General Dynamics Land Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

General Dynamics Land Systems Reviews

Updated September 24, 2016
43 reviews

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Gary L. Whited
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43 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule, knowledgeable staff, interesting product line (in 43 reviews)

  • 9/80 work schedule gives you every other Friday off (in 28 reviews)

Cons
  • Not enough diversity in upper management (in 16 reviews)

  • Whenever there is a down turn in the defense industry, lay-offs start at the bottom and management are not affected (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (8)

    "Awful Experience on A twilight Zone Level! DON'T DO IT!!"

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

    I worked at General Dynamics Land Systems full-time

    Pros

    9/80 Work Schedule
    Health Insurance
    The buildings have doors

    Cons

    I left GDLS in Sterling Heights, Mi willingly three years ago. I worked there 5 years right out of college as a project manager. I left because I absolutely hated it. I couldn't stand to think of going to work in the morning and had to drag myself there in misery step-by-step. It is the most toxic, mind-numbing and in-bred work environment or organization I have ever been a part of.

    I wouldn't have been this harsh three years ago after having left the company, but my experiences at real, modern and people centered organizations have made me realize just how bad it was. I was reading some of the reviews on here and started to feel like I felt when I worked there and it was immediately depressing as hell. I wish I was exaggerating.

    You will be made to feel like a small, worthless cog that's sole purpose is to slog through life with your eyes to the ground waiting for orders from the enlightened managers on-high who have all the good ideas and see you for the worthless plebe you are. The executives refer to people as if they are products ("We are selling the USG 10 people, I don't think that price is too high at all."). The managers are too busy seeing who is king of the mountain and protecting their worthless empires to change anything for the better. Those that have been there for a while either check out and do nothing, or carry all the water for the rest of the burnouts. The young and talented are like Unicorns: they make the place better until they either run away or assimilate into just another donkey.

    Unless you are one of the chosen ones, you will be ignored at meetings, your ideas will be shot down out of hand and managers will ignore you and act like you don't exist. Racism was rampant. Nepotism and sex would get you promotions. They played Fox News in the hallways.

    You see, all they are doing is playing a game. The game is to talk the USG into giving them as much money as they possibly can for more and more tanks that they don't need and then milk the contracts of every last penny, even if it means forcing your employees to work over their winter vacations doing nothing but padding their time sheets.

    For those of you that don't think its that bad, think again. Look through the rest of the reviews on this and other sites and you will see a very clear pattern of the same complaints.

    Oh, and by the way, if you work there and think I'm exaggerating how bad it is, I would have thought the same thing until I experienced what its like to work with people who see me as more than a cog in the machine that pumps money into their crooked pockets. Its very likely that your affection for the company, if you have any, is actually either ignorance or Stockholm syndrome. GET OUT NOW!!! RUN!!!

    Advice to Management

    Fire the management team, demolish the building and start from scratch. There isn't a band-aid in the world big enough to fix that rotten corpse.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "A lot for a little, if you can put up with it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sterling Heights, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sterling Heights, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at General Dynamics Land Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits (although reduced in recent years)
    9/80 work schedule gives you every other Friday off
    If you want to be lazy there is always some department that will put up with it

    Cons

    Inept upper management, yes-man middle management, constrained supervisors
    Focus on processes instead of products or benefits of the products
    Not a competitive environment; satisfied with milking DoD contracts
    Motivated employees are taken advantage of and end up doing the majority of all work
    Internal job posting system is a complete joke
    HQ facility not the cleanliest (i.e. mice)

    Advice to Management

    Figure out some way to force the executives to play nice with each other; the childish behaviors flow right down to the lowest levels.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "It progressively got worse year after year"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    There are pockets of good. If you are in a certain position, it is nice to be there. This positions are all at the Section Manager level or higher. Pay is pretty good at that level.

    Cons

    Leadership stinks, constant "clipboarding (are you done yet)", blaming others for failure, throw others under the bus and then backup the bus again and again...two or three words can describe the place: Very Toxic Environment!!!!

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your employees and may be listen to them once in a while instead of listening to the project lead's BS! They are only telling you what you want to hear.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Weak Upper Management Team"

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

    I worked at General Dynamics Land Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    PTO is above average and 9/80 schedule is great!

    Cons

    Very incompetent Upper Management team for years who mostly manage by intimidation. They surround themselves with "yes man" type of individuals that are average to bellow average individuals. The culture moved backwards in time in the past 10-15 years where the rest of the world moved forward. The reason they can get away with this behavior is due to the large sole source contracts that they have and no fear of competition. This management team will not last a month under normal real business world operations. Bad decision after anther in the past few years and the business looks bleak.

