle, providing little guidance or direction. Some years employees were rated against each other. This created opponents rather than team players, forcing instances of sabotage amongst each other. Buddies and family of management received preferential treatment and special training that was not otherwise offered or available to the average employee. Sometimes an “ivy league” employee would be “molded” for a promotion or have a job created just for them.

    I personally have been shown by a manager a set plan that in effect will set up an individual for termination. This “skill set” has been used numerous times during my employment to “remove” a certain employee or “job title” to move another person in it's place, usually a friend or relative of a manager. I still have the instruction book.

    Some employees, for minute reasons, were placed on employee performance probation. This is a 90 day period in which employees are required to enhance their performance. Working closely with HR members, management would strategically plan the employee's performance probation time-frame, often allowing the 90 day period to conveniently end one day prior to the employee's scheduled lay-off date. Under fictitious company policies this would allow the employee less than one day to secure a new position within the company. In most cases the new job posting would be the same job the employee held prior with minor changes to job title itself or minor job requirement or skill set changes that the employee already had or currently possesses.

    Highly skillful talent has been replaced with plain ignorance. Most departments have had staff reduction by 50%, leaving the remaining members to do double or sometimes triple the work. Employees that were able to reapplied and secure jobs have done so with a 25% pay cut in their new (old) job role. Some employees were robbed of their yearly bonus, given notice on Christmas Eve morning. Merry Christmas! Oh wait, American Water is a “politically correct” company, “Happy Festivus!” Remember, stay positive.

    In closing, I've seen bright-eyed and chipper people start with all good intentions only to age 10 years in the first 2 years of their employment. This company will work you like a dog. When you are at the end of your rope, full of stress and feeling overwhelmed, it will toss you to the curb like a worn-out sofa. When you can prove to the world you are a rude, crude, ignorant, and a pompous tool and no one can tolerate even the very thought of you, that is when this company will promote you. When you sit down at the end of the day and reflect upon the day's events, and you feel as though you done right to yourself, your customers, and mighty God above, and can honestly look at yourself and see your sole shinning within, it is then that this company will beat you down like a bad man's girlfriend and leave your bleeding heart to die a slow and sad death.

    Good luck to all of my brothers and sisters. Godspeed!!!

    Advice to Management

    God bless your soles.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Good people, bad management

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Water

    Pros

    There are mix of good and technical employees. Benefits are really good.
    Work life balance is good based on which group you are working with. Socially very good.

    Cons

    It is hard to talk to management. The way managers conduct the meetings, company does not seem to have vision. Managers are not technical enough to understand employees.

    Advice to Management

    There are some talented managers. Work as a team. It will take everyone ride the boat successfully.


  8. Helpful (1)

    From good, to bad, to worse

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Voorhees, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Voorhees, NJ

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Good employees and good benefits

    Cons

    Culture and leadership. They performed a culture study that made it clear that the culture was very poor with plans to improve it. Since the study was done the culture continues on a decline with no signs that it will improve. Change is constant. There is no transparency with leadership. It's as though things are being done behind closed doors with no one knowing what to expect and when to expect it. All for change and doing what is best for the company but the way it's being executed is really poor.

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent. Put your people first - not just in words but in your actions.


  9. Chemist 2

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

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of work and different types of analyses to perform. Good co-workers. Flexible hours if necessary.

    Cons

    Favoritism, corporate seems to want the laboratory to fail.


  10. Senior Businessn Analyst

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Water

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice Salary, nothing else to say,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Cons

    Horrible Management. One of the worst environments to work in.

    Advice to Management

    They know.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Support Services

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Support Services in Cherry Hill, NJ
    Former Employee - Support Services in Cherry Hill, NJ

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Staff before 2014 reorganization. Engaging, sharing, knowledgeable - just great people to work with.

    Cons

    2014 reorganization did not necessarily reorganize the correct employees.

    Advice to Management

    Top heavy management.



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