Layne Christensen Reviews

Updated March 24, 2015
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1.8
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David A.B. Brown
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Worked at the company many years through many changes.

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

    I worked at Layne Christensen

    Pros

    The field level employees are highly dedicated. The lower and mid level operations management is focused on being succesful, supporting the people that get the work done.

    Cons

    Senior management has transformed the company where it is being led by the finance and accounting departments. The biggest failures the company has had have resulted in changes due to finance department convenience that is forced on operations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out who grows the beans, and who counts the beans. Which one is more important and focus on their needs not the background noise from the other.

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

    The company isn't doing so well.

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

    I have been working at Layne Christensen

    Pros

    My job allows a great deal of freedom for me to do what I feel needs to be done. I am very fortunate in that respect; most people don't have that.

    Cons

    I have counted four lay-offs within the last three years. I expect to lose my job any day, and it's been like that for years. In the division where I work, there is definitely an "inner circle" and the rest of the unwashed masses. Don't expect to be treated according to the quality of your work. Don't expect to be treated with compassion, or even understanding, if you have a crisis. There is no room for advancement because so many people have been laid off already with the expectation that their positions will be deleted. The upper management gives lip service to improving the technical knowledge/skills of the staff, but it's just lip service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When it comes to figuring out why a system doesn't work, don't ignore the comments and observations of the people who do the manual work. They have no preconceived ideas of what they are supposed to see, and they are perfectly willing to paint a picture for you if you just give them a chance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    A Future Case Study

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

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

    Pros

    I have worked with Layne nearly 10 years and witnessed a lot of the change that has put Layne in its current position. I wanted to leave many years prior but the field-level employees are some of the best I have ever been around. Everyone is extremely friendly and everyone has this understanding that we're all on a sinking ship but the sense of loyalty is still ever present. Not wanting to let down people I consider friends is the only reason I show up everyday. Some of the inept operations and middle managers have left for greener pastures. Though it's put a strain on the current employees, it's better that they're gone.

    Cons

    Where to begin...
    -For far too long operations managers and division presidents were allowed to run rampant and make decisions that were quite frankly short-sighted, idiotic, and down right unethical. I'm not convinced that some people don't belong in jail. Corporate-level management either knew this 100% or were too self-absorbed to notice. When a high-level, corporate manager tells you that a former employee is starting his own, competing business, but that that same employee is going to stay on in a consultant's role to guide business decisions, then something is wrong.
    -The accounting department is way out of touch with the business model. If Layne were a factory pumping out widgets and digits, then our accountants would be good. But Layne's business is unique and no two projects are remotely similar. So trying to fit a round peg in a square hole has been the accountants' approach. Though field-level operators have complained for years that our accounting is doing more harm than good, we are usually told we should just trust their judgment and not complain. Everyone at Layne would love to only pick negotiated contracts with established fees, but a lot of our business model has us competing for hard-bid contracts. The accountants don't understand that business model and continue to believe another spreadsheet is the solution. Though we heard numerous complaints about the competitive bid market, no one ever offered alternative approaches.
    - A completely out-of-touch leadership. The old CEO wanted everyone to know he went to Harvard, but his attitude toward employees was certainly the reason Ivies get that pretentious reputation. He came by the office I worked in once. Never introduced himself or made any personal approaches. Had a 20 minute meeting and back on a plane. Sadly the new CEO hasn't done any better. He seems uninterested in the employees and quite frankly not suited for the position.
    -You're just a number at Layne. No one above my immediate supervisor knows my name nor cares to learn it. I have worked long days and nights the entire time I've been at Layne and never have received so much as a thank you, let a lone a bonus or real recognition. I have been on projects that have actually made a profit (a rarity) and not a single person noticed. No one from middle management up really cares about employees.
    - There has been a lot of turnaround in the last 5 years and zero attempt to replace or maintain. I would wager the percentage of employees has fallen relatively with the stock price.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is going to have to realize that to get out of the current disaster some investments are going to have to be made. Investments on people, equipment, processes, etc..... The CEO had best start making some personal outreaches as well. The ivory tower is not the best place to run a business and if he doesn't care, why should we? Also, the ones that are left; the ones that have shown commitment; those people need raises and bonuses and genuine support for their efforts. I honestly believe if Layne loses as many people in the next year as it has in the past, then go ahead and file for Chapter 11.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    This company aspires to be Radio Shack

