Harris

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Harris Reviews in Rochester, NY

Updated Jul 13, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 46 reviews

44% Approve of the CEO

Harris President & CEO Bill Brown

Bill Brown

(16 ratings)

57% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The 9/80 work schedule has definitely kept me from leaving the company despite several other offers(in 29 reviews)

  • The project I've been on for 3 years has a great work life balance(in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • The newest slogan is "do more with less" so the work-life balance is skewing(in 7 reviews)

  • Upper Management likes to out source your job once they see that your work is complete(in 11 reviews)

46 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Excellent place to work.

    Software Engineer IV (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsProjects are exciting and there are many to do. Pay is very good and hard work can lead to promotion. Good benefits wih occasional work at home policy when needed.

    ConsRedundancies in competing product lines are frustrating and recent engineering outsourcing strategies are very concerning.

    Advice to Senior ManagementClear the lines between product management and engineering. Engineering decides how products are built and product management has final say in what the product should have.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Industry leading products, no vision, moderate/poor growth prospects.

    Level V (Former Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsGood products, high quality. Good work/life balance. Future vision is all around improvements in internal operating efficiency, not a man on the staff can tell you a vision for the future though. But they can tell you their cash flow improvements in 2018 and beyond.

    ConsClosely held and healthy division management. No hope for a new executive or high level employee to advance. A "dead man's shoes" advancement pace that is slow based on the mid-50's age and excellent fitness level of Sr management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart smoking; or grow the business by entering new markets rather than buying your own stock back. Create some opportunities for middle management to grow their careers.

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

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    13 people found this helpful  

    Company Going Through Great Change and Cost Cutting Despite Market Leadership and Awesome Revenue

    Engineer (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsWhen I was brought on board at Harris after 9/11, the atmosphere was super optimistic among engineers, managers, and even factory workers. The company was growing quickly and people felt very appreciated and part of a team. Everyone felt empowered to pitch in at any capacity necessary to get a sell, make a customer happy, and create outstanding products. Contributions were evaluated on the basis of merit and many times great ideas were proposed and implemented through the efforts of factory workers and even janitorial staff. At the same time, engineers and other professionals did not hesitate to empty trash cans, clean lab space, etc., if needed for a customer visit. Employees regularly worked significantly more than 40 hours per week and were extremely excited about doing so. Harris was largely a vertically integrated company where skills were put to use at the most effect place. The atmosphere was electrifying.

    ConsAll of that started changing about 4 years ago. Despite continued growth in revenues, employees started being told that times were extremely tough and that the company had to take extraordinary measures to survive. Every 3 to 6 months, employees began losing benefits and salary. Layoffs have become a yearly occurrence and, as a result, delivery schedule and quality of products have suffered tremendously. For example,

    * The average engineering compensation has been decreased more than 10% over the past 4 years - not including adjustment for inflation.

    * Tuition reimbursement has been reimbursed to less than 1/3 of what it was.

    * The vacation days between Christmas and New Years have been eliminated.

    * Medical premiums have doubled and deductibles have quadrupled.

    In addition, over the past 6 months or so, Harris has been bidding on contracts with such limited staff and turn-around time that costs for significant (> $10M) contracts are being bid at firm fixed prices without more than cursory analysis.

    The funny thing is that senior management has acknowledged all of these things and has told employees that these kinds of measures will continue. For example, there will be no raises for employees in 2014.

    The general feeling among employees is that the company is for sale and that senior management is trying to pump the stock price before dumping the company on an unsuspecting buyer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpper management has been very honest with employees regarding their perception of the results of their policies. I cannot imagine that upper management could read this review and disagree. But, why? My advise is to reverse the steps taken above. After all, Harris has very few serious competitors in its markets and revenues do not necessitate such actions. -- Otherwise, sell the company ASAP before the brand equity is destroyed.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good people, outdated processes and management style - in need of a culture change!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsThere are many excellent employees working here, passionate about meeting customer needs.

    ConsThe management and processes are very outdated - old boys club at the top with limited new perspectives, focus on development or modernizing. The company is in desperate need for a culture change, and the current CEO and leadership don't seem to be interested in providing it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn modern management techniques, promote new and younger minds - get diversity in perspectives at the top vs. the same people who have managed within the company for over 30 years.

    No, I would not 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  

    Poor employee experience

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsThe products serve our military, firefighters, and police. Knowing we make a difference in protecting them is very rewarding.

