Raven Industries Reviews

Updated August 10, 2015
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Raven Industries President and CEO Daniel A. Rykhus
Daniel A. Rykhus
16 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Engineering is under appreciated

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Sioux Falls, SD
    Current Employee - Engineer in Sioux Falls, SD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Raven Industries full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers are intelligent, friendly, and easy to work with. They are by far the best thing about the company.

    Cons

    Upper management is paralyzed by the decision making process. No one wants to take responsibility for bad decisions so they avoid making them at all costs. Advancement opportunities into management and upper management only come to those who speak the loudest, regardless of qualification. Upper management also has no idea how engineering works, making it incredibly undervalued.

    Advice to Management

    Learn about and appreciate the aspects of engineering and the people that work in the field. They are the creators of your products. They deserve bonuses upon successful sales of products just as much if not more than the sales and marketing team.


  2. Chip programmer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chip Programmer in Latrobe, PA
    Former Employee - Chip Programmer in Latrobe, PA

    I worked at Raven Industries part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I had a great boss. He was very understanding, I was a college student and he was willing to work around my school schedule.

    Cons

    The let me go on Friday due to lack of hours but they didn't tell me they were going to do that until an hour and a half before I was to leave for the day. I had no idea it was coming.


  3. Operator I - Large Machines

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operator I in Sioux Falls, SD
    Current Employee - Operator I in Sioux Falls, SD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Raven Industries full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Quite honestly if you are looking for a job to show up, do the minimum required, and get paid really well for it, then this IS the job for you. Raven pays a minimum of $15/hr for this position if you work days and $17.10/hr minimum for nights. The job is moderately intensive at times but I would never say it is very hard on the body. Most of it is learning how to adjust each machine to do what you want it to do and that comes with on the job training.

    Cons

    On the "flip side" if you are looking for a job that will mentally challenge you, provide opportunities for advancement and professional growth, promote for hard work over "sucking up" to the boss, or anything above and beyond the call of duty then this job or company is NOT for you. I have been working for Raven quite awhile now (more than 5 years). In the past two years alone I have been exceedingly frustrated with not being able to advance in the company. I work hard and work well with others. I go above and beyond as much as I can because I was raised to show up on time and do the best you can at any job you work at. I have tried everything from asking for special projects to offering to come in and train night shifts on new policies and procedures. All of this has been denied or ignored by management and I feel stuck and doomed to be a basic bottom level employee until I retire. The benefits are not as cheap as they could be I believe and you do not have your choice in healthcare provider as they only work with Sanford Health Plan. The stock has plummeted in the last couple years as well by nearly half of its high. There used to be profit sharing, but that went away gradually when the management stated that we did not hit the profit goals despite having several record breaking months for sales and great cut backs in waste in the last couple years. Then to add insult to injury immediately after advising us that we were not getting profit sharing checks, hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded in bonuses to the executive leadership of the company. After that, they are laying off a whole bunch of people and limiting opportunities to make more money within the company by way of overtime or staying late. I personally have tried to save the company money and everytime I have suggested something it goes out the window it seems and no feedback is provided. I once calculated the amount a simple process change would make and it totaled over $30,000. That suggestion was submitted up and nothing seems to have even been considered with it. Now they have completely disabled the suggestion system for it seems half of the computers that we have available to do it. The mission statement states that they want to "empower" employees to make decisions to further advance the company. (not exact wording). The problem is that it seems management is too focused on making themselves look good to their boss that they may think by listening to a bottom level employee might make them look bad in some way. Recently the CEO and our VP had a "discussion" with us and asked us to voice our concerns with nothing "off-limits". While it is understandable the desire for this conversation, there is no way I or many of my peers would ever be candid like that in a "right-to-work" state. When I see co-workers getting fired for getting hurt off the job, or some being ran out the door because they got a shift manager mad, I am not about to poke the angry bear that has already bared its claws.

    Advice to Management

    Stop talking and start doing. A company's greatest asset is its EMPLOYEES. Use them for their actual worth and allow the bright and gifted to become the leaders they can be. Work with us low level guys and start providing feedback that will help the people actually pushing buttons to make the products. Start educating the low level management on how to actively engage and solicit opinion while making their employees feel safe to do so. Also please appoint a liaison from the lowest level to report to the highest levels. This would need to be VP on up. This will allow communication to not get "stuck" in the lower levels. Also if you can give out a bonus to the executive leadership then you should give everyone else a bonus as well. Maybe make it proportional on a level system?


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Very poor and short-sighted decision making.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assembly in Sioux Falls, SD
    Former Employee - Assembly in Sioux Falls, SD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Raven Industries full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some of the people I worked with became good friends. I learned some new skills, but after that training is done, there's nowhere else to go.

    Cons

    Almost everything else. The executive level of management is stuck in a rut of playing it save, which is failing them on a regular basis. The ATD brass claim to want to be a leading technology company in agriculture, but the rest of the world is passing them by. For example, why isn't drone tech being built into the offerings? They also let go of a lot of their R&D engineers during the latest wave of lay-offs. This was one of the most stupid things I've ever seen a large company do. They go over budget on making the HQ downtown pretty, but then screw the employees out of bonuses. The rooftop garden for the execs is where it went. Several of the locations I worked were also emotionally toxic. Crabby people who do nothing but complain makes it hard to come into work every day. Training opportunities are rare, and promotion from within is nearly impossible. After working there four years, I was just over $12 an hour. Selling plasma gave me the gas money to get to the job that didn't cover my bills. I'm glad to be out of there.

