Applied Systems Employee Reviews about "middle management"
Updated Jun 9, 2020
Found 12 of over 565 reviews
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Technical Account Manager
Being a woman in tech, I only recently started advocating for myself at work about advancement opportunities. Because of this I wanted to ask this question to my male counterparts. When you have 1:1's with your direct reports and talk about career growth / aspirations what is your managers’ response typically? I’d like to gauge how my experience (negative) differs from others. For instance are you met with blockades, enthusiasm, dread, etc?
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
- "There are great people working here and I really enjoy working with all of my co" (in 64 reviews)
- "Benefits are good" (in 33 reviews)
- "Great work life balance for employees" (in 27 reviews)
- "Top down leadership is great" (in 16 reviews)
- "Team was great and easy to get on with." (in 15 reviews)
- "Pay is low and not close to being competitive." (in 42 reviews)
- "bad management" (in 32 reviews)
- "Raises are small and yearly." (in 29 reviews)
- "Low salary (19k) for 1st Line Support Technician role in Brighton" (in 19 reviews)
- "Upper management is completely absent until something goes wrong, after which they only attempt to pacify the customer, not fix the problem." (in 18 reviews)
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Reviews about "middle management"Return to all Reviews
- Current Employee, more than 5 years★★★★★
Depends on who you work forNov 2, 2016 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Sometimes it’s like we work for 2 companies. On the one hand this is an industry leading company that is well respected and growing with a strong CEO who genuinely cares about employee engagement. On the other hand, employees are very underpaid by industry standards, business areas do not collaborate or share with one another, communication is terrible and people are micromanaged by weak management. In the recent employee satisfaction survey, employee engagement was an area that was found to be lacking. Upper management has responded with all sorts of initiatives to remedy this situation. The problem is that they are relying on the managers to implement the improvements/changes. What they don’t realize is that it’s the managers that are the problem. You have smart people who want to work and you have a strong upper management team who want them to work and be happy and in between you have this glut of middle managers that have meeting after meeting, accomplishing nothing, micromanaging every aspect of our day and slowly sucking the souls out of employees until they leave. Of course, this is not all managers. But hint to the CEO, if you find a dysfunctional unit, look to the management. Pros - solid company, strong products, good co-workers
Poor salary, minimal increases, poor communication between business teams, managers who are managers only because they never quit, not because they do the job well.Continue reading
Thank you for your feedback and ongoing contributions to Team Applied. We agree with you that Team Applied is made up of tremendous individuals Over recent months, we have further stepped up our efforts to retain and engage all Team Applied employees with an eye on particularly our strongest team members. We have a number of initiatives in place to improve internal communications across the business as well as to strengthen our management team at all levels of the organization. As always, I would welcome the opportunity to talk about your observations and encourage you to reach out to me to discuss further.
- Current Employee, more than 8 years★★★★★
TechMar 6, 2023 - Product Instructor in Minneapolis, MNRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Easy to get an interview and hired. CEO is great at communicating, what's new and what's next.
Silo work is common, open door with middle management and team leads is not as healthy as it could be.
- Former Employee, more than 10 years★★★★★
Unprofessional Management Staff - Enjoy Making Rich People Richer at Your Own Expense!Sep 11, 2018 - Senior Product Designer in University Park, ILRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
I started my career almost 21 years ago at this company. I stayed because of the easy commute and Family obligations. Their clients are professional, intelligent and upstanding. Having a client offer me an over $20,000 raise while at Applied was awesome!