    ConsNo pay raises in years. Health care benefits cut and cost increased. Holiday schedule changed, less time off. Very slow to accrue vacation, have to be there 10 years to get an additional week. Mid management in engineering is very poor to the point of being ineffective and useless. Corporate management is only interested ii the shareholders.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Back stabbing culture @ RF Systems

    Program Manager III (Former Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsRF Communications in Rochester NY, great area to raise family and cost of living is decent. The non-management workforce are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

    ConsNo life work balance. Culture is all about making the sale regardless of what where you stand or the organization, you're expected to sacrifice family for the good of the company. If you're part of the inner circle you can do no wrong, management will blame others to protect the few that they chose.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe open minded. Give opportunities to outsiders who joined the company from other organizations or competitors.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Look elsewhere if you want a long term career.

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    Pros- Talented and friendly coworkers....even though most of them are not staying for long.
    - Lots of different state of the art technology projects and opportunities to work on.
    - Working culture is very different among different teams.
    - Lots of opportunities for hopping to different teams (if your supervisors/managers are friendly)

    Cons- 9/80 does NOT apply in most area
    - Ridiculously low annual salary raise compare to similar job function in the market.
    - Basically do nothing to retain talented employees.
    - Cut back on many benefits and expect further cuts.

    Advice to Senior Management- Some direct supervisors (non-managers) for level 1,2 in the lower management are clueless even in the standard of management 101. Too many layers of management in the lower-mid tier decreases job efficiency and satisfaction.
    - Pay more attention to the market condition (not just the local market!) about retaining the talents in specific job function. In certain area, one good worker can be more efficient than 5 not so good ones.

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

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    Excellent engineers, nice people, great enviornment, but lacking in focus and overall communication.

    Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsAs the title states, great people, great technology and what you are doing saves lives and really makes a difference. The lower level supervisors and managers are wonderful and they really work with you to try to make the company better and your work experience better.

    ConsThe upper level management is very much disconnected with lower level management and employees. The company often does things completely contrary to what they say they will do or are planning. Yearly raises are low at best and the only way to get ahead is to take on a lot of responsibility in order to try to get promoted. There is so much bureaucracy and processes that many things that should be trivial are complicated.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet in better touch with lower level management and employees. Focus more on quality instead of on meeting some schedule to make another sale. Learn to say 'no' to the next contract and expertly finish the ones you have.

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

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Used to be the best company for growth, not anymore

    Software Engineer II (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsGreat people, great ideas.Greates job satisfaction ever in most cases!
    Decent environment. NOW they want to grow and change.

    ConsHorrible comunication internally. Not growth possible at this moment. They don't value of the personal or the software engineers. Raises are none existan. Benefits are been downgraded.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease, change the business logic from the 1991. Stop waiting for the military markets to rebound! Listen to the young engineers, we are here to help our company grow, not to take your jobs!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Over Worked and Under Paid

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Rochester, NY

    ProsThere is no doubt that the work that we do here is very meaningful to war fighters. I and several people that I know have been approached while wearing Harris shirts by soldiers thanking us for making products that have saved their lives.

    The employment stability used to be very good at Harris. This is starting to change and there have been several rounds of low contributor layouts. There is a hiring binge right now to keep up with work demands so we shall see if the layoffs com back again.

    ConsThe main issues are pay and aggressive scheduling. Most projects have planned in unpaid overtime expectations in order to stay on cost and schedule.

    As has been posted here many times over the past few years, the raises company wide have been 1-2% while the company free cash flow is hitting record highs. The executive management is driven to post double digit growth and when we did meet those expectations (and exceeded them for many years several years ago) the salary raises were still in 4-6% range.

    Health care benefits took a major hit this year and corporate tried to sugar coat the reduction and lied to blame it on Obama care.

    The yearly profit sharing bonus was reduced from a floor of 2% to 0% which in effect reduced the salary of everyone by 2%.

    Because of the poor pay raises many individuals high very high performance have been stuck at their current level and been denied promotions. This has created a large number of 3-10 year experienced employees that have left because they are unsatisfied with Harris. Management is finally starting to notice the attrition issue and still have resisted changing compensation practices.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay across the board has gotten to the point that we cannot hire anyone but the most desperate engineers. All the good engineers are leaving and we end up scrambling to replace them.

    While we are finally beginning to hire more people we are still critically understaffed. We need to stay staffed at a reasonable level at all times.

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

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