Xcel Energy

  www.xcelenergy.com
  www.xcelenergy.com
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Xcel Energy Reviews in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Updated September 29, 2014
Updated September 29, 2014
118 Reviews
3.4
118 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Xcel Energy Chairman, President & CEO Benjamin G.S. Fowke III
Benjamin G.S. Fowke III
51 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • The pay and benefits are satisfactory to a point (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • The work life balance is good, but only if you are not concerned with your career advancement (in 5 reviews)

  • Upper management seems to only care about the value of the stock bonus they are getting (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

30 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  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 for 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.  

    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 for more than a 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
  3.  

    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 for 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
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  5.  

    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 for more than a 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
  6. 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 for 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
  7.  

    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 for less than a 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
  8.  

    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 for 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
  9. 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 for less than a 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
  10. 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 for 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
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good people, stable company, nothing new

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

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

    Pros

    Everyone (within a service territory anyway) is Xcel's customer, which allows the company broad access and influence to a wide array of local and state economic/political/business issues that you might not see at other more nationally diverse companies. The utility industry is the most complex and interesting industry I've ever been a part of.

    The day to day culture is pretty laid back but professional. Personal freedom without people hawking over your every move. Generally management is pretty tolerant of personal styles and preferences. You don't have to drink the Kool-Aid and preach the gospel to work there.

    Progressive (for a utility) environmental policies and achievement.

    Good people, very salt-of-the-earth type. Good work/life balance. Nobody is working 60 hour weeks here. Very stable workplace. I've never heard of layoffs happening. Even to get fired, you really have to screw up for a long time to make that happen.

    Cons

    Xcel tries and tries to paint itself as innovative and forward thinking, but consistently falls flat. It's business systems and capabilities are so far behind pace that even when they do have a specific initiative they're excited about, it fails because the current technologies in place aren't capable enough and the new technologies don't integrate with systems from the 80's (not really, but old).

    Everything is very beaurocratic and slow moving, which I attribute to the fact that it's such a heavily regulated business. You can't just go changing how you do business because often you'll have to get a law/regulation/ruling changed first. But that carries over into the non-regulated parts of the business as well. Often time it feels like you have to get an approval from your manager just to get an approval from the approval committee, which is already santioned by the approval board.

    Overall, I compare the culture at Xcel to General Motors in the 1990's/early 2000's. No real innovation or ability to adapt. But there is also that whole government sanctioned monopoly thing, which is helpful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upgrade your business systems, they really are the worst.

    Don't use so many contractors for such long periods of time. It might not be illegal, but it sure isn't fair or healthy for morale.

    Get rid of your entire HR group, top to bottom, and start over. They add zero value to the entire staffing process from hiring to firing to recruiting.

    Continue investing in being an environmental leader.

    Occassionally flex your political muscle. Too often you role over and take what's given.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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