Rockwell Collins
3.0 of 5 594 reviews
www.rockwellcollins.com Cedar Rapids, IA 5000+ Employees

Rockwell Collins Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 594 reviews

                             

83% Approve of the CEO

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Kelly Ortberg

(93 ratings)

53% of employees recommend this company to a friend
594 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "A non-trivial number projects in maintenance that provide good work-life balance"
    in 44 reviews
  • "The Cedar Rapids headquarters has some of the nicest people in the world working there"
    in 37 reviews
Cons:
  • "Cedar Rapids Iowa is not an ideal area to retain talented employees"
    in 64 reviews
  • "No Work Life balance, HR doesn't have the minimum idea of employees needs"
    in 16 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Worst Worst Worst if you are looking for technical growth

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    Hyderābād (India)

    ProsGood pay, benefits, Flexible timings Brandname

    ConsBad management
    No much work life balance - Have to spend nights at the office
    Even when there is no work, need to spend 9 1/2 hours in the office atleast
    Bad work - Completely testing in India
    Lot of pressure

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't create false statements during interviews that the candidate will be placed in development section only.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    The bad far exceeds the good.

    Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    Tustin, CA

    ProsGood co-workers and winter shutdown. Probably a good place if you're fresh out of college.

    ConsToo much responsibility given to offshore contract workers (not qualified for majority of the tasks).

    Below average pay.

    Promotions based on seniority rather than skill/knowledge.

    Long hours due to poor analysis/requirements and overly optimistic scheduling.

    Some co-workers are unprofessional. They will claim completion on incomplete tasks (to fulfill a goal for their annual review), and end up passing the buck to another employee.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to use contract workers, hire local US employees. Don't allow unqualified engineers to continually write confusing non extendable software.

    Stop believing that any engineer can accomplish any task. Instead, assign engineers to tasks that fit their strengths.

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

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Company is a dead end for a career they set up hr to write these reviews

    Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsLow expectation of work you can sleep at work

    ConsPros – Very conservative financially. The company does not take risks unnecessarily.
    Cons – Management and culture are a mirage. Management is horrible. The answer to every bad plan is to ask people to work overtime. The culture is extermely politically oriented. There are a lot of marketing campaings to make employees believe things are great, but the sad reality is that there is a culture of fear everywhere you look. Many people have just given up. I would not be surprised if this company took a turn for the worse soon because management has surrounded itself with people who say yes wihtout questioning, and engineering has learned to hide the problems until they move on to another position.

    More

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet a real job

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    4 people found this helpful  

    Unethical Cesspool of Discrimination

    Electrical Engineer (Current Employee)
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    Pros• Living in Cedar Rapids (for North Dakotians only)

    • The cesspool allows you to break into the defense field (gets you security clearance) – if you care for it, that is.

    Cons• Living in Cedar Rapids (for everyone else)

    • Cedar Rapids is notorious for flights in and out cancelled during winter. December through March you are pretty much held incommunicado from the outside world in the icy fortress of Cedar Rapids (the three-hour shuttle ride from Chicago O'Hare to CID offered in lieu of the flight does not count).

    • Company recycles old and unwanted warehouses and abandoned buildings throughout Cedar Rapids: if you get hired by Rockwell Collins, chances are you end up in one of those buildings retrofitted for office space.

    • Company lures new hires with an above-average sign-up bonus. Worry not: they will more than make up for it in the upcoming years by giving you 0% pay increases and/or by ranking you in the bottom 10%.

    • Unless you are a principal engineer, you get cubicle, not office – if you are lucky. But even more likely is that you'll end up in a pod – a large cubicle partitioned into four or eight stations where you get to sit in a corner.

    • All workstations are arranged in a such a fashion that anyone can sneak up from behind unnoticed and see what is on your computer screen.

    • Constant reorgs: musical chairs are played at a rate of as often as every six months. .

    • A propensity for 7 o'clock meetings.

    • Software engineers enjoy a nice 60-hour work week.

    • Company is extremely heavy on corrective action. The fascist HR will railroad you toward any corrective action plan you manager may devise against you – no question asked.

    • Managers at Rockwell have all graduated almost entirely from either Iowa State or U of Iowa. You can safely estimate your own chances for success within the company.

