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5 people found this helpful  

Great people, poor management

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

I have been working at HNTB Companies full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

Many of the everyday workers are really good at what they do and the atmosphere is very friendly. Projects are varied and it's possible to expand your horizons if you show interest in another area of expertise.

Cons

Management seems totally removed from the day-to-day operations and tend to focus more on abstract concepts (time on job, or TOJ) than actual employees. There is an overemphasis on producing the right numbers to make the office look good. Furthermore, the company is split administratively into the various offices, which means each office has its own fiefdom and there is not a lot of cross-pollination of ideas or project experience.

In addition, the system is set up to favor very large projects that are specific to a few select disciplines. Smaller practices (such as water resources) which tend to operate on many small projects at one time, rather than one massive megaproject, are at an inherent disadvantage because of the way management tracks department performance. They are naturally going to need small bits of marketing time here and there to go after a continuous stream of small projects, but management seems to think everyone should be involved on a multi-year megaproject that keeps everyone 100% billable for years at a time.

As an urban planner, I feel our profession is especially neglected. Through attrition, layoffs, and an unwillingness on the part of management to go after jobs that align with the expertise of our staff, we have been systematically dismantled as a practice and no longer do most of the core planning work that we did even 5 years ago.

Benefits are a mixed bag. 3 weeks of PTO seems generous, but as soon as you try to take any time off, you'll get an earful from management about minimizing your PTO so that TOJ stays high. I've even felt pressured not to take sick time when I need it, or at least overwork myself the rest of the week, in order to keep numbers high. Some of this may be due to the small size of our department - it looks worse for us if one person is out for a day than it does for some of the larger departments. But this, once again, is an issue with the way management tracks performance.

There is also no paid maternity or paternity leave program. When our child was born, I had to take all of my accrued PTO just to stay home for a few weeks - I couldn't even use sick time!

Management is also very much an old boys' club. It's virtually all older white males - hardly a woman or minority to speak of - and there don't seem to be many prospects for moving up the ladder. The company pays lip service to career development, but I have yet to see opportunities to take on more of a leadership role in my own career, or that of most of my peers.

Ultimately, my assessment of HNTB is "penny wise, pound foolish". Management is so busy looking at this month's bottom line that they are neglecting long-term growth and employee satisfaction.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Get to know your employees. Stop focusing so much on profits and invest more in the talent that ultimately gets the job done. Things might look good today, but eventually you're going to lose all of the people that got you where you are.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

Other Reviews for HNTB Companies

  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    DON'T DO IT

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

    I worked at HNTB Companies

    Pros

    Different types of Project If you can Extract truth

    Cons

    Hostile Working Environment
    I worked for them and it was terrible. The manager was a back bitter and then I learned that I was among 5 more. From the time I was hired I got a lot of attitude and misinformation from my co-workers or should I say arch enemies. One guy actually told me that he was opposed to having an outsider hired into the group about 1 month after I had been hired. My boss turmed my training over to people who did not want me or any other person (she did not manage the my training at all) "from the outside" hired on. Its hard to produce good work when sabotage is a foot. I was getting false information, incomplete information to none at all (they were just too busy to help me). What's worse is that HR did nothing about it and I was unjustly let go for a job that I had extensive experience in. It was unjust to let me go but it feels GOOD to be gone. If I could give them NO stars I WOULD.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think I said it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    You are just a number..do not spend your career here

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

    I worked at HNTB Companies full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Large projects all over the US, offers complex and interesting work

    Cons

    Broken review system, horrible middle and upper management, do a great job of making people feel replaceable

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat the people that do the grunt work better and not like a replaceable cog in one of the wheels that keep HNTB moving. Do away with your current review system it is flawed and does not foster collaboration. Start treating employees that have been with the company for a number of years better, they have been loyal and deserve to be treated like professionals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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