Physical Optics

  www.poc.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Physical Optics Reviews

Updated Jul 19, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 36 reviews

50% Approve of the CEO

Physical Optics Chairman, President and CEO Joanna Janson

Joanna Janson

(26 ratings)

31% of employees recommend this company to a friend
36 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    POC is a balance of Pros and Cons

    Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsJob satisfaction includes some purpose and involved work, wage and benefits are better than most small to mid size companies, appreciation of a job well done by peers and immediate supervisor, coworkers, and location.

    ConsThe lack of clear strategic plans and alignment, key initiatives by the leaders produce outcome deficiency. In general strategic leadership deficiency syndrome in the organization. Many supervisors are put into roles where they are experts in the process but amatures when it comes to management and mentorship.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt is important for POC to educate and mentor the people they see as leaders to insure their success.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Enjoy and value my coworkers

    Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsWorking is more than just a paycheck, its a hobby. Admire and respect many of my peers,

    ConsNew ideas are disregard without consideration. Not enough communication and engagement with upper management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhenever possible, give your employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best. When you do, they almost always find ways to do their jobs better than you imagined possible.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Majestic fa├žade surviving on borrowed time, not worth it,

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsProfessional working force and support staff despite the demoralizing atmosphere

    Cons• No strategic plans, No technology road map and No vision being communicated. The only message is revenue, sales, EBIT and PROFIT without proper planning on how to achieve.
    • With the exception of the “CFO” who should be credited for keeping company doors open, financial planning at departments level can be best described as the “blind leading the blind” self-proclaimed financial planners often push the ethics meter into the red zone, making it hard to properly plan, execute programs efficiently, causing excessive turn over in staff and systematic layoffs that can be prevented.
    • Earned value at best is < .5 % on most programs. Some government agencies starting to realize the embarrassing EV and are asking for additional data in during reporting period.
    • COO is a bully, has not earned the respect of the people and hides behind his title. He is not capable of performing the role of the leader/mentor required for this position. His bullying tactics caused the loss of good people that could have made a difference in promoting the technology, thus making a difference.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop tracking glass door reviews and status, rather spend the energy in understanding the problems as stated in most spontaneous/real reviews, stop the division among Sr. management and more important find a solution to eliminate bullying, distrust and encourage people to openly express their mind without reprisal.

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

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    very disappointing - not the most respectful place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Torrance, CA

    Prosgood place to get writing skills and some management

    ConsThe company has a culture of demoralizing employees at almost every level. Many employees haven't ever come close to commercializing a product (which POC is supposedly in the business of), but still feel as if they know what they are doing. If you are considering working here, keep in mind that your technical skills and knowledge won't be valued. They are hiring you to write proposals. POC has its own way of doing things.
    If you are hoping to do something ground-breaking or like making contributions to your team, this is not the place for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI doubt the management bothers reading any of these suggestions. The management has a way of shunning out the employees. The COO is known for his rude behavior and probably encourages this amongst others.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    People are only loyal as their options

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsFree coffee, tea, and candy, annual Christmas party, wage is reasonable.

    ConsKeeping people in the dark, cultures of distrust and secrecy, lateral disincentives, stack ranking, interdepartmental rivalries, tremendous pressure pushing mostly the technical staff away. Its a miserable work placed when especially leadership refuse to acknowledge major problems.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPeople quit when they feel unimportant, lied to, and exploited. Any time an employee quits, you should be facing some very hard questions. There are several reasons of course but its always a warning sign that all is not right. They're telling you that your workplace is so miserable that another job is better than continuing to endure the problems. If you have employees not yet fully vested in you, what does that say about the company, about you as a leader? People are only as loyal as their options. So, if you want to keep someone, make sure you're the best option. Good people are attracted to good opportunities, and that's that.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    all smoke and mirrors - nothing substantial

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Torrance, CA

    ProsCompany events are enjoyable. There is free tea for employees and free parking. The employees who aren't on the technical side of things seem to like the company. Benefits are very good for a company of this size.