I quit without notice because of workplace violations at the Supervisory, Managerial and Executive Management Staff level. If a current or former Employee has experienced sexual, threatening, religious persecution, mail theft, civil right workplace violations, then please contact the U.S. Attorney General. I filed a detail permanent record with them. If you enjoy the following, then this is the company for you: - An Employee asked me if I was having sex or at least oral sex with my fiancé. This same Employee gave a female vibrator to another Employee in my presence as well as others at Applied as a birthday gift. - Middle Management threatened me when I wanted to go to HR about my Supervisor. - Lower Management threatened me with the following statement: 'Do not ever make me look stupid in front of a client again.' Willis their largest Epic client had already exited the conference room. She was asked a question by the Client and replied. Client asked for my professional opinion and I gave it. This same Lower Management Employee threatened me with me losing my job in 2013. I left Product Management because of her. - Upper Management threatened me in my final annual review in another department with the following: 'XXX and I have been friends for over 20 years.' She continued my review and defamed my character in it. I walked out of the company without notice. - Upper Management told me that she promoted another Employee to Supervisor because she just returned from having a baby and needed a break. Guess you have to have a baby to get a promotion and 'a break'. I guess no one else in the entire organization had more knowledge or experience than her. - A client sent me a tin of cookies as a thank you at Christmas and Management stole them and placed them on the common department food table. I found out because the client contacted me because they never received a Happy Holidays card and personal thank you note written inside. I was told by Management they did it because of department morale. - I worked over 60 hours a week on a Willis issue which is against the State of Ilinois Employment law. The client sent me a thank you email stating I was invaluable to them and Applied broke the law. I tried to delegate and was told that only I could resolve the issue in a timely manner. Begging me to do it for them. They bypassed Support, Escalation and Quality Assurance to come to A Product Designer for a Support issue. - I was a Senior Product Designer in Product Management but performed the additional following positions: Developer, Quality Assurance Analyst, Support Technician, Trainer, Supervisor, Financial Consultant, Product Manager, Sales Account Manager, Custom Report Writer, Data Conversion Analyst, Documentation Technician and Escalation Technician. I received benefits as a Product Designer but nothing for the other positions. When traveling, Trainers get Fridays off. I got none of the perks of the Training Department when traveling on a Sunday. - Attended dinners with clients in the evenings and had to attend their National Convention because Management was unavailable. Didn't get paid for these additional duties or compensation time and my salary was not at the Product Design Supervisory level. Enjoy doing Management's job without the high salary. If you are single and your direct report has a family, then you must do their job for them after hours. They must pick up their children by 6:00pm was her response. Upper Management loves to leave at 11:00am on a Friday because they are 'on call' for the weekend when the rest of their team does not get the same privileges. I sent all violations to Applied Systems, Inc. via a certified letter and Reid French's response through their General Council was they have no additional comments in regards to an internal audit. I posted a review and their comment was that I was the only employee who has ever experienced workplace violations.Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★
If you Value doing a good job, don't work there (made it 16 years but only because I lived close)May 20, 2011 - Developer in University Park, ILRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
If you like hanging out after work on your own time, you get free beer and food at least 6 times a year. If you have kids , you can get a lot of time off "caring for them".
1. Low Pay - Seriously, and if you manage to make more than 40 grand a year - Some VP's will push to get rid of you unless you're related, or 'really good buddies' with senior management. 2. CSS system. If you are a developer and do quality work - the CSS system will work against you as someone that is incompetent will be able to flood more PMG's into the system making it look like they are actually doing something other than sending new bugs back into the system for the competent people to fix. Suck up early and often to keep your job. 3. Hard work and extra hours is expected and not rewarded. 4. Some of the middle management get their promotions despite being unable to do the same tasks as those they manage. 5. If you're a developer, you're locked in a basement (seriously) cube farm. You even have to have your monitor in a certain space. The temp control is awful most of the time, there's mold, and a leaking ceiling where the cafeteria is above the cube farm. It's also right near where maintenance has their office (with associated odors and noise). There's also an enforced dress code (unless of course, the heating/cooling is on the fritz in which case they'll let people know there's a casual day allowed - and they'll send out that e-mail after you go home). 6. Weekly reports on your web browsing are sent to your supervisor by default. and much , much more...Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 5 years★★★★★
In response to other recent reviews...Jul 1, 2015 - Anonymous Employee in University Park, ILRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
