Rockwell Collins

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Rockwell Collins Reviews

Updated Jul 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 598 reviews

83% Approve of the CEO

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Kelly Ortberg

(95 ratings)

53% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • A non-trivial number projects in maintenance that provide good work-life balance(in 46 reviews)

  • At the moment, we have some pretty good benefits (week off at Christmas time)(in 38 reviews)


Cons
  • Cedar Rapids Iowa is not an ideal area to retain talented employees(in 65 reviews)

  • No Work Life balance, HR doesn't have the minimum idea of employees needs(in 17 reviews)

598 Employee Reviews
in
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    The sky is the limit

    Engineer (Current Employee) Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsGreat products and the aerospace industry is an exciting field to work in.

    ConsThe aerospace industry can be fickle as you never know when contracts are accepted or cancelled.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo more training for new hires. The training is very impersonal and the learning curve is too steep.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    9 people found this helpful  

    Standard Aerospace: Heaven for the average, Hell for those who excel.

    One of the Technical Bastards (Former Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsPay is OK, projects can be interesting, defense business is relatively stable and can be a haven when the rest of the economy is on hard times

    ConsLet me count the ways... The usual managers who try to substitute attitude for competence, the runaway substitution of procedure for competence, the feeling of drowning in management fads and the acronyms thereof, the idiots from Iowa who are swell guys, but just can't sense the (not always) subtle but profound differences between Silicon Valley and Cedar Rapids, and the department managers who exemplify the Peter Principle and choke progress, the attempts to solve technical problems by political means. What does it mean when signature cycles take not 3 signatures or even 5 or 6, but more like 10 or 12? Or recurrent mistakes lead to an increased number of design reviews, yet the same mistakes still happen? Or you see a bunch of young employees not too long out of school, and a bunch of good ol' boys within walking distance of retirement, but not so many in between?

    Advice to Senior ManagementCedar Rapids is too insular, too parochial, too small a pond. Bring in more executive management from the outside, and from elsewhere other than Iowa. Decentralize to some extent, and try using original thought rather than aping the management fads of others. Most of all, reign in the VPs. If I had the charter to start a new division, I would want to answer to HQ only at the highest level, and have the authority to consider the vaporings of the lesser Gods as advisory only. In fact, I would want the ability to pitch any given one out on his or her ear and forbid their return. They are the single most disruptive and least visionary group of henchmen of all, consummate politicians yet disconnected from the reality on the ground. Clay Jones is OK; he has qualities that are required for a corner office. His public speaking ability is better than average but has the odor of coaching. Clay: save us from the lesser lights: they do not know how to let competence flourish; perhaps they fear it in others. They took the gold standard of the display industry and made dung out of it. What do you do with people who are likeable, sincere, and clueless?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work and lots of fun work but superior performers are in a constant uphill battle.

    Systems Engineer (Current Employee) Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsLocation, location, location. You cannot ask for a better community to work in than the world headquarters in Cedar Rapids, IA. The majority of individuals are friendly and in certain areas we have some of the world premier experts and you can learn a lot. Three weeks of paid vacation in your first year is truly superb. This along with dedication to helping people with work/life balance is one of the best reasons to work for Rockwell Collins. If you're self motivated you can make your own opportunities and leave others in the dust if you're willing to do so.

    ConsTruly superb performers can be held back based on trivial matters. For example, after 8 years of honorable service in the military, doing some of the same things I do now, none of that counts as "experience" because I was enlisted and did not have a degree at that time. I know several people in this same situation.

    Additionally truly superb performers will continue to get work piled on them until they burn out while others slide on by. This is not true everywhere in the organization but there are pockets where this is the norm. I'm not talking about technical prima donnas here who think they don't have to do anything because their so "incredibly smart" but those individuals who excel both at their assigned tasks and perform well beyond their expected job grades to take up slack of more senior personnel.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBreak through the middle management information bottleneck. The top level company vision does not get flowed down to the workers and lower level managers. Figure out that great engineers don't make good or in some cases even mediocre managers and leaders.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    A great place to work with limitless career advancement - in Cedar Rapids.

    Project Financial Analyst (Former Employee) Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsExcellent benefits package. Complete health, dental, vision coverage with very low cost to the employee.

    Generous vacation time allotment - three weeks for new employees, stepping up to four after ten years and five after twenty years. Employees able to accrue up to 2x annual vacation allotment.

    Advancement opportunities are plentiful at the HQ site in Cedar Rapids, IA.

    Genuine commitment to ethics and diversity.

    Increased focus on the wellness of employees - spanning both physical and mental aspects.

    Transparent review and development process, with clearly delineated bonus structure based on performance review.

    Tuition reimbursement, legal assistance, computer purchase programs and other nice perks are plentiful.

    ConsAdvancement opportunities at sites outside of Cedar Rapids can be limited in non-engineering functions.

    Despite having the infrastructure to support it, company is reluctant to embrace telecommuting as a routine option for employees.

    Pay is marginally lower than competitors.

    Bonuses are capped fairly low. An entry level employee might make $5000 in a good year.

    Advice to Senior ManagementActively seek out and embrace new ways of attracting and retaining young talent. Don't let the company's "old guard" dictate culture. Growth demands that the workforce get younger and more mobile.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Company success is good, this does not always propogate through to employee satisfaction.