    ConsPOC is not in the business of research or development. It is not in the business of commercializing technologies either. It is in the business of winning SBIR proposals. Most of the SBIR projects done even by masters-level or PhD-level employees wouldn't be worth a dissertation. After getting a Phase II proposal awarded, most projects are haphazardly executed without much thought to commercialization prospects.
    The company doesn't understand the non-defense market, but embarrasses itself by producing ridiculous proposals without any merit. Trying to connect to knowledgable sources within or outside the company is discouraged. Employees are used for their expertise on paper and then disposed of or ignored.
    If the government had a better way to keep track of what happens to SBIR funding, POC would have to answer some tough questions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTalent is not being utilized in this company. There are employees who have had experienced success in technical commercialization prior to joining POC but their experience will probably be disregarded. There is no meaningful communication from upper management. The lower level management provides instruction but no real guidance. Most employees working at POC eventually realize they are being ignored and are a never-ending hamster wheel of worthless projects. They will either leave the company or remain as unhappy (and less productive) employees.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    come for a job, but don't stay for a career

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Torrance, CA

    ProsTorrance is a convenient location to many parts of LA. The staff is good overall. The company events are a nice perk. The benefits are decent, and support for writing & graphics is helpful

    ConsBuilding prototypes and writing SBIR proposals are good skills to have, but most engineers wouldn't consider them careers in and of itself. The business model rests heavily on SBIR funding which is designed to jumpstart small niche companies, not to continually sustain a 'general' engineering company. Much more time is devoted to winning proposals than to capitalize on the current projects. The quality of many projects is nothing to be proud of. If there is a company vision, it isn't shared with most employees. POC has earned a reputation for being a company that churns out proposals, but rarely executes. 'Innovative' and 'forward thinking' aren't the best words to describe POC. The top level management has been at POC since its inception - this is admirable, but also makes introducing new ideas almost impossible. Divisions within the company are siloed and confrontational with each other. The company politics have created an unproductive and less-than-enthusiastic culture.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSBIR funding has been the bread-and-butter for POC for many years, but this 'model' cannot sustain itself forever. POC employees are told that POC has a great reputation, but this doesn't seem to hold true outside of POC. The company will eventually get stigmatized within the SBIR system for producing nothing but worthless proposals. The company has potential to become something more than an SBIR mill, but leadership needs to provide guidance instead of keeping silent.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    testing your ethics

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Torrance, CA

    Prosgood pay
    strong benefits
    some interesting projects
    occasional company events are nicely done
    good supporting staff
    reasonable work-life balance
    hardworking employees

    Conscompany culture will test your sense of ethics - technical achievements, company growth, and other qualities are grossly exaggerated
    most projects amount to nothing but wasted government funds
    working here for too long might ruin your professional reputation
    lots of management but little technical work
    most R&D is made to sound ground-breaking but is quite superficial
    no opportunities for professional growth - people have different promotional titles but have essentially the same job
    upper management has an outdated mentality for developing so-called novel technology
    upper management keeps most employees unaware about nearly all decisions - communication is a joke
    after getting an employee's look at POC, you might be embarrassed to work here
    the company has an overall depressing feel to it - very few people seem to like working here

    Advice to Senior ManagementNon technical staff seem to be much happier than technical staff at POC. The CEO barely communicates to most employees - makes employees wonder if something suspicious is going on. POC touts how successful it has been with commercializing technology, but doesn't say much beyond that, even to its own employees. It appears that management is continuously sucking out more government money, but doesn't want to actual commercialize something. The company appears to be a long-running scam from some points of view, but management hasn't done anything to counteract this.

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

    Physical Optics Corporate Operations responded to this review

    Jul 15, 2014

    Given the inaccuracies in this posting, it seems very unlikely the reviewer is actually an employee. Regardless, this review gives POC another opportunity to provide some facts to anyone interested ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Still learning after almost five years

    Engineer (Current Employee)

    ProsGood people. Good products. Good pay. Convenient location.

    ConsLack of communication w/ senior management. Not as flexible with hours especially for working parents. No perks.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEngage with your employees more. There should be a quarterly company meeting with CEO and the rest of sr. management and let us know the progress of POC. There is still a lack of communication. More supplies are needed in other location than the HQ. Tell each engineer and scientists that you hire, they will be required to write proposals so they are not surprised when they start working.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    opportunities abound - but you have to work at it

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Torrance, CA

    ProsPOC is such a diverse work place that you can do anything you want - you simply have to find someone interested in paying for it (sometimes even POC will pay for it!). It's definitely a place for entrepreneurs and forward thinkers. POC is so far ahead that sometimes people who come from outside can't see it. Monthly financials are published so you can know everything you need to if you make an effort. Anyone want to work for a company that often exceeds 10% annual growth?

    ConsCommunication from senior management could be better, but I've always been able to find out what I needed to know by asking a question. None of my questions have ever been ignored. If you want to work for a company with a flashy and entertaining set of senior managers, then go somewhere else - these people are too busy to entertain you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOffice and lab spaces are looking dated and a couple of the older buildings need a facelift. There was a time when staying quiet about accomplishments (new production contracts, etc) was a good idea - but that time is past. At 200+ employees, POC is too big to depend on "hallway conversations" to spread the good news. I suggest some lunch-time seminars on lessons-learned from recent projects.

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

Worked for Physical Optics? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.