Golder Associates

  www.golder.com
  www.golder.com

Golder Associates Reviews

Updated October 12, 2014
Updated October 12, 2014
121 Reviews
3.1
121 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Golder Associates President Brian Conlin
Brian Conlin
51 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Decent work life balance, salary is ok (in 10 reviews)

  • Employee owned so people have personal interest in work duties (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is a catch phrase and not reality (in 4 reviews)

  • Poor management of some operations, so choose your office carefully (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A great place for entreprenurial spirits.

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

    I have been working at Golder Associates full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Golder is a company of the greatest technical people around given ample opportunity to do the kind of work that interests them. A global company. Employee owned. Flexible work environment is possible in some locations. There is ability to move around the company - different areas of the U.S. and around the globe. The biggest small company around.

    Cons

    The flat hierarchy can make quick decision making a challenge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a way to keep the "big company" feel at bay.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company in serious turmoil

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

    I have been working at Golder Associates full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Employee ownership is the cornerstone of the organization. As the BOD represents the shareholders, they represent the staff at large and not the management. This helps the average employee get their concerns heard.

    There are lots of opportunities for the self starter. Flat management structure allows for freedom to move to different disciplines.

    It takes time, but good, consistent work is eventually rewarded. If you are patient you will not regret it.

    The company is pretty flexible with adjusting to your specific work-life balance needs.

    The benefits aren't the greatest but they are very good and the company really does make every effort to take care of its staff as much as it can.

    Cons

    Exceptionally poor upper management. Global managers lead by fear and intimidation. They outright lie to the business and make every effort to force their agendas onto the company. The result has been layoffs, a reduction in stock price, many failed initiatives, and frustrated clients.

    The global management team is made up of individuals who have been with the company for less than 5 years. As such, they do not share in the company values nor do they understand the business. They have created an environment of fear and hostility and refuse to accept responsibility for their actions.

    Women may find it difficult to advance. There has been a lot of change enacted in the lower ranks over the years but opportunities for advancement beyond the local office requires a lot of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is a big company, but being small and personable is what made this company great. It needs to go back to its roots in order to survive.

    Remove all global managers. Replace them with seasoned leaders who have been in the company a long time and share the values and vision the company is known for.

    Eliminate the command and control architecture that has been installed in the last two years. Eliminate useless management positions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company for entrepeneurial self starters

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

    I have been working at Golder Associates full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    If you are an exceptional seller-doer, you are allowed great freedom to take your practice in any direction you please. Good time off policy with vacation time separate from sick time.
    Only current employees can reap the rewards of share ownership.

    Cons

    With many owners, everyone minds everyone else's business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful not too change the culture too much too rapidly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Stable, well managed organization. Sometimes a bit slow to adapt to changes in industry.

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

    I have been working at Golder Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Stability, mentoring, lots of opportunity for a variety of work.

    Cons

    Work-life balance often poorly modeled.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Lab Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Student Lab Technician in Norcross, GA
    Former Employee - Student Lab Technician in Norcross, GA

    I worked at Golder Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It was a good place to get hands on experience on the testing side of the geotech stuff. Wide variety of test to preform giving a good basis for in the field considerations. Laid back environment.

    Cons

    Large testing samples can get boring. Repetitive work little or no room for growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None, I think it was a good experience with fundamentally sound management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Golder is a very good employer providing opportunities to get involved in exciting projects.

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

    I worked at Golder Associates full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Golder is an employee-owned company and thus each employee is empowered to help the company succeed. The culture is one of transparency where all employees are provided with information such as financial results and are afforded many opportunities to provide input to the direction of the company. The transparent culture of the company also benefits the project managers who have access to niche experts regardless of what office they are in. It results in project managers having the opportunity to staff their projects with the right experts to help meet client expectations.

    Cons

    Not too many cons -- Golder is a well-run company. Perhaps one con is that local management can sometimes exhibit a culture not consistent with the corporate culture that has helped Golder succeed for over 50 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what is needed for the company to succeed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Too many engineers trying to be untrained project managers and have no concept as to what being a PM entails.

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

    I worked at Golder Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Decent work life balance, salary is ok.

    Cons

    The biggest challenge is getting anything done on a project as the more senior engineers are just that.....engineers, not project managers. Who the PM is depends on the day and who says it first.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have people who are trained in how to manage a project do just that. Not selling, not engineering.

    Listen to the people you hire to do a job, trust them to do a good job and listen when the folks at the bottom and middle have an idea.

