General Dynamics UK
2.1 of 5 13 reviews
www.generaldynamics.uk.com Oakdale, United Kingdom 1000 to 5000 Employees

General Dynamics UK Reviews

Updated Apr 16, 2014
General Dynamics UK – “General Dynamics Building (Photo thanks to…”

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2.1 13 reviews

                             

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General Dynamics UK Chairman & CEO Phebe N. Novakovic

Phebe N. Novakovic


8% of employees recommend this company to a friend
13 Employee Reviews
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    Some interesting work, lacking vision and direction

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsInteresting and cutting edge projects for a time but these were deemed too risky as the focus turned towards system integration and larger projects. There is currently a large re-organisation underway which is what is needed to address the problems but it could mean that the smaller sites are at risk of being closed.

    ConsMismanaged recently departed management team, inconsistent and incoherent strategies. Short sighted decisions have left the company with very little product to build on.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake the technology and engineering the focus of the company and give the staff the freedom and support to shape the direction of the company in partnership with BD.

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    Pretty good, enjoyed working with permanent staff.

    Platform Design Engineer (Former Employee)
    Tewkesbury, England (UK)

    ProsI enjoy working with military and ex personnel on these types of projects. No nonsense, get it done attitude.

    ConsPoor amenities in an old, run down army camp.Most of the active military personnel have vacated the site; which is now due to close at the end 2013. GD plan to shrink their operation to smaller sites in South Wales

    Advice to Senior ManagementSort out the care of your staff

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    The smell of death is stalking the halls as the sands of time are running out

    Senior Manufacturing Engineer (Former Employee)
    Hastings, England (UK)

    ProsIf you had asked me two years ago about life at GD i would have said it was a great employer. The pay was fairly good and it had an excellent work life balance. But alas after the latest rounds of redundancies there are no foreseeable pros other than plenty of space in the car park. After 5 years service it was a sad decision to leave but the instability of job security and new work coming through was just not worth the stress

    ConsGDUK is a cronyoricy - all the good jobs go to the select few whose face fits with management. The poor vision of upper management to put all their eggs in the one big basket has backfired to the extent that they have had to pare back the workforce to the point where it will find it difficult to bid on new work and in the unlikely event they win the job there is no infrastructure left to deliver it.
    the big man at the top delivered a comms session a few years ago where he talked about the gentle decline of the avionics side of the business. i think recent events at GD UK have show that the decline is more a chronic nose dive

    Advice to Senior ManagementApologize to your workforce for wrecking a once great place to work

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Varied and interesting work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Oakdale (South Africa)

    Prosthe work is interesting and varied, good work associates, pleasant work environment, good working conditions and over all a friendly place to be.

    ConsThere seems to be a glass ceiling in place, you cannot advance past the point you were taken on, management stuck in their ways and do not seem to be able to change

    Advice to Senior Managementlisten to your employees suggestions on how to make the business run better, be more open and honest with what is going on with the business

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

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    Lack of vision, hampering growth

    Systems Engineer (Current Employee)
    Newbridge, Wales (UK)

    Prosfriendly and knowledgeable people to work with
    Have a positive and 'can do' attitude
    Flexible working arrangements can be made

    Consmanagement have set a strategy that no one can believe in and follow through
    Workforce de-motivated through lack of contracts
    little training or development management
    Year end appraisal has little to do with the actual pay & bonus awarded

    Advice to Senior ManagementDefine a positive, diverse strategy

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

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    Still the same as the previous reviews

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood engineers, decent facilities, half decent wage

    ConsAs everyone to date has said - and it hasn't changed in the past 5 years - the senior management is awful, generally bullying the troops into producing documents to back up thier own thoughts rather than taking onboard evidence from skilled and experienced engineers and using it to progress the projects.

    Too many managers, too few engineers. Too much based on winning bids without plans to back them up, limited resources and total lack of engineering progression.

    Advice to Senior ManagementJust quit and give some of the half decent engineers a chance to do the work you pay them for.

