Ground Engineering Consultants Reviews
Pros – Some of the highlights are, great if you like hours, rewards field technicians/employees for obtaining certifications, easy to discuss conflicts with MLM.
Cons – A massive work load generates lots of hours but smaller than required windows to perform tasks. Working with a few of the department heads can be difficult but I assume that it comes from their high turnover rate. My second year there was much easier and I found that if they knew you were gonna make the cut you are respected... but that took a long time and a lot of snow days sitting at home. Senior field staff like RP, RW, EC, & JS were sometimes difficult to work with at first but in time became some very valuable encyclopedia's of information.
Advice to Senior Management – Upper management needs to police the ranks and recognize potential of new hires, before the MLM sees it and puts the breaks on it. It is a comic case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
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Pros – You will learn a lot very very quickly. The company will throw you into certification and continuing education programs as quickly as you can absorb them.
The foreman, scheduler and fellow employees are mostly helpful and terrific. This is important as the training goes for about a week and then you're on your own. It's a sink or swim environment. You are responsible for knowing or being able to find specs depending on geo location and job type. You will very quickly learn how to read plans.
Company is currently upgrading trucks (new ones are very nice). Shared equipment is generally poorly maintained. Your personal equipment is your personal responsibility and will be in the shape you keep it in.
Company is currently upgrading computer system. In theory this will make paperwork much easier and faster going forward. Currently this item may actually be a con...
In the summer there is as much overtime as you want. Most techs get at least 60h. It's possible to go a lot higher.
Culture - the guys who actually do the grunt work in the lab and in the field are enthusiastic, helpful and encouraging. This makes working at ground a lot of fun in spite of the demanding work and even more demanding MLM.
Cons – Mid level managers (above the foreman and scheduler) spend very little time in the field. They know very little about about actual time requirements or staffing needs on the job. You will often go into the field without an address for the location, correct specs, plans, scope of the work required, equipment, etc. Knowing this it's possible to correct for it (most jobs are scheduled the day before - leaving time to get the right information).
Time cards - field techs are hourly. Doing the job correctly usually means scrounging info from other techs, spec books, online, etc. This time is free to the company. Lunch is mandatory (and taken off the card) although you will rarely get it.
Temps - many of the techs are temps. These guys are the first to get laid off in the slow season (with no unemployement ins). Temps get no benefits, no days off, no bonuses and are treated rather poorly by mid level. Advice - get off temp status well before fall.
Hazing - this is common for new guys. Management considers it a feature to weed out people who cannot do the work. There are only a few goldbrick techs (most are excellent) but these guys really pile the work on the new guys. Stay away from Z if you're new.
Computers - company is rolling out a new computer system. This will likely help us out in the long run. In the short run having two systems is causing all sorts of problems as both have to be looked at to know what's going on with jobs. The guys without the new machines have no way to see what the guys with machines have done.
Paperwork - it's endless and can easily take up a quarter of your day if you have a lot of jobs on that day. MLM are very against automation. The new computers may help in the mid or long term. Currently this is just something that needs to be sucked up.
Culture - the entrepreneurial culture of the old ground is long gone. There is a rather heavy and somewhat ominous culture of fear in the ranks in regards to MLM. Even the construction supervisor and foremen seem to act in this way. Friends of MLM get better jobs. Non friends of MLM get tough jobs or cuts in hours (worse). It's easy to have multiple bosses and conflicting instructions. To hear someone say thank you - good job happens as rarely as sighting hen's teeth. A thick skin is required as there is a lot of talking down. Some MLM seem to think that this is motivational.
Advice to Senior Management – TL and TF could really use a Carnegie course. Anonymous surveys of employees could help a lot in solving this sort of problem.
A financial audit of MLM could be useful. Some of the policies are so wasteful a reasonable person might suspect fraud.
Micro management by guys who have not seen the field in years is counterproductive.
Information sharing is a good thing. MLM holds info so close to the vest one (and several people have wondered this to me) could wonder if this is done to justify some of the MLM positions. Getting requested information out quickly would also be helpful assuming there is a good business reason to ration it in the first place.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – On the job training readily available
Good people to work with
Never a shortage of hours
Cons – Lowest paying field engineers
Upper management can be condescending to their field technicians
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
Pros – Flexible Time off
Get in shape
Promote from within
Responsive in training requests
Accessible upper management
Awesome Christmas party
Cons – Long hours
Poor Quality Equipment
Reluctance to train
Mediocracy is the accepted norm
High turnover rate
Really High turnover rate
Infamous middle management
Advice to Senior Management – Audit and control middle management. Provide better pay to those you wish to keep. The "Good Old Boy's Club" is in plain sight and frustrating to all those outside it.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend