American Water Reviews | Glassdoor

American Water Reviews

Updated May 27, 2017
220 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.8
Star Star Star Star Star
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American Water CEO Susan Story
Susan Story
83 Ratings

220 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Expect to work a lot; work/life balance could improve (in 14 reviews)

  • Not all of upper management are bad some are amazing but you find out quick who arent and no way to stay off the bad ones teams (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. ""It is What it is""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Pensacola, FL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I CANT SAY THIS ENOUGH.....Their Training. The trainers and how they train is amazing.
    Benefits -Insurance was great! Hardly paid anything to doctors and Rx were usually free.
    You got Sick time, Personal time, Vacation time and Emergency time. They do also have FMLA after one year. Which does help a lot of people with medical issues who run out of time.
    You get a set schedule for about 6 months at a time. It's nice having that instead of keeping up with a changing daily schedule.
    The building is pretty modern and up to date with quiet areas and break area to eat and purchase snacks.
    They have family events....bring kids to watch movie or meet Santa and some times summer family days at a water park or bowling alley or baseball stadium.
    It's a pretty repetitive job which is usually one call resolution so not a lot of having to follow up so no checking voicemails or having to send a customer back and forth emails all day.
    Dress code is pretty lax jeans and tennis shoes are ok but keep it decent. They don't discriminate on crazy hair colors or Tattoos or piercings since we don't see the customers.
    I met with Susan Story the CEO and she was always very friendly.

    The people. I have to say I will miss the people the most out of this job. The other CSR's who work here and have been here a while like I was were more like family. There are people who met and married because of this job. It's a large company with a lot of employees who move around a lot from shift changes every 6 months so you get to know each other pretty quick and you make friends just as fast.

    Cons

    Over years the company changed. At first it was a happier environment. There was more morale more incentives.
    Here a majority of the time you are a number not a person. If you don't have time or Fmla you will be terminated even if you have a medical emergency. As if your life was not more important than your job.
    Some people should not have been made management. Hiring outside the company rather than inside first will hurt the business if they are clueless to what they are doing. I used to be pulled off the one by a supervisor to do her job because she didn't know what to do or say to the customers. Which i really didn't mind since she was a nice woman who treated her agents great. But it still made things very difficult.
    No more Help Que. before we had one so you could get quick assistance if needed for irates you are not allowed to hang up on regardless what they say or call you. Now you wait forever to see if a supervisor will even take the call if they want it.
    Micro Management a lot of the times and even supervisors gossip agents to everyone. Not all of upper management are bad some are amazing but you find out quick who arent and no way to stay off the bad ones teams.
    It is union based but this can be both pro and con.
    Sometimes upper Mgmt doesn't think things thru. Like threaten a lay off and when it hits the media it's instantly pulled back and was an error.
    The motto for the company should be "it is what it is" since it's said so much.
    Bad turn over rate. I wouldnt learn new hires names til after they were there a couple years. Most didn't last long.
    Mandatory OT ways over the years was horrible. You never knew when it would be enforced or for how long. So if You had reservations or an event right after work you could find out 15 mins before the end of your shift or some times less that you were being held an hour or so and if you didn't stay it came from your time and if you run out of time you can be fired.
    Replaced a security guard with security call poles when building is right in front of crack head hotels and would close late.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on your agents and their well being. Give more opportunity for advancement. Give them more support to lean on to handle the customers. They are your front line.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Not just a job, its a career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Plant Operator in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Plant Operator in Pittsburgh, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Union Plant Operator. Strong union presence. Good working relationship with management. Good pay, benefits are ok, 401k is good as well.

    Cons

    Communication is a issue. A lot of "I dont knows" and empty knowledge base in general. Very little to no "field experts" to fall back on.

    Advice to Management

    The left had does not know what the right is doing. Better communication from all parties involved would go a long way. Like a football team, everyone has to be on the same page.

    Education and field expertise should be a top priority.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Poor leadership produces extremely low morale"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technologist in Cherry Hill, NJ
    Current Employee - Technologist in Cherry Hill, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The staff members that have been at American Water for years are very talented and of high character..