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

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    In self destruct mode

    Senior Systems Engineer (Former Employee)

    ProsGood benefits package, great people, active social club
    Interesting projects

    ConsImplements forced distribution techniques that has a negative impact on employees. Highly focused on personal development that is unfortunately underpinned by negative based personal reviews and no training and development investment.
    Meeting and review based organisation where technical management spend a lot of time talking and I mean a lot of time, so much that there's not enough time to get the work done as most of the day spent talking about it.
    Massive disconnect between employees and senior management.
    Company in panic mode at the moment, will bid on anything at the moment regardless of the impact to the workforce.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLunch and learns are not a substitute for training.
    Forced distribution will ruin your organisation you need to abandon it now before its too late, go read up on microsoft experience on this.
    Listen to your employees views, not on a rating 0 to 5 to a loaded question.
    Start looking for positives in your employees and exploiting them not the weaknesses.
    Create long term strategies and stick to them, whilst change is good, periods of stability can make change easier to implement.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Disappointing when really, it shouldn't have been

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsLocation is a little remote if you're used to working further up the M4 but is pleasant (if you like rain). Peers in most departments are generally a cheery bunch, a good crowd to work with and who seem keen to do their jobs well.

    ConsWhen I left the company, it was a pretty toxic place to work.

    Most noticeable of the negative aspects on display were the inclination of senior management to use their positions of authority to grind axes, more than a few employees further down the ladder than they have been treated in a cowardly, spiteful manner that was in most cases as far as I could see, entirely undeserved. These employees also found themselves marginalised from any of the showcase programs, undermined by Chinese whispers vigorously propagated about their ‘lack of ability’ and in one case a Chartered Engineer no less was pushed into the corner of a lab to build boxes for several months, for no other readily apparent reason than fear (read jealousy) of the said individual.

    Though easy to blame HR, it is the group of gangsters currently masquerading as GDUK senior management that need properly sorting out.

    Their behaviour and conduct was far below the professional and ethical standards expected of people in their positions, their inclination to round on individuals that they simply didn’t like the look of was pretty disturbing, along with their classless, petty trick of keeping said individuals out of mainstream programs and thereby impeding any progress within the company promotional framework. This contrived and artificially engineered lack of achievement would then be used against the individual concerned at appraisal time by the very same people. At the time I left there were one or two individuals being held back within the company on the grounds of nothing more than spite, jealousy and cowardly behaviour; people with good quals, good experience and good references from their previous companies ie people with no track record for underperforming.

    As a former employee with GD and previously with other global companies, I have come across the best and the worst of HR.

    At their very best, HR personnel are dedicated, intelligent, informed experts who possess the rare quality of thinking corporately; as such, they are a credit to their company and to the management that runs it: meeting them is a pleasure, and it's plain to see that they perform the all-important task of being the 'eyes and ears' of a company really well: they are also vastly over-worked and often under-resourced.

    At their worst, they are mean, ill-informed, narrow-minded, inexperienced egocentrics whose principal interests lie in self-promotion and the protection of the narrow interests of their immediate environment. They rubber-stamp whatever senior management tells them to rubber-stamp and having sold their souls, become nothing more than the senior management yes-man.

    One group becomes an indispensable aid to the well being of a company; the other hurts and hinders it.

    Funnily enough, it's not HR that should be condemned, but GD’s senior management, who are often quite happy to abrogate their responsibility to the well-being and future development of their company by the cowardly and convenient means of delegating important, but sometimes inconvenient decisions to the first port of call of poor management, namely HR.

    It’s not what you know, it’s who’s slapping your back – if you’re looking for pastures new, go somewhere else.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSome of you do not deserve to be where you are. You have taken it upon yourselves (nobody forced you) to shoulder the enormous burden of the welfare and progression of the people (ALL of the people) who staff your company, start showing those people that you are worthy of the appointment.