    Advice to Management

    Get with the times and realize that you need to look past the current quarter. The people in the factories are the lifeblood of the company, and they feel like pieces of a machine. Treat them like intelligent adults and stop pandering with ridiculous elementary school level games at parties that are no fun to attend.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Was a great place to work until new CEO took over a few years back

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Raven Industries full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people, provided training opportunities, good benefits, fair pay

    Cons

    Excessive spending on remodeling corporate office,then laid off many employees utilizing the facility, implemented new initiatives in 2013-2014 that were not sustainable, company has strong cash position, but hasn't paid bonuses to employees because profit numbers were not met -- the hourly workers don't have control over profit projection and worked hard to meet production requirements.

    Advice to Management

    Walk the talk, the values of authenticity and integrity were lacking by senior leadership.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Not transparent

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Machine Operator in Sioux Falls, SD
    Former Employee - Machine Operator in Sioux Falls, SD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Starting pay is good. Work isn't terribly hard most times. There is a "hurry up and wait" attitude most of the time.

    Cons

    Leadership and upper management is not very clear with the goals or individuals or even the company.

    Advice to Management

    Talk with your employees. Don't just hold quarterly meetings to show sales numbers and stock info.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Deteriorated, broken company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Raven Industries full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Raven has better benefits in the Sioux Falls area, where they are headquartered, as compared to other companies in town.

    Cons

    Leadership is severely lacking - from CEO to lower management. They say one thing and do another. Massive failures are buried under false propaganda of "success". Friends of management can be promoted from technician to director whereas smart, effective directors and executives can be demoted to irrelevance. Watch your back everyday. Layoffs happen every few months because management constantly makes costly mistakes. Newly acquired businesses are shut down. They appear to hide all of that to avoid negative publicity and publish big pages in local newspaper when they do somewhat okay in sales. Lot of fakeness surrounds this broken company. Quality does not appear important in this company. Most products are already behind competition. They can't play catchup because intelligent people are leaving fast. They produce so much plastic! For years they have been throwing plastic in the landfill. Now they have recycling system that helps, but just think - all this plastic they make is generally thrown away or put in/on the land. Your 10th generation will find it when they dig their yard to plant vegetables. Choose this company only if you have no other place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Management is incorrigible. The board must come to its senses and relieve entire top management and majority of directors over the next 2 years. Bring an experienced CEO who is in touch with reality and has guts to accept mistakes. Simplify your products. Get away from the plastic business. Sell off the balloon division and begin investing some of your core technology in renewable energy, data science and tools that expand farming rather than just helping the existing farms. Think outside the box. You guys have so little innovative thinking, management! Be truthful. Have the guts to admit your numerous mistakes. Apologize to the people you so ruthlessly layed off due to your failures.


  9. Dynamic company with leadership that values employees

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Raven's leadership believes that great talent leads to great results. It believes when the community sees the company as an outstanding place to work, people will stay longer and openings will be flooded with applicants. This philosophy created a positive work environment.

    Cons

    The vision of the leadership on how to treat people was great, but it was difficult for that to trickle down through all levels of management and to all divisions. Not all supervisors and managers bought-in to the vision, but overall it was embraced.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to train managers and supervisors in the leadership ideas promoted throughout the organization.


  10. Fair

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Raven Industries full-time

    Pros

    Raven can be a fairly vibrant place to work. It depends, though. Raven has three divisions (currently, at least, because it used to be four), and they all operate basically like separate companies. I work for a remote site, so it's hard to speak to the culture at headquarters in Sioux Falls. All I can say is your experience will differ depending on where you find yourself. It's worth mentioning that Raven has never skipped a merit increase while I've been here, even though our year-to-year performance is dropping, and belts are being tightened. This could be considered a pro or con, but, even though work can be fast-paced at Raven, I think the people are pretty laid back and down-to-earth. Of course, there are always bad apples, but I think overall the people don't take themselves too terribly seriously, and I mean that as a compliment. Also, the work/life balance is good.

    Cons

    First of all, the remote site where I work is being shuttered. So Raven is not doing well financially right now. Also, the vast majority of employees work at headquarters. This is probably common, but I would not highly recommend working at a remote site. All the glam and glory is at headquarters. You see on the inter-company video monitors how they are remodeling and moving into new spaces and hiring in Sioux Falls, while at your site, it's kind of an eyesore, there's little-to-no remodeling and upkeep, and for the past couple years, we have lost people and not replaced them. Also, I don't think training and continuing education is too good at Raven. Now, it *seems* like it might be better at headquarters, but that's just a general impression. But from my end, not a lot of opportunities for growth and cross training. That is all up to you on your own time, in a way. Also, I could be biased from my former employer, but I don't think the benefits are very good at Raven. In my case, they pay 78% of my health insurance premiums, and I have heard of other companies paying a lot more than that. Also, I'm not sure the health insurance options are top notch to begin with, but they're not bad, either. But coverage is not that good overall, considering vision and dental.


  11. Used to be a great place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Raven Industries full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Typical benefits package that is somewhat less expensive than average for the area.

    Cons

    Senior management is unprepared and unqualified for their positions. Lower level management is self serving and clique-y. Back stabbing and bad mouthing are standard procedure. Lay offs are common but done in such a way that it is never brought to the attention of the media. If you are over 40, watch out - there's a good chance you will be one that gets tapped for a lay off.



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