    Advice to Management

    What Management team? This can only be fixed by Phebe (a highly respected CEO) getting rid of 75% of the management team and replacing them with more competent and more dynamic individuals.


  6. "Lots of Politics, not a lot of performance based evaluations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering in Ladson, SC
    Former Employee - Engineering in Ladson, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Dynamic fast paced, it keeps you on your toes and keeps you challenged. For the most part, really great people.

    Cons

    Very unrealistic expectations from the management team and getting thrown under the bus is very politically motivated. Watch out for the long beards.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the experts you hire, that is why you hired them in the first place.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "GD is like a sick cult"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Specialist in Sterling Heights, MI
    Former Employee - Engineering Specialist in Sterling Heights, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at General Dynamics Land Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You don't have to be smart, just charge the work directive. If you have no self worth you will do fine here. There is opportunity here even in the downtime, just don't count on your management to take care of you. Only the systems organization even tries.

    Cons

    The culture is sick. You are salaried, but brainwashed and treated like an hourly high school kid. Subsystems engineering hasn't actually designed anything in 15 years. The process and the paperwork is everything. The director of subsystems likes to huff and puff and scream at everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Management won't read this, they work in a vacuum from within the cult. The human resources department makes the engineering policy by giving guidelines to management and the management doesn't have the will or intelligence to challenge it (as long as it doesn't impact their own bonus). My advice would be, cut deeper and hire fresh to cure the disease... don't hold on to the weak. You aren't going to be productive unless you adapt to the changing marketplace.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "A great place to have a job, but don't expect a career."

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

    I have been working at General Dynamics Land Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    9/80 schedule is awesome. Work environment is mostly stress-free. Projects/subject matter is very interesting. Most people are very friendly and a pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    Morale is in the gutter. No chance for promotion or increasing responsbility,despite repeated requests to take on more challenging assignments. You are put into an area to perform specific job functions and are left there until you leave. There is no vision for employee growth or development. Work is mostly unrewarding, as most of your work goes unreviewed by managers and even the customer. After a while even the best of performers will lose their motivation, as the performance evaluation system segregates all employees by a few tenths of a percent of a 5 pt scale...no matter how much you attempt to separate yourself from the herd by going above and beyond.

    There is absolutely no communication in the organization. Department meetings were held on a less than annual basis.... and were only held to address some HR issue or ISO situation. Timecard system is a pain, but you eventually get used to the over-burden.

    The silo-structure of the organization stifles growth and kills motivation. Employees attempting to grow in skill and value to the organization have no path to achieve either.

    Upper management tends to strut around the organization as though the sheeple they encounter are only there to do their bidding. For the most part, they simply come off as arrogant and detached, which leads to a fear of their involvment on any project.

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers based on skills and attributes required to lead, motivate, and develop people. Middle managers need to be great leaders, not glorified timecard watchers who spend 90% of their time projecting manpower forecasts.

    Learn to recognize who your good employees are, and reward them accordingly. Make an employee feel appreciated for their contribution to the department/organization, and then marvel at how much additional value they will bring to your organization and eventually the bottom line.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Keep you in the Dark - No Communications"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Engineer II in Ladson, SC
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Engineer II in Ladson, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at General Dynamics Land Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    It was a job with great people while it lasted

    Cons

    GDLS loves to keep you in the dark about everything. They will layoff as many people as necessary to show a profit for corporate. They will have work weekends and extended hours with thinking twice.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your people and keep them informed. The company likes everything planned your workers would like to plan too.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Upper Management Needs to Step Up, Change or Go"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Sterling Heights, MI
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Sterling Heights, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at General Dynamics Land Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work- Light workload, little overtime and comp time if worked, 9/80 and flexible work schedule is great for working moms, job rotation for high potentials, gppd merits for top performers, little interference from immediate supervisor
    Social- Fitness center, golf outings, ladies nights, Christmas parties

    Cons

    Benefits package gets worse every year. Upper management too focused on details, not the big picture, not forward-looking, won't change to new ways of thinking. Outdated technology causes delays. Older employees (50 and up) are in management positions they are not qualified for, can't change to new ways of doing things, are jealous of younger employees and overly critical of them. Few opportunities for advancement to management levels for younger, dynamic top performers.

    Advice to Management

    Stop clinging to the past and change to new ways of thinking in order to grow the business or you will lose your top performers to the automotive industry. They deserve better!


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at General Dynamics Land Systems as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are some people who are alright there.

    Cons

    You work with some of the dumbest people in the industry. There are countless people there who do absolutely nothing.



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