    • Glaring incompetence at the managerial level: a typical new Rockwell manager is around 35 years old who has worked exclusively for Rockwell Collins for about 10 years and has only a Bachelor's degree (an added insult to his being Iowa graduate, of course). Thus, it is common that graduate level engineers (MS's, PhD's) are managed by someone with inferior academic credentials and less experience.

    • Rampant nepotism and buddy system, which for you as an employee means that not only you have to constantly suck up to the manager (a healthy work environment, as we call it in this country), but to his buddies as well. Buddies, however, can be easily spotted as those who: a) frequently have lunch with the manager, b) strut around the office like peacocks, c) emulate manager's body language and manner of speaking, d) more likely to come out of manager's office laughing rather than rumpled, e) frequently given floor at the meetings to run off at the mouth while manager is sitting and nodding, and f) glower at your from under the eyebrows (with the consequences, of course).

    • Glowering from under the eyebrows is routinely practices across the company by the management and their buddies. You know you are toast if you've been glared upon by any of them.

    • At Rockwell Collins, you will be discriminated if you are perceived to be any of the following: llliberal, color'd, furner, or Californian (from any state which has normal economy where you can walk across the street and get hired by a competitor). All outsiders are universally hated at Rockwell Collins, period.

    • Ranking is required to have an upper and lower 10% of performers, where the money taken from the lower 10% is redistributed towards the upper 10% (trickle-up, the Rockwell Collins way). Quite naturally, all manager's buddies end up in the top 10% and all the four categories above are in the bottom 10.

    • Company is full of bullies, whose behavior is encouraged by management (who else?). Bullies are always manager's buddies and vice versa.

    • Company lives in a permanent state of lay-off. Oftentimes, the undesirables are corralled into one group which gets downsized next.

    • Managers are trained to disdain any experience outside of Rockwell Collins. Thus, while working at Rockwell Collins, you will never be asked "How much experience do you have?" and always "How much experience do you have AT ROCKWELL COLLINS?" (All signs point to the collusion in the matter at the highest level.)

    • Intense brainwashing and propaganda: computer classes on how fortunate you are to work for Rockwell Collins come up at a rate of once per month (or often) – woe to you if you get behind on any of them (unless you are manager's buddy, of course).

    • A pathetic clown for a CEO: Rockwell Collins is one of those hi-tech (or so they think) companies where a CEO does not have an engineering/science background. Well, it shows (see the above).

    Advice to Senior ManagementSince much helpful advise has been dispensed on this here site and yet apparently disregarded by Rockwell Collins management, the only advise left is to please rid this world of your presence – it will be a much better place without you a**holes...

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

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    Management Heaven

    Senior Systems Engineer (Current Employee)
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsEmployed for now, maybe I can last until I retire... or find a job I enjoy.

    ConsCuts to everything, benefits, pay, profit sharing, 401k, pension gone a few years ago, medical.
    The culture has become one of duck and cover. No management support for engineers or their decisions. If someone in power does not like the answer you are out.
    The corporate surveys are a joke, they ask no hard questions only feel good to make the company look responsive.
    A recent restructure in Quality has led to knowledgeable workers being let go and idiots elevated.
    Quality leadership has not one person with any experience in Quality operations. Absolutely doomed to fail.
    Lean has become a power tool to destroy anything done by anyone with actual knowledge.
    They added 4 more steps to the 4 step PDCA cycle... how Lean.
    All proven quality tool and philosophies are renamed some from of Lean. Confusion is the result.
    New tools which have shown excellent results are cast aside due to not invented here.
    EVERY outsourced job has been a failure. The Indians and Chinese cant code verify, design. Several led engineers, technical manger senior technical managers were fired when they kept bring up issues and costs of the outsourcing and management refused to accept the problems.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire 70% of management and hold the rest accountable to become enablers to help the engineers and workers to perform... no micro manage or misuse their power to break their subordinates down. .

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

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    Poor Management.. Benefits reduced

    Senior Electrical Engineer II (Current Employee)

    ProsUsed to be ok.
    Have to look over shoulder every month for layoffs.

