Honda R & D Americas

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5 people found this helpful  

Continuously changing management that does not care about employees results in poor work environment.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Automotive Planning Engineer in Torrance, CA
Former Employee - Automotive Planning Engineer in Torrance, CA

I worked at Honda R & D Americas

Pros

If you enjoy a stable job and aren't very ambitious, Honda R&D in Torrance is the place to be. If you keep under the radar and accept the incompetent management, then you will be okay.

If you like racing, there is a race team that you can participate in. Unfortunately, company funding fluctuates depending on budget and sometimes they may cancel all funding to the team. The company race team still races aged Acura RSX's (which Acura doesn't sell anymore). However, it's a fun activity for any automotive engineer to join.

Cons

Honda R&D - Where Dreams Become Reality. Actually, it's more like where dreams are stomped on and forgotten. Forget about being a star employee at Honda R&D. If you expect praise or promotions for consistently good work, they will hammer you back into line. Wait your turn (i.e. many years) and wait for people to leave to expect any upward mobility.

As R&D, you would expect that the group would be the place for innovation and thinking outside the box. However, it's the complete opposite in that the management does not like outside the box thinking. If it's an innovative idea, forget about it. Honda doesn't like innovation despite what their marketing materials say. The company culture is conservative and risk averse. This is mainly driven by aged Japanese management that seem to be yes men when it comes to decision making. Any decisions that they see will upset executives are quickly rejected.

This is the company where they buy dumb phones for their management. HR and management lack trust in their own employees and operate the division like a prison. If you are non-management, employees are expected to swipe in and swipe out of work so they can track you.

Unlike other companies that enjoy providing morale boosting perks for their employees, Honda R&D is the opposite. Over a series of years, the company has removed many things that employees once enjoyed. The perk of time and a half pay for weekend work for non-management was removed which dropped most employees pay levels below market average. Honda consistently pays less than Toyota and Nissan. Hyundai pays lower, but with their success in product have given big bonuses to employees. Annual merit raises are below inflation rate.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Train management positions to actually learn how to manage PEOPLE. Honda R&D management are great engineers and project managers but that's only a small part to developing an effective R&D group. The people and their ideas are the important assets for a group tasked with innovation and new product development. Think outside of the box and listen to employees.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

94 Other Employee Reviews for Honda R & D Americas (View Most Recent)

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Novice engineers, managers who would rather be fishing, paralysis in the face of risk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer III in Raymond, OH
    Former Employee - Engineer III in Raymond, OH

    I worked at Honda R & D Americas

    Pros

    Honda teaches you to learn and understand the smallest details and respect the quality image that has been established by many generations of engineers. There are reasons for the smallest details in every part or drawing, and chances are you can find the person at honda that knows vs some teir supplier with luke warm commitment to the customer. Once you learn the complex development systems, the organization of reports, communications, documents and processes is quite good - there are rules that ground all activity and every level of development can understand and influence the vehicle. With this experience, you can go anywhere and succeed.

    Cons

    Command and control is the management policy... Most employees are fresh out of college and lack maturity and professional social skills so this authoritarian management style might have merit. The organization is segmented so that cross training is almost impossible, "not my job is typical from employees", "not your job is typical from managers". It seems most employees don't make it past 5 years (see also comments about pay). Much of this seems to have gotten worse as a result of the economy and recent tsunami, management will push more and more out of you with no tangible recognition of a job well done. Dont even think about taking a risk, this is a highly coservative environment, don't dare make a suggestion without approving it with your TE, CE, GL, PL, LPL... There is a gulf between the administrative policies for flexible work life balance and management's interpretation of business need, in practice there is no part time, no personal time, no flexible time off. Finally there is almost no diversity in the corn fields of Ohio, HRAO is at least 85-90% white male, and probably 99% outside of administration, I thought this was due to the engineering nature but have since learned this is not typical even in engineering fields.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Honda preaches the power of dreams; employees arrive with many, they soon learn they are a small part of a massive company that is entrenched in the status quo yet management still preaches "the power of dreams" this isn't so much a satisfying corporate philosophy as it is a tremendous marketing campaign to boost my resume. One could cling to the propaganda long enough to leverage the experience, or they could overstay their welcome and be faced with a mediocre career in which it's impossible for them to get a better job (especially in Ohio) or eek out long enough to attain middle management at the twilight of their career with a title of authority but their hands tied by a Japanese subculture.

    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Place to Co-op

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Design Co-op/Intern in Raymond, OH
    Former Employee - Design Co-op/Intern in Raymond, OH

    I worked at Honda R & D Americas

    Pros

    - I got to work on vehicles not yet released to the market.
    - Great group of people always willing to put time aside to help you or to teach you why things are done the way they are from an engineering point of view
    - Good co-op benefits and relocation assistance
    - Do a good job and your work will end up in the mass produced vehicles
    - Flexible hours
    - Uniforms with company laundry services
    - Looks great on a resume

    Cons

    - The work became somewhat stale as the difficulty did not increase as I spent more time there.
     - Marysville, OH is in the middle of nowhere.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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