GaiaTech
2.3 of 5 19 reviews
www.gaiatech.com Chicago, IL

GaiaTech Reviews

Updated Mar 19, 2014

Be The First To
Add Photos

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.3 19 reviews

                             

20% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Phil Newton

(5 ratings)

27% of employees recommend this company to a friend
19 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great company to be with to learn about the M&A business from an environmental perspective

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCompared with other technical consulting companies GaiaTech is a much more professional atmosphere and as long as you are willing to contribute you are treated flexibly. They will give you a lot of responsibility when they see that you are able to do the work and meet schedules.

    ConsLike all firms in this space the environmental consulting business is demanding and requires some long hours and travel and meeting deadlines. If you don't want to do these you are in the wrong business

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to the achievers and get rid of the whiners and gossipers

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    The worst experience of my career

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsQuite honestly, to me the only good thing about the company is that there are some very good people working here.

    ConsSenior management is by far the worst I have ever encountered. The CEO is a micro-manager who makes every day difficult. Deception is common. Technology is laughable. Revolving door on the employee side with the majority of the good people leaving for ERM and others.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAt this point, the only way this situation gets fixed is for new management to be brought in at the C-level.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Employees treated without respect

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood place to learn the environmental side of M&A. If you show initiative and ability you will be given more difficult work. Senior staff are generally great teachers and extremely knowledgeable. The people (even most of the senior managers) are great to be around. There is probably not a single bad-hearted person at GaiaTech.

    ConsSenior management apparently has limited business acumen. Hundreds of thousands are thrown away chasing ideas, and when the ideas don't pan out, more money is thrown at it. Too many generals and too few privates leads to constantly changing way of budget tracking, employee expectations, and methods of evaluation. Senior management expects junior staff to work harder and harder to make up for money blown on bad ideas.

    Staff turnover is high, so the company is frequently understaffed. Senior managers demand that employees work long hours because work cannot be turned away or cherry picked for only the most lucrative work. Several times a year it's "sorry guys, we've got a heavy load right now and need you step up." Typically the staff are already logging 50-60 hour weeks, but when these rushes come, you are expected to work around the clock. The work product obviously suffers. When it comes time for recompense, you would think they'd be glad to share some of the profits made by your hard work, but they drag their feet.

    Raises are few and far between, and small when they come--even for employees that are doing well. There are no annual cost of living adjustments. They justify not giving raises because they do typically give an annual bonus (you can expect a couple thousand if you meet their extremely difficult utilization goals), but the bonuses are neither tied to company profitability nor employee performance. They keep hiring new/additional senior managers, who arrive with big ideas that typically fall flat. The added senior people only serve to absorb profits that could have been passed on to the extremely hard working staff. The business plan appears to be: milk every employee for everything s/he is worth. If the employee quits, raise expectations for the remaining group and have them train up a new staff member.

    The benefits are ok at best. Three weeks vacation/year with no sick days and a low accumulation cap (on a whim, they recently decided to pay out any hours accumulated over 80, with no notice or discussion). The health insurance is also ok but very unspectacular.

    They are currently trying to sell the business to a larger firm. The most recent attempt failed, but another is on the horizon. Things will change, but change at GaiaTech tends to be to the detriment of the junior staff.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWe understand that you put in serious time and effort to build this company, and you deserve to reap those rewards. But understand that your employees are not building a company of their own; their rewards are limited to salary. Inflation is typically 1.5%. If you can't afford give cost of living adjustments to the people that make the backbone of this company, you should be embarrassed about your ability to run a business.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
  • We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    A company run by handout-seekers

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsLocated downtown. When you leave the building, there are interesting things to see and do.

    ConsEverything else. Before believing the positive reviews written by sniveling, spineless little bootlickers (the company has a number of those, since they try to screen for them in interviews), you should know that several of the founding executives of the company have left in the last several years. They had all been there for 15+ years, and were considered "lifers" who had given their all to the company and put up with unbelievable workloads, accomplishing a great deal. But they're gone now, because the culture has eroded THAT badly.

    How? Lots of ways, worthy of book-length pursuit of the kind devoted to the forsensic examination of other companies that collapsed, a fate that will be inevitably be shared by GaiaTech. But just in the interest of brevity, they follow a business model of chronic underbidding, followed by panicky, time-wasting meetings about projects going over budget, followed by more panicky meetings to try to convince the customer to pay more, followed by a new project deal and more underbidding and a new cycle. They don't seem to understand that there might be something amiss with this model. The CEO is a living example that good luck can befall anyone, as he makes bad decisions in multiple succession then runs around like a grade-school kid trying to convince his staff to help bail him out. They also assume that employees will work overtime without additional compensation to help them meet their miniscule budgets. It is a business model based on incompetence, on unfounded assumptions, and on shameless handout seeking.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThose of you who haven't drunk the Kool Aid should look for other jobs. Those of you who have and stay on the sinking ship - start learning to tread water. The business will fail. That isn't a prediction. It is the only possible outcome of managing a company the way this one is managed and refusing to learn from mistakes. Ask Enron.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    There's a lot of better Environmental companies out there. Don't make this mistake.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGaiaTech does business throughout the country and some international so the opportunity to see some very cool places is there, but that also means you travel to lame areas. Great company to join to get frequent flier miles, rental car points, hotel points, etc. Nothing else is positive.

    ConsPoor budgets on all projects. Senior management sells, sells, sells, but end up losing in the long run because they sell work for so cheap. Forget about bonus, raises, or starting out making more than other environmental companies because none of the three are available. Senior Management sells a lot of work but doesn't pay their staff (Who actually do the work) enough to make employees stay around. High turnover rate, very low pay. Not a fun company to work for. Senior management and department managers pretend to like you, are not approachable, and you will not enjoy going into work in the morning.

