Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

  www.dstl.gov.uk
  www.dstl.gov.uk
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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Reviews

8 Reviews
3.1
8 Reviews
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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory CEO Jonathan Lyle
Jonathan Lyle
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    very good

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

    I worked at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    flexi time is very beneficial

    Cons

    nothing i found was a bad experience

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Trying hard and mostly getting there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Leader  in  Salisbury, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Salisbury, England (UK)

    I have been working at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Amazing work, interesting and vital to UK security
    Intelligent, inspiring people
    Lots of graduates start each year so good young community/
    good work life balance through flexi and understanding management
    Good on site facilities such as cafes and gyms - latter is highly subsidised
    Great induction group to introduce new staff especially graduates
    lots of training opportunities and development - for example Engineering Charterships, Fellowships for research staff.
    Apprenticeships in all sorts of areas, including business admin and Commercial.

    Cons

    Paternalistic approach at times
    Management consistency not always great though it is improving
    Civil service rules
    No on site shops of any significance - and sites are far from town centres

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep trying! Know your people, and its not the flag wavers who do most of the work, its those who quietly get on with things. Keep promises.
    Lead by example.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Experience very much depends on team you are placed in. Quality of management extremely variable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  Portsmouth, South East England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Analyst in Portsmouth, South East England, England (UK)

    I worked at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good pension
    Decent holiday allowance
    Very flexible working conditions (flexitime, taking holiday isn't usually a problem)
    The directors do attempt to meet the staff frequently via 'talkbacks'

    Cons

    Some managers are atrocious and have little to know idea what work is being done in their team/department nor what is and is not possible with tools available. This can also mean that some very capable people are continually overlooked and allocated completely unsuitable work. This situation isn't helped by a commonly-held view that the only way to get a promotion from level 5 to 6 was to get a line manager role and then get another technical role ASAP. Senior management never wanted to acknowledge this, but in my department all of the young level 6's had team leader roles - I wasn't aware of any that achieved a l6 through technical work alone.

    There is a pervasive feeling that the company is run by HR as they desperately try to develop a single grading scheme to encompass work varying from microbiological research to accountants to desk-based admin assistants

    I usually felt that rules were put in place to try to weasel out of giving you anything rather than being applied fairly across the board.

    For a science organisation, there was little or no presentation of work to colleagues in my department and very little knowledge of what other teams in the department were doing. I also saw multiple cases of data being completely misused to prove a hypothesis because it would be too expensive/difficult to get the information required to do it correctly.

    Due to security clearance problems, they can take ages to process applications - I knew some people waiting up to a year to get clearance to start work.

    If you get put in a bad team/given a poor project then it is very easy to get stuck there as movement between teams is heavily reliant on the work you have been given. If you have been stuck with unchallenging drudge then you have nothing to show when attempting to get internal JOs.

    Lots of stupid rules mean people manipulate the system to get the result they want rather than follow the spirit of the rule. One of my favourites was internal job opportunities that had such specific requirements that it was obviously written for one preferred candidate and it was only advertised because they 'had to'.

    Tonnes of 'corporate' BS that everyone hated and everyone only ever looked at when it was time for the promotions round. Visions, values, mission... bleugh!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to improve movement between work areas
    Need to eliminate some of the variation of the application of rules across departments
    Less buzzwords and management by check-box and more attempt to understand the issues encountered by different work areas and attempt to facilitate the work rather than introducing barriers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Hit and miss depending on which team you are in.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

    Pros

    There are some very interesting projects to work on.

    Cons

    Moving between teams is not as easy as it should be.

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Interesting subject matter but management rely on this to retain people rather than treating their staff well

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Member  in  Sevenoaks, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Team Member in Sevenoaks, England (UK)

    I have been working at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexi working, pension, friendly colleagues, interesting subject matter.

    Cons

    Staff are not valued by managers. Promotion is judged too much on time served rather than being based on performance. Salaries are average at best. Constrained by civil service attitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees more, promote and encourage those that prove they are capable rather than desperately trying not to promote people to save money!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work to live rather than live to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Member  in  Fareham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Team Member in Fareham, England (UK)

    I have been working at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Working on cutting edge science and technology defence programmes. Good work/life balance. Friendly people.

    Cons

    Pay freeze. More is to be expected of people in the future as defence budgets are cut - no reward for this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to ensure that they keep progressing staff through the career levels to retain good staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    DSTL = Dont Stay Too Long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer  in  Salisbury, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Engineer in Salisbury, England (UK)

    I have been working at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    flexi time, interesting work, top quality colleagues

    Cons

    poor pay/pay freeze, no progression possiblities, poorly managed department/groups, projects usually go bust due to poor project management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dstl is becoming a middle-management company that frowns on technical expertise; they are hiring more managers and PM's, relying on out-sourcing the work. Only the management’s favourites can progress or get any support. Most grievances against management will be countered with the threat of disciplinary action. Management spend most of their time making sure they're backsides are covered.

    My advice to management:
    Sort yourselves out. Stop thinking about you're own interests, for once think about the company and the staff that make the cogs turn.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Disappointing prior to eventual closure of Malvern site with no relocation for support staff.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant  in  Great Malvern, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Great Malvern, England (UK)

    I worked at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

    Pros

    Was once a collection of world class research establishments.

    Cons

    Sad to experience the demise of so much excellent research.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Told you so.

    Doesn't Recommend

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