The Standard

  www.standard.com
  www.standard.com
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1 person found this helpful  

IT rapidly sinking

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Business Analyst in Portland, OR
Current Employee - Business Analyst in Portland, OR

I have been working at The Standard

Pros

The company supports charitable causes. Benefits package is good. Location in downtown Portland is beautiful. Supports pre-tax payment of city parking.

Cons

IT is in very poor shape and continues to degrade. Management treats IT employees with little respect -- business analysts were recently told by our boss in a team meeting that a group of "monkeys" could do our job. Not doing business analysis work, more projects like text-file batch processing. No raises -- 0% -- for third year in a row for almost all employees.

Big outsourcing to India continues. All the mainframe COBOL programmers were just informed they are being laid off and all their work is moving to India. Just a few months ago the VP of IT David O'Brien specifically told the COBOL programmers that some remote Indian staff were going to suppliment existing staff and no one would be laid off. So basically IT was lied to. Now some business analysts from India are being brought in, but we have been assured by the VP this is only to suppliment existing staff and none of us are going to be laid off.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

There's no point suggesting anything.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

103 Other Employee Reviews for The Standard (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Fighting the good fight

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Employment Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Employment Analyst in New York, NY

    I have been working at The Standard

    Pros

    Always challenging my limits here.

    Cons

    Deadlines are sometimes too tight

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As in most lines of work involving journalism, more flexibility to unexpected deadline inhibitors would boost the general morale here.

    Recommends
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    The Standard, Retirement Plans Division. An employee review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Actuary in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Actuary in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard

    Pros

    Generally a friendly and very polite atmosphere. Most employees are easy to strike up a conversation with.

      Flexible work schedules and an ability to work from home.

      Willing to provide various and diverse levels of training. This ranges from classes on job specific skills like programing, professional designation, software applications to softer skills like leadership and communication.

      There certainly are pockets of people that try to 'do what matters' or 'take the higher road' which are some of the core values of the company.

      After a very rough period in SRS during 2008/2009 virtually all Senior Management have been fired or retired. This has lead to a new focus by many of the new Senior Management to demand tighter controls and procedures be put in place, which can not be overstated how important this is to achieve succesfully. I consider this focus an immense Pro.

    Family and friends are easily hired.

    Cons

    Family and friends are easily hired ( yes I meant this to be both a Pro and a Con)

    Despite the new Senior Management leadership in SRS stating a major focus is to put in place tighter controls and backing this with extensive process control and mapping efforts- with some sucess- there seems to be huge inertia to NOT completely embrace this. There remains huge inertia from upper-mid management and lower against trying to get numerous systems, procedures and financial reporting under tight control. It appears to be a combination of 'my systems' weren't flagged during a audit, or sure it's broke but it's consistent in how it is broke or in some cases it's the old 'I push a button and have no idea if the numbers coming out make sense or not, and I don't care'.

    Some amount of the above is going to take place in every company but I have seen enough - and been around long enough- to know it's too pervasive at The Standard for my comfort level. And maybe more importantly, we are putting in extensive effort and resources by Senior Management direction to improve processes, this is the time to truely and openly clean up systems, procedures and reporting. If you don't have time to do something right the first time, when will you have time to do it a second time?

    I spent so much time on the above two paragraphs because I have felt borderline ethically compromised on several occasions. Not a great feeling and even worse when upper management is indifferent to your concerns.

    There definately is an above average amount of favortism in areas, but not completely stagnating.

    I know pay is below average ( even my boss told me that) and benefits are weaker then what I have had elsewhere.

    Many of our systems and capabilities are archaic and almost 'criminally' hamper the ability to make any level of improvement simply or easily. Need to update something worded incorrectly on a page of the website, you get back something like not enough IT resources to do it. Really? need to change one significant word on a web page and The com[pany doesn't have the resources to do that? SO instead we risk a client reding something and getting the wrong impression, or actually the right impression that we incorrectly gave them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First and foremost, welcome tough news brought objectively and substantiated.

    Second, continue to invest the time and resources into process improvements and quality controls for all areas of SRS. Insist on a comprehensive, all levels review, including bypassing mid level managers if need be.

    No opinion of CEO
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