    ConsOver 10 rounds of layoffs in last year.
    Management does not listen to employees on any level.
    Management does what is their best interest.
    Management fails to resolve conflicts.
    Performance sharing always reduced to near 0 levels.
    No talent retention plan.
    Layoffs never impact management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRestructure and release management. Do not need one manager for every 7-10 employees. Improve lines of communication and follow through.

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

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    Lack of Training in Company Policies, Procedures and and NO Management Support

    Senior Systems Engineer (Former Employee)
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsGood Pay and Benefits. Nice people. Quiet Area of the Country. Good place to raise a family and quite a laid back, relaxed lifestyle.

    ConsNO Domain Training Received and career expectations were never set during initial job interviews and prior to on-boarding. While the job description may state what expertise one must be capable of having there was no formal introduction into any type of technical specialization which one must be capable of to perform their job well, including lack of knowledgable management who understand their employees and their management trainees.

    Additionally, since Rockwell Collins focuses on small subsystems in the entire scope of airplane development, there is no incentive for management to do proper training for any engineers to understand the entire Commercial or Military Airplane Domain (or full System) which the Rockwell hardware and software is only a SMALL part of by being a supplier. One important aspect for all displays based Systems Engineers is they should have an understanding of the pilot's point of view, if dealing with commercial airline display systems, for example; or if they are involved with cabin entertainment systems, the Systems Engineer needs to understand the human interface point of view and be trained in human factors engineering, assuming they are coming to Rockwell with a different professional background. All in all, systems engineering IS NOT a supported activity by Management at Rockwell Collins. Systems Engineering should be accomplished and help grow the business by supporting the design and improvement of avionics or any of the multitude of other products that Rockwell Collins produces to make the customer satisfied with the products and services they receive from their suppiers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRockwell Collins should learn from the Defense Industry by using procedures and processes that have been successfully advanced in saving the customer money, and making programs turn out well; that would involve the management and project engineers understand what goes into Systems Engineering. Systems Engineering is not at all a way to just design a small box or subsystem and then test that the subsystem achieves what it designed for in the first place. It is truly a bigger picture field and expertise which requires the implementation of processes, procedures, and design to make a customer successful thereby making Rockwell Collins and the Product Team successful.

    The Systems Engineer should work side-by-side with Project Management, Lead Engineers, Project Engineers, AND the customers to deliver products which everyone is proud of, no matter what the timeline. Systems Engineers need to be fostered and their goals achieved through communication and proper introduction into whatever the program or project they are thrown into when starting to work at any job, but in this case, Rockwell Collins itself.

    Overall the management and leadership needs to understand what really goes into systems engineering, and not focus so tightly on their small deliveries, each delivery may seem like a black box to the customer, but especially in high tech design, every blackbox from every supplier must fit together. It's essential that all suppliers be allowed to work together and that the ultimate customer allows such interactions. One last comment, projects need to be Cost+ and should never be Fixed Price!! Stop that product development cycle, and really focus on the final design for the end user.

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Can't figure why this company has any customers

    Electrical Engineer (Current Employee)
    Melbourne, FL

    ProsAs another reviewer said, free parking.

    ConsThey will preach ethics to you until you choke, then routinely pressure you to falsify data, mislead customers and overlook non-compliance with company policy and government regulations. A very abusive environment for employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementClean up your act. Eventually, you're going to get caught.

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

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Terrible culture and dysfunctional work environment due to wrong leadership

    Commercial Systems Engineering (Former Employee)
    Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsPros – Cedar Rapids good for family life.
    Great business growth since mid decade, although doubtful future prospects.
    Technical work is boring or interesting depending on role and project (but terrible management and culture is a huge drain and makes it not worthwhile).

    ConsCompany propaganda: Rockwell Collins is about Integrity and goes by the book on principles.
    Fact: For people that are connected inside the old boys/gals circle, Integrity and ethics are mere convenience. They can juggle and flip it any way they want to suit their own agendas. Key people in Management, HR and Ombudsman are involved in behaviors that Rockwell should not be proud of. In addition, what I see from other bloggers and what I heard and saw inside the company is not encouraging.

