Burns & McDonnell Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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4.1
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Approve of CEO
Burns & McDonnell President and CEO Greg M. Graves
Greg M. Graves
56 Ratings

Pros
  • Their employee-ownership format offers an opportunity for associates to become owners, and not just be "employees" (in 12 reviews)

  • Employee owned with a stock-plan (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance can use improvement (in 6 reviews)

  • Sometimes it's hard to get your ideas heard in upper management (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

63 Employee Reviews

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  1. Staff Electrical Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Electrical Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Staff Electrical Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    My Group is fantastic, but I've heard not all are as good. Excellent Bonus and ESOP. If you can stick with it, you'll be very successful and financially secure.

    Cons

    Sometimes longer hours are expected, but nothing out of the ordinary for a salaried position (45 hrs).

    Advice to Management

    Lose the ties and 9/80 work schedule like several other A/E firms do.


  2. Great Employee Owned Company

    Current Employee - Project Manager in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Leadership opportunities, above market pay for high performers, amazing ESOP benefits, plenty of opportunities to control your own destiny.

    Cons

    Best place to work, not the easiest place to work. Live/work balance is getting better. Would be nice to have sick days.

    Advice to Management

    Keep maximizing profit per employee and not growth for growth's sake. Keep aiming high.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Assistant Mechanical Engineer

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

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell

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

    Pros

    Employee Stock Ownership! This company is 100% employee owned and it drives the culture. People view their positions as careers instead of just jobs. I have been very pleased with my experience and opportunity here.

    Cons

    It's not the easiest place to work - I work a lot of hours as do many of my peers. This company has a culture of hard work and performance.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    Please read this - I'm going to save your life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Architect in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Nice coworkers, hardworking and talented.

    Cons

    Good ole-boy beaurocracy, steam-age work hours with victorian-age dress codes, crazy-steep hierarchical management structure: what's not to like?

    Leaving a year ago was absolutely the best decision I ever made- for myself, my family and especially my career. Not to impress, but I now make substantially more money, work less hours, and live a much less stressful life. My career is no longer at the whim of the middle management's mood of the week, I am in a much higher role that i ever would have if I had stayed on for years.

    Sometimes I have to drive by there and I get a chill up my spine remembering the long days. And late nights. And weekends. Good times:) I say a prayer daily for my friends who still work there.

    There is a faustian pact playing out every day in real life for hundreds of Kansas Citians: Stay at a terrible company only to get the retirement benefits for the final years of your life- while sacrificing your marriage, relationships, health, sanity, and professional relevance.

    Or step into the modern age where we have things such as a life outside of work and - hold on to your hats people- companies with competent management that pay great living wages with realistic hours. Bottom line: You do not have to put up with this.

    That companies like Burns and McDonnell are still in business in 2015 is an inditement on the engineering / architecture professions as a whole as well as the times we live in. Or are people willfully ignorant that they have other options and are too scared or brainwashed to try? If you are reading this, please believe me: You can do better.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look around and you'll see people are your best asset. And I don't mean the profit sharing plan you cheerlead so much. You are sustaining this sinking ship on the backs of the overtime you are stealing off of the staff.


  6. Helpful (2)

    End user support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - End User Support in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - End User Support in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great Company to work for if you would like to be some where to retire. Easy IT work but not really cutting edge. Old school mentality. Even with low pay they do offer a huge bonus at the end of the year.

    Cons

    Management is severely lacking leadership abilities. Employees do what ever they want to do without consequences. Management creates a negative atmosphere that pits employees against each other. Watched to many good IT workers walk out in 4 months of working here.

    Advice to Management

    no point. no one cares or listens.