I'm writing this because I think it is unfair to criticize the CEO for drawing attention to our Glassdoor rating. He encouraged everyone to write a review but his only comments were to be honest. What's wrong with that? So employees that are happy came on here and said how they felt and obviously employees that are very unhappy came on here to post as well. - transparency- regular company meetings discussing the goals and vision and success of the company - lots of surprise employee programs and "events": we now have a paid day for birthday, employee bbq, free bagels every Tuesday, end of year party, other various treat days, art program, etc - I find the benefits package average to good. I've had worse, I've had better. Paid time off is below avg for Canadian employees who are used to getting more paid vacation upon hire (we get 2 weeks) - there are a lot of good people who work here and there is a lot of depth in experience - there are many educational opportunities for those interested...just don't expect a pay increase as a result
-pay, at least for non-execs, is below average - they consider a lot of 'promotions' lateral and don't award a pay increase - HR is pretty disappointing...not especially helpful, nor personable and my few friends that have needed assistance due to issues were basically told that they were at fault. - middle management is inconsistent. This means if you have one of the supervisors or managers that follow policies to a T, you may be disgruntled when you see others getting away with something that you cannot - those I know in Support feel underpaid and micromanaged. Many use Support as a stepping stone to get into the company and apply internally to transfer to other departments within a few yearsContinue reading
- Current Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
I am a current employee in Customer Support for Applied Systems, in the University Park, IL satellite office.Mar 22, 2015 - Support Tech in University Park, ILRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
If you work in Customer Support, starting salary is $30k. If you have prior experience and ask for a higher salary, you can make as high as $35k - $36k, but raises beyond that are scarce and hard to come by. A recent review on this site unfairly compared Applied salaries to that of a 'burger flipper'. This comment is obviously by someone who has never worked in the food service industry. Applied's Customer Support salaries are fair compared to the industry. It is also not realistic to compare Applied's salaries to those of a company downtown Chicago. Of course you'll make more working downtown. Everyone is more expensive in the city and so are the salaries. Before anyone compares their Applied salary to a comparable position in Chicago, think of the commuting time and expenses. Depending on where you live, if you have a 20 minute drive to Applied, you spend a total 40 minutes per day getting to work, time out of your personal life that you are not paid for. If you were to commute into the city via car or train, and then possibly have to walk or take a cab to get to your job. Your commuting times could be anywhere from 90 minutes and beyond. A typical commuting time into the city on a day with nice weather can be 2-3 hours both ways. Suddenly, your 9 hour and 10 minute work day is now 11, 12, maybe even 13 hours. Add the costs of gas, Metra passes, parking, taxis, etc, and you need to make more money to work downtown. So, for those people on here ripping Applied for their salaries, you have to take that into perspective. The benefits of Applied are pretty standard: 401K with full health, dental, vision, Flex HSA, and most of the typical other benefits. There is an on site cafeteria with mostly good food, but the prices can be high, especially if you get the stuff that they weigh. The coffee stations are stocked with a couple of different kinds of free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. There are fridges, toasters, and microwaves in every coffee station. Other benefits are a clean building with recently remodeled bathrooms. The people who maintain the building and the grounds do a nice job. Its nice coming to work to a place that is well maintained, looks good, and is kept up well. The CEO, Reid French is a great speaker and gives company meetings about once a quarter. He seems to be a nice guy who cares about the company, but then again, he is a CEO, he wouldn't have made it this far in his career if he wasn't good at making people think he cares, but more on this later. Hands down, the best thing about working for Applied though, are the people...at least the lower level and middle management. Upper management is nowhere to be found (because they're all in Atlanta - I did say that the University Park office is a satellite office, didn't I?) There are many great people at Applied who really care about their work, and their willingness to help out. Most of the support supervisors were in the departments they supervise, so they are willing to give hands on help to their employees to help them succeed. Also, many of the supervisors (at least the ones I see) do not run their departments with an iron fist. Call volumes are often high, and management is always asking people to pull another call, or spend 6 straight hours taking call after call without being able to log that call to anyone else. Depending on the department you are in, your work load varies significantly. Some support teams have down time and enough time to chit chat throughout the day, and other departments have supervisors that will question everything you do day in and day out, and God forbid if you go over your 30 minute unpaid lunch, they'll be on your throat. So while Im typing this in the Pros column, its also a negative. There are some great people at Applied, especially in support, but its really a crapshoot when you are hired which department you'll be in. Depending on the team, you can be miserable or pretty happy.