    Advice to Senior ManagementActions speak louder than words. If your going to say you or the company is going to do something, then do it. You guys are all talk.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    great employees

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsYou learn a lot here, and the people who work here are friendly and nice.

    ConsThe pay isn't high enough for the amount of work you're expected to produce.

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Company with lots of issues

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsAs others reviewers stated, the employees (not management) are great people to work with.

    ConsThe reviewer who stated that the company keeps mediocre employees could not be more wrong. Many of the long term employees who were integral to the company success have left, including one of the founders. They did not leave because they were mediocre employees. The reasons people leave have to do with poor pay, raises and bonuses that are either non-existent or so low they are an insult, issues with upper management, not be recognized for meeting unrealistic deadlines, low project budgets and the list can go on and on. If you are looking at a job here go to ERM or Environ.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAll of upper management needs to be replaced especially the CEO, COO and CFO. Any advice given to management will not be heard. They can always find a reason to blame others for the issues at the company and will never see the problem is them.

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

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           

     

    Exciting place to work, great people, learn a ton, high expectations

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat place to learn and practice environmental due diligence and engineering services and work with great people. Training and exposure for junior staff unmatched. Very cooperative and collegial atmosphere. Attention to high quality work products and a very sophisticated client base results in very interesting and complex work. You feel your work has meaning. Great place to be if you enjoy traveling (sometimes throughout the world). Plenty of opportunity to work on different things and in different industries and with different departments. Flexibility seems to be provided to employees that have earned it by exceeding expectations, being flexible in return, having a good attitude, being competent and producing a consistent high-quality work product. Some of these reviews make the company sound like an absolute disaster and torture chamber, its not. It is an above average performing company with very high expectations for its staff, you work hard here. Trust needs to be earned because of the complexity of the work and high demands of its clients. I guess that is perceived negatively.

    ConsUnfortunately management has too much patience with mediocre performing staff. This results in some of the perceived inequalities mentioned elsewhere with regard to raises, bonuses and managements apparent deaf ear to feedback. Poor performing employees with bad attitudes are simply allowed to stick around too long and become genuinely disgruntled and toxic to the work environment and end up leaving on their own rather than being fired. I expect many of the negative reviews are from those "C" players who found themselves without raises, flexibility and bonus over time and blamed the company, management, and everyone else. Sure the company has its problems and frustrations, but in my experience they are no worse than any other company trying to grow and operate in a competitive market. Often when an issue is raised by enough people it gets the attention needed from senior management. The company is going through some changes, both in terms of management and focus, and with that come challenges; some people just can't or don't want to adapt.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay could always be a bit better. Accountability of both staff and management could improve with more candid conversations. Recognition of high performance needs to occur more often and consistently. Employee perceptions need to develop more slowly with input from a larger audience. More positive interaction needs to occur between senior management and junior staff.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           

    2 people found this helpful  

    Decent company with high turnover

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsHas great people and some beneficial training programs. The company also is located in major city zones which is attractive for young talent and experience professionals alike.

    ConsGaiaTech goes not have a "toxic" group of people as a previous reviewer indicated. It's hard to accept the notion that all the people leaving during my time were the "C" performers. Some of my better colleagues left for some of the other reasons described below.

    The real issue is that the company has not recognized it's young talent and does not put the same level of stock in employees regardless of level or experience. There is a widening gap between senior consultants and junior staff. Upper management knows in order to maintain current progress senior level folk are essential and it has created a revolving door as younger staffare replaceable. This practice however, is not sustainable. The idea that GaiaTech retains "C" level employees is a disgrace to the company. There are those that seem to dip their heads into the sand and fail to recognize the poor strategies and management practices in place.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter compensation is needed across the board. Have some humility, it's OK to come off your high horse and admit mistakes. Find a way to keep younger staff from leaving.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           

    2 people found this helpful  

    A company with some serious issues

    (Former Employee)

    ProsLike a lot of the posters have mentioned, the people who actually produce GaiaTech's product are one of the upsides. The talent pool at GaiaTech is diverse and deep. The company has also spent a lot of time developing some training initiatives which are extremely useful and serve as a great development tool for junior staff.

    ConsGaiaTech has a lot of issues. First employees are hardly given any decision rights. GaiaTech is about as extreme as it goes when looking at a "top down" management philosophy. GaiaTech has some of the hardest working individuals who give so much to please management and make unrealistic deadlines become reality, and yet there is never any praise or compensation.

    Forget about raises or bonuses of any real substance. GaiaTech severely underpays junior staff when compared to the market standard. It remains a wonder to upper management as to why there has been so much turnover in the past couple of years. The ability to move up the ladder is something that doesn’t even need to be mentioned as it is just nonexistent. If you don’t come with a record of sales or have any potential clients than just go ahead and forget it. And if you do bring some contacts, you will more than likely watch your sales be siphoned off by one of the senior managers. GaiaTech would be wise to look at different management models and maybe move to a system that isn’t based off of a “good ole boys club” or “you’ve been here longest that makes you most suited for a management position”.

    One of the major underlying issues is the amount of debt the company sits on. It has severely hindered GaiaTech’s ability to compete with competitors.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's almost not worth providing advice because it won't be heard. Management at GaiaTech is a my way or the highway sort of mentality. Employees at GaiaTech need to have a voice.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for GaiaTech? Contribute to the Community!

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

Glassdoor is your free inside look at GaiaTech reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for GaiaTech CEO Phil Newton. All 19 reviews posted anonymously by GaiaTech employees.