Solvay Chemicals Reviews

Updated November 11, 2014
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3.1
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Richard L. Hogan
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Solvay a great company to work for!!!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Solvay Chemicals

    Pros

    Management lets the workers run the company. They value the workers input and really allow you to thrive. Solvay will allow you to train in various aspects of chemical operations.

    Cons

    The only con is Solvay Marcus Hook plant is closing. Due to the repurposing of Sunoco Marcus Hook it makes it tough to continue working in Pennsylvania

    Advice to Management

    Countinue to let your employee know they matter.

  2. Site management lacks credibility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Chemical Operator in University Park, IL
    Current Employee - Chemical Operator in University Park, IL

    I have been working at Solvay Chemicals full-time (more than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good people to work with, (fairly) recession-proof segment of the economy

    Cons

    Management at site sets personal vendettas against disliked employees, no fairness in treatment, no training program whatsoever- whatever job you have, expect to have it forever, company has had no clue how to handle a production facility this diverse or this in need of infrastructure improvement and uses spaghetti marketing in it's attempts to maintain/improve processes, weak-sauce union representation- if you make a mistake, don't expect the union to be able to help you keep your job, poor safety policies and follow through on said policies

    Advice to Management

    From a corporate standpoint, move the current crop of managers and engineers on to other locations and start fresh here. The corporate culture at this location is one of distrust and inability to follow through. There is no defined direction except to expect to be walked out the front gate if you make any mistake. Listen to employee suggestions that would improve the processes and process safety at the location. We're all in this together and we all want to make a decent living- there is no need to have such an adversarial relationship with the skilled employees.

  3. Internship

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Solvay Chemicals

    Pros

    Lots of hands on work.

    Cons

    Don't get to learn much about the business.

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  5. Unless something changes, this company is going downhill fast.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Solvay Chemicals full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Old Solvay, before the Rhodia acquisition was a conservative but stable company dominated by a Euro-centric policy. Compensation was average to above average, but opportunities were non-existent for Americans. The new Solvay is much more fast paced. The are many more opportunities for advancement as lots of people are leaving the company.

    Cons

    New Solvay is still very Euro or Franco centric with most mid and upper management opportunities given to ex pats from overseas. Salary targets are now 50% of midpoint in industry, down from 80%. This will slowly lead to a lower quality team. Merger of Solvay and Rhodia has taken the worst from each group, rather than the best. Focus is entirely focused on financials, rather the the business as a whole.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the long term impacts of the changes you are making to the businesses, rather than short term goals only. Spend more time in development and sales, rather than analyzing day to day numbers.

  6. Slow and steady wins the race

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    I worked at Solvay Chemicals full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Long history of innovative products. Stable management teams. Most employees have a true concern for environment. Global company with global product reach makes for interesting markets. People with good ideas can bring them forward.

    Cons

    Since the management is stable and the organization is flat, there is little upward mobility. Though there is a call for innovation, some middle managers prefer to maintain the staus quo to ride out until retirement, thus they can appear to be un-supportive of new ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Find more creative ways to engage more inexperienced employees.

  7. Easy enough job, a trained monkey could run my desk.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Solvay Chemicals

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Company is very paternalistic and really tries to take care of the employees. Salaries are among the highest for the industry, which has its positives and negatives.

    Cons

    Very political atmosphere. Found I had to play along with office politics, while ignoring the nepotism and cronyism to get along. Far too much favoritism.
    HR had way too much power and too frequently interjected in my department's issues when not needed.
    Brussels dictated most decisions,eg., we needed major equipment overhaul; however, we could not get this approved. Somehow the plant is working, but it is scary.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees (rank and file) to do their jobs. My department was (and still is) generally treated like babies and guess what--they grew used to that and behaved accordingly. There are a few personnel issues which have not been addressed. Well one supervisor tried and they fired her. I learned to just do my job and not rock the boat.

  8. Great Benefits, Opportunity for Training, Work from Home environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    I worked at Solvay Chemicals

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There was a small developent group which gave you the opportunity to work on different technologies. All of the departments were very close so you could easilly work out software issues with logisitics, accounting, manufacturing, and hr departments by walking down the hall.

    Cons

    The parent company in Brussels dictated policy and procedures to the step child in Houston. Senior management was "strongly encouraged" to use staffing from Europe on major projects. Training was provided, however, there was very little opportunity since ex-pats were the ones that received the new opportunities. Many of the employees in IT had been in the company for 20+ years so that made for very little advancement. Reviews were held once a year and very little feedback was provided during the year on work completed.

    Advice to Management

    US employees have alot of talent. You should try moving them into key leadership positions and not token opportunities.

  9. Great Company - too bad they sold the polymer business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Chemical Engineer in Deer Park, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Chemical Engineer in Deer Park, TX

    I worked at Solvay Chemicals

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    location, great corporate culture, fun people

    Cons

    All key decisions made in Belgium ... great for Europeans, not so great for Americans.
    They sold off their polymer business

    Advice to Management

    none

  10. Good CompanyGood company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accounts Executive in Mumbai (India)
    Former Employee - Accounts Executive in Mumbai (India)

    I worked at Solvay Chemicals full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    good company to work with

    Cons

    need to improve HR policy

  11. Firm company with successful history both technical and business development.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager

    I have been working at Solvay Chemicals full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good opportunity to learn and increase individual competency. Provide systematic training for developing employee. High degree of freedom to work under own umbrella.

    Cons

    Acquisition activities to be new Solvay is not well balancing for turn Solvay from conservative organization and slow mover to fast moving organization. Doubtful for remaining of old Solvay strengths and people attitudes.

    Advice to Management

    New Solvay is a commitment from top management to be leader and early adapter to competitiveness environment. Remaining only new strength is not the proven to be success in long run. Old Solvay strength is also proven to be 150 years company! Use Solvay original strength and culture as a core and add up new strength with well balancing people management both partners is the key success factor to achieve this challenge.

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