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsInvolvement in cutting edge embedded technology. Location cost of living is relatively low. Flexibility in work schedule. Prior approval is necessary for working remotely, but in most cases this just requires an email to leadership.

    ConsCompensation may not be keeping up with industry standards. Advancement may be limited by company policies compared with other companies. Work life vs. Personal life balance is not always optimal. Uncompensated overtime is often strongly encouraged.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore attention should be paid to employee satisfaction and reward, specifically loyal employees. I've heard of cases where "new hires" with experience are compensated better than current employees with equal and often times more experience and competency.

    • Work/Life Balance
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    2 people found this helpful  

    General trust in employees to do their jobs without too much meddling by management.

    Project Engineer (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsMarket leader in a fairly stable industry (lately), so job security is there. Opportunities to grow are limited only by your willingness to not move to company HQ in Cedar Rapids, IA. General trust in employees to do their jobs without too much meddling by management.

    ConsOpportunities to advance past director level are limited if you do not move to company HQ in Cedar Rapids, IA. Entrenched policies make life frustrating sometimes. Most of us in the workforce are older, and tend to be set in our ways (who, me? - I just like it done the way it's always been done).

    Advice to Senior ManagementRecruit more effectively. Let managers manage people, not solve (or micromanage) technical issues. Embrace telecommuting/flex schedules.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    6 people found this helpful  

    Rockwell talks a good game, but lacks opportunities for employee growth.

    Senior Systems Engineer (Former Employee) Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsThe best reason to work for Rockwell Collins would be the people. They have outstanding talent and the culture of the non-management people are very helpful and willing to work with you to get the job done.

    ConsNo opportunities for professional growth at Rockwell Collins. They talk a good game but if you are not a new graduate (who they vision as having all the answers) few opportunities to grow. They also have no problem dumping their core knowlege people down a hole. They right off the whole block of people between 45-55 as old and unproductive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGrow the minds you have working for you. Not dull them with unchallengeable work activities.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    5 people found this helpful  

    Great perks and benefits, but not enough meat to satisfy the young workforce

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsGreat place from a new college graduate.
    Located in a decent size city with low cost of living, so it provides new grad the opportunity to save some extra money.
    It provides great benefits - tuition reimbursement for career advancement.

    ConsToo much politics within the upper management
    Low workload at times when management struggles to make a decision on a project
    Many of the older work force is approaching retirement, so there are many young and inexperienced work force.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMany find the City of Cedar Rapids a bit boring - Rockwell Collins needs to invest in the city to retain its young workforce - This is especially important because many of the older work force is approaching retirement.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    7 people found this helpful  

    Pays Well, but Induces Frequent Headaches

    Electrical Engineer (Current Employee) San Jose, CA

    ProsCompetitive salary. Good benefits package. Good for students and people wanting to get acquainted with "industry". Casual dress for engineers and other non-sales folks. San Jose location also has an "every other Friday off" schedule which is very nice. Varied opportunities for every type of engineer: electrical, mechanical, optical, etc. High technical skill level (I've worked with lots of very smart engineers). High quality and workmanship standards. Advancement opportunities for managers seem plentiful (I'm not "management track", though, so this one doesn't really apply for me). Surprisingly progressive as far as being positive toward women, minorities, etc. in the workplace; discrimination is taken seriously and not condoned, even though the overall atmosphere can be a bit "conservative" at times.

    ConsFrequent re-organization. Communication from leadership is often indirect and unclear. It is difficult to determine what you're actually supposed to be doing until it turns into an "emergency". Performance review process is long, complex, messy, and altogether exhausting for both employees and managers. Frequent calls to drop what you're working on and suddenly do something else; lots of things end up on the "back burner" to the point where it is very hard to know what's important. Management does not communicate their priorities very well; communications range from vague to downright passive-aggressive. Employees are encouraged to take training, but then told that there's no budget for training. It often feels as if no matter what you're doing, it's the wrong thing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease try to communicate your expectations more clearly.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Heading in the right direction but this large company will take a long time to arrive.

    Senior Engineering Project Specialist (Current Employee) Cedar Rapids, IA

    ProsEstablished company. Publicly traded. In order to maintain CMMI and ISO levels of accreditation, Rockwell Collins must follow policies and processes.

    ConsConstantly high stress levels for past 18 months. Lean staffing creates 45 to 50-hour work weeks without overtime reimbursement. Management will not allow a week-long vacation for past year due to staffing concerns.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConstant surveillance of middle managers to ensure that they are supporting ethics and diversity through their actions with staff. Unfortunately, a few middle manager still act as if it were 1980 when they could dump on staff instead of delegating (which would help train new leaders within the organization through exposure to the responsibilities of leadership), berate and disempower their teams through statements such as 'you do not earn enough money here to have an opinion on that issue' and teasing a team member in front of co-workers concerning personal habits.
    Hierarchical systems make difficult marriages with team-based structures. Someone needs to tell a few electrical engineers that a Bachelor's degree only opens a door, it does not give them license to be the royalty at Rockwell Collins.
    Team managers have been recently dubbed as career coaches and trainers for their young teams. If these managers did not have coaching skills before August 2008 and Rockwell Collins has provided little training to them, what can be expected from these managers but the same old ways of micromanaging those who excel at their jobs while ignoring a few electrical engineers who are consistently slow performers?

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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