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Phoenix, AZ

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

    Pros

    Not many given all the cuts and reductions that keep coming our way

    Cons

    About 3 years ago their was an announcement that the company was moving from Mission Woods to Houston with the promise that this was positioning the company for a move to the big time with lots of opportunities in a huge market and our new energy services group would lead the way. We arrived in Houston broke with no money to spend on the big plan which was the reason for the move. I've worked in 3 groups while I've been with the company and have watched things deteriorate especially fast in the last 5 years. Sell this, sell that. No money to fix our equipment then we stack it. I'm told the money we raised was mostly lost in poor contracts and now us guys in the field have been told to tighten the belt more. The new talent we hired to to help has all bailed out. Noone knows what will happen next.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We have to do something new. We can't keep going the way we are.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. Transitions can be painful

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

    I have been working at Layne Christensen

    Pros

    Actively seeking solutions to business issues

    Cons

    Every company has cons - even Layne.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Let's get real for once

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

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

    Pros

    Beautiful view of Lake Woodlands from some of the most expensive office space in town. Office space we cannot afford.

    Cons

    I'm not big on posting reviews especially of companies. You seem to get only the extreme or outlier positions. Either the company is as warm and comforting as Grandma's kitchen or it's an uncaring, awful place to be. Here are some facts. I joined over a year and a half ago and not a single assurance made to me has come to pass. There is no work/life balance here, no pay raises and no bonuses just vague assurances things will get better. No explanation of exactly how they'll get better or when. The company is on fire and executive management is clueless about what to do. After a 7 month search we finally found a new CEO. The guy seems nice but so does everyone at the outset. He comes from the software industry apparently because no one in the energy or construction industries was interested. Fortunately, one of his first acts was to let the Co-COOs go. That's at least one step in the right direction. He replaces the Chairman who was acting as interim CEO although flying in from "The Vineyard" for a taxing 3 day work week hardly seems like much of a commitment to a company in financial duress. We now have 3 CEOs on the payroll, the last two that got fired and now the new guy. We lose money operationally at an alarming rate and no one seems willing to address the operational shortfalls. Our vendors are worried, our customers are not happy with our poor performance and our lenders are bound to be in a panic. After watching this horror show unfold I now understand why the CFO, CAO, Chief Compliance Officer, Risk Manager, VP Finance, two (yes two) SVPs of HR and almost the entire international accounting staff all resigned in utter disgust. Everyone in my group is looking to bail out now that the new year has arrived. Only 2 divisions make any money; the others are disasters. Just look at the segment reporting in the 10Q/K if you don't believe me. Mostly absent or clueless operations managers continue to sign up disastrous fixed price contracts that everyone knows they can't perform and which invariably lose money. Please stop this insanity. Sell the company and try to salvage something before it's too late.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire an investment bank to sell the company. Maybe a private equity firm will step in, take out the current shareholders and create some value for a later IPO and give the employees some sort of chance to get their careers back on track.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. What a shame.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in The Woodlands, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in The Woodlands, TX

    I worked at Layne Christensen

    Pros

    Wish I could think of some other than some really nice people that work or worked there.

    Cons

    The most disjointed, confused, lack of direction management I was ever associated with. Guess that explains why all the top management has turned over (many not yet replaced because the company has lost over $100 million the last few years) since mid 2014.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some management and a profitable plan put in place quick or the company will have a new name.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. Where is this company headed?

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

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

    Pros

    This company has a long history but in the last few years has lost its way. I just don't see any clear path forward.

    Cons

    I'd need a lot bigger space to write the cons than I have here. IT systems are broken, financial reporting is almost impossible just for starters.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. Good place to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Nice enviroment , good like work balance

    Cons

    No growth path because of the size of company

  11. 2 people found this helpful

    The Dream Subject of an MBA Student Writing A Thesis

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Senior Consultant in Kansas City, KS
    Former Contractor - Senior Consultant in Kansas City, KS

    I worked at Layne Christensen as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The culture. Met some great folks during my (short) time with the company. They truly cared about the legacy and future of this enterprise. Close-knit relationships were the norm. I saw loyalty in bunches, which was displayed in the number of folks who packed it in and took a chance in a new market.

    Cons

    As a Consultant, I've worked in many industries, for many employers, in many regions of the country, so I have a unique perspective.

    A few points:
    1) I've never interacted with more unqualified Middle Managers in Corporate Ops. And many were completely disengaged.
    2) The move to Houston was completely unnecessary, a huge risk of capital, and robbed a KC-based company that had been around for 100+ years of its unique identity.
    3) Communication- a nightmare. At times, I got the feeling that nobody knew who was steering the ship, what the needs of the crew were, etc.
    4) A lot of outdated systems (IT infrastructure).
    5) Executive hires with strong resumes, but interpersonal relationship-building/leadership skills that were lacking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't take your workers for granted. Give them the tools they need to succeed. And although it is an impossibility, go back to early 2013 and don't move.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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