NRC (National Research Corporation)
3.0 of 5 19 reviews
www.nationalresearch.com Lincoln, NE 150 to 499 Employees

19 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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There are so many better places to work in technology - especially in Seattle

Software Developer (Former Employee)
Seattle, WA

I worked at NRC (National Research Corporation) full-time for more than a year

Pros- Flexible schedules when reasonable (unless they are actively trying to manage you out)
- Opportunities to have a stable job by being the only person who knows the horrible code base (too valuable to fire or promote)
- Free beer on Fridays
- Most employees are nice people who want to do the right thing. This was actually a great thing. I'd work with almost any of them outside the context of NRC. I clearly wasn't working directly with the 'bad apples'.
- Aware they have problems (but can't stick with any solution plan long enough to see its fruit)
- Relatively junior employees with ambition may have opportunities to take on senior-level tasks due to the high turn-over among senior engineers. The opportunities for responsibility could offset the career risks of working with the outdated technology for the right kind of person.
- They "manage out" people who don't fit. This is usually a good thing for those people. Perhaps not so good for the company. Time will tell.

Cons- Acquired a great company that 'did Agile right'', fired 1/3rd of the employees immediately during a recession to look better to public investors, and gradually managed most of the remaining acquired talent out over the next two years. I tend to think that big actions like this tell you a lot about a company's overall values. I know NRC is a business, but there are businesses with differnt philosophies out there.
- Switched to waterfall life-cycle mid-product cycle from Agile (think minimal Agile documentation, no risk assessment because the plan for risk was iterative development, mid-development switch - with lots of blame on employees when things went wrong) - and on multiple projects at the same time.
- Blames employees rather than situations, even when management or budgets set employees up for failure; demoralizes employees so they don't feel safe talking about these problems to those who can do anything and end up gossiping instead
- Pressure on upper- and mid-management gets passed on to employees and management is almost forced to find scapegoats for failures; many of the good managers who don't pass on the pressure quit or "leave to spend more time with family"
- Old technology and out-of-date business practices put technical employees at risk of career stagnation. If you work here too long, there is a real risk that you may damage your hire-ability due to the lack of opportunity to work with new technologies.
- You really need a stash of money set aside in case you need to quit your job or in case you get fired, so you have the guts to say and do the right thing; or, you need amazing political acumen so you can CYA at all times.
- Really weird, old-fashioned ideas about 'loyalty to the company', with no 'loyalty to the employee' in return. We were told not to say things like, "If an engineer moves on to a different company" to explain why we needed documentation, readable code, etc. - instead, we should use the "hit by a bus" example. Despite the high turnover, the company still liked us to pretend that the main reason people would be leaving was death.
- I had health problems that improved dramatically within days after I quit working here. Working the long hours and caring about the job enough to let it affect my health was my choice, but I prefer to work at a company where I can care about my job without getting sick.
- I was able to get 4 higher-paying offers with better benefits and more flexibility within two weeks of posting my resume on Dice, all within 10 blocks of the Seattle office. There's just too many other opportunities in Seattle for mid-to-senior level employees, with the hot start-up scene here. NRC could be a reasonable choice for a junior developer with a lot of ambition who can self-start well and can handle politics gracefully. Such a person could pick up a lot really fast by being prepared to take over when more senior devs get managed out, and then quit after 2 to 3 years to work somewhere better with a lot of relatively senior experience.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to all of the advice you've already been given, and keep soliciting more.

Stop covering your rears - it's not good for your career, and it's not good for the company. You might lose your job now for doing the right thing, but that frees you up to find a better opportunity at a company that won't blame you for failures that occur due to lack of time, money, or resources that someone else isn't giving you. People at the bottom need to be able to focus on doing their jobs, not on defending themselves from their coworker's or manager's efforts to shift blame. You can help them by being an "umbrella", protecting them from politics and blame rather than passing them on so they can focus on solving your problems.

Don't assume that employees at the bottom are actually receiving the benefit of policies designed to give them direction; overloaded middle-managers don't always have time for 'minor' things like 1:1's, goal-setting, or career development. Your middle-managers, like everyone else, are severely overworked, and regular 1:1s are one of the first things to go.

If your gut response is to blame those middle-managers for not doing their jobs, you're still missing the message: It's not their fault. They have too much work, and something has to go.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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  • Culture & Values
         
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Everyone was friendly, nice company, but I did not see myself working there long term.

Product Development Intern (Former Employee)
Lincoln, NE

I worked at NRC (National Research Corporation) as an intern for less than a year


Pros: Nice people. Company outings. Ability to travel. Cons: Some divisions were "clicky" and seemed almost like high school.… Advice to Senior Management: More feedback on performance more often. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More

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Disrespected, unappreciated and taken for granted

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at NRC (National Research Corporation)


Pros: The co-workers to name a few who you respected and… Cons: No praise and recognition or treatment of employees as they matter. There is a motto NCR feels proud to promote on logos, ending of emails… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

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