Highland Solutions Reviews | Glassdoor

Highland Solutions Reviews

Updated February 6, 2017
21 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.3
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Brian Sutherland
15 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

  1. "Good company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Applications Developer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Applications Developer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Highland Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good company culture, competitive benefits

    Cons

    No clear path for promotion, team members moved between teams


  2. Helpful (1)

    "The People Here Set Highland Apart"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highland Solutions (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have been holding off on writing this review so that I could properly articulate my thoughts and experience at Highland thus far. As I read extremely negative reviews from past and current Team Members, I admit that I do feel a mix of sadness, outrage and pity. I have been with the company for quite some time and have seen many changes during my time here.

    Have there been growing pains and have mistakes been made along the way? Of course, but that’s life – nothing’s perfect. For those that spend their time holding grudges and ill will towards those that remain – please let it go. In an attempt to make yourself feel better, you are unintentionally (or maybe intentionally, not sure) hurting those that remain - the Team Members that you once worked beside daily. The people that would always ask how your weekend was and would drop whatever it was that they were doing to answer any question you had (if you were willing to ask).

    Getting to the most important part of this review - what is it that sets Highland apart from others and makes me want to stick with the Team through the ups and downs? It’s truly the people that work here. I have never worked with such a highly motivated, intelligent and generous group that truly take great pride and care in what they do. The leadership team here empowers Team Members to take control of their career and speak their mind. Whether or not people choose to do that is upon them.

    If that type of work environment appeals to you, then there is a strong chance that Highland is the right fit. If you want everything in black and white and want to be told what to do all the time then perhaps it's not.

    Cons

    As mentioned above, the team has and will most likely continue to experience growing pains in the near future. That is to be expected with a smaller organization. Processes and procedures aren't fully to optimum efficiency yet, but I trust that the people here will help us get to that level.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing but make sure to remain people focused. The day to day operations and stresses of running a business can be distracting but don't forget to continue to give attention to your most valuable assets - the Team.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Cultural Wasteland"

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

    I worked at Highland Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The office is nice. Snacks are provided, and on occasion lunch. The office is close to public transportation. Some benefits, although they have recently been subject to cost-cutting measures.

    Cons

    The culture is dominated by a clique of inexperienced, backstabbing, egomaniacal "team members" looking for a reason to throw you under the bus to "save themselves." Long after you've escaped, they will continue to project their own feelings onto you as the root cause, and management encourages this behavior. If you aren't accepted into the club, your job is already at risk. Titles are tossed around like cans of La Croix: if you've been a sycophant for six months, you're guaranteed a lead manager title (without pay or meaningful responsibility of course). There's a reason they constantly have open positions--not only is salary on the low end of market value, but who wants to stay at a place that turns a blind eye to, or even harbors this type of culture?
    The management culture is just as bad. Sure, they will hype you up with words like "empowerment" and "flat organization," but don't kid yourself about such themes--power is concentrated in the hands of the few. The leaders that entered the company with solid experience, pure intentions, and the vision to take the company to the next level, were chewed up and spit out by entrenched management. As long as the same people remain in power, the organization will not change.

    Advice to Management

    There are dozens of companies that do what you do and can do it better. You anxiety-filled reactions and incessant risk-aversion, as well as your sad management team has led you to this point and stripped you of any meaningful differentiation. Most of the remaining staff are looking to jump ship. Anyone willing to follow at this point does so out of blind loyalty, and at risk to their own career. Put them out of their misery and sell the company.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    "A Great Place to Work and Grow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highland Solutions (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Highland has one of the most supportive and open cultures I have ever experienced. The work and the people are interesting and smart. I have worked here for several years and I still enjoy going to work every day and collaborating with a really talented team of people who like to build valuable tools for our clients.

    Cons

    Highland has grown significantly every year that I have worked here and growth always creates challenges. Processes and structures have to mature to keep up. Highland's commitment to incremental improvement keeps us ahead of the game, but it can feel pretty stretching at times.

