IEM

www.iem.com

IEM Reviews

Updated January 10, 2015
Updated January 10, 2015
16 Reviews
3.4
16 Reviews
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Madhu Beriwal
12 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A Good, If Challenging, Place to Work

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

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

    Pros

    First, I have to say that IEM hires some amazing people. Because of our multi-disciplinary approach to pretty much every project we undertake, I've gotten to work with some brilliant people who are at the top of their fields. I can honestly say that I have learned more in my almost 10 years with IEM than I have in any other job I've ever had.

    I also have to say that I really respect the ethics of this company. I've heard stories from friends who work for other contractors where some of their business practices are ethically questionable at best. The owner/CEO of IEM has a strong belief in doing the right thing the right way, and that is reflected in the comments of our customers.

    Cons

    IEM is a unique environment, no matter what office you work in. It takes a particular personality type to fit in at IEM, and if you don't have it, you probably won't be happy and probably won't last long. Unfortunately, it's a tough environment to explain or quantify.

    My least favorite part of working at IEM is work-life balance. While there is some flexibility in working hours, whether you do project work or you are on the administrative side of things, getting the job done can sometimes mean long hours, with evenings and weekends involved. It can be really hard to have a personal life, and sometimes it is really hard to schedule time off or vacation (or actually take the time off you scheduled). Sometimes you have to be really aggressive and assertive to be able to take time off.

    Another big problem is the lack of opportunity for professional development. The company doesn't provide any, and if you do it on your own, you do it on your own dime. That can be really frustrating because you can feel like you are stagnating, and the job can sometimes get monotonous.

    One other challenge is the lack of opportunity for advancement. Basically, unless you move in to management (which is not an easy thing to do), there is no way to advance, and transfers to other departments or directorates to advance are extraordinarily rare. Rumor has it that a career ladder offering opportunities to advance is in the works, but that has been talked about at least since I started at the company. I'll believe it when I see it.

    As far as salary goes...I'm not sure how we we compare. I've heard from people in certain disciplines, mostly in the software development area, that our salaries are low compared to similar companies. In my own position, salary seems to be on the low side of average based on the survey's I've seen. Raises can be tough to come by because they are based on the success of the company, not on any kind of set COLA or anything like that. In good years, you do well. In lean years, not so much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have fantastic people working for you who really respect the company, the management, and what IEM stands for. Invest in them. Pay them well, give them the chance to improve existing skills and gain new ones...on the company dime. Help them find a way to balance doing a fantastic job for the company and having a fantastic life outside of work. Employees who aren't verging on burn out are happier and more productive than ones who are.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Many great aspects

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

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

    Pros

    There are a number of strong positive aspects of working here. The people have to be at the top of the list; you work with intelligent, knowledgeable, capable, dedicated people for the most part. You will get to know a number of great people here, learn from them, and respect them. The ones you don't respect tend not to last forever. I don't think there are many jobs where you have quite the same sense of being surrounded by good, talented, and fun people.

    The company also has some very strong values. Being privately owned by a single person, it's a company with a very specific moral sense--the owner's. Not having stockholders, we can afford to do what's right even if we make less money. And because this business is one woman's personal domain and achievement, it is unlikely to be sold to a huge, faceless corporation any time soon.

    While the company needs to make money, the focus is definitely on doing an excellent job for the customer in return for that money. Equally satisfying to an employee, the work we do is all about helping to keep people safe. You can feel good about what you're doing in a way that you might not if you were, say, selling useless widgets or marketing junk food. And let's face it--it is very rewarding to know that you are doing top-notch work, not just "good enough."

    Most employees have a good deal of autonomy in doing their jobs. You get assigned a task, and you get it done. In most areas, there are processes to follow, but you still have a lot of control over how exactly you accomplish your goals in the time available. Micromanagement is limited, though some managers are worse than others. Generally, a talented employee is given largely free rein to excel. If you want to advance into management, you can do it. At present there are not a lot of opportunities for advancement besides the management track, but they're working on that. Even without a formal promotion, excellent workers are quickly noticed and given more and broader responsibilities.

    I hear stories about other work places, where incompetent people are promoted and shuffled around until they find a niche where they can do relatively little harm. Where shoddy work is the order of the day. Where different parts of the company compete and stab each other in the back, instead of supporting each other. Those things are infrequent aberrations at IEM, not business as usual.

    Although its offices are often located in fairly conservative places (Louisiana, North Carolina, Utah), the company is receptive to gays and lesbians, and makes room for people of all (or no) religious faiths as long as they don't impose their beliefs on their fellow workers.

    The benefits seem to be comparable to what other similar companies offer. However, there are a number of additional perks. Flexible hours--really flexible, not the usual "flextime" that means you can choose between working nine to five or eight to four--make it easy to schedule doctor's appointments or suit your work time to the actual work flow. We have casual dress for those who don't work directly with customers--again, not khakis and button-down casual, but shorts, T-shirt, and flip-flops casual if that's how you roll. There is no drug testing unless it is mandated by a customer, since employees are trusted to be professional at work and law-abiding at home unless they prove otherwise. While all positions are salaried positions and therefore have no official overtime, overtime pay (at regular rates) can be approved when necessary. Different managers have different levels of generosity where this is concerned, but it is rarely abused because most people are desperate for more time, not more money.

    Some people consider it a "con" to have a single owner who is often involved in the day-to-day business operations. Truthfully, sometimes this can have serious drawbacks, when you do not agree with that owner. However, in the end, she is a very savvy businesswoman who built the company from a one-woman show into a 300+ employee enterprise. Those predicting the downfall of IEM will be surprised by its tenacity.

