Anchor QEA Reviews | Glassdoor

Anchor QEA Reviews

Updated October 30, 2017
24 reviews

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3.4
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Clay Patmont
8 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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  1. "still a great place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    strong community, great people, interesting work

    Cons

    Slow growth is making it hard to advance


  2. "Growing pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Anchor QEA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The company is full of great people and allows people to work on interesting projects. Flex time policy is very useful.

    Cons

    The company is growing and with that the culture is changing. However, the company is slow to acknowledge the change and adapt to the emerging company culture and market place.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within rather than hire outside staff. Require managers to undergo reviews for their management performance not just their project performance.

  3. "Engineer working in Anchor qea"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    GOOD KNOWLEDGE, NICE COLLEAGUES, GOOD RESOURCES

    Cons

    difficult to get up in the position


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Good Company in Need of Improvement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Anchor QEA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful people (mostly) to work with. Annual retreat, annual bonus, great benefits, interesting work, good life/work balance.

    Cons

    Nepotism and favoritism at its finest. Partner's kids who get hired mostly straight out of college become superstars within the company in a year or two. If you're an employee that happens to be related to someone that's worked there for 15+ years, you have job security, even if you perform poorly.
    I also experienced a high level of Groupthink within interview debriefs, which resulted in some bad hires.
    Partners seem more focused and excited about reaching retirement and staying under the radar than innovating or mentoring junior staff.
    Low diversity, mostly white males. There's literally only 1 or 2 black people in the entire company.
    Low to zero growth opportunities within the Product Delivery Group. You have to really fight for a decent raise. Major lack of support and even railroading from the Product Delivery and Marketing management team that (in my opinion) is tied to nepotism and favoritism.
    If you have an issue that happens right after your annual review, don't expect it to come up until the following year at your next review.

    Advice to Management

    Weed out the bad apples that have been there for 15+ years and still operate within the company as if it still only had 50 employees rather than almost 400 . They are only holding back the progress/future of the company.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "AQ: Where young professionals go to get underpaid, overworked and underappreciated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    A steady paycheck, great health insurance, 4 hours of free time during the yearly company retreat.

    Cons

    Boring projects, long reports, appendices, and tables that no one reads. Feasibility Study projects move at the speed of government agencies which is to say not fast. Nothing here is innovative, or cutting edge. Its very much rule of thumb and "Well how did we do it before?"

    A "Bonus" Overtime Policy that is setup to pay you for the time worked IF - 1) you don't get sick 2) you don't take vacation, or 3) don't have any admin time in the entire month. The system is setup so you work extra hours and don't get paid for them. The 401k match pays out once a year, three months after the full year is complete. So if you quit in January you don't get your last year's 401K match - even if you worked the entire previous year. Oh and did you go on a work trip and lose a receipt? Don't even bother trying to get reimbursed for it unless you want to fill out a form, get some partner signatures and go through all the adminstrative hoops. Sounds like fun? That's just to get paid for work related expenses.

    An obsessive culture of Safety. Think wearing your life jacket while swimming in a 4 foot deep pool. Its that bad. Think about a "near miss" being a knife placed upside down in a dishwasher a company wide email with this actually happened during "Safety Week".

    The yearly 360 review - a popularity contest, score everyone else lower so your numbers stand out.

    Career path matrix - a long list of the impossible hoops to jump through to get promoted to a 5% raise.

    The yearly retreat - used to be fun, now its all weekend meetings and "team building" - who doesn't want to go to meetings on a weekend and stare at baby photos and guess "Which partner is that?". What a GREAT use of time.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within. Think of your employees as people, treat them like people and not expenses. Revise your OT and 401K payout policies.

    Don't be surprised when talent leaves, and treat them respectfully when they go.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Getting worse"

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

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    Good people, varied projects, good day-to-day work life balance

    Cons

    When you're at the top of the pay scale for your staff level, your raises will stop covering even the cost of inflation. You'll watch the purchasing power of your salary go down and down and down. (I'm talking raises in the 0.6 to 0.8% range. As of the time of this writing, the current inflation over the last 12 months is 2.07%.)

    If you experience the death of an immediate family member, expect to be worrying about work rather than grieving and dealing with whatever logistics you need to be dealing with. (Facebook is offering 20 paid bereavement days - which they just increased from 10. AQ offers 3, which is enough to fly out for a funeral and back, but don't expect to deal with things like planning the funeral or any other logistics like helping an aging newly widowed parent, dealing with a will or estate, or anything else.)

