Black Hills Corporation Reviews | Glassdoor

Black Hills Corporation Reviews

Updated September 14, 2017
10 reviews

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Black Hills Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David R. Emery
David R. Emery
7 Ratings

10 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Black Hills"

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

    I worked at Black Hills Corporation full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Black Hills is very competitive with salary/wages along with employee benefits. The company is also a growth oriented company.

    Cons

    Black Hills promotes publicly a good work atmosphere, but senior managment is completely unaware of what the real atmosphere is like as they are told by HR that all is good. Prior to the tremendous growth in the last 10 years there was a good atmosphere, but the growth has changed it to a very acidic atmosphere.

    Advice to Management

    Don't belive the results of the speak-up survey and what HR tells you, as most employees fear sharing the truth on the speakup survey since you have to log in to take it. Also, most department heads tell the employees they want good results from the speak-up survey. So visit one-on-one with employees and you will get honest results. The previous CEO did such and he understood much better the atmosphere of the company.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Too many take-overs, not enough integration"

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

    I have been working at Black Hills Corporation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people I work with are really nice. Most have been with the company for 5-10 years, which says a lot for the company.
    Stable industry & business model from generation through end-user.
    They put a lot into internal communications... almost too much. (Daily rah-rah emails really are not necessary._

    Cons

    Too Many Meetings. Collaboration is great, but dear god let people do their jobs instead of just talking about what needs to be done!
    They are overly focused on their stock holders and not their customers (I came from an acquired company that put our customers first.)
    They pat themselves on the back for knowing all there is to know about everything, and will not actually listen to any ideas from acquired companies or adopt "best practices" like they said they would, especially if it involves spending money on new systems or changing the way they have always done things. They won't allow us to go to industry meetings like we use to, even though I found those to be really helpful and reenergizing to talk to others in the industry.
    They told the PUCs that new employees would be integrated and they would examine & keep best systems. Not true. We're going back in time to out-dated billing & customer service systems, horrid intranet, accounting and HR systems.
    Employees coming from acquired companies are not exactly being welcomed with open arms. There's definitely a lot of animosity from legacy BH people who don't want anything to do with their new colleagues, and resent having to work with them.
    Rapid City for HQ. It's great you want to support the community you started in, but no one outside of SD wants to move there. Really. Let us stay where you hired us - technology makes it possible for us to still do our jobs. I don't mind coming up to visit once a month or once a quarter, but no I do not want to live there.

    Advice to Management

    You need more day-to-day contact with the teams you over-see. I've been able to meet all of the senior leadership and they're great people, but the folks in Rapid City seem to be completely intimidated by the SLT, and it's like they're kept off-limits on their own floor where they don't have to interact with the worker-bees. I hope at the new building, the VPs will sit with their teams, not all on one executive level where they're avoided by everyone below them.

    No one wants to move to Rapid City. Ever. Even with the new fancy building. Let people stay in the office where you acquired them (Arkansas, Denver, Omaha, wherever!) Seriously, no one wants to move there.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Constant acquisitions make for bad workplace"

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

    I worked at Black Hills Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    PTO, summer hours, insurance… your benefits at BHE are great. If you're the unambitious type who is looking for an easy place to work, this is a great place to coast.

    Cons

    Their strategy is unsustainable. Basically, BHE wants to continue acquiring other utilities, not fully integrating them before they are on to the next acquisition. While they claim they are following an integration plan, employees don't know each other and processes are extremely clunky, resulting in wasted money duplicating tasks. Not to mention the "good old boys club" is strong there. The worst, though, is their goal to "meet" environmental goals but never exceed them, claiming their customers don't want renewable energy. Zero commitment to the environment or long-term strategic planning. And no, buying another company next year is not strategic.

    Advice to Management

    Before you focus on who to buy next, why not take a look at how you can save money internally streamlining processes?


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Sounds good on paper"

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

    Pros

    The co-workers are the best part of my job. Everyone seems to work well together and have each others backs. There are good benefits, insurance and PTO.

