Atkins Reviews | Glassdoor

Atkins Reviews

Updated April 25, 2017
536 reviews

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3.3
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Atkins CEO Uwe Krueger
Uwe Krueger
211 Ratings

536 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Poor work life balance, often having to work late in to the evening to complete work (in 12 reviews)

  • Feels like a retirement club at senior management level of practices (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (11)

    "Don't expect to advance or treated with prefessional respect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - GIS Analyst in Beltsville, MD
    Former Employee - GIS Analyst in Beltsville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Friendly staff and middle management (for the most part). Never got a 'No' answer when I needed time off for a sick or vacation day.

    Cons

    Disrespectful management, crazy deadlines, not having final data, no raises. If staff (non-management) want to be respected and paid more they are expected to make this their passion, come in off the clock, work weekends, take extra classes for fun, write papers, etc.. When promotion time comes, there's no way for someone that works 40 hours per week and doesn't work extra (off the clock) to get a full 3% raise, those are reserved for those that go above and beyond on their own time. Don't expect to have a work-life balance and be able to get ahead. If you like to make friends and occasionally talk with your fellow employees you will be looked at as a 'slacker' and I don't mean chatting all day I mean socialize as in drop by and have a brief talk with someone about their day, weekend, family, sports, etc.. They will play favorites and reward those who suck up to management. ONLY CONSIDER WORKING HERE IF YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED A JOB! Half the staff has considered leaving for non-professional careers like fast food management, trade school, package delivery, and the like (no knock against those careers but it's not why you go to college and get a degree or advanced degree). You also don't get 'sick days' if you're sick or have an emergency count on using you're accrued vacation time. You get 0 to start and accrue at a rate of 4 hours per week. You can also count on paying for your own holiday party.

    Advice to Management

    Start over, treat your staff professionally, they are not drones they are people who have lives outside of work. Give them respect, incentives, and TRY to make them feel like coming into work everyday isn't the worst part of their day.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "No longer the progressive, friendly work culture that characterized PBSJ before Atkins."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tampa, FL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tampa, FL
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    this company has great projects, global perspective, extablished client base, plus good benefits and work environment. Rank and file employees are still committed.

    Cons

    New North American leadership is hierachial and non-communicative. North America business unit ppears to be getting out of the environmental business and overall seems to be pushing out all of the long-term employees who made PBS&J successful.

    Advice to Management

    It's too late to recover what you've lost. Become less arrogant and ask questions of your employeest. Culture means you walk the talk. Integrity begins with top leadership.


  3. Helpful (12)

    "consider working here ONLY IF YOU'RE A SHEEP"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Professionals who care & sacrifice.The production architects & in-house management always went beyond the call of duty, but were cut off at the knees by ineptitude & arrogance further up.

    Cons

    Disrespectful management, calling consultants vulgar terms after ending a phone call, screaming at a young, female architect because she got a detail wrong,(she quit) throwing a set of drawings at you saying "Pick up these red-lines." which I found out meant do Project Coordination of 12 consultants on 2 buildings - one existing - & he thought THAT should be done in a week!
    Don't even think of recording your real time on timesheets - my immediate manager worked every weekend & many evenings the whole time I was there - the entire team had to work Easter Sunday - for FREE!
    If a co-worker was at my desk, at 8:08, he received a comment - not from his manager, but mine, to the effect he should have been working for half an hour already - not visiting! And he worked 10 hours a day everyday! Upper management was either a blow-hard or blowing smoke -THAT's why the projects are failing.

    Advice to Management

    Intimidation is a REALLY out-moded form of management. So is a "Good-ole-boys" club mentality. You CAN'T manage a BIM project if you don't DO BIM. Don't try to bullsh*t your clients.


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  5. Helpful (12)

    "Look for a better place, PBS&J's culture is gone after buyout by Atkins Global"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    The actual people who do the work at the mid and lower levels are fantastic. There are some really good contracts and some interesting programs. I loved working with my client. The clients were definitely the most interesting part of the job.

