Lower Colorado River Authority Reviews | Glassdoor

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Lower Colorado River Authority Reviews

Updated January 4, 2018
63 reviews

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3.3
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Phil Wilson
11 Ratings

63 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people, reasonable work/life balance, decent benefits (in 7 reviews)

  • they have good benefits and hard working employees (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Unfortunately the upper management team seems to either not be aware or does not want to address these issues (in 4 reviews)

  • Cronyism and favoritism rule the day from the very highest position in the company to the front line supervisor (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lower Colorado River Authority full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    LCRA possesses a unique history and impactful mission which truly makes an employee feel as if they are making a difference every day. Having spent the bulk of my career in high tech prior to joining LCRA, this was a welcome change for me. I am still challenged every day and truly appreciate the executive team which has joined LCRA in the past three years for putting this organization back on track towards becoming more streamlined and profitable. The location of the primary headquarters on Lake Austin is also fantastic as the setting lends itself very much as a reminder of the mission related to environmental stewardship.

    Cons

    The long history of the company, 85+ years, can at times make the organization feel more like a "state agency" which comes with more layers of bureaucracy and politics than may exist in a private organization. However, as a result of a relatively newly formed executive team (past three years), the organization is certainly shifting towards a more bottom line driven organization.

    Advice to Management

    Keep moving LCRA forward as you have been doing for the past several years. Also, continue to listen to current employees, whether newly hired or with longer tenure, who can help tremendously in providing insight into the culture of LCRA and the "why" employees behave the way that they do.


  2. "Happy To Be On The Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Lower Colorado River Authority full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great mission focused organization bringing together the best of the public and private sectors.

    Cons

    Haven’t really found any.

  3. "LCRA Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Highly professional Company. Most employees have been at the Company for a very long time. Management is fair and reasonable.

    Cons

    The skills expectations are very, very high.

    Advice to Management

    Give new employees a little more time to master the learning curve.


  4. "Great benefits!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Lower Colorado River Authority full-time

    Pros

    Great Benefits
    Decent pay
    Easy Hiring process

    Cons

    Lots of "that's how we've always done it
    No bonuses or perks
    Get left behind by company as a shiftworker


  5. "Very Political"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Lower Colorado River Authority full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Their long history and mission driven work environment makes you feel like you are part of something that you can be proud of.

    Cons

    Be wary of the politics. You have to be careful just like a lot of companies about the politics here

    Advice to Management

    None


  6. "I felt the need to write this review so that others will know the truth about this company."

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

    Pros

    Very little actual workload for employees. You will hear many people refer to employment outside of LCRA as "the real world". There is good reason for this. Most companies have a basic business model that provide goods or services in order to maintain its status as a going concern. This company has no business model outside of special financial engineering that constantly has to change in order to satisfy public scrutiny. Because of this, so many people that work here become lost in the shuffle with a very good salary and standard benefits but no real purpose. Don't believe me? Find any LCRA employee that has been there for more than 5 years and ask them how many times thier department has gone through reorganization. The number is astounding and spans over decades and many different upper level managers. Then ask them where the company is headed. They will have no idea. Then research how many times the company has modified its logo in the name of shifting its stated mission. How can you successfully run a business like this? You can't.

    Cons

    As described above, LCRA lives in an ongoing state of identity crisis. We all know how terrible the workplace can be when a company is going through a deleveraging and is strapped for cash. This company is a testament to the destructive power of herd mentality. You think chasing hot stocks is bad practice? Try chasing hot sectors of the economy only to be left holding the bag with assets that are worth a third of what the company invested in them and then tell me you are a family oriented company. This company has a team of law enforcement officers. Upper management uses these LEOs they employ called "Rangers" to do things that no Austin PD or Sheriff Deputy could do and not be in the news for extortion. The current management team under Phil Wilson is looting this company like no management has before. The reason for this is through the use of these "Rangers" that LCRA has convinced the State to give the same jurisdiction as Troopers. Don't believe me? Why are they always acting broke and going through restructuring when they don't pay taxes and are subsidized with credit costs because they are "an entity of the state"?

