Surrey Satellite Technology Reviews

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Surrey Satellite Technology Group CEO Patrick Wood
Patrick Wood
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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great atmosphere, challenging work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fascinating job that gets you involved with the entire life of the spacecraft. Very good atmosphere among colleagues. Working with very good engineers. I have only praises for my line manager.

    Cons

    Company goals unclear in some areas and not presented properly by the management team. Chronic lack of resources is frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership team invisible except for an update every few months. Very average people management.


  2. not the best place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Contractor - Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn a lot in short period of time.

    Cons

    Toxic environment, favoritism culture. Very unprofessional and discouraging upper management, regular meaningless chitchat among colleagues about who did what and who said what encouraged by the management.

    Advice to Management

    I guess there is no point in trying to say something for those who don't care.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Lacks direction, lacks leadership capability, untrained & inexperienced managers manage via intimidation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    First I just want to say, I am not writing this as an embittered ex-employee or someone with an axe to grind. I am a current employee considering a company change. I want to put comments in here that set the scene for potential new recruits so they can get an overall view along with other people's comments. Good to get a first job here either engineering or project management as you will be exposed to a lot (somewhat double edged sword). It is sink or swim so if you thrive in that environment then great. If you show aptitude and assertiveness you can gain a lot of experience in a short timeframe. If your first job then you will learn about office politics quickly. Good holiday entitlement but the trick is being able to take it.

    Cons

    In brief it is known in the space industry as a sweat shop. 60-80 hours a week for sustained periods can be the norm. Especially if you show aptitude. ie you are relied upon to cover for the more shall we say 'less able' staff. This means there is no buffer from a resource perspective when extra support is really needed. You work til you drop essentially. There is a reluctance / fear to deal with poor performers ultimately resulting in lacklustre project delivery performance from project to project. Poor performers in engineering and project management in equal measure. Very much a clique atmosphere, with senior managers in the business outwardly showing favouritism and displaying very poor behaviour. Project/programme managers and engineering still purport an 'us and them' and 'pass the buck' mentality. Generally to hide their own lack of responsibility or poor capability and performance. Senior managers, programme managers, engineering managers all show a lack of emotional intelligence and a lack of personnel management skills. The company kids itself in maintaining 'the old family SSTL way' it has over 500 people! The company structure seems to change every year. This time career paths have essentially been cut off for engineering and project management, driving moral down. Communication on topics that count is very poor. Ever decreasing Times 100 scores indicate a downward spiral with the senior management right in the bullseye. Lack of timely (or any!) decision making is endemic from the top down. Taking personal responsibility seems to be taboo. The leadership is disparate and not a good example to follow. Real leaders and change agents seemed to have left the company over the last year; the people who make positive things happen seem to have gone. Eventually I think the company will be absorbed into the parent company. I suspect that date is approaching fast.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your leadership team make-up, be honest with yourselves are you a coherent, decision making, forward looking, exciting, enthusiastic group of people who can lead and instil the same qualities in the guys that work for you? I think you know the answer to that. So do something about it!


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Weak leadership, weak and overworked middle management, disorganised and directionless

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

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you position yourself correctly, by blowing your own trumpet in the right direction, you can rise to the top.

    Cons

    The company is organised on a matrix management structure, but is under-staffed for key skills. This is a recipe for disaster and it shows! Lots of pseudo-religious statements are made with little except sales to back it up.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being self delusional about company capability. The company morale has deteriorated severely and is a sign that the current C-class management are on borrowed time. Too many things are not seriously measured in the company; anything not properly measured is not managed.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Used to be great but now just like any other company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    You get to make stuff that goes into space, 32 days of holiday per year, no official flexi-time but they're pretty flexible with childcare and other arrangement, BUPA healthcare and travel insurance

