Blackhawk Network

  www.blackhawknetwork.com
  www.blackhawknetwork.com
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2 people found this helpful  

Tides are changing at Blackhawk Network (BHN)

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Middle Management in Pleasanton, CA
Current Employee - Middle Management in Pleasanton, CA

I have been working at Blackhawk Network

Pros

1. The people at BHN are great to work with. Dedicated, Focused and Full of Promise.
2. Location is great if you live in the Tri-Valley area.
3. Safeway as a parent company has provided stability for this idea (BHN) to grow.
4. Management has recognized and acknowledge its' short comings and has begun to address them.
5. Senior Management has been changing for the better. New management in Products, IT, Operational roles have joined the team, and our direction has changed.
6. Human Resources has begun to drive training and education of a somewhat immature management team.
7. The employee's are being heard.

Cons

1) IT Management is under going a "remodel" of sorts, positive steps have been taken recently to improve how the teams are managed.
2) Benefits must be reviewed in order to maintain a level of competitiveness with Silicon Valley, not the grocery retail business.
3) Training for management has begun, but should be accelerated and also should reach down to our team members on the front line.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Step back, take a look at the entire opportunity before BHN. Do not focus solely on market share and revenue, but focus on the well being of your employees. Demonstrate to the employee's that BHN has true interest in their future, their families, their lives, and the employee's will gladly do what is necessary to catapult BHN to the top in the PrePaid Financial Services Industry.

Doesn't Recommend
Approves of CEO

108 Other Employee Reviews for Blackhawk Network (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Limited

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Pleasanton, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Pleasanton, CA

    I have been working at Blackhawk Network

    Pros

    Commute, people, oh and commute

    Cons

    When I first started working at BHN, I was very excited and eager to new learn new things. By my 6 month, I was highly dissapointed. There is so much favortism in this company, it should be illegal. Management is a joke. BHN promotes people right out of college into management roles. These "kids" have no idea how to manage anything but how to order drinks at a bar. BHN DOES NOT have any training in place for management at any level, and they all manage differently. There is no consistency of any kind. The same people get promoted for doing average work. If your tall, skinny and blond, then this is the spot for you. You will get promoted for doing nothing more than taking information someone else provided and passing it on.
    There is a phrase often used, its "The Blackhawk Way" If you hear that phrase....RUN. This means that there is NO documentation, NO process, NO training, NO advice, NO recognition (Unless you work on the 5th floor) Real Ethics problems!

    The 4th floor contractors are treated like modern day slaves. The IT management should be ashamed of themselves.

    Oh and HR....doesn't do anything but coordinate events, picnics and they are exceptionally good and NOTHING! They don't even recruit! They are definitely not there to protect the employees, if they were BHN might be halfway of a decent place to work for.

    BHN is not going to go public anytime soon...they will get bought out very soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    STOP promoting people less that 30 years old in to management roles...you're setting them and their employees up for failure. YOU need to take responsibility for your groups and not just pass the buck. Stop whining when you dont get your way. Remember, what goes around comes around...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Not even enemies let enemies work at Blackhawk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Pleasanton, CA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Pleasanton, CA

    I worked at Blackhawk Network

    Pros

    If you live near Pleasanton, the commute is very good. The $ is somewhat competitive. There are many great people at Blackhawk, and if you are looking to further your domain knowledge about the Payment Card Industry, Blackhawk has much knowledge about it.

    The top level management seems quite articulate and has a great command of the market and product development, so it's a real shame this doesn't translate to the lower levels. The business model is solid, and the market is expanding - but the devil is in the details...

    Cons

    I wish I could list more pros than cons... but I can't even come close

    Mark my review down as the same as the previous "I've been doing software development for 15 years and I've never seen anything remotely close to Blackhawk". Politics exist in all organizations where humans are involved, but Blackhawk seems to be an extreme outlier.

    At least in Blackhawks's IT department, the culture seems to be based on "consultant culture" where everything is viewed in isolation with a "slash and burn" approach. All nighters and weekends are not uncommon.

    Organizational: Blackhawk is an *incredibly* politicized environment, at all levels, from top level management all the way down to the engineer level. To survive, it is necessary to determine the political ramifications of almost every decision. Yelling is often the way arguments are won. As a former colleague mentioned in another review "under the bus" culture is so prevalent, it seems unusual when someone *is not* thrown under the bus for making a mistake. To survive, your "under the bus instinct" needs to be razor sharp. Blackhawk is a "work hard" and not a "work smart" environment, in which innovation is stifled in favor of toil.

    Leadership (oops, I mean "management"): Chaos reigns. There is vision delivered from the top, but it never seems to materialize at the implementation level. Threats are often used as a motivational tool.

    Technical: Blackhawk's Issuance platform is entirely proprietary and will not help your resume outside of the Blackhawk building. If you interview to work on java for a job on this team, you will not work on java. The proprietary tools that are used do not support any modern development methodologies, so forget about that too. Because of the aforementioned politics, there seems to be fear about changing any of this. If you want to work in non-testable, procedural (and non OOP) environment, then this is the tool for you ;)

    If you are a non citizen or non green card holder (i.e. if you hold an H1-B that you will need sponsored either by Blackhawk or a contracting agency that will contract you to Blackhawk): Be especially wary - STAY AWAY, FAR AWAY: In many cases, these poor folks seem to be exploited as the "peasant caste", who work the most crazy, thankless hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that you are a software development company, and that your value is delivered via software. Stop treating your technical people like mercenaries. Stop giving lip service to team building, and start doing it. If you are scoped above IT (CFO, CEO), start looking hard at IT management. Realize that your competitive edge comes from your people. Realize that the market for developers is incredibly tight, and you are currently not even close to being competitive.

    Stop managing and start leading.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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