Austin Energy Reviews

Updated April 6, 2015
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2.4
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Larry Weis
8 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Corporate Government

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

    I have been working at Austin Energy full-time

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

    Pros

    City of Austin benefits: retirement, medical, leave, tenure bonuses. Enterprise-style management: Runs like a private company in terms of decision making and structure. Job stability. General Manager seems very competent in guiding the utility.

    Cons

    Other than utility-specific jobs, compensation is government-level. Human Resources is ridiculously slow and can provide inaccurate information. Chain of communication breaks down from top to bottom.

    Advice to Management

    Make human resources a reliable and helpful division.


  2. Helpful (4)

    Dead End

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

    I have been working at Austin Energy

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

    Pros

    Casual dress, good location, you are not alone.

    Cons

    The list is long but here are some: Leadership is reactionary and promotes micro-managers. Leadership and managers do not take nor expect accountability. Managers actually hold people down. No career paths or growth opportunities. Business and IT are afraid of innovation. Many full time employees are growth inhibitors and will actually do what they can to destroy innovation and efficiency. They do not believe promoting from within, unless you are a contractor. There are no young people and it is easy to tell why. The money is terrible and no chance to improve it.

    Advice to Management

    Stop listening to the few “old timers” and start thinking for yourself. If you reject their “very loud” ideas, guess what, you will be OK. Get rid of the micro managers and start addressing the “Old Boy” network in place. The problems at AE are in each and every department and starts at the very top. Start with holding leadership accountable for its failures, and begin the change from the top. Allow and promote innovation from the bottom, create and communicate mentor relationships between full time employees, not between full time and contractors. Get rid of the contractors, people are looking for work! Allow people to be promoted and publicly advertise project and job opportunities, for employees to learn new things and reward them for participating. Listen to those who do not have a voice at the table or who do not choose to speak, and do not listen via their boss.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Dead End

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

    I have been working at Austin Energy

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

    Pros

    Casual dress Good location You are not alone

    Cons

    The list is long but here are some: Leadership is reactionary and promotes micro-managers. Leadership and managers do not take nor expect accountability. Managers actually hold people down. No career paths or growth opportunities. Business and IT are afraid of innovation. Many full time employees are growth inhibitors and will actually do what they can to destroy innovation and efficiency. They do not believe promoting from within, unless you are a contractor. There are no young people and it is easy to tell why. The money is terrible and no chance to improve it.

    Advice to Management

    Stop listening to the few “old timers” and start thinking for yourself. If you reject their “very loud” ideas, guess what, you will be OK. Get rid of the micro managers and start addressing the “Old Boy” network in place. The problems at AE are in each and every department and starts at the very top. Start with holding leadership accountable for its failures, and begin the change from the top. Allow and promote innovation from the bottom, create and communicate mentor relationships between full time employees, not between full time and contractors. Get rid of the contractors, people are looking for work! Allow people to be promoted and publicly advertise project and job opportunities, for employees to learn new things and reward them for participating. Listen to those who do not have a voice at the table or who do not choose to speak, and do not listen via their boss.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Typical government job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Power Control Systems Tech
    Former Employee - Power Control Systems Tech

    I worked at Austin Energy

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

    Pros

    Austin Energy has an extremely laid back culture with littler deference to deadlines. Copious amounts of dead time that can be used effectively for college homework if one is ambitious. Retirement is excellent but is currently on a 30 year plan. As expected, benefits are generally beyond that of the private sector.

    Cons

    The atmosphere, which depends entirely on your personality. Pay scale completely ignores ability and venerates age/years of the most unrelated experience(ESD). No accountability what so ever and an attitude that someone else will solve problems. Absolutely no initiative. I would not recommend Austin Energy to young ambitious techs, you will not be rewarded and you will not move up. This place is only for those looking for cake as they stroll to retirement.

    Advice to Management

    Devise a progression plan for certain job classifications to grow, not only skills but income. At least attempt to fight for employees. You currently think that you can plug and play with any geek of the street but with new federal regs being implemented you are sorely wrong.


  6. Helpful (4)

    DONT WORK HERE!!! Terrible incompetant management and HR department. Treats employees like garbage.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Energy Program Specialist in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Energy Program Specialist in Austin, TX

    I worked at Austin Energy full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Easiest paycheck ever, very low expectations. Get paid to do almost nothing (if you like that type of thing). Little to no oversight.

    Cons

    Where to begin... So many problems. No opportunity for advancement. No pay for performance. Lots of employees stuck in positions with no mobility. Toxic management and HR department. Abuse temp and contract workers regularly. Very poorly run institution. The people of Austin deserve better!

    Advice to Management

    Austin needs deregulation. It really is the only thing that fix what's wrong with this place. Forget about Austin Energy self correcting. Austin needs utility competition to put an end to the bloated bureaucratic incompetance of this place.