    Cons

    The upper management is awful and North America runs as a good ole' boy structure. No raises for years, hundreds of people have been laid off on more than one occasion with no warning, etc. I loved working for PBS&J and fortunately for me I was tied to a contract so I wasn't one of those laid off at the start, but still had to watch a lot of good people go and not know what was next with no information or time to plan. I can't count how many people called me to say they felt like they were being forced out/shut out. I worked in two different offices, but the management doesn't change so there are no improvements to be gained from moving from one office to another. Not only was I told that I was an integral part of the program team for my client, but other people were told as well...still no raises or advancement. Anyway, after 10 years (8 of those with PBS&J), I quit my job to go make less money because the management was so terrible. I loved working for PBS&J, had planned to someday retire from there and can't even begin to tell you what a disappointment the Atkins takeover and horrible management practices were. They bring people in from the U.K. to work, but as a North American employee you're warned by lower level managers that you could be fired for even talking about transferring to Australia or someplace else for new opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    I really feel it's too late to regain what you lost. The smart, creative and dedicated people that jumped ship because of the management are so many that they're hard to count. PBS&J has been gutted/destroyed by the buyout and Atkins management will never regain that because the culture is so different. PBS&J was a wonderful, creative and open place that attracted the best of the best. You'll notice that the best keep leaving, which has everything to do with making your employees feel that they don't matter and have no real opportunities, but are boxed in and that the bottom line is the only important thing even when that involves not doing the best job for your client. Additionally, trying to box people into contracts and not letting them transfer out to explore new opportunities only keeps sheep where you want them...the others will leave for lack of opportunity.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "A poorly managed firm that hasn't come to grips with the fact it was acquired"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good office network. Many talenet and dedicated people, especially at the entry and mid-levels. Flexible work environment.

    Cons

    Low pay except for senior management. Atkins North America is the product of the acquisition of PBSJ by UK-based Atkins in 2010. Yet most former PBSJ senior management don't act like anything has changed. Also, lots of political maneuvering by senior managers to protect their turf. A highly "silo-ed" environment with very little collaboration.

    Advice to Management

    Time to reorganize. Break down barriers between divisions and regions. Ongoing layoffs hurt morale. Over-emphasis on meeting weekly producitivty numbers diminishes marketing. "Atkins" is a new brand in the US so it needs to think like a start-up.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Stuffy corporate environment at Atkins North America, Inc."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Exposure to a large corporate environment.

    Cons

    Exposure to a large corporate, very impersonal business environment

    Advice to Management

    Let your daily decisions be guided by your values and beliefs, not your personal goal of financial success.


  8. Helpful (11)

    "A Poisonous, Demoralizing, Dreadful Place to Work,"

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

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

    Pros

    The Austin office is in a very nice building that is centrally located in the city. PBS&J, the company purchased by Atkins, was a decent place to work.

    Cons

    This place is ruled by fear and paranoia and is driven by gossip, It is a dog-eat-dog world where a high percentage of the staff are routinely worried about being laid off. The managers are more concerned about posturing and saving their own tails than completing projects or doing quality work.

    Advice to Management

    Give your employees the resources and the support they need to do their jobs. Make decisions based on sound business judgment rather than fear.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Houston Booming - Atkins Busting"

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

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

    Pros

    Talented co-workers. Very good benefits and flexible work schedules to enable a family work life balace. Nice office great dining nearby.

    Cons

    Political, corrupt with rampant favortism. Demoralizing & demotivating management style, manage by intimidation. Constant re-organization leaves employees unsettled and fearful of being laid off. Management has admitted for years that they have horrible communication skills yet do not correct. A revolving door for talented people. Declining reputation in the industry.

    Advice to Management

    Your actions speak louder than words and they say you are out for number one...yourself.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Inexperienced Group managers!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Consultant in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    good benefits, okay work-life balance, 9/80 schedule is also good

    Cons

    Structures, HSE and process groups are doing very bad, some of group managers threaten the staff to fire if they do not work hard or if they cannot bring projects to the company. Juniors are the slaves, and group managers are the slave drivers. No ethics at all, they fire staff in a minute. They mainly throw them out.

    Group managers only deal with politics, they do not know how to manage the staff. My group manager lied to me at least five times.

    Advice to Management

    The y should fire the group managers and bring in experience managers to manage the groups, especially HSE, Structures and Process groups.


  11. Helpful (11)

    "Falling Apart!! They keep firing consultants"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Line Manager in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Line Manager in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    good friends, nice junior staff

    Cons

    It is falling apart, Management fired almost 15 consultants in a day without any warning. Very inexperienced group managers for all groups. Some of the managers destroyed the good culture that was established years ago.

    Advice to Management

    CEO should change the management system and the managers asap.


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