  7. Helpful (15)

    Perspective of a long-term employee

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Take home pay meets industry standards, although some say it takes the bonus to augment base pay to achieve this standard. Long-term compounded growth of my ESOP account has eclipsed the value of my own 401K savings multi-fold. Retirement will be no problem. For me this has been the greatest benefit. Frankly I don't know how some of my peers working for other engineering firms are going to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

    Cons

    There are certainly some bad managers and it seems the worst are those that have not worked for the company as long as those they manage. Not unlike what I read about other companies. The worst managers are those who became "instant managers" and lack the technical knowledge and experience to actually do the work. Just act as professional butt kickers. This may not be the case across the board, since the company is fairly large, it really depends on the particular group or discipline you are assigned too. Some practices have a reputation to be much more harsh than others, so in essence there is some luck in the draw as under whom you may work. As a rule, Pros outweigh the Cons. Also realize that being employed here is your foot-in-the-door to be proactive in improving via networking with other groups in the company. Many who were dissatisfied with a particular manager where able to engineer their way to better work environments within the company.

    Advice to Management

    My own manager has little idea and seems to care little about the projects I am working on. I am responsible for beating the bushes for my own work assignments. My annual review is a joke and is a tool to build an artificial record of deficiencies so that employees have little to stand on should they become terminated. Verbally I am told I am doing a good job but in writing on the annual review the negatives are purposely emphasized and artificially over-amplified. Which I assume is a self-serving risk management strategy. I can't understand why some managers verbally berate the employees with negative feedback when it serves no purpose other than to cause unnecessary stress. More emphasis is needed to inspire employees as part of the review process.


  8. Helpful (6)

    Be ready for a big prison, working like a slave.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Civil Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Senior Civil Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Burns & McDonnell

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

    Pros

    If you sing along, you kinda enjoy a sizable bonus and contribution to ESOP.
    The catch, you need to shut up for 3 years before you start becoming partially vested, and 5 years before you become fully vested.
    My advice, take the money and run, unless you feel that B&M's environment is a fit. It's mainly a fit for those who are prisoners to the Mid West.

    Cons

    Rigid schedule.
    Outdated attire policy.
    Arrogant management.
    White old boys club, who only promote white pets.

    Advice to Management

    Get a hike, stop rubbing ESOP in employee faces.
    Stop asking employees to donate extra time (working), so that you charge that time to clients, and shaft your employees promising them with hefty bonuses.
    Get rid of the rotted middle managers, department/section managers, who grew to be dumb while their bottoms are growing bigger.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Best Place to work for long-term hard-working employees

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Civil Detailer in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Assistant Civil Detailer in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    It's 100% employee owned, so you feel like your effort is really changing the bottom line. When your project does well, the company does well, and you get rewarded for that. They have pushed to be a company with $0 in long term debt, and that is an important factor to explain how they can expand when necessary, and maintain employment when times are tough. The company is always pushing for more community involvement. The employees work hard to get projects finished, and will often work together, instead of competing against each other to finish the project. In the field our jobs are ranked the safest in the nation, and we strive to make both our field operations and our office operations safe and productive. The company shares all of it's financial data with it's employee owners. Their built in fitness center, health center, and cafeteria make it easy to stay healthy and productive throughout the day. The management is generally extremely involved in the work we are doing, with most being internal to the company, they've seen the work, they know their stuff. The right people make it to management. And the wrong people are quickly weeded out. Burns & McDonnell is a company of integrity and honor. They care about the employees AND the client.

    Cons

    They have a fairly old school dress code, men will wear ties and button up shirts, and women will be in business attire. The monetary compensation per hour/salary is a bit below the market, but it offset by the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The hours can be long, and the work is very challenging.

    Advice to Management

    I'd like to see a better job at cutting divisions that are not performing, beyond simply a slap on the wrist. If they have the wrong strategy then they need to find someone who can, or some way to make it perform.


  10. Great place to work.

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

    I have been working at Burns & McDonnell

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

    Pros

    Great benefits and working environment. Hard work is rewarded and continued growth is encouraged in both personal and professional areas.

    Cons

    Some company policies take a more traditional perspective on how a company should be run. This results in some dated dress code rules, business hours, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  11. Assistant Environmental Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Environmental Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Assistant Environmental Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Burns & McDonnell full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great working environment. People are motivated, willing to spend time training new engineers, and there is a huge variety of projects. Managers give helpful feedback and try to match projects to your interest.

    Cons

    Mandatory field assignments. Transfers between offices are often promised but seldom done.



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