  7. Pretty good

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Austin Energy

    Pros

    The work life balance is really good. There's rarely a week where you work more than 40 hours.

    Cons

    Lack of a challenge, people who have been at positions for too long, all the con's of working for a government


  8. Helpful (2)

    Interesting experience with the pros and cons of working for a municipal utility.

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

    I worked at Austin Energy (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting group of people. Some were very talented, energetic and inspiring. The benefits overall were good, plus you were technically an employee of the city. There is job security plus programs set in place for employee health and wellness.

    Cons

    The cons sadly are that this company maintains the employment of some really lazy employees. Those who are unable to perform up to par are not fired. This makes the job more difficult and frustrating for those who come to work and actually DO work. Those middle/upper management, who were incompetent or unable to "play well with others" are transferred out to monitor the process of other work groups, rather than being let go. To justify their incompetent presence, these "employees" would then cause "speed bumps" for the new work groups to resolve. What a vicious cycle! Inefficiency at its best. As with any workplace politics is big. I also found that some employees had a feeling of entitlement and forget that it is part of their role to serve the people of the city.

    Advice to Management

    1) Let go of the people who are unproductive. 2) Being an employee of the city means you SERVE the city. Some employees have forgotten this. Remind them.


  9. Helpful (5)

    HR postings on Glassdoor are entertaining, but don’t be fooled

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

    I worked at Austin Energy full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    A paycheck and if you like this sort of thing, no expectations for deliverables; lip service will do. Lots of time to job search and interview.

    Cons

    Deceptive interview, the people were on point and I was excited about starting. At the close of my first day I realized that this was the biggest career mistake I’d ever made; ever. I started the job search and quit within two months. There are two IT managers that have absolute disdain for the CIO, perhaps this is because he has expectations and they’re not used to delivering. But all you'll hear from day one is how terrible he is, perhaps you’ll get the infamous story about him not wanting people to bring drinks to meetings. Seriously, these are the complaints, deliverables and no drinks in meetings. When I was told about new activities coming down the pike I was excited at being able to do something only to be told to ‘ignore Alan, we just appease him, he’ll be gone soon.’ Not to worry, they also complain and talk terribly about their counterparts, their immediate managers and your co-workers and all by the end of your first week. My manager said the most unprofessional things about her team, behind closed doors of course. She told me about all of their flaws, their lack of work, etc. then would open another book and surf the net. It's okay, her team took the time to catch me up on her and others in the group as well. That was the end of my first week, I knew that none of them respected each other and all smiled at each other and pretended to like each other; such a social group of people talking smack; ugh, 4th grade all over. The manager I reported to was running her team by reading from books and internet site information, there was no practical experience. After I was hired, there was no interest in the experience I brought, only what the books said. The team appeared content with the lack of deliverables, though "there was a lot to do." There is a spreadsheet of nothings that they measure their work load by. As a new employee I was able to add twenty items of nothings to the worksheet (required that I add every little thing a normal person does in a work day). The praise received for everything I was doing solidified my decision to leave. My manager couldn't understand why the department wasn't gaining credibility. Well, when you read from a book or a website about how IT processes are implemented and assume that one size fits all, you're going to fail and never be invited to participate. Saying this in more polite ways was not appreciated; candor, no matter how polite is a bad thing here. The only IT managers that seemed to have a clue was the IT Engineering and Service Desk managers, the others were really lacking. The IT PMO is a hot mess with a lot of head count, so that’s an area to be avoided. I met a few people that really wanted to work, accomplish things and work towards the deliverables the CIO laid out, the problem is that nobody is fired and the excess of lazy people doing the least that they can, brings down the entire area. AE’s IT area needs a thorough house cleaning, but with taking years for termination (non-union) or transfers (union), it won’t happen. So unless you need the paycheck, save yourself the aggravation of being sold through the interview process of big things that need to get done, only to find that you’ll get dusty sitting in the chair with nothing to do.

    Advice to Management

    Alan/CIO, needs to make a case to board so he can clean house. Until that happens, nothing in IT will change and each division within AE will continue to build their own version of IT, instead of using the central IT area. People need to be fired, it’s that simple.


  10. Helpful (1)

    AE

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Austin Energy

    Pros

    Good benefits plan for retirement.

    Cons

    Don't received recognition for the work you provide.


  11. Great experience and job security, but you gotta play the game!

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

    I worked at Austin Energy full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Learned some very technical and specified skills in the energy efficiency industry. Worked with some very talented and intelligent people. Benefits were great. Job security.

    Cons

    Lots of internal office politics, more so than most places. Have to watch out for gossip, which apparently travels fast and turns into fact very quickly. Not a lot of upward mobility once you are in.

    Advice to Management

    Needs more positive reinforcement in the work environment as well as paths for upward mobility.



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