Unavco - Supporting cutting edge science in a small organization. | Glassdoor
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Helpful (4)

"Supporting cutting edge science in a small organization."

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO

Pros

UNAVCO is very well respected by the science community. The science areas supported by UNAVCO are cutting edge and are growing. The environment is more academic then business, providing a more relaxed working environment. Jobs seem to be fairly stable since funding is in 5 year cycles. Benefits are very competitive, while compensation is a bit lower than similar types of science supported Government funded organizations. A good way stop in one's path toward a PhD.

Cons

External appearances are misleading. Management is old styled and non-supportive of current management practices (collaboration, transparency, inclusiveness, communication). With the new president some of these issues are being addressed; time will tell. The organization is fairly flat which also means career opportunities (promotions) are limited (so this is a positive and negative). HR is rudimentary and not always competent.

Advice to Management

Encourage and support collaboration, transparency, inclusiveness, and communication within the company and provide structure for the community and staff to get to know each other better.

Other Employee Reviews for Unavco

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Cool organization that changed for the 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 Unavco full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great science is being accomplished by this non-profit consortium. Funded by the National Science Foundation. Most employees are interesting and outdoor oriented. They manage a large GPS instrument network and help scientists install temporary and fixed stations to measure movements in the earth's crust. Became independent from UCAR in the early 2000's. Is a good environment for Directors and above and junior-level staff.

    Cons

    During the last three years management has reorganized its organization into a rigid hierarchical structure that has more in common large commercial organizations. The half a dozen senior management personal have wide ranging authority. The middle management has little independent authority and limited visibility. Moral is poor among a large number of staff and they have experience vacancies of key personal in recent years.

    Advice to Management

    Sr. Managements need to bring middle management into the decision making process. They need to make the organization more agile.


  2. "Good place, but could improve on several fronts"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    For the most part, co-workers are excellent; knowledgeable, hard-working and dedicated to the company's mission. They are there for each other - caring and supportive co-worker community. Most have a positive attitude.
    Relaxed environment with flexible hours and approachable staff.
    Pleasant day-to-day environment.
    Very good benefits; good health care, good amount of paid time off, flexible hours (for most groups).
    Good location in Gunbarrel tech center.
    For motivated employees, opportunities to learn through formal avenues or from co-workers exist. Company is supportive of employee professional development, even if funding for development is very limited.
    Most employees are awarded a good amount of autonomy from their managers.
    Retention of staff in certain departments such as middle management and field engineering is high (>5 years).
    Manages successful internship programs for college students provide scientific experiences to underrepresented demographics in STEM.

    Cons

    Upper management does not have true formal management experience or education, except for on-the-job experience; they are flying by the seat of their pants, with varying results. Most have participated in external training, paid for by the company, but are later in their careers as managers, well after habits - good or bad - have formed.
    President is "outward looking" (her own words). Does not engage with lower level staff, despite being aware of staff wanting more interaction. Lack of engagement means she does not always appear to “go to bat” for lower-level employees.
    Poor top-down communication across company.
    Lack of transparency from President causes rumors to spread and generally builds an atmosphere of mistrust around President.
    Pay is not competitive for Boulder County - though benefits are very good, better than most companies.
    Increasing "corporate" environment throughout the years.
    Raises are minimal (between 1-3% company-wide average per year). Some years there are no raises.
    Flat funding from main funding source
    Little vertical mobility or promotion opportunity.
    Information across groups is not shared well - no adequate system in place for this. Groups often re-invent the wheel, or develop their own methods or systems independently from what others may be doing.
    Lack of proper centralized project management software or infrastructure; lots of different "islands" of systems or databases related to different aspects of projects.
    Retention of staff is poor in some areas such as HR and computer-based fields (software engineering, IT, etc.).
    Lack of diversity, even for Boulder.

There are newer employer reviews for Unavco
There are newer employer reviews for Unavco

See Most Recent

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