    If you think you're there to win business and rake in big bonuses, try it without quality staff.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Judgement and common sense have been substituted for 'how does the process say I should deal with this'?

    (Current Employee)

    ProsThere aren't that many pluses, the facility is situated in a nice, rural locale. Generally good colleagues bonded by a mutual mistrust of senior management and resentment of the way in which performance management is implemented.

    ConsThere is little scope for promotion within the company, employees can find themselves in positions where their authority does not match their responsibilities. Consequently, neither does their pay. Appraisal system is brutal, there is a groundswell of resentment at the way this tool is implemented; it almost seeks to demotivate individuals rather than motivate.

    This system has been used (and still is) to target individuals that senior management don't like and several have been dismissed from employment under some of the most questionable circumstances. Fortunately in this particular escapade, senior management/HR have not been terribly bright in their implementation and a number have won actions to see them back in the company; it has been pointed out that one can count on General Dynamics UK Ltd to fail to follow their own processes correctly; somewhat ironic, given the process-rich environment that they themselves have created. Most current employees are well aware that the company is not beyond underhand tactics to get 'disciplinary' cases to stick; for 'disciplinary' cases, read 'individuals that senior management don't like' - earlier in the paragraph.

    Senior management is woeful. Planning for, say, a six week program would consist of 4 weeks of inertia followed by trying to get six weeks work into the remaining two week window - admittedly a simplistic example. They do not respond well to opinions contrary to their own and careers have even been damaged for such behaviour. They are not above raised voices and threats and on the whole, senior management is very one-dimensional. Man-management skills are very poor all the way up the company and there is a big disconnect between senior management and the workforce. This could well stem from the number of characteristically one-trick former military officers incumbent in senior management, who curiously seem to regard their Sandhurst background as some be-all and end-all of any debate on ability. It probably worked for them in the Army.

    Recruitment matriculation is unnecessarily high, with naff slogans like "We only recruit the best"; this is generally regarded by most current employees as half-finished, it should continue "and waste their potential and time". While the recruitment of graduates should always be welcomed in any organisation, the line of work carried out by the company could be accomplished easily by hiring reasonably bright former military technician personnel. The company expends a considerable amount of effort ticking the boxes that the outside world see for their blue-chip credentials but at equivalent cost to the people who staff the company; they are treated as labour, no observance to growth, development or training.

    As I understand it, recruitment agencies are warning candidates away from the company, saying if you have option A and option B open to you and option A is General Dynamics UK Ltd, go with option B, even if it is less money.

    Not so much a company culture, more a regime.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEmbrace a more open management style, encourage opinion and demonstrate that you've taken it on board. Invest in training and reject a badly-failing appraisal system. It fails the employees and as a result it fails the company who do not/can never get the best out of them with such an oppressive method of performance measurement.

    Raise your own bar with regard to managerial excellence, most experienced employees who have come here from other companies are disappointed at how low it is. Count yourselves lucky that there is no appraisal system for the way the workforce see senior management.

    It is an engineering company, foster the growth of more engineers into senior management and lose some of the deadwood senior managers that have dug in and invented themselves a role within the company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good salary package, but a career dead-end (if you're an engineer).

    Engineer (Current Employee)
    Newbridge, Wales (UK)

    ProsAbove average salary (for the area), very good benefits package, good work-life balance, not too much deadline-induced stress (depending on the area of the company you're working in).

    ConsNo professional advancement, no technical training given, limited career progression, no recognition, total senior management detachment from staff issues. In the last few years company culture has shifted from employee-oriented to being process-oriented. Most middle and senior managers have very poor man-management skills and some questionable practices are being employed when dealing with 'undesirable' or 'difficult' employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop applying HR buzzword initiatives and start listening to your workforce. Stop putting obstacles in staff''s way and start focusing on their strengths in order to try to raise them up instead of finding weaknesses in order to keep them down.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at General Dynamics UK reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for General Dynamics UK CEO Phebe N. Novakovic. All 13 reviews posted anonymously by General Dynamics UK employees.