Foster Wheeler

  www.fwc.com
  www.fwc.com

Foster Wheeler Reviews

Updated November 8, 2014
Updated November 8, 2014
84 Reviews
3.1
84 Reviews
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Foster Wheeler CEO and Director J. Kent Masters
J. Kent Masters
19 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule allowed for a good amount of time off (in 5 reviews)

  • Nice office (Houston headquarters), some nice people there, very good benefits (medical etc) (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Salary is favourable, but employee benefits require improvements, in particular annual leave days and medical benefits (in 3 reviews)

  • Too many bosses, crazy hierarchy and high turnover of senior management (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Once Proud Company on the Downslide

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer in Houston, TX

    I worked at Foster Wheeler full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It is a job. If you can work on proposals it could be interesting. Most work is for out of country. Good experience is you want to work in refinery industry.

    Cons

    Glass ceiling in place.
    Good ole boy network is strong.
    No stability.
    Get all promises made during the interview process in writing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please step into the 21st Century.
    Let those who can, do. Tear down the walls.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Stuck in the past

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Professional in Clinton, NJ
    Current Employee - Professional in Clinton, NJ

    I have been working at Foster Wheeler full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pays well, good benefits, strong corporate culture and a commitment to creating a safe working environment for all employees in the office and in the field. A highly educated workforce where competence is expected.

    Cons

    Lacks innovation, overly risk averse, does not adapt to changes in markets, overly structured / regimented. Company has overly conservative behaviors that remind one of the 1908s, where face time and reputation take precedence over results. Headquarters are far from any metro areas, creating a cloistered existence.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Foster Wheeler needs to expand into clean energy,recruit young innovative managers, and analyze whether its risk averse strategy is helping or hurting business prospects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great opportunities to Learn while you work

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

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

    Pros

    Quality work and great learning at all levels

    Cons

    Neither Employee friendly nor caring

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employee engagement is required to retain talent - Not Rank and Yank

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    eh

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Foster Wheeler

    Pros

    stepping stone, made some good connections to follow after they moved on.

    Cons

    poor organization, planning, execution, and communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    go back to 2008 and see why it worked then but not now.

  6.  

    Terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Subcontract Administrator in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Subcontract Administrator in Houston, TX

    I worked at Foster Wheeler full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice office (Houston headquarters), some nice people there, very good benefits (medical etc)

    Cons

    They promote people to manager without any training at all in how to manage people. I suffered at the hands of the Procurement Department. Several old-school managers there who were mostly concerned with guarding their turf. Yes, I was yelled at more than once - so unprofessional!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some management courses on how to manage people! A serious lack there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Houston Office

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

    I worked at Foster Wheeler full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    9/80 work schedule allowed for a good amount of time off. 3 weeks PTO for new hires. Good 401K and medical insurance programs. The building and furniture are above average.

    Cons

    Upper management likes to micro-manage and monitor its employees. They ask for opinions from their employees, but they don't seem to want to implement any change related to employee satisfaction. When the previous CEO left for another office, bonuses and incentives diminished or disappeared. It's pretty difficult to get recognized for your achievements or hard work at this company. It's also hard to advance in the company unless you are buddy-buddy with someone with power and influence in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees, and try to trust them to be honest on their own.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Tired operational staff that became lazy because of poor and constantly revolving management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to State in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to State in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Foster Wheeler full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Salary is decently competitive and their 401k matching is comparable to a state worker's TRS.
    9/hour workdays with every other Friday off

    Cons

    To really know FW requires knowing the history from various other workers. Many workers are fairly new due to turnover and the boom and bust of unstable business due to projects. Management seems to care most about upstream divisions, but has poor attention and does not assist in departments outside of engineering. The guidance from the corporate HQ office is poor and there is a severe lack of operational maturity. FW loses business to competition due to poor planning and effective monitoring of operations. Various departments outside of engineering have many high-level managers and directors with poor and lazy attitudes. Many of them are just not used to having to be competent at their professions like FW's competition. Had I known the entire history and been able to interview with others outside the department hiring manager; I would've never come here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Implement TCO mentality from top down and provide global guidance to offices in a singular effort. What good is upstream without staff to properly support them?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Didn't enjoy my time there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accountant in Livingston, NJ
    Former Employee - Accountant in Livingston, NJ

    I worked at Foster Wheeler full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    None that I can think of.

    Cons

    A company that works in low margin industries can't be generous to their employees. Terrible raises, delayed raises, 4 in 5 years, etc. Suggest working for a company that makes a lot of money. They can treat their employees better. This is a while back, put I doubt much has changed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Constant and overwhelming frustration

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Reading, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Reading, England (UK)

    I worked at Foster Wheeler full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of talented people on projects.

    Cons

    Those talented people on projects always frustrated and dissatisfied. Corporate management very disconnect from project people and very bureaucratic. Lots of procedures and rules that don't quite work or make sense. Overhead management is about 10 layers, and you are lucky if you get to talk to your immediate line management once in several months; and you have no chance to ever get to meet and talk to managers beyond his level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dear upper management: cut your numbers by half and make the company more competitive pn the market. Stop spending all your time in endless corporate meetings and get to know your projects and people who execute those projects. You keep losing talented people because they do not feel valued. Quite on the contrary, most professional, talented and free-spirited people in your company feel they are treated like schoolchildren who always need to be told and disciplined.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Good experience at badly managed company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Process Engineer in Johannesburg (South Africa)
    Former Employee - Senior Process Engineer in Johannesburg (South Africa)

    I worked at Foster Wheeler as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very good technical experience gained at the company.

    Cons

    Company stuck in old ways with no new inovations. Management reluctant to see that employees are unhappy. Midrand office located in a very unpleasant and unsafe location.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Engage with and listen to your people - you sell manhours. Without experienced professional employees, there is no business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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