Alcoa

  www.alcoa.com
  www.alcoa.com
There are newer employer reviews for Alcoa

2 people found this helpful  

Alcoa is a good place to begin your career, but not to advance it.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Engineer in Farmington Hills, MI
Former Employee - Engineer in Farmington Hills, MI

I worked at Alcoa

Pros

If the reason that you're working is to make a lot of money and don't care about your home/social life than Alcoa is a great place to work. There are always opportunities to work overtime (which is paid) over the weekends. It is also a smaller company so there is more of a family atmosphere. The company also instills a strong work ethic and trains their employees well, so if in the end you feel the company is not a good fit for you personally you will definitely have valuable experience to assist you in the next step of your career.

Cons

One of the most troubling things about working for Alcoa is the layoffs. You never know when they're going to happen and you never know who is going to be affected. It is also difficult to get anyone out of the past. Product is designed the old fashioned way - with grunt work (hence the overtime), and there is little consideration as to where the product is going to go in the future. Then the products that are attempted for the future of the company are out of scope and far beyond the capability and core competencies of the company.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Communication should exist more often than when layoffs are going to occur. The health and well being of the company is and should be important to the employees and this needs to be communicated on a regular basis. Also a plan for future product development needs to be designed, executed, and followed through with deviations only when proved that the current plan was the wrong decision.

Doesn't Recommend
Approves of CEO

198 Other Employee Reviews for Alcoa (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Engineer in Perth, Western Australia (Australia)
    Current Employee - Process Engineer in Perth, Western Australia (Australia)

    I have been working at Alcoa full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very competitive compensation package at above market rates (resources industry), all the more so because commutable from Perth. Western Australian refineries are a great learning experience for younger engineers. Great lifestyle - one of the few corporates that truly value work-life balance.

    Cons

    Alcoa's pros are also it's biggest con - with such an attractive combination of compensation and lifestyle, no-one leaves. This in turn means a lack of promotion opportunities for younger staff and a very slow promotion rate. Holistically, the aluminium market is going through some tough times and represent a challenging environment to the company globally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too many of your bright talent coming through the graduate ranks are leaving - more needs to be done in terms of talent management and retention.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Not what it used to be...

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

    I worked at Alcoa full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pay was pretty good. Decent opportunities for development until the credit crunch started. Many good and committed co-workers.

    Cons

    Very "shareholder driven". Has completely lost lean management focus. Engaging people in maximizing customer value and minimizing waste is simply a thing of the past. Completely focused on squeezing maximum "profits" each month, seemingly without any concern for the future, equipment reliability or people. Safety and community values now seem to be pure window-dressing. People who nobody likes and have not achieved any significant results (outside of bogus excel sheets) get promoted way too frequently. Non performance at management levels is almost never dealt with, and when it is, it is usually by moving the non-performer to a different role, frequently promoting the person. Messengers are frequently shot and the ethics and compliance process is a cruel joke. The 4Es and a P performance management process is at best an absolute waste of time, at worst highly damaging, as people frequently put their own performance goals ahead of the interests of the organization and their co-workers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take ABS (Lean) SERIOUSLY as the organization's operating system. It is the best known method of achieving excellence AND engaging people at the same time. Take the company values seriously or scrap them. Breaking the values is hugely damaging to morale. Scrap the 4Es and P system and study what kind of performance management actually works (see Aubrey Daniels, Lean Coaching and TWI). Stop promoting people nobody likes. If a manager is leaving scorched ground behind them, why the hell are you promoting them?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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