    You get a measly 6 sick days a year, all of which you'll get in January. This means getting sick in January is a lot less stressful than getting sick in December. Oh, and you can't accrue or bank any more than 6 days (when I started here, you could bank as much as 6 weeks). Use it or lose it; it won't roll over. So people come to work sick a LOT and spread it around, especially as it gets later in the year.

    The cliquish, and frankly somewhat sexist culture, is becoming worse as the company grows. If you're a young, eager guy, you can expect to be able to remind the male partners of their younger selves and get a LOT more opportunities from potential sponsors and mentors. If you're a young, eager female, expect to work twice as hard as your male counterparts while they take credit for your work. Well, you CAN take the route of playing the daughter they never had (or wish they had), which is creepy and will make you feel like you want to shower after work every day. The female partners are great and encouraging, but they are few and far between; and with the aforementioned opportunities mostly going to men, likely to stay that way. And if you bring up constructive review feedback about these younger men who are viewed as "outstanding" by the "right" people, be prepared to have your comments ignored.

    Advice to Management

    Start seeing your employees as human beings. Offering the "industry standard" benefits is WHY few companies feel compelled to improve their benefits, and AQ could be leading the pack rather than following it blindly. Rethink your sick and bereavement benefits, which are heartless and horrible. Go back to having sick time accrued throughout the year.

    Train partners and senior management on recognizing the both the overt and subtle forms of sexism happening every single day in your office. Your female employees cannot remind the male partners of their younger, hungry (mostly) male selves, but that doesn't mean their contributions are diminished. Gone are the days of ass-grabbing and quid pro quo, but there are a lot of incidents and attitudes you're blatantly ignoring.

    Even if you think someone is outstanding, be prepared to hear criticism on their performance and take it seriously. Don't cover for them because they've always being outstanding with just you (especially when you're a partner and it would stand to reason that someone would be sucking up to you while at the same time treating others at or below their level more poorly).


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great People, Low Salaries"

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

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    They truly embrace their core values. Easy to get exposure within the company. Health insurance is great. Annual bonuses and 401k match. The people that work here genuinely care about the environment and they take pride in their work. HR is very responsive and well organized. You can have a work-life balance here.

    Cons

    Salaries are not adjusted based on region. A starting salary in San Francisco is the same as the midwest. There's been a lot of departures in the mid-staff level due to salaries being well below the market. Its very top heavy right now as a result. Raises are low and based on employee reviews of each other at the end of the year. Engineers tend to be very risk averse and conservative. Not embracing of new analytical methods and technical expertise is low. If you're fresh out of college, you'll be frustrated with the technical resources here.

    Advice to Management

    Open the wallet and buy some resources that allow employees to be more efficient and produce better designs. Listen when employees present new technologies. Take time to get to know employees more.

  8. "Environmental Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Environmental Scientist in Syracuse, NY
    Current Employee - Environmental Scientist in Syracuse, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    Work and life balance is good.

    Cons

    High pressure for job security.


  9. "Awesome company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time

    Pros

    Vibe, smart people, great clients

    Cons

    workload balancing, communication, rate of growth


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Great company with its blinders on"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Anchor QEA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, very smart people work here. Company is innovative in its fields. Has a lot of opportunities for outside-work company activities, such as the sustainability committee, retreat committee, etc.

    Cons

    Has major growing pains; isn't very culturally diverse (feels like a good 'ole white boys club a lot of the time), very top-heavy (a lot more senior staff than mid- or junior level staff), doesn't promote a healthy work-life balance. Women at the firm don't seem to move up as quickly as men, and sometimes the company feels like a popularity contest. The marketing strategy is very archaic in the digital age. Also, despite what the firm claims, it is extremely bureaucratic and therefore change is very hard to institute. Also, if you are an administrator at the company, you have VERY LITTLE room for promotion.

    Advice to Management

    Force the partners (and all managers) at the firm to have management and communications training; many of them need it badly. Promote women and POCs faster. Think hard about what the firm has to sacrifice in order to function efficiently as it continues to grow; don't be afraid of new technologies for your technical work AS WELL AS your administrative/marketing work!


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