    Too much bureaucracy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Highs and Lows

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

    I have been working at Golder Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people; friendly atmosphere; emphasis on health and safety. (Please note that this review was written by a US employee, but using "US" as reviewer location didn't seem to be allowed.)

    Cons

    People without background in running a company are running the company; maybe hiring some MBAs would make more sense. Principals and associates seem to be the only people whose concerns are heard or acted upon. Group leaders seem clueless about what those in other groups do, and the managers have zero understanding of administrative workers' duties, workload, or other concerns. Often people are forced to "step out of their comfort zone"--a euphemism for doing work that's nothing like what they were hired or have any desire to do. It's as if they shuttle people around without regard for their goals, skills, happiness, or job satisfaction. Junior engineers are used as field technicians. Not enough training is provided to admin people; if they're given new software, they usually must fend for themselves. Admin people, who may have a wide array of skill sets, are treated as if they are interchangeable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to employees at all levels, not just principals and associates. When there are layoffs, give the changes some time to have an effect before you plunge into slashing more jobs. Stop spending money on flying leaders around to meet with each other, especially when times are tough financially--don't just give lip service to cutting out nonessential travel.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Former Support Employee

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

    I worked at Golder Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pros of working for Golder is they do offer a good work/life balance. This is speaking from the perspective of one who was in an administrative support-type role. The pay is decent as are the benefits with one exception, they do not offer paid maternity/paternity leave. Golder is a global company and not all offices are created equal. If you do accept a position here and have the flexibility to do so, and good marketable skills (i.e., you are an engineer or other technical type), it would be advisable to get your foot in the door, get to know Golder and where the good offices are, network, and then transfer as soon as conceivably possible to one of the better offices. If not, it's a good place to gain experience and then leave. Support staff, I can't really say that same flexibility would be available to you.

    Cons

    The company is dysfunctional and is very much a consultancy in that they cater to those who do project work and bring in the money. If your in a support role there is little to no respect for you or what you do, and as another person had said it borders harassment. Want to do something about being blatantly mistreated? You will not have a soul to turn to who will take you seriously or do anything about it. There is also a really high turn over rate in the support roles and for a reason. The only ones treated with any respect are the P&As and the big money earners. Responsibility-wise some support roles have super unreasonable expectations where you are expected to know everything, be everything, do everything and with no training what so ever this includes even knowing technical knowledge many spent years learning on top of being the perfect assistant. Do something wrong, you can expect to be yelled at publicly. This is quite common.

    Annual review time is basically one big free-for-all granting each employee permission to go out and start anonymously ranting about employees and what they hate. It's not really handled with any level of seriousness or respect and you are basically at the mercy of your boss, and bonus your annual pay raise is solely determined by this review. If that person has questionable ethics, you can forget about being treated fairly or receiving any sort of constructive criticism, and for that matter a fair raise. You are given the illusion that you have some say in it by selecting other employees whom you trust to provide a good review of your work. However, you may find in the end little to none of the people you selected were actually approved by your boss to provide said review.

    Office culture wise it is largely really unpleasant although if you look hard enough you will find some really good people. Again, not all offices are the same. I have experienced some Golder offices which provided a much more balanced environment. It is hard to find those offices, and when you do, it's harder to get in. Technical types - network, network, network. The ones that are super dysfunctional make for a really horrible work environment. Gossip and immaturity rules to the extreme. I've never in my life seen anything like it. The gossip grape vine runs wild and deep here. It's advisable watch your back at all times.

    Also worth mentioning, some of the management and policy setters have questionable ethics and are known to do or say whatever it takes to satisfy the client and their wants and expectations, particularly the oil and gas clients, whether it's true or not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting people to management who have absolutely no business being there. Be willing to admit you made a mistake when you do promote the wrong people to high level positions and importantly do something about it. Treat support staff with more respect and have policies in place you are actually willing to follow where there is a defined process and outcome for misbehavior and /or up to complete removal of those in management (even if they are a P or and A). Sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it is not acceptable especially in this day and age. You want your company to do well? Treat all employees with more respect. Yes, even the support staff. If they are happy, your clients will be happy and the company will do better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall good employer

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

    I have been working at Golder Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    High in technical expertise, good benefits and flexible. Corporate leadership is excellent with committed management team. Good for personal growth opportunities

    Cons

    Poor management of some operations, so choose your office carefully. Intra-office competition seems high. Collaborative aspect needs work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Concentrate on supportive atmosphere

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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