Southwest Power Pool Reviews

Updated May 2, 2015
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3.5
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Nick Brown
3 Ratings

10 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    One of the best things going for engineers in central Arkansas

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Engineer in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Engineer in Little Rock, AR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Power Pool full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good compensation and benefits. High level of job security as a non-profit regional transmission organization. Down to earth employees, transparent company, approachable CEO. Almost guaranteed a 10% or better bonus. The new SPP energy market system is interesting and provides more variety in job opportunities.

    Cons

    Being "evolutionary not revolutionary" can be frustrating if you're an innovation kind of person. Things change slowly at SPP and there are plenty of hard heads in management. Overachieving is not rewarded and habitual slacking is not reprimanded. "Time served" is too much of an influence on the promotion process. Bad managers can linger for years.

    Advice to Management

    Have a defined reward for an employee obtaining a PE license.


  2. Helpful (1)

    A great company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer II in Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Engineer II in Little Rock, AR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Southwest Power Pool full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture, great benefits, competitive salary

    Cons

    Sometimes long hours were required for engineers.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to find ways to inspire productivity through positive reinforcement.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Don't work here unless you are a manager!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Engineer in Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Operations Engineer in Little Rock, AR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southwest Power Pool full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you keep your head down and never say anything you will never get fired. Even if you don't do much work you. Promotions depend solely on your boss so if you find a good boss then it is easy street to collecting paychecks.

    Cons

    The first thing I would like to say about SPP is that it is a culture of insanely risk-adverse people. If you are the type of person that is into process improvement or making things better then you should never work here. Time and time again my ideas of making things better by reducing manual labor/human error were shot down. The reasons for this were because managers don't want to deal with the "extra work" of changing things, don't want to deal with the possibility of something going wrong even if there is eventual benefit, and they don't want to listen to your ideas. SPP is the kind of company where engineers that have a business need for extra RAM, monitors, or a $20 ergonomic mouse are given the run around while SPP spends tons of money on fancy buildings and useless toys with the company name on them. They really don't care how much your hand hurts. You had better just bring your own mouse and keyboard. SPP is the kind of company where employees have to complain for years before the company will adjust the thermostat despite people walking around in jackets during summer or reduce lighting levels while employees unplug their light tubes and tape cardboard to the windows to save their eyes. SPP is the kind of company where someone can sit around for years collecting a paycheck and be the same level as you. Where someone who has never written an application, changed a process, or lead a project can become a senior engineer and you are stuck at level two even though you have been there years longer. Yes, this really happens. It doesn't matter how hard you work. If you have a lame duck boss then you will never get anywhere. SPP is the kind of company that hires an outside manager who opens the flood gates to middle and upper level positions for all of their buddies at other companies and then all of the current employees have to stay in their current positions forever. SPP is the kind of company where the manager of the group has no idea what he is talking about and his interruptions of the meeting to talk about his kids or ipad are dragging the project off-track and causing misinformation between groups about what is possible. SPP is the kind of company that will reprimand you because a customer didn't like the font color in an email you sent to check up on their progress. Even though that customer was obvious being over the top and got fired less than a year later from his company. Your boss would rather hold back your promotion and raise over a font color then have to stand up to his opinion. The stakeholders are always right. Even if they game the market. In the end, all of your exhaustive efforts are not appreciated or noticed. They are overshadowed by your human-mandated flaws. Don't worry, Dilbert. You are only human. And after all there are better engineering jobs on the outside! Yes it is true. :)

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and stop the blame game. Take accountability. Ask for employee input instead of saying you will and then never follow through (example on custom cubes for new building). Give promotions and raises to people doing a large amount of the work. Get a gym/work out facility. Be more humble with spending on technology and building projects. Review all of your managers and cull the fat. Create opportunities for creative employees.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Constant change

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Little Rock, AR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Power Pool full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Stable, exceptional pay, great benefits. Lots to learn here and great connections. If you are willing to work, there are good opportunities. Lots of new endeavors means new opportunities.

    Cons

    Not for profit so fairly short sighted management and operation by design. New open office is VERY distracting. Hard to focus to crank out a great effort. Intentionally staffed light so there are constant resource collisions. Consultants (useless) are brought in to oversee projects.

    Advice to Management

    Open your eyes to burnout among the ranks and get a plan. After a long, brutal effort your staff is hanging by a thread.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Great Place to work in the Little Rock Market

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Management in Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Project Management in Little Rock, AR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southwest Power Pool full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Salary (although not the average, like posted in the media) Health Insurance, Sick Time

    Cons

    Leadership does not lead by example, limited career opportunities, too much middle management, top heavy orginazation

    Advice to Management

    Leadership should really work to on making decisions based on the facts and figures not based on their personal perferences.


  7. Helpful (4)

    Amazing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Little Rock, AR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Power Pool full-time

    Pros

    SPP is by far the best company I have ever worked for. They strive hard to always take care of their employees and give a work-life balance that I have never seen before. The people are so friendly and amazing, I hope to retire here many years down the road.

    Cons

    Because SPP takes care of their employees it is rare for a job opening and therefore it is very hard and competitive to get into the company. The HR process also takes a while to go through because they want to make sure they hired the right people so the average is about 6 months through the job process.

    Advice to Management

    Always continue to take care of your employees and they will take care of you! Your company culture is amazing!!!


  8. Great company!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    great group of people to work with!

    Cons

    there are not really any cons


  9. Helpful (5)

    Average working environment but huge gap in what they say culture is and what it actually is

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

    Pros

    Stable industry lead to (too) few firings. Nice facilities. Competitive wages for the area. Staff (not management) is pretty good.

    Cons

    Culture. They talk a lot about transparency and accountability but it's not implemented. Prayer at the holiday luncheon so if you're not deist/Christian prepare to have others' beliefs imposed on you. Shows Fox News on TVs at HQ. Corporate culture from surrounding companies now makes it a respect the chain of command sort of place. Gender bias/cronyism all over the place.

    Advice to Management

    Respect is simple and it's talked about a lot. Start to show it by challenging yourself. Don't overstep bounds by talking about beliefs/politics as happens at all staff meetings a lot. Don't insult staff by trying to raise awareness of discriminatory practices. You all can do better.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Pay is good but incompetence at high levels

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Specialist II in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - IT Specialist II in Little Rock, AR
    Recommends

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. Some great people. It's easy to make friends there. Great job security.

    Cons

    IT management is wasteful and non-technical. There are a lot of non-technical people in IT that are trying to do a somewhat technical job and they get paid more than many technical people who can actually understand and accomplish things. Very few young people and women are hired. Because nobody gets fired and technical competence is not rewarded, there are a lot of people who are not good at their jobs who get paid very well. If you aren't one of the them, it can get frustrating when you never get a promotion.

    Advice to Management

    Promotion and hiring process should take job/technical skills in to account instead of mostly "leadership" skills. There should be fewer managers and less red tape.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Good place to work but lots of red tape

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Little Rock, AR

    Pros

    This company does important work for electrical reliability. There are a lot of events that try to bring employees together personally. Jobs are very secure. People rarely seem to get fired.

    Cons

    Projects take a long time to complete. There's not a lot of exciting development projects. A lot of data exchange between vendor systems. Change management process takes a long time and tends to involve lots of stakeholders. Promotions favor those who get in with popular managers.



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