Microsoft

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3 people found this helpful  

Great talent but leadership and culture are road blocks

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Director in Redmond, WA
Current Employee - Director in Redmond, WA

I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 8 years)

Pros

Great Talent
Good Benefits
If you like technology, it is cutting edge
Pay is average but benefits makes up
Very driven work environment in you are a techy (development group/QA/etc)
Easy to switch roles and move to different team - lot of internal transfer/growth opportunity

Cons

Marketing and Business side is short term focused
Metrics are short term focused
Culture is highly political "What can you do for me today"
Up or Out HR policies does not allow people who are happy and good at what they are doing to keep doing that successfully
Lot of dead wood - specially in management
In-bred culture - silo view of the world

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Change the culture - get a new Chief Operating Officer who cares about technology and get a new Chief People Officer who care about the culture and how it impacts the company over the long run.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

8788 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    You're career will crash due to the old school culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Microsoft full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    1) PAY - Decent pay if you fight for it up front, don't accept the first offer - there is always a contingent offer.
    2) FITNESS - 2013 $800 reimbursement for health and fitness related memberships, equipment (i.e. bike/helmet, snowboard, ski's, boots/bindings, versa climber, weight sets, benches, racks, etc.).

    Cons

    1) CULTURE - Vicious culture if not part of your organization's "club"; do not give constructive feedback (see Cons #2), HR will always back management.
    2) FORCED RANKING - Forced ranking system (1 - 5); simplified - if you work in a group which has 5 people in your grade band, and all of you kick butt, one will get a score of 1 (or 1+), one a (2), one a (3), one a (4), one a (5 - you suck and are out the door); this is forced ranking, plus the ranking is done before you submit your self-assessment; you are ranked on what your perceived performance is, not actual - essentially, if you are popular with your organization's managers (i.e. part of the club), you will always have a decent to high review score.
    3) WORK LOAD - Be perpared to do the actual work of two people by the end of your second year; more than two if you have breadth of abilities; this is due to systemically poor planning and forecasting approaches utilized YoY - why? rock the boat and you'll get slapped with a 4 or 5 rating.
    4) WORK/LIFE BALANCE - Only in your first year if you are lucky; good ole boys club members usually have decent work/life balance; MSFT follows the sun, so working across timezones is expected, weekends and holidays for some as well.
    5) HEALTH PLAN - The cadillac health plan is a thing of the past and 2013 brings a standard set of limited health plan options, with annual deductables and co-pays. CPO leveraged Obamacare to effect a very significant employee healthcare cost reduction roadmap; high benefit to the CPO's review rating and associated financial benefits at the cost of almost 100,000 "valued" employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A positive, sweeping corporate transformation, and true rebranding is required or sharholder value will always stay in the $20's and low $30's.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Know your criteria, constraints and career objectives before you commit.

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

    I worked at Microsoft (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, notably Insurance coverage
    Learning resources, especially for those early in their career.
    Cultural diversity

    Cons

    There are still differences in organizational culture from group to group inside of Microsoft. Unfortunately this healthy heterogeneity is disappearing, and the trend is movement in the wrong direction. Those groups that treat people with respect as individuals and team players versus commodities, that insist on transparency top, down and sideways, and that have strong, collaborative leadership founded on integrity - they are increasingly harder to find.
    For those groups that lack these characteristics, the annual performance review model is organizationally poisonous, damaging team cohesion, productivity, and employee morale. Team members are distracted from collaboratively delivering business value by necessary attention to political visibility. Problems and delivered solutions may be artificially inflated or worse, manufactured in the interest of management support at review time.
    Performance management, employee recognition and rewards are all critical management accountabilities in any organization. However, these accountabilities are not best assured by forcing managers to fit their staff review results to a static distribution curve regardless of overall team talent.
    Careers can end quickly despite an employee's current and long term positive performance track record. If the manager relationship sours, or the employee expresses interest in moving elsewhere in the company, managers will often leverage that employee to fill the poor performance quota.
    As risk tolerance falls, bureaucracy grows. The increasing administrative burden is further degrading conditions necessary to team agility, efficiency and innovation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Proactively validate, recognize and resolve risks to the future of the company. Find the courage to identify and eliminate behaviors founded on self-serving preservation, and reward those based on integrity. Start with management at all levels. Extend the performance review model to reward not only individual but team, group, and company. Proof the review model against managers without integrity. Leverage the value in increasingly frequent exit interviews to reduce their frequency in the future. Reduce the corporate risk target with spin offs for multiple lines of business. Read "From Good to Great" very soon. Demand transparency, collaboration and respect as cultural imperatives, and eliminate all personnel, policies or environmental conditions that constraint them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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