    Cons

    Company culture is to overwork best employees, leadership of company is hardly ever in the office and is confused and incoherent, recent changes have restricted opportunities for advancement in engineering division, people not treated like individuals by senior managers, self-promoting people do best (didn't use to be this way) and get most senior management positions, strategy in telecoms and overseas expansion is poorly communicated, inept and keeps changing, the HR division seems detached from the staff. I've been here 8 years now and the company has got worse every year.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to staff feedback. Honestly assess the quality of your senior staff and leadership team - stop drinking your own bath-water and do a decent 360 analysis where you don't just get mates to assess each other. Some good senior people have been pushed or allowed to leave in the last few years (including a couple of directors I had a lot of time for) and some really incompetent people are allowed and encouraged to flourish. When you do a staff survey please actually act on it and read the feedback. Every year we do a Times Top 100 survey. Last year, there was no evidence to suggest that they'd actually read all the comments we'd typed in. My manager told me that they hadn't even bothered paying to download the comments! Shocking! Please remember we're too big to act like a family company anymore so stop pretending and behaving in a schizophrenic manner. Time to man up!


  7. Helpful (2)

    Unprofessional Working Environment and Dishonest Leadership

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Exciting projects, dedicated employees, opportunities to learn a lot and take on a lot of responsibility if you demonstrate that you're up for it! There are some great people and some solid teams here.

    Cons

    Space is an exciting place to work - and that's what they rely on - the reward packages are pitiful for the level of dedication expected (decent holiday though due to hangover from Uni links). The management structure is driven by nepotism - there are rarely fair interviews for jobs, some individuals are allowed to behave appallingly and get away with it if they're friends with the "right" directors, while others are driven out of the company for doing their job well if it challenges the agenda of some of these people. There is open discussion about what dirt one of the directors has on the CEO as people can't believe he still has a job! Many employees who have left have sought legal advice. The HR team members are too terrified of losing their jobs to do anything effective.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the feedback you keep getting from your staff and act on it. Stop the culture of deception and focus on the good bits of the company. Be honest about the bits of the company that aren't working - the US "strategy" is a joke and no-one believes the spin that gets spouted - it's insulting to think that they do.


  8. Helpful (1)

    It used to be amazing, but has gone down hill a lot

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Holiday entitlement, BUPA, relaxed atmosphere, varied work, interesting work, opportunities to advance, willingness to train staff to further themselves, openness about company position.

    Cons

    Change of ethos from quality of product and staff well being to pure profit profit profit attitude, inability to make a decision without it taking large amounts of wasted time.

    Advice to Management

    There seems to be a big feeling that the company would rather save a penny today than a pound tomorrow! Can management really not see that capping the CAPEX budget so harshly and enforcing this approach is so foolish and fundamentally flawed it is ultimately going to cost them many times more than it will save.


  9. Your work will make it to space!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Guildford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Project work allows exposure to different areas gaining diverse experience - Flexible work hours - Company organised outings - Friendly and well experienced colleagues - good work / life balance

    Cons

    - Research & Development opportunities are still there to improve products, however seem to have more and more constrains as years go by


  10. SSTL

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Assistant in Guildford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Human Resources Assistant in Guildford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The world leader in small satellite technology, SSTL provides great career progression opportunities for dedicated and committed engineers and support staff.

    Cons

    Project organisation, so huge peaks and troughs of work, though latterly the workload is huge, with no sign of any downtime.

    Advice to Management

    Don't sacrifice your best employees to meet deadlines, just hire more people.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Hoog percentage vrouwelijk personeel (ingenieurs en managers) die na een jaar of twee het bedrijf verlaten. High percentage of female staff (engineers and managers) quitting the Company after a year or two.

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

    I worked at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    Geen, tenzij je niet met vrouwen wil werken.

    None, unless you do not like working with women.

    Cons

    Ik weet van een project waar 6 vrouwen weggingen in minder dan 3 jaar (en maar één man tijdens dezelfde periode).

    I know about a project where 6 women left in less than 3 years (only one man left during the same period)

    Advice to Management

    De vice-president moet dit probleem serieus nemen

    The CEO should take this matter seriously



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