The company has these signs all over the place saying that the company has these Core Values and that we always need to strive to be our best and do the right thing, yet, once you are hired, you are pretty much shoehorned into a Support position with little to no career path. There are several other departments within the company that if you're lucky enough to get into, you can get a nice salary bump that would otherwise take you 4-5 years to equal in minuscule pay raises. Employees who really bust their butts get very similar raises to people who come in, do the bare minimum and keep their heads low. If you challenge management about raises, they'll tell you that Applied pays comparatively to the industry. The average raise throughout support is 3%. Some people will get more, some will get less. Lets say you start at $30k. A 3% raise is $900. So, after one year, you'll be making $30,900. They'll probably bump you to $1000 if you did a good job. So now you're making $31k. Next year, another $900. This time, they wont bump you, so youre at $31.900. Then the next year its $32,800. Maybe you did really good and got promoted and they gave you an extra $250. So now youre at $33,050. The point is, at this rate, if you stay in Support, it will take you 8-10 years to increase your salary by $10k. If you started at Applied fresh out of college, at 22, thats not so bad. But if you stayed there 10 years, you are now 32. You're probably married, and have a house, maybe you have kids. Assuming you're the breadwinner, $40k is not going to cut it for a 32 year old supporting a family. The point Im making here is that Applied treats it's support techs like dead end job workers. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to stay beyond a couple of years. And maybe thats what the company wants? The problem with that, is that Applied's primary product is extremely old. It was designed in the 80s, and although its received many updates over the years, it still runs on dBase III which is an extremely outdated platform. Applied also supports most of their older versions. You can still be on support for a version of their product that is from the very early 2000s. So, if Applied has no interest in keeping support techs for a long time, how do they plan on supporting their old products for so long? I mentioned Reid being a nice guy. The problem with Reid is that unlike Applied's former CEO, Jim Kellner who worked his way up at Applied and was passionate about the company, Reid is just a hired hand brought in by Applied's former owner Bain Capital (yes, the same one associated with Mitt Romney). The University Park office used to be the corporate headquarters, yet Mr French lives in Atlanta. So does pretty much every other member of the executive staff. There is an article on the Internet right now from the Atlanta Journal Constitution saying the company just bought a new building and is planning on hiring an additional 150 people. Has any of this been mentioned to the people in the UP office? No. Ask a member of management about it and they say they dont know what you're talking about, but they do. Like I said, Reid is a nice guy. Ive heard him talk and he's a great speaker, but I have absolutely no faith that he's in this for the long run. His job is to make Applied profitable and once he does that, he'll move onto other things. For the people in the UP office who feel that everything is still business as usual, its not. The building we work in is rented from someone else (the previous owners of the company actually), and the lease is up in 2019. Some reports originally said it was 2016, but now they say 2019. Does that mean the UP building will close in 2019? I have no idea. But it doesn't look good. The entire management team is in Atlanta, they're expanding there, plus with Bruce Rauner's recent claims to cut funding for the whole state, I bet Applied's owners are looking at the Illinois office as a less than ideal location. I can't speak for other areas of the company, but in support, the techs are overworked. There is always a shortage of staff, people rarely stay longer than 2-3 years which is either due to burnout, or getting a better offer somewhere else. There is little incentive to want to keep your career at Applied.Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★
OK first job, not a careerFeb 18, 2014 - Implementation LeadRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Bagel day, decent work/life balance, the people are nice. A lot of the supervisors try to support their employees. Casual dress code. Benefits are pretty good (vacation isn't though)