    Company propaganda: Rockwell middle managers in Engineering are focused on providing customer value and will put themselves on the line to achieve it.
    Fact: Middle managers and long-time engineers are coasting along and need scapegoats to pass the buck. New hires with experience in other companies are particularly vulnerable. HR mentioned during new hire orientation that it is not what you know and are capable of doing that matters in this company but rather who you know.

    Employee is made to believe: Engineering managers and long-time engineer old boys/gals have good intent but it is just difficult personalities leading to difficult team dynamics. Rockwell Collins has an inclusive work environment.
    Fact: Persistent and deliberate bullying and displacement of talent at Rockwell Collins perpetrated by people who are confident they have the support to get away with it. New employees especially with experience from other companies are easy target.
    Fact: There is competition inside Rockwell on who excludes whom and people going to great lengths to edge people out. The rat race is encouraged by Management itself as some others in this blog have alluded to.
    Fact: Average talent base at Rockwell. Lot of people coasting along with no incentive to do real and great technical work, and many are doing work without trying to change the status quo. If anyone new comes along that have differing views, then just squash them. Paper pushers thrive. Crony behavior is rampant. Outsourcing to Asia, steep growth and density of foreign workers in Cedar Rapids as a proxy for competent leadership. Rockwell does not have it in its DNA to create a strong global culture either. Foreign workers have complaints about Rockwell as well.

    Myth: We are a global company and respect diverse views. We know how to manage change & we build trust everyday with employees.
    Fact: Employment of U.S based engineers and employee satisfaction in the U.S are now closely linked to supply-demand characteristics of the global labor workforce. Management inevitably uses the path of least resistance to satisfy urgent psychological (ego & arrogance). If they have any disagreements with anyone, an easy step is to dislocate that worker and get a foreign worker that will obey all commands and orders without disagreements even if it is wrong for projects and products or better still just outsource the work to Asia to improve cost competitiveness.
    Respect for foreign born workers is very low in this company. If you are a foreign-born or foreign worker, spare yourself and don't venture in this horrible company. The company lacks diversity when it comes to synthesizing different viewpoints.
    They think 'Global' means ordering Asians to complete highly technical work tasks and expecting Asians to bow down in complete silence and respect while having low respect for Asians and looking down upon them in certain disdain. There are many Engineers here like that, if you like that in todays workforce, maybe you should join. But don't expect this culture to last long.
    Company leadership is unable to create teams where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBring in decisive leadership and promote people who can execute with the right mindset and reasons.

    Do not expect positive business impact when you use fear, intimidation, rumors, coercion and other shenanigans on employees.

    Treat employees very well. Don't treat them like sheep and cattle. They are your most important assets. Come out of management hubris and create something reasonable for the knowledge based economy.

    Command and control style works only in a predictable world where Rockwell can peacefully rest with a half hearted attempt in complex technology while ignoring disruptive technological innovation and trends globally. The least Management can work on is create a superb culture that breeds new thinking. Right now, Managers I have seen due to various cirumstances do exactly the opposite at Rockwell. What they do is contrary to what is necessary for today's global and dynamic workforce with global competition where customers are international.

    Give leadership based on compassion a try. Include it in your corporate values. Develop empathy in leaders although it may not be first nature to Rockwell managers. It helps in developing people, teams and in developing products that your customers deserve. It will also help reduce costs. It is sound business practice to learn from industry insiders and outsiders. Have an open mind to learn from employees who come from outside Rockwell with a different take on your products and development process and are trying to help. It is good for share-owners.

    Start thinking about a culture with global mindset without being completely unfair to U.S based employees. Respect foreigners and foreign born US employees. I mean True Respect! Not show business and dog and pony efforts that this company is adept at. It requires real leadership and not cheap arrogance, favoritism and cronyism.

    Embrace change. Bring in management leaders that understand change and innovation and importance of culture amidst rapid change. Treating people who do real work like cattle is not the way of the future for society.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Unethical Company

    Principal Manager Program Management (Current Employee)
    Richardson, TX

    ProsNone of this is good

    ConsLaying off thousands of employees without compliance with Warn Act. Targeting layoffs at high salary engineers using bogus rating system where L2 and L3 determine who gets what rating which essentially takes the rater out of the loop. If you got a restricted stock bonus that hasn't vetted your laid off. Very unethical from the top down

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo the right thing.

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