    Advice to Management

    Keep creating a great environment for your employees and thanks for valuing and respecting us as people!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Breath of Fresh Air"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highland Solutions full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A welcoming culture that allows each individual to find their true calling and expand their career. Work/life balance is stressed from day one and something that everyone believes in from the top down. After working for a very large tech company where the culture felt more like a frat house than a business, it's amazing to work for a company where a relaxed, yet productive environment is fostered. Benefits and compensation are well in line with the market, if not better.

    Cons

    Highland is a very flat organization and it can get the best of us sometimes when tough decisions need to be made. With that being said, it has yet to impede our progress as a growing company. It just may take us longer to make those tough decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Your presence and guidance is always welcomed in meetings and the current projects we are working on. Do not feel like you would be a hinderance, we value your opinions!


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Trying to Escape"

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

    I have been working at Highland Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    cool tools and dig (physical working environment)

    Cons

    As a current employee, I can say that feedback is not appreciated at Highland. Those who speak out or criticize are either frozen out of discussions or they're told they "should find somewhere else to work'. The boss wants "yes" people and evangelists--those who tried to speak up are no longer with the company. (I'm hoping to leave soon, as well.)

     Here are some examples of feedback handling: employee anonymous survey conducted by HR contained candid feedback from a large number of employees. The management team summarized the content and blamed the team members for the ongoing issues. Also, employee engagement survey feedback is not put into any sort of visible action plan. It is met with scorn and dismissed by management.

     One-on-ones with management are awkward and full of pressure to pledge allegiance to Highland. Several employees have reported they've been told if they have criticisms of the organization they should find other work. This has also been my experience, and given the high caliber of the folks leaving, it shows this culture has crushed morale and creativity.

    Advice to Management

    Do you wonder why your employees are leaving? Perhaps try listening to them.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Very good, aspiring to be great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Highland has its heart in the right place, with lots of people who care about helping each other and doing good work together. I like a lot of things about Highland, but Brian (founder and CEO) is the main reason I came and the reason I stay. There is a strong team-based, no-shame culture that helps people learn from mistakes and not be overly anxious about their work. There's also a strong vibe of constantly learning and improving. As a problem solver, I love that I can make an impact all across the business as there is freedom to recognize what can be better and make a difference. Bureaucracy is very low. There is a TON of autonomy to do your work, which I find awesome but I recognize some find overwhelming. Lots of team-based structures and a pretty flat hierarchy. The company has nearly doubled in the last two years and that kind of growth brings challenges, but also lots of career opportunities to level up.

    Cons

    Clear processes lag behind growth, so sometimes things take more effort than they should. The company has lots of high-performing people, but can be slow to reposition those who are struggling or under-contributing. The culture can be overly "nice" and avoid hard conversations, so if you want helpful, critical feedback you often need to seek it out. Many teams have remote workers, so having a team physically present together is rare. The company is still fairly small so crunch time can't be avoided sometimes. Work/life balance is typically great (I'm under 50 hours most weeks and it could be less if I wanted) but there are certain seasons when more is needed.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on developing emerging leaders and recognizing/rewarding high-performing people. Set more measurable goals around the strategy so people have a clearer view to what is next and how we are doing.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Challenging Work, Fun Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highland Solutions full-time

    Pros

    Highland is a really good company. The work is very challenging, in a good way, which in turn makes it very rewarding. The people are among the smartest and most dedicated I've ever worked with; a great motivator in and of itself. They are also in a fantastic location. From the very start of what is a long interview process, I knew this was the company for me.