This company likes to pick up fresh grads, pay them next to nothing, and then give no raises. Out of the 5 years working there, I had two years with embarassingly low raises, two with no raise, and one job switch/promotion. I got sick of it and left. People either stay 1-2 years to get a little experience and get out (resulting in a bad product since the work is constantly being done by green employees) or they stay forever and aren't particularly thrilled to be there either. The first level of management tries to support you, but there are tons of layers of middle management and it's horrifying to see CEO cronies waltz in as SVPs when no one else sees a dime. The access road is awful and has been for years, they promise every year it'll get fixed and nothing happens.Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 3 years★★★★★
Mediocre environment, poor manager involvement, no interest in quality.Mar 25, 2015 - Testing Analyst in University Park, ILRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Good work to life, overtime is rare. Low stress
No interest in quality. Development runs QA. Low wages: most other companies within half an hour offer twenty to thirty percent higher pay Middle management does little to promote any change or improvement. Medical/Dental benefits get worse every year with very little information as to what is actually changing. Almost no advancement opportunity for quality assurance. Management only wants to hear good news.Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★
Great for Entry-Level careersJun 9, 2020 - Implementation Lead in University Park, ILRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Great co-workers! You get your birthday off! This company is continuing to grow, they will be around for a long time.
Middle management has no training on how to manage people.
- Former Employee, more than 8 years★★★★★
Has more downs then up's. Work here to get some xp, then go else where.Sep 19, 2017 - Anonymous Employee in University Park, ILRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
CEO - has a fantastic vision for the company. Executive Management (Director and above) follows this direction/vision. Co-Workers are fantastic, great bunch of people to work with.
Salary - very low (30-40%) of industry standard. The company should be embarrassed with the amount they pay people. Middle Management - horrible (in most departments) I don't know what happens from Executive management to middle, but, the vision of the company is lost. Very stuck in an 'I am the boss' not 'I am a leader' mentality. Benefits - horrible. Limited PTO (should be unlimited PTO). Medical premiums are about double what they should be. Extremely political to get promoted. If you're a 'Yes, ma'ma' or 'Yes, sir' person you'll get promoted. If you challenge the status quote and try to actually innovate you'll be punished for it. Yearly Bonuses - you'd think this be a Pro, but, they are so small it's not even funny. Bonuses should be at min 8-12% of the person salary.Continue reading
Applied Systems Response
Sr Vice President, Human Resources
Thank you for sharing your feedback on your experience with Applied, as it is always valuable to hear the perspective of someone who spent a significant number of years with us. I am pleased to know your view that our senior leadership team is effectively leading the way towards executing against our company’s vision and striving toward a bright future for Applied. I am however disappointed to hear this was not your experience with mid-level managers. Our evolution towards guiding and enabling those with direct reports to be “leaders” vs. “managers” is an initiative we are continually focusing on. We have seen significant progress in this area that I am highly confident will continue going forward. I was also disappointed to see your characterization of Applied’s Total Awards programs- both benefits and compensation. This is an area we know is of high importance to all employees and is one which we both continually monitor and strive to ensure is competitive. With significantly and widely publicized medical cost escalation across the US over the past several years it is true that employee costs have increased. Truth be told, Applied has absorbed by far a greater percentage of these increases as we look to blunt the impact on employees. In addition, and based on significant external benchmarking analysis, I can confirm Applied’s paid time off policies (vacation, holidays, sick time, etc.) are very much competitive. In addition, the company has been delivering increases in compensation very much in line with prevailing practice across the market. Of particular note, I can also confirm that our high performing employees at ALL levels across the company have seen both salary increases and annual bonus payments far beyond average. Finally, we do continually strive to understand why employees occasionally opt to leave via exit surveys (recognizing our annual employee voluntary turnover rate consistently remains well below 10%) and to address opportunities for improvement as they are identified. Once again, my thanks for providing your perspective- and I remain open to directly discussing your insights should you care to reach out to me directly.
Applied Systems Response
Sr Vice President, Human Resources