    Cons

    Work-life balance here can be quite challenging. The culture is one of driven excellence; each employee is expected to be willing to do what it takes to get the job done, and done well. While there are flexible hours, there are also often demands for things like overtime and weekend work, and few allowances made for real-life priorities. Some people fail to take all their vacation time; some constantly cancel plans, or just avoid making them in the first place. A few fight valiantly for their personal time, which they must do to maintain that balance, but sometimes there are repercussions. You must fight for your time, because the company will be happy to let you spend it all working.

    Formal professional development is not much supported at this time, but there are ample opportunities to learn on the job by doing different kinds of related work. If you want to take a class or get a certification, though, the company rarely foots the bill and there is no policy on that at present.

    My impression of salaries is that they are comparable to what other companies pay for similar positions, but I don't have many points of comparison. It is true that raises and bonuses can be limited for several years at a time when the company experiences tougher times--such as during the recession that began in 2008. The lack of opportunities for internal advancement without going into management also mean that it can be easy to top out the salary levels offered for one's position. (When you are a Senior Planner, you can't be promoted further without ceasing to work as a Planner. So your pay raise options slow considerably at that point if you continue doing the same job, even if you are great at it and would make a terrible manager.)

    The company is quite friendly to women and minorities (as it is owned by a minority woman), but holds everyone to the same high standards. If you are a woman and willing to work long, unpredictable hours and produce excellent work, you have an equal shot at a management position compared to a similarly inclined male employee. I don't believe that any specific maternity or paternity leave is offered, though regular sick time and vacation can be used, as well as FMLA leave without pay. It seems like it would be very difficult to be a single mother (or father) of small children working at IEM, though partnered parents seem to manage better with a little support from their spouses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    IEM has the most amazing people. People (in the form of services) are essentially what we sell. If we could nurture those people more, and give them more opportunities for work-life balance, we could build on that strength instead of finding a bunch of new amazing people on a constant replacement schedule. Things improve for a while, then go back to craziness again. While IEM offers very fulfilling work, some people like having a life outside of work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company/Associates

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

    I have been working at IEM full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great working environment and the associates are wonderful.

    Cons

    None at this point. Everyone/thing has been a blessing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great atmosphere of collaboration between smart people and flexibility make this company a great place to work!

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

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

    Pros

    The whole organization collaboration makes this place an awesome work environment. That mentality comes from the top down, starting with the CEO, who has embedded the culture & idea of working together to create solutions whether internal or external ones as a mainstay of the company. She works with employees across all levels of the organization which is a wonderful experience. Add to the collaborative culture, the flexibility of time to balance work and real life makes this a wonderful organization to be a part of!

    Cons

    IEM is a unique environment and not everyone fits here. The company often keeps people onboard long after it's clear the employee is not a cultural fit.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good Starter Job with possible opportunities for growth.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Statistician in Baton Rouge, LA
    Current Employee - Statistician in Baton Rouge, LA

    I have been working at IEM full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Most importantly this company gives you the opportunity to work on many varied projects which exposes you to a wide-array of statistical problems to solve. They also do not box you into learning a "company language" so that you can float freely between using R, SAS, Python, or whatever else you choose to be your problem-solving language of choice. Company has a handle on that work/life balance needs to exist. Also of note is that company is very flexible with schedule and has a casual dress code which is a plus for a position like Statistician that rarely meets with clients face-to-face.

    Cons

    Salary is a little below-average compared to what similar companies offer. Because your work is mainly done through a contract basis, there will be seasonal lulls in your workload. Some of the primary clients are interested in deviating from the norm in terms statistical analysis, which can be frustrating at times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to create a better advancement path as well as offer better tangible benefits. While the culture and work life is great, sometimes its counter-acted with less than average pay for the position.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Not a good company- Steer clear

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

    I worked at IEM as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Only pro to working for this company is that you have a job

    Cons

    -Difficult to move up in this company
    -They will let you go without any notice for no reason (referring to contract work)
    -CEO/Owner is not a good person
    -They do not pay well

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start valuing your employees. Get out of the contract sector if you can not handle it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Long term satisfaction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Confidential in Morrisville, NC
    Current Employee - Confidential in Morrisville, NC

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

    Pros

    I love how everyone is so friendly but still retain professionalism. So many of the staff have tenure for 10 or 20 years plus. When the HQ relocated from LA to NC many staff moved state in order to continue their career. I think that's an amazing testament to how great this company really is. I couldn't imagine working anywhere else.

    Cons

    The benefits are mostly competitive. I suppose there could be more career opportunities... but like most other places I have been, it's down to the individual to make their aspirations known and then work towards them. I don't agree with some of the previous reviewers. In my experience many staff have either moved roles or been promoted. It's very doable if you have the skill and drive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Million dollar bonuses would be welcomed :)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    IEM

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

    I worked at IEM

    Pros

    work life balance career pro

    Cons

    work life time off cons

  10.  

    I would look elsewhere, company has gone downhill

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

    I worked at IEM full-time

    Pros

    Somewhat flexible with work-life, although they will work you to death.

    Cons

    Used to be a great place, but the structure became much more rigid. Management is out of touch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    D.T.A. (Don't Trust Anybody) in Management

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

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

    Pros

    There are a lot of talented staff here. Some very knowledgeable individuals. Depending on program, can definitely feel like you can make a difference. Have ability to pick up some new skill sets, and take responsibility for new projects/roles.

    Cons

    Problems start at the top. Pay is terrible, benefits are nothing special. Expect to have little to nothing in your annual review. Too many in management feel it necessary to knock you; make one mad, and people can turn in an instant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house in the upper levels.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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