Xcel Energy
3.4 of 5 94 reviews
www.xcelenergy.com Minneapolis, MN 5000+ Employees

Xcel Energy Reviews

Updated Apr 13, 2014

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3.4 94 reviews

                             

72% Approve of the CEO

Xcel Energy Chairman, President & CEO Benjamin G.S. Fowke III

Benjamin G.S. Fowke III

(36 ratings)

68% of employees recommend this company to a friend
94 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Good pay & benefits, opportunity to move in to other positions & cross train"
    in 10 reviews
  • "Great people, good benefits, opportunity to be in different roles"
    in 8 reviews
Cons:
  • "I blew all of my goals away and was told that benefits and full time was on hold indefinitely"
    in 3 reviews
  • "Can require LONG stretches of unpaid overtime for non-union staff and management"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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There is no shortage of areas to improve.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Xcel Energy for more than 3 years

ProsBenefits like 401K and pension, PTO, health
Lots of movement so lots of job openings
Flexible hours
Lots of responsibility
Stability

ConsNo accountability
No Vision
No training
Employees are more concerned about receiving bonus pay than performance or pride in work at hand
Lack of Technical Expertise

Advice to Senior ManagementRemove mediocre Management and hire technical experts.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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The hourly workers and most of the management were great but there was too much delegation of power to incompetents.

Construction (Former Employee)

I worked at Xcel Energy as a contractor for less than a year

ProsGreat pay and overall working conditions.

ConsToo much tunnel vision on construction projects.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe careful of who you delegate power to. Once you do it, review the results because too many low level people with too much authority cause way too much headache with their "Napoleon Complexes".

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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An Ethically Sound Company with the Roadblocks of a Typical Corporation

Engineering Intern (Current Employee)
Minneapolis, MN

I have been working at Xcel Energy as an intern for more than a year

Pros1. Xcel Energy is an ethically sound company. As an intern, I am proud to say I work for such a great company.
2. There is a lot of room for growth within the company, since over 50% of their workforce will be retiring in the next 10 years.
3. Salaries are "competitive" which is a nice way of saying they're average and not fantastic, but they make up for that with numerous benefits packages, including 401k, pension, etc. All of these come together to make the average salaries worth it.
4. The people are great, and the atmosphere varies between departments such that anyone can find a home within the company. Working in the corporate environment of distant, higher-level engineering provides a laid-back environment, whereas the more nitty-gritty engineering world of operations or plant engineering can provide a fast-paced and exciting environment.

Cons1. There is no engineering development program that I know of.
2. There are a lot of difficulties in collaborating with other departments. This boils down to lack of access to common information between departments, difficulty in communicating between departments, and lack of understanding of other departments' lines of work. Basically, each department is like its own state in the United States of Xcel Energy, and this can create roadblocks (for example, Michigan may have the answers to some of Nebraska's problems, but Nebraska might be unfamiliar with Michigan, not know that they exist, or not know how to ask the right questions to get the right information).
3. IT systems within the company need some serious updating. Engineers simply aren't provided the tools needed to perform their jobs up to standard. Even if they had access to these tools, there are some tools which would be simply unusable, due to the limitations of network licensing, and processing power of the computers themselves.
4. Piggy-backing off of the IT issues, there is a lot of misinformation that engineers have to fight through. Understandably, the amount of data to be accurately recorded, communicated and utilized for a utility is enormous. However, there are still issues in mapping, data collection, and other fields that make an engineer's job more like a detective's job. There is currently a plan in the works to fix this, and hopefully it is successful.

Advice to Senior Management1. Create an engineering development program. Other large engineering companies will spend the first few months to a couple years of a new engineer's time allowing them to explore various areas of the business and find the right niche. This means that when the training wheels are taken off, the engineer knows the ins and outs of the company, where to go to find information, and has an understanding of various aspects of the business. This, in turn, allows enhanced collaboration between departments, and allows projects and processes to flow more smoothly. Considering the challenges the energy business is facing over the next 25 years, with the onset of renewables, and smart grid technology, it is more important now than ever before to create a collaborative environment in which all employees know how to navigate.
2. If you're trying to keep engineer staffing low to cut O&M costs, at least provide them with the right tools to perform their jobs well. One engineer with the right tools is as good as several engineers with the wrong ones.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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great place for an entry engineer. A bit of work but this is a business.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Xcel Energy

ProsLots of opportunities along the midwest, 401k PTO and pension. Strange think to have at a young age but at least this company makes an effort to force those things on employees. They also do many events to help the community.

ConsA bit of work. The field is in much need of engineers; that said the age groups could be a bit more diverse.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Okay Pay, Flexible Hours, and A lot of information

Business Intern (Current Employee)
Golden, CO

I have been working at Xcel Energy as an intern for less than a year

ProsThe pay is just okay. For an internship, it's good. I could definitely work a different job and make more though. I had no idea there was so much to learn about the energy business. There are a lot of terms and departments to learn. The hours are flexible. I pretty much just make my own schedule. My supervisors are awesome. They say 50% of their workforce will be retiring in the next 5 years, that provides a ton of growth opportunities.