    Cons

    As with most project work, at times the hours can be brutal. This usually doesn't last long though and they are very flexible in allowing people to regain a healthy work-life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe tone down all the talk about people's feelings.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Highland Solutions: A Place You'll WANT To Work Hard For"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales & Marketing in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Sales & Marketing in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highland Solutions full-time

    Pros

    Choosing to work at Highland Solutions was perhaps the single best career decision I've ever made. Prior to Highland I spent 7 years working for one of the largest personal lines insurance companies in the country. There are certainly incentives that come with working for a great corporation, and things that we often take advantage of, like clearly defined branding, rigorous training and onboarding practices, a singular company vision, and an obvious presence in the marketplace. But after 7 stagnant years of feeling the inability to effect change and frankly, feeling a very high level of boredom, I decided to look outside my cubicle and consider a new career. Through a former coworker of mine, I was referred to a sales position at Highland. Not having worked in the technology field, I was cautious and apprehensive about Highland's willingness to onboard a very experienced salesperson with very little in the way of a technology background. I was, however, greeted with open arms and a strong vote of confidence in my ability right out of the gate. My team, my coworkers, and management, all spent a lot of time getting to know who I was and what strengths I could lend to the company. I was awarded upon employment tons of autonomy over the work I did. Training and mentorship was certainly present and available, but it is up to you to seek it out. This can be a deterrent for some who prefer to be told what to do, but it was frankly a giant breath of fresh air after many years of feeling micromanaged.

     As the CEO puts it, "We don't hold people accountable. We hire accountable people."

    This is most CERTAINLY the sentiment at Highland. The hiring process is long and deliberate- Which is absolutely essential. The team at Highland is very close-knit and chemistry is extremely critical to the company, as it should be! HR does a fantastic job of maintaining approachable professionalism in the work-place, and the interview and onboard process was an absolute PLEASURE. The freedom, confidence, and autonomy is refreshing, exciting, and inspires you to really produce quality. It's amazing what a little trust can do to get someone to do great work.

    Cons

    Because it is a small business, your role is not always very clearly defined. In a large corporation, you are provided with a literal handbook of responsibilities, expectations, how these are measured, and the chain of command required to enact change. Working for Highland is the complete opposite. As this company grows (quickly!), it is often creating new roles for employees that have never existed based on market demand. Therefore, roles, as they become introduced, aren't necessarily clearly defined and can undergo a lot of evolution. This ambiguity may be a major con for some in that without drive, inspiration, and a willingness to just BE CREATIVE in your role, work life can be very confusing. There have been people (ie; the people who have posted negative reviews) who did not find this kind of freedom empowering. And that is certainly ok. If you are not a self-starter, or motivated to be creative and think outside the box without direction, this is definitely not the company for you.

    That being said, if you are motivated, willing to be creative, vulnerable, and collaborative, the support is ABSOLUTELY there to help you define your role and how you can help the company.

    TLDR:
    LOVERS OF THE CLASSIC CORPORATE STRUCTURE: BEWARE
    THOSE LOOKING FOR SPACE TO BE CREATIVE AND COLLABORATE: WELCOME

    Advice to Management

    Continue to foster new and innovative ways to collaborate and strengthen the teams (ie; enneagram, etc). We are going in a great direction with this company and this attention given to our relationships has been a big part of our productivity and pure enjoyment of each other and of our work.

    Also, it's impossible for me to believe based on these metrics that people disapprove of our CEO. He is truly a visionary who is so incredibly kind, thoughtful, and caring about the culture of the company. I think the disapproval rating is simply a result of a few disgruntled ex-employees who didn't fit well into the self-starter environment. I would CERTAINLY, as always, take those comments with a grain of salt.


  11. "Overall a great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Highland Solutions full-time

    Pros

    Management that truly cares about the people.
    Smart/competent coworkers and teams.
    Great office space and resources to do your job.
    Heavy focus on improvement.
    Complete absence of bureaucracy.
    Freedom (and encouragement) to grow and learn.

    Cons

    Typical small company troubles - Unsteady work making it difficult to work at a consistent pace, reinventing/changing processes based on environmental/project conditions creating challenges, and having to balance focus between initiatives (internal/external). But that's what we signed up for and why we're here. Not everyone is fit to work in this kind of environment (as can be seen by the other reviews).

    Advice to Management

    Management communication is strong, but public-forum announcements and Q/A sessions don't draw out topics from our more introverted team members. We're not immune to rumor mills. Not everyone responds well to the 'my door is always open' policy; sometimes they need to be asked directly and privately.



Showing 21 of 21 reviews
Reset Filters