    Cons

    Leadership is technically and organizationally incompetent.
    Deception is constant, long hours produces poor morale
    2 major layoffs in 4 years

    Advice to Management

    Ask to be shown a non-demo, non-mock, production worthy deliverable, there are none


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  5. Helpful (12)

    "Stop putting your thumb in my eye"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Water Professional in Clearfield, PA
    Current Employee - Water Professional in Clearfield, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Proud knowledgeable workforce. Family atmosphere in areas where senior directors haven't caused gastrointestinal discomfort.

    Cons

    Director level and above management teams are focused on dismantling longstanding middle managers and replacing them with new hires with no experience to the water industry. It’s one thing to promote from within…it’s another to put your thumb in the eyes of longstanding employees. Are your thumbs tired yet?

    Or you taking a page out of GEICO’s playbook and holding that what we do is so easy that even a caveman/person can do it? Upper management appears to be intent on creating a culture of mistrust, we’ve returned to the days of it’s not what you know, but who know.

    Directors are focused on window dressing initiatives and making their marks, which right now appear to be bad tattoos that will remain with the company long after they've been finally discovered to be frauds and have moved to other areas of this company, where they can continue to perpetuate their poor impressions of water industry professionals.

    The emperors have no clothes and continue to use employees as cover. Here’s a question for the next cultural survey…when will all of these poor upper management approaches catch up with them? 1. When there’s no experience in middle management left. 2. Never…they will have parachuted to the mother ship and into some new made up position by then 3. After someone’s been hurt because the new person had a great idea that only made sense to the person responsible for hiring them 4. All of the above.

    Advice to Management

    Consider other careers in the water industry. Culligan is hiring. Your approach seems to be to listen and invent issues, while also being purposely tone deaf to real concerns. You can’t cultural survey yourself way into “fixing” this company. We were the highest in customer satisfaction prior to your arrival and take pride in this company. Not sure we can say about the same about you and our long term outlook.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great job with some ups and downs."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Meter Reader in Camden, NJ
    Current Employee - Meter Reader in Camden, NJ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The hours are great (8-4) off weekends
    Majority of the supervisors are easy to get along with.
    Great job over-all not so difficult.

    Cons

    Pay could be better
    Not much room to grow in the meter department
    Some of the employees are hard to get along with.
    Not enough overcome


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Getting better, but old school and old school pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Voorhees, NJ
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Voorhees, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of responsibility, never dull

    Cons

    too much work, too little $$


  8. Helpful (1)

    "General"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cherry Hill, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cherry Hill, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good work life balance, scheduling

    Cons

    communication could be better to employees

    Advice to Management

    Work on communication company wide


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Incompetence"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mechanicsburg, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mechanicsburg, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at American Water full-time

    Pros

    Many of my peers want to do good

    Cons

    Senior management at the corporate office are water-industry incompetent. Rely on the "behavioral model" to hire and promote, and ignore competence and water industry experience. Pay lip service to the values that "define" the company's culture.

    Advice to Management

    Quit worrying about yourselves and your bonuses. Focus on long-term capabilities of the company.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "American Water Really Earns its Bad Industry Reputation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Multiple Positions in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Multiple Positions in Sacramento, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The majority of hard-working local staff with great intentions to take care of families and customers

    Cons

    The majority of terrible managers and corporate "support." No work-life balance. Long-hours, plenty of blame placed on good people. Cannot hire any talent anymore because of their well-known abusive treatment toward employees and contractors. California especially bad!

    Advice to Management

    Learn to value good people that work for you. Clean up your culture (try yet another corporate culture initiative... I'm sure it will work this time)


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Actions different than values"

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

    I worked at American Water full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Regular hours, hard working coworkers, helping people have access to clean drinking water

    Cons

    Low trust environment, lip service to stated values of Safety (good on this item), Trust, Environmental Leadership, Teamwork, and High Performance


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