ConsThere isn't enough to do for the hours that I work. I would like more interesting tasks, rather than just mostly the grunt work.

Advice to Senior ManagementImplement an actual intern training program. Provide more team building and company information opportunities for interns.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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As with all companies - some good, some bad

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGood pay, great PTO, some business units are great

ConsA number of business units haven't a clue!

Advice to Senior ManagementThe number (and associated cost) of failed initiatives in the HR and Business Systems departments is a disgrace.

The micro management of O&M budgets in critical departments - Distribution, Gas, Generation,(aka, the bread and butter of the company) has lead to system/physical asset issues that, if were properly maintained on schedule, not edicts from the top to "put off that overhaul, put off that replacement, etc . . . " would save money in the long haul. Preventative Maintenance is so much more cost effective than Corrective Maintenance.

The main problems is a very aggressive share price for Wall Street. I realize that if we do not deliver great earnings, we will be downgraded, hence, monies are not available for either capital or O&M projects. Problem is, when you have a grid and assets that are older, it requires more maintenance. While I am all for renewables . . . the consumer does not want to pay for it . . . it is more expensive than natural gas and coal.

And lastly, when part of the business makes huge mistakes, can't upper management just admit it? Don't try to sugar coat it or sweep it under the rug like it didn't happen. I would have so much more respect for our executive leadership if, after a major project/initiative failure, they would acknowledge it and then show us the lesson's learned to prevent it from happening again.

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Never a dull moment in nuclear

Performance Assessment Coordinator (Current Employee)
Welch, MN

I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 5 years

ProsNuclear is challenging but very structured if you like procedures rules etc
Pay is relatively good compared to non nuclear but appears to be less than other utilities around the USA.

ConsWork life balance suffers for some jobs (leadership, engineering,...)
Not much for employee appreciation or recognition
Human resources is slow to hire

Advice to Senior ManagementEngage and support the lower ranks. Learn to delegate more to build trust and save yourself time. People want to take ownership but the bureaucracy and management misalignment impedes progress.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Stay away from management

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Xcel Energy for more than 10 years

ProsSalary and benefits are pretty good, when compared to comparable positions in other organizations

ConsSadly, the culture at the corporate headquarters has made a 180-degree turn with the new regime. Once a collaborative, collegial and positive ethos permeated the company's leadership and senior management. Contributors and middle managers earned their "seat at the table" and had a lot to contribute to the company's success. The result? Xcel Energy came roaring back from near bankruptcy and earned its place in the nation's elite, environmentally conscious utilities ("No. 1 wind power provider," don't you know). The company's leadership at that time provided solid direction, to be sure, but they confidently empowered employees to propel the ship to its goals.

Today, most senior managers spend the majority of their time trying to politically out maneuver one another to capture as much corporate real estate as they can. Two re-orgs in two years. Really? Anyone who is too closely connected to some elements of the old regime have been or are being effectively shelved or "managed out," regardless of skills or capabilities. The new "up and comers" who are taking the place of those kicked to the curb are curiously connected to, or should we say related somehow to the king. Talk about things that make you go "Hmmmmm."

Most disappointing is the plight of the middle management and contributor. Once they had a seat at the table, offering fresh ideas and strategies. Today, they have been kicked back into their workstations and turned into not much more than order-takers. Unfortunately, because the compensation packages are good relative to comparable positions, these poor folks will likely continue to grind out their existence being told how stupid they are by senior managers who have to hire outside consultants to tell them stuff that the company's own workforce already knows.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease leave.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great place to work

Marketing Specialist (Current Employee)

I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 10 years

ProsCompetitive salary, benefits, tuition reimbursement, 401k, personal time off

ConsCompany locations are spread out

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Poor Leadership Development

Director (Former Employee)
Minneapolis, MN

I worked at Xcel Energy full-time for more than 10 years

ProsXcel Energy offers competitive salaries and great benefits, and probably a little more job security than a lot of other companies. At the management level, they have a good annual incentive plan that paid out at least 100% every year of my tenure except one. They provide decent opportunities to train and learn within the company.

ConsXcel does not do a good job of providing cross-training opportunities to create future leaders of the company. As a result, employees tend to get pigeonholed into certain departments or specialties, which makes it hard to move into higher level positions within the company - assuming you would want to. Executive team decision making is slow and ponderous, with many missed opportunities due to an inability to get sign off in time.

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more transparent career paths for your employees. The "Leadership Pipeline" is a good development course, but it should be followed up with individual career plans and a commitment by the company to offer exposure to different roles in the company to help advancement. Currently, development is very ad-hoc and mentors are not widely available in the company.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Xcel Energy reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Xcel Energy CEO Benjamin G.S. Fowke III. All 94 reviews posted anonymously by Xcel Energy employees.