Pros – Just got the overall results of our employee satisfaction survery and every category but one improved since last time, and the one just stayed the same. Also just came off another very fun and successful "Picnic With a Purpose" where all employees are invited to get together for the "company picnic," but engage is really fun games resulting in supporting a chartible cause. This year is was playing "Minute to Give It" games (like Minute to Win It), resulting in huge donations of games and all sorts of supplies to after school programs. Last year is was filling a huge truck with food for a soup kitchen. We have also done things to suppoort soldiers in war zone. Like nowhere I've ever worked before. About to implement a huge new system, too, that should make workflows/loads way better than it has been for a very long time, both for us and our agents Tons of people have contrinbuted (sacraficed!) over the last couple of years, but about to get delivered on time, and they say on budget. Never seen that happen before.
Cons – Small company, with some challenges. We'll have a shiny new policy admin system soon, but work still do be done with other technologies. Website is awful. It'll take awhile, but I think they're all lined up in priority order. Still some pretty parochial thinking managers/leaders, but the mix has been changing with a bunch of new people over the last several years with good experience at bigger companies. Pretty sure all of them came here for the culture and ability to have an impact, not for the money. What I hear anyway. I suppose I could list other stuff that may not be great, but this is the best work environment I've worked in over the last couple of decades, and I get to work with people who I actually trust!
Advice to Senior Management – Company seems to be on the right track overall.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – They had great benefits, great group of coworkers.
Cons – The management didn't seem to notice when some people were not working and others were doing all of their work.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – Senior management seems to have a good idea of the strategic direction they want to take the Company. Employee morale and engagement outside of IT is very high.
Cons – The Company relies too much on Country Financial for IT resources. Country's philosophy, objectives, and level of customer service are not in alignment with MiddleOak's. Mid level and some senior management have an elitist view of their employees, even to the point of calling them "underlings" to their faces. IT Management does not empower and mentor as much as intimidate and bully. Project managers do not do a good job of managing risk, but instead force software changes to be implemented with inadequate testing. There is a near zero tolerance for programming bugs. On another note, the health benefits are incredibly expensive. If you are in the process of interviewing with MiddleOak, do yourself a favor and ask to see the health benefit price sheet. Make sure you're sitting down when you see the numbers!
Advice to Senior Management – Keep an eye on IT Project management. A PMP designation is not a guarantee that the individual can manage projects that can make or break the Company.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
Pros – Because it is a small company, you get to know your immediate coworkers fairly well. Most of the people here are nice to deal with.
Cons – MiddleOak is very much a put your head down and do your work kind of place. Socializing between employees is minimal, and mostly work related. Not a very social environment. I feel the company has little direction in where it's going in the future. Being a small, mutual company, its competitive position in the marketplace is fairly weak. The worst thing about working here are the computer systems and workflows. None of the systems communicate with each other, and getting the information that you need is extremely difficult. The workflows in place are extremely flawed, and changes take forever to implement. Not a very mobile organization
Advice to Senior Management – We need a new, centralized piece of software where we can access all information we need to get our jobs done. Workflows really need to be scrutinized and revised to be more efficient.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
Pros – I think here are very few companies anymore that walk the talk as well as this company does in terms of ethics, doing the right thing, fair claim settlement and overall respect of employees. The ones who complain are often the ones not holding up their end of the bargain and are probably under scrutiny by their manager. Not always the case, but I think often it is.
Cons – Small company with typical small company problems. Most are related to many aging systems that cause a lot of inefficiency. It also seems like anything that needs a lot of IT involvement takes a log time or never gets done. Not in the loop to understand why, but it's frustrating. The upsides still far outweigh the downsides here.
Advice to Senior Management – Get more in touch with the people on the front line. You say that you care, and most of us believe that you do, but we also don't see you very often other than in formal meetings. One thing a lot of people don't know is how accessible and open most of you are, and that is a missed opportunity for you and employees who have good ideas they don't know how to get to you, or are afraid to.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend