Harris

  www.harris.com
  www.harris.com

Harris Reviews in Rochester, NY

Updated November 6, 2014
Updated November 6, 2014
588 Reviews
2.6
588 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Harris President & CEO Bill Brown
Bill Brown
193 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance - 9/80 work week (every other Friday off) (in 44 reviews)

  • Work-life balance can be good when not on long travel assignments (in 36 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management has forgotten that programs are won based on a competitive technical edge (in 23 reviews)

  • Work life balance is rarely balanced and never to the "life" side (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

58 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    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)

    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.

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

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    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)

    Pros

    Work life balance, nice people

    Cons

    Disorganized, shortsighted, no clear direction, profit over employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lead

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Enjoyed the people, not the environment

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

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

    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).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Harris tries to weather the ups and downs of military contracts by keeping a high percentage of contract employees.

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

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

    Pros

    Harris is one of few remaining electronics manufacturers in US. Company is top notch in technology. The manufacturing lines are new, modern and efficient. LabVIEW is used extensively for testing at all stages of production. There are many years of practical experience making test systems. There are few, if any, larger installations where LabVIEW and TestStand are so widly used and relied upon. Testing is a religion and it is practiced very well here.

    Cons

    Contract employees are a fair portion of the workforce. There is a regular up and down of headcount due to the vagaries of production. There are many in town who want to work here. But because of the abundance, or over supply of engineers, they are very selective, and they do not pay very well. For those who manage to get a direct position, a good amount of effort is spent trying to become "indespensible". Thus many people are not open to share their expertise, the one thing that may save them from being in the next round of layoffs. And layoffs are regular.
        The technology is great, but because of time to market pressure, there are not many new designs. Most are repackaged or recombined pieces of prior products. Similarly for their test systems. Take parts of these old systems and make something ready for release by Tuesday.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work more to develop a larger non-military customer base, to keep the company on a even keel during times of sequestration, and other gaps in military spending.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Ethics on par with that of a used car salesman in a Tactical RF product line

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

    I worked at Harris full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, nice people, smaller company feel. If you love RF, it’s a good way to earn a living.

    Cons

    The claim to fame is that they pack lots of features into an almost military grade product. Reality is that it is often a quickly and poorly designed product, with performance shortcuts under the hood that the customer doesn’t see when reading the spec sheet, but will experience if and when they use the product. If you can live with that as a company culture, you will survive. Compensation is on PAR for the local Upstate NY area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you ever want to be bigger or better than you are, the culture will need to change from one of "get along" to one driven by excellence. Hopefully for you, the niche market that you exist in will continue, but you will never be known as a great radio company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    High stress environment; no pay increases

    Current Employee - Engineer in Rochester, NY
    Current Employee - Engineer in Rochester, NY

    I have been working at Harris full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Stable income, easy transition from military to private sector, full benefit and relocation packages, put the customer first above everything.

    Cons

    Wrong people in the wrong positions, 1970s mentality, uncertain stability, little to no salary increases, top down innovation, unrealistic employee and business expectations, no recognition for success.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Innovation starts at the bottom thru subject matter experts and customer requirements. Stop setting unrealistic growth goals and then not giving pay increases when the business doesn't meet the impossible goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Harris Response

    Aug 21, 2014President

    Occasionally Glassdoor posts to the wrong company. This employee did not work at Harris Communications Honduras

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