Houston-Galveston Area Council Reviews | Glassdoor

Houston-Galveston Area Council Reviews

19 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.7
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B. J. Gaines, Jr.
6 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Management is just horrible"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Marketing Specialist in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Digital Marketing Specialist in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Houston-Galveston Area Council full-time

    Pros

    Management was receptive to paying for new software when suggested.
    You have the ability to initiate new projects as long as you make it through the layers of approval.
    Work schedule can be very flexible, especially for temps.
    I had a great work space: plenty of room, office supplies and access to windows.

    Cons

    Tons of middle management. The position I took over as a temp was eliminated because the upper management was unaware of the work I was doing.
    Many managers are absentee, completely uninvolved and disconnected from the transportation department's actual goals and ignorant about the tasks they delegate. Unless you take initiative to somehow figure out what the goal of your group/project/grant actually is, you may be assigned tasks that turn out to be a waste of time or you may suddenly receive a exponentially higher workload to meet a deadline you were unaware of.
    Other managers are vindictive and can issue warnings and probation based on personal dislike.
    Disorganization (especially of digital files) is rampant.
    Meetings are long and often unfocused.
    Change is a very slow process and there's lot of obstruction to updating technology.

    Advice to Management

    Take performance reviews more seriously and make them for stringent. Allow employees to submit anonymous, or at least confidential, reviews of management. Eliminate some middle managers.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "BEWARE"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Houston-Galveston Area Council full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Generous 401k but not enough to keep me here.

    Cons

    Managers play head games rather than communicating. Hard workers who have been here many years not compensated . Only tiny 1-2% raises given.Have seen very hard workers terminated with managers making up a reason to terminate, when they really have a hidden agenda.

    Advice to Management

    Move on to a position that matches your degree skills! Stop messing with people's lives.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Great Jumping Off Point"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Planner in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Planner in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Houston-Galveston Area Council full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    HGAC has amazing benefits and work-life balance. You almost never have to take work home with you. The people are caring, quirky, and helpful. The Board is all regional elected officials and lots of events take place at the office, even brown-bags, so there's opportunities to network. The atmosphere is usually relaxed, no time clock or breathing down your neck. If you're just starting and want to be in planning, government, or GIS mapping, this is a great place to start. Plus, HGAC is always hiring. If you have a family and don't need to advance, this is the perfect place for you.

    Cons

    Turnover is really, really high. Most management is unclear about what they want, even to themselves, so it is difficult to succeed or advance. So many projects are going on that there is no way to prioritize. Advancement is also difficult because management does not know how or care to train their people. Due to this, management usually hires upper-level externally. The highest level of management has been in place since the 70s or so! If you work at HGAC, be prepared to get in, get your experience and contacts, and get out--2 years is a good timeframe.

    Advice to Management

    Try some leadership courses and realize that the people most likely to do a good job in higher positions are those you have already hired. People who had the talent and training when they got here have already left. Learn how to train and really groom the people under you so that they can succeed in whatever you want them to do because if they have stuck around a while, then they deserve a medal. People perform better when they are confident they can succeed and that their work will make a difference not only to the public but also in their careers. And please, please, prioritize!!


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Could be decent, but I wouldn't recommend"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Transportation Planner in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Transportation Planner in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Houston-Galveston Area Council full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible with a decent work / life balance, good benefits, great place to learn a lot about projects and politics throughout the region.

    Cons

    Pay and opportunity for advancement could be better. Management is very poor. Departments vary based on management. A couple departments are better and provide some opportunities for staff, but operate in the same difficult political environment. Some departments provide little opportunity for staff and management is not trustworthy. The political and bureaucratic environment is horrible and the upper management does a poor job of leading and facilitating true regional cooperation and planning.

    Advice to Management

    Management, including executive level, needs training. More emphasis needs to be placed on staff development. Also, management needs to be better at setting a direction for staff work and policy and actually following it.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Pays well but ceiling is not very high"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Transportation Planner in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Transportation Planner in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Houston-Galveston Area Council full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible, good people to work with.

    Cons

    Sometimes slow guidance or no guidance. things can get sluggish

    Advice to Management

    Develop work plans and follow through with them


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Good place to work if you are looking for long term stability but care little for advancement"

    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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Houston-Galveston Area Council full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits - Insurance paid 100% for employee; 401K - 3% mandatory employee contribution with 7% agency match - vested after 6.5 years
    9/80 work schedule - every other Friday off - 4 10's available in some cases
    Stable work environment - some employees have been here decades

    Cons

    no real opportunity for advancement
    political atmosphere
    work can be boring and repetitive depending on department/project
    slow moving and very cyclical

    Advice to Management

    The agency would benefit from stronger leadership and decision making.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Horrible place to work, would not recommend to my worst enemy"

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

    I worked at Houston-Galveston Area Council full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Valuable work, public sector experience, serving a necessary function in the region; some of the departments are well run and well-regarded within the community.

    Cons

    Poor employee morale, high turnover, lack of professional development or advancement opportunities, no motivation to succeed or even just accomplish more, salaries are not competitive, leadership is lacking, overly politicized with no efforts towards regional cooperation; embodies bureacratic red tape; managerial staff can be vengeful and proper HR procedures are often not followed

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to look at taking some classes on how to effectively manage people, not projects.

  8. "A good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - GIS Analyst in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - GIS Analyst in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work schedule, benefits, resources, training.

    Cons

    Location, access to bus routes.


  9. "Performance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The most flexible place I have ever worked in terms of teleworking, schedule arrangement, and overall type of work to have to work on.

    Cons

    Very poor performance review process.
    Little incentive to do well.

    Advice to Management

    Implement a more top-down feedback review that must be adhered to by EVERYONE.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "MPO for Houston region"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - GIS Analyst in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - GIS Analyst in Houston, TX
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, community involvement

    Cons

    Weak leadership, not a lot opportunities for training / career advancement

    Advice to Management

    Employee retention would improve if the salaries were increased


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