    Cons

    Upper management has no concern for their employees, they are just about the bottom dollar. The vision and mission of the company sound great, but the leaders do not "walk the walk." Front line employees are the least of the companies concern and this is starting to have a direct effect on customers. Advancement is more who you know than what you know or do.

    Advice to Management

    Work to move the company into the current workforce culture. Utilities will always be a necessity, but that doesn't guarantee success for a poorly run company.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Sad and Comical at the Same Time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - IT Employee in Golden, CO
    Former Employee - IT Employee in Golden, CO

    I worked at Black Hills Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    > Genuinely nice people.

    > The CTO seems like a good person.

    Cons

    BHC acquired the company I worked for, SourceGas. They stood in front of our company and told us they would analyze our IT systems and keep the best-of-breed. That couldn't be further from the truth of how things unfolded.

    > They truly believe they are an advanced company technology-wise to the point that as you're having a good laugh with their management on some of the system shortcomings you realize they aren't laughing with you and then you get sad because they really don't get it.

    > As a result of acquiring so many companies they fast-track integrating systems and data without having a fundamental understanding of how the acquired system works. At that point you clearly see how unskilled their staff is as they unravel before your eyes.

    > Their IT staff is massive and each little worker protects the tiny little world of tech they support at all costs resulting in a very stagnant skill set.

    > It's a rodeo show so if you are ok with keeping quiet and watching their folks operate, you'll get a good laugh for a while. There's been some great shooting from the hip-type stuff that you just have to shake your head at and let play out because clearly they know better than you do.

    > Rapid City. They don't even have high-speed internet...THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Senior IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Senior Specialist
    Former Employee - IT Senior Specialist
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good training and experience. Good coworkers and supervisors in IT. Good benefits and ok salary.

    Cons

    Lots of politics. Difficult to stand out since your work is visible mostly to your supervisor and not higher up. Too much emphasis on investors and not as much to employee loyalty. If you are not one of the old entrenched employees, you are expendable. Once you become part of the network , then you are fine.

    Advice to Management

    The bottom line first and foremost is the employee. Invest in the employees and customer service will improve also. Reduce politics and make sure the entrenched buddy system that is in place today is dismantled. The reasons for promoting an employee are not merit based at the moment. This must change.


  7. "Operations roles are heavily skewed toward only engineers, very limited mindset and culture"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If an engineer, available employment advances.

    Cons

    Engineer culture, old utility and customer service systems, decision makers located only on executive level (2-3 folks!)

    Advice to Management

    Expand your executive ranks to other business acumen

  8. "Big Talk, Little (if any) Follow through"

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

    I have been working at Black Hills Corporation full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good matching (401K), Nice people (co workers), Ok benefits and descent salary (for the mid-west)

    Cons

    Upper management is always looking out for the shareholders first and foremost. They talk a good game about better working conditions, safety etc... but when it comes down to putting out the $ its not so important then. I feel this company is one good cost cut away from a major safety issue or disaster.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some employees, get up to date with technology and systems. Get a better IT department and fund them to bring us into the 21st century, make an effort to talk to and understand lower managements needs and employees needs, we do a good job for you.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Work comes first for this company, personal and family time second."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accountant in Rapid City, SD
    Current Employee - Accountant in Rapid City, SD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Established stable company with great opportunity for growth.

    Cons

    Extensive hours required to complete position responsibilities. Very little time for family.

    Advice to Management

    Expand professional work force to allow for the companies growth.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Benefits used to be good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Worker Bee in Omaha, NE
    Current Employee - IT Worker Bee in Omaha, NE
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    401K benefits are very good.
    Co-Workers are excellent

    Cons

    Managers expect you to work 50+ hours a week. If you don't work excessive hours then don't ever expect an excellent review or a promotion.

    Good ol' boy network with very few woman and/or minorities in the department.

    Advice to Management

    Try having a life so your employees can as well.


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