Xcel Energy Reviews in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Updated October 1, 2014
Updated October 1, 2014
123 Reviews
3.2
123 Reviews
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Xcel Energy Chairman, President & CEO Benjamin G.S. Fowke III
Benjamin G.S. Fowke III
53 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Xcel Energy offers good pay, and a good benefits package including tuition reimbursement (in 18 reviews)

  • Good benefits, time off and flexibiltiy are the best assets of this company (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • The work life balance is good, but only if you are not concerned with your career advancement (in 4 reviews)

  • Somewhat resistant and slow to change (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

31 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Excellent workplace with great benefits.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    Positive workplace environment with outstanding leadership. Open for job promotion when opportunities arise.

    Cons

    Location is downtown Minneapolis, MN. Very accessible by Metro Transit System, but parking very expensive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good benefits, but too PC

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pricing Analyst in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Pricing Analyst in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    Xcel Energy is a large, stable company. It offers the standard bennies (ins, time off, 401K match), and also has a pension. The challenges are immense, and you will never know the whole system.

    Cons

    This company does not fire anyone. If you get a failing rating from your manager, just complain to HR. HR will prevent you from being fired. If you get caught drinking on the clock, you will just receive a warning even though it's against company policies.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Admin Assistance, but i technically do more than that. I feel more like a coordinator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Administrative in Saint Paul, MN
    Current Employee - Business Administrative in Saint Paul, MN

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There's a lot of room for growth. Lots of work to do. Job security is great

    Cons

    The fact that we're understaff in our department and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    delegate work more appropriately, do a better job at hiring managers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Valuable utility experience that exposes you to all facets of the energy market.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Engineer in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good CEO, good co-workers, industry leading utility, and wide geographical footprint that provides experience that other utilities can't provide.

    Cons

    Long hours, lower than average wages, HR runs the salary increases so there is more value on years experience rather than performance. This causes the younger high performers to be held back in career advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay for performance not for seniority.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    An Ethically Sound Company with the Roadblocks of a Typical Corporation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineering Intern in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Engineering Intern in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at Xcel Energy as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. 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.

    Cons

    1. 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 ManagementAdvice

    1. 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Poor Leadership Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Director in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    Xcel 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.

    Cons

    Xcel 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 ManagementAdvice

    Provide 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great workplace and environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - GIS Data Integrity Editor in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - GIS Data Integrity Editor in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at Xcel Energy as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Friendly employees and good place to work hands down.
    Management is very good and doesn't micro-manage
    Location of the office is easily accessible and plenty of off street parking

    Cons

    Length of employment is not consistent or steady unless offered a permanent position withing the company

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good place for your later years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Internal Auditor in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Senior Internal Auditor in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    Good benefits and a high level of job security

    Cons

    Lower than average pay and slow process to climb the ladder

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look to the future, you are going to become a dinosaur

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    How they keep the lights on I do not know

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Rather Not Say in Saint Paul, MN
    Current Employee - Rather Not Say in Saint Paul, MN

    I have been working at Xcel Energy full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Other they receiving my pay check (however they did take out the wrong states income tax....)' no pros....

    Cons

    Way too many, no organization, too tied up in internal does and fonts, I didn't feel at comfortable, as if it was a big lie....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Buck up and stop playing just lip service to the systems that you have in place.....

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Mixed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    My most vivid memories of Xcel will always be of the hugely intelligence, fun people I worked with for more than 20 years. I was given slow, but steady advancement during the time I worked there, and there was usually an adequate incentive bonus (only during the time I was a full employee anyway!), and usually there were adequate benefits. For the most part, the workplace was laid back and easy, and the workforce was usually diverse and fun to be a part of. As a card-carrying geek, I might have stood out from some of my crowd sometimes, but I was never led to believe that it was in a bad way. People accepted me into their groups simply for my contribution to our community's success.

    Those of us in Minneapolis (2013 Summer) know what we went through with the worst weather assault on our grid ever, and we know what this colossal dinosaur or a company was able to mobilize and accomplish over the course of 3-4 days. When you work at the company through a disaster like that, and you accomplish what Xcel accomplished in less than a week, you really feel like you're doing God's work.

    Cons

    * Not all Xcel work environments are created equal. The downtown Minneapolis headquarters is somnolent and stifling. You never know when you might share the elevator with a CEO, and you know he'll never speak to you. The service centers, however, have a much more laid back, democratic air about them.
    * All of IT should be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up. There has been more than a decade of neglect therein, and nothing would be better for it than a good torch.
    * Like so many enterprises, the relationship between IT and the Business must be rebuilt anew. There are so few formal ties between those two entities, it is no wonder they seldom complement each other these days.
    * Xcel Energy is beholden to jurisdictions that include cities, towns, eight states, and the federal government. It's hard to turn around in that environment without bumping into some government geek or other that wants to tell you what to do. Not all geeks are created equal either. Some folks in the government can be really annoying. On the other hand, as we discovered (Mpls 2013 Summer), some folks in your local utility can really get you out of a jam in a hurry.
    * If you throw yourself into this mix, make sure you have a champion: someone who knows what you do, values it, and can explain to others what you are worth. Without that you will go nowhere!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Do something with IT!
    * Get rid of the current, stupid employee review setup (IPAD)!
    * Forget incentive pay. Just pay people what they are worth!
    * Fix your worthless health benefits. For several years now people have been self-insuring under the current worthless plan.
    * Re-analyze your investment in shuffling your MBAs around the company. This is such an obvious problem that it has become a joke amongst the rank-and-file. You seem to be searching for a place for these "average talents" (that you have perhaps mistakenly hireds) to eventually be successful. Perhaps you would have be better off just finding some excellent talent to begin with.
    * Re-organize Marketing, Market Research, and Account Management from the bottom up. Marketing needs a new outlook from top to bottom. The buyer-seller situation has changed completely in the last decade, but there has been little new talent there for two decades past. I suspect the requisite talent in that department is missing these days.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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