Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

  www.selinc.com
  www.selinc.com
There are newer employer reviews for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

5 people found this helpful  

Great Values and a Growing Company

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Engineer III in Plymouth, MI
Current Employee - Engineer III in Plymouth, MI

I have been working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

Lots of opportunities for growing and the work is challenging. The goals are attainable but still stretching to achieve them.

Cons

Growing pains for a "family" company that needs to make the next big step into a large company. Sometimes this gives more reason to step up but also means extra responsibility without compensation.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Ask for feed back from employees regarding best practices and reviewing the process before assuming it is the best route to go.

Recommends
Negative Outlook
Approves of CEO

95 Other Employee Reviews for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    A lot of positives along with a lot of politics

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

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    By and large, the people who work there are intelligent and pleasant to work with. The work done there is good - helping make power safer and more readily available around the world.

    There are many learning opportunities and ways to develop yourself professionally. The work can be interesting and challenging, if you're in the right department. They support higher education (even providing funding) after you've been there at least 1 year.

    Pay is reasonable, although not on the high end, and the benefits are good.

    Cons

    Living in Pullman may or may not be to your liking. If you enjoy nightlife and fine dining, it is not your place to be. Also, if you really enjoy hiking, it is always a bit of a drive - other than Kamiak Butte, which is close to town.

    Internal (and external) politics are significant. It is definitely a place where who you know and have known for years matters, depending in which department you work in. Also, the political views of the CEO are inflicted upon all employees during lunchtime gatherings that all employees are strongly encouraged to attend. Seems inappropriate in the workplace.

    It can be detrimental to your longevity with the company if you are the bearer of unwelcome news. There are definitely things that management doesn't want to hear - about products, treatment of people, etc.

    Many people work a lot of overtime. It is quite excessive in some cases. Requests to limit overtime can lead to being taken out of a lead role on a project and/or keep you from being promoted. If you're looking for quality time with your family, this is not the place to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really look at the amount of overtime you expect from people. Consistent long hours burns people out and leads to strained family relationships, not to mention health problems. If the company can afford numerous corporate jets, the company can afford to hire enough people to do the work that needs to be done.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Great Products, Poor Work/Life Balance & Micro-Managed

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

    I worked at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. full-time

    Pros

    Probably the best equipment and service in the industry where the company competes- cool technology and a great warranty.

    Some of the best, smart, hard working and dedicated people in the world who are willing to sacrifice a great deal of work-life balance to get the job done.

    Company does some cool things to help people during tragedy's (Both Customers and Employees).

    Tuition Reimbursement program & on-site gym in Pullman

    Cons

    Be prepared to work in an environment that is underfunded and understaffed. Even with talented people working smart and doing significant amounts of extended overtime, we often do not meet our artificial deadlines. There is a very negative fear-based blaming culture and good employees are let go regularly. Sometimes it seems like the project deadlines are set not based on sound reason, but to build on the sel industry legacy at break neck speed.

    It appears that so many sel people are overworked that they get stuck telling new employee candidates that the company is a better place to work than it actually is. But if the hiring manager tells the candidate how much overtime will be required of them, they may lose the candidate and then their department continues to stress in extended overtime and far too many projects in play.

    The company is still run very much like it was from the beginning with the founder very involved with just about everything. It is hard for professionals to develop in an environment of intense micro management. When we add the fear based management approach to the micro-management, it really makes it a difficult place to work and stifles creativity and personal-professional development.

    Housing in Pullman is very expensive and sel's wages are very low within the industry. If you do decide to move to Pullman to work for sel, ensure you rent for at least the first few years. You need that long to determine if it is worth staying.

    sel is a company that has an esop retirement plan tied to their competitive success, but SEL is run/dominated by the founder and his family. The board is far to narrow and does not have the expertise or objective influence to help the company grow in a healthy way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Add full voting representatives to the Board from an open election from within the company. Add full voting representatives to the Board from other industries and society who can bring a fuller perspective and can mentor and hold the sel Senior Leadership accountable for both successes and breakdowns.

    Encourage all employees to exercise their right to access and read the annual company and esop reports to study them, ask questions and even challenge decisions and expenditures where appropriate.

    Treating our customer's like gold is the right thing to do, now please add treating the employees like gold to this effort. We have heard senior leaders say for years that we should "Do what our mothers would want us to do." For the most part, we do that for our customers, but we miss the boat on employee's. Build the real sel legacy, Invest in your people, bring some reasonable solution to work/life balance and start backing away from the intense micro management.

    Believe in supporting your employees using their vacation time with their friends and family. Protect them while they are on vacation from having to work so much. Yes it is 2013, but burning out the employees does not bode well for having healthy, creative long-term employees.

    Don't settle for good, be great!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

Work at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.? Share Your Experiences

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.