Harris Reviews

Updated March 28, 2015
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  • Rochester, NY Area
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2.7
61 Reviews
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Harris President & CEO Bill Brown
Bill Brown
26 Ratings

61 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Working here has been a good place to work.

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

    I have been working at Harris

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay for the area and good job security.

    Cons

    Too much management and the atmosphere has changed to very disappointing atmosphere with constant change to corporate.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people

  2. Helpful (3)

    Contractors Beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Embedded Software Engineer in Rochester, NY
    Former Employee - Embedded Software Engineer in Rochester, NY

    I worked at Harris

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    DoD work Joint Tactical Radio

    Cons

    They will bring contractors in from out of state and then fire them with in several weeks. They will tell the DoD that they can't get the right people to work there to explain why they do not make deadlines.

    Advice to Management

    If your contractors did not do a internship there you should give them more time to come up to speed (several months not weeks).

  3. Helpful (2)

    Mechanical Engineer II

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer II in Rochester, NY
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer II in Rochester, NY

    I have been working at Harris

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Harris provides an excellent work life balance. With Harris's products supporting our military and fire and police communication there is a strong sense of purpose to the work.

    Cons

    Declining benefits year after year. Compensation struggles to keep pace with inflation. Government budget cuts is putting a lot of stress on the future outlook.

    Advice to Management

    Although he is unpopular with most of us in the trenches, Mr. Brown appears to be improving Harris's efficiency. Most of the issues I see are with entrenched long time middle management that is reluctant to change.

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  5. Good for White collar; Bad for Blue

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Office Worker in Rochester, NY
    Current Employee - Office Worker in Rochester, NY

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Decent salary, nice environment. Good location. Vacation/Personal time is adequate. Good place for engineers to start out. Some leadership is great at mentoring.

    Cons

    Deadlines can be unrealistic. Job performance and compensation can be at odds. Better opportunities for development can be found. Other leadership can be terrible at mentoring and tends to play favorites. Seems to happen more on the manufacturing floor.

  6. Helpful (1)

    Was a great place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Rochester, NY
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Rochester, NY

    I worked at Harris full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Products serve an honorable mission. High tech work. Fast paced environment. An amazing amount of work gets done for given budgets and schedules.

    Cons

    Total compensation has been going down (including benefits). Layoffs are frequent. Company has a culture of low appreciation for employees. Theay are viewed as a simple cost. This has been driving out the best talent.

    Advice to Management

    You need to invest more in products (up 9%) than you do in dividends (up 12% again) and stock buy back (another $100 Million).

  7. Helpful (3)

    Downward Spiral

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great People and 401(k) Plan. Work-Life Balance is commendable, especially with flexible work schedule. Tuition reimbursement is a plus as well.

    Cons

    Cronyism Management with no Strategic Plan for growing the business. Too much cost/schedule tracking and zero innovation. Pay for performance is touted but not followed. Annual 2% pay raise budget does not keep pace with inflation or market average.

    Advice to Management

    Need some new blood in senior management that is familiar with developing products in a commercial market environment.

  8. Helpful (7)

    Closed minded and arrogant, clueless

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development in Rochester, NY
    Current Employee - Business Development in Rochester, NY

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance, nice people

    Cons

    Disorganized, shortsighted, no clear direction, profit over employees

    Advice to Management

    Lead

  9. Helpful (3)

    Incompetent executive leadership: at least a couple of the company's units are underperforming due to poor management.

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

    I have been working at Harris full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are a few success stories out there that seem to help keep the company afloat.

    Cons

    Double standard with respect to holding executives accountable for their own incompetence and poor decision making vs. setting employees up for failure and punishing them. Executives make snap judgments and develop dispositions based on limited facts and overly discount the valuable inputs of experienced employees in the field. A litany of issues have existed for years: weak talent, poor recruitment, product quality problems, over zealous cost cutting, no professional training programs, no strategic marketing plans are but a few of the challenges this company has failed to address.

    Advice to Management

    Stop managing for the share price and your golden parachutes you are focused on. If your customers are not satisfied, if your employees are demoralized, your stock price will not hold. Hold executives to the same standards of performance as the employees. Eliminate teflon executives who keep their jobs or get ahead on the backs of employees they abuse or dismiss. The company needs to understand its markets, its customers, and be open to understanding the broader trends in the Information Technology and Communications space.

  10. Helpful (9)

    If you're a prospective employee, avoid at all costs. Not sure how much longer I will tolerate it before I leave.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Vacation starts at 3 weeks accrued and carry over 2.5x vacation earnings, gradually goes up to 5 weeks.
    - 100% 401k match until 6% (match starts after 1 year, fully vested 4 years later)
    - Sick time
    - Coworkers
    - Flexible schedule

    Cons

    Bill Brown is ruining this once great company. He is constantly replacing veteran executives with his buddies from UTC and McKinsey & Company. Yearly cuts to benefits. Healthcare is not affordable anymore and covers nothing. The mean employee raise has been <2% for the last 3 years, it doesn't keep up with inflation and pay is substandard to begin with. New candidates are turning away offers (I don't blame them). Existing talent is leaving. The new profit sharing schedule virtually guarantees the employees a pay cut and goals are purposefully set to be unattainable. Meanwhile the executives are seeing 50-150% cash bonuses compared to their base salary.

    THE LIES. Corporate blatantly lies to us, telling us these are difficult times and that we need to aggressively cut costs to remain competitive. Then they turn around and tell the shareholders that there is "strong free cash flow" and the company has a strong positive outlook. They use this cash flow to buy back stock at a rate of nearly $400M/yr (this was $200M/yr with the previous CEO). Dividend increases have been steady at ~12%.

    An employee satisfaction survey, administered by an independent company, was given in April 2014. The category with the lowest employee satisfaction was "pay and benefits". The responses were compared to similar companies and showed Harris notably lower than its peers. The RF Communications division, in particular, was substantially lower. Company executives started a task force to address the worst performing categories, but pay and benefits was conveniently ignored. I think that tells you everything you need to know about this place.

    Advice to Management

    I understand you want to collect your million-dollar paychecks. Fine, do that. However, you need to realize that the success of this company comes from the ground up. It starts with your employees. A happy, healthy, well-compensated employee base isn't cheap, but it pays dividends in the form of productivity, innovation, and quality, among others.

    Harris is extremely profitable, almost excessively so. You can easily afford to give us 3-5% raises each year plus a meaningful bonus without noticeably affecting your bottom line. Morale is at an all-time low, you know how to fix it. Just fix it already. Enough with the games before it's too late...

  11. Helpful (3)

    Enjoyed the people, not the environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Co-op in Rochester, NY
    Former Intern - Software Engineering Co-op in Rochester, NY

    I worked at Harris as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people at Harris are great. My team was really friendly, and I actually still keep in touch with them.
    The work is pretty cool too. I enjoyed working on a radio and they follow pretty standard software practices.
    The pay was excellent considering I was an intern.

    Cons

    The environment just was not for me. Opening my lunch box to show I was not concealing anything got old real quick. There were also a lot of rules for what you could and could not do (I understand this is necessary to ensure security, but can really make the office very boring).

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