    Advice to Management

    Stop using the ratepayers to keep this house of insider trading alive and go back to the river where you were meant to be.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Network/System Engineers - BEWARE before accepting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Network Systems Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Network Systems Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Lower Colorado River Authority full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Reasonable office environment and location.
    -LCRA employees outside the IT departments seem friendly and compassionate.
    -A place to make a good hourly rate as a contractor while studying, looking for something better, instead of actually working.
    -You'll think this place is great initially, because there is a long honeymoon during the disorganized and dysfunctional on-boarding process.

    Cons

    -New hires are setup to fail. No documentation or information sharing and some deliberately want to keep it this way to create a hero perception. Extreme communication issues within the team making it very difficult to be be successful no matter how experienced, knowledgeable, or hard-working you may be.

    -Specific leadership is verbally abusive, assumptive, yells excessively in a threatening and irritated tone. Some team members are permitted to come in late, leave early and disappear for hours while others are micromanaged, dumped on, and disrespected. A key team member is famous for taking credit for an issue that they didn't solve or an idea they didn't come up with -- some competitive insecurities that are allowed to go unchecked. A key team member often berates and yells at others on the team and again, nothing is done about it. There is a lot of over-reaction to approaching deadlines, but no method of actually tracking projects or individual team member assignments/progress to effectively measure these issues. Methods of assignment are purely reactive -- the issue of the hour is dumped on who ever happens to be at their desk, not at lunch or on a smoke break instead of properly balanced to ALL of staff resources.

    -Significant inappropriate "closed-door" meetings with senior staff to criticize other team members rather than talking to them directly. Leadership is very unrealistic about inevitable mistakes that can (and will) be made due to the outdated documentation, teammates giving wrong information, as well as the severely out-dated and poorly managed network management tools (that are often all you have during an issue).

    Unfortunately the upper management team seems to either not be aware or does not want to address these issues. Feedback is very difficult to give here without retaliation and consequences, so many are silent and just put up with it. But this just re-enforces the root cause of the problem -- the dysfunction continuous almost entirely unchecked which is driving morale in to the ground and running off tenured staff and new hires regularly.

    Advice to Management

    Stop avoiding the significant leadership issues in these departments. The perquisites for being a manager at LCRA need to be re-thought because there are some that seem to have no ability to truly deal with managing people, time, and resources, yet these very people are in power and seeking more power within the organization. You are avoiding a root cause and potentially promoting them as well.

    Hold your architecture team and your operations teams accountable for their job functions -- don't let one be expected to do the work of the other. You can't let the permanent employees skate/avoid responsibility and ownership of long-standing issues/projects that have languished for years and then expect newly hired contractors and professional services consultants do the work in weeks without major setbacks and inevitable failures.

  8. "manager"

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

    I have been working at Lower Colorado River Authority full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people, reasonable work/life balance, decent benefits. People tend to stay for a long time; 15-20 years is not uncommon, and some up to 30 years.

    There is a strong culture of safety, particularly in the business units that really need it (i.e. Transmission Services, Generation).

    Cons

    In a word - compensation. The pay and benefits are low compared to others in the industry. This is not a government job; these are high performing demanding jobs and the workload is intense. Pay raises are few and far between, and the bonus structure is a joke - unless you're an executive. 3% on average for the worker bees and raises are 3.5% on average as well - every 3 years. Health insurance is not great either, if you have a family. In the last 5 years cost has gone up exponentially for those with a family, while LCRA's cost has gone down.

    Management is competent, but mostly out of touch with the workforce. The CAO group has been especially damaging, creating a culture of fear and backstabbing within the organization that permeates to other areas; if it's not a top level manager idea in that business unit, it's not getting implemented.

    Advice to Management

    Share in the success and failures of LCRA with all of LCRA; Pay and raises may not be everything, but it's important - especially to the lower paid staff. Look closely at how decisions are being made in the CAO department; many of the problems stem from there.


  9. "Great Work/Life Balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Lower Colorado River Authority full-time

    Pros

    Work/Life Balance
    Management
    Opportunities
    Culture
    Ability to Work remotely

    Cons

    No performance based compensation
    No regular bonuses
    none
    none
    none


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Worker Bee"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Lower Colorado River Authority full-time

    Pros

    It is across the street from Hula Hut! :-) If you like politics, posturing and BS this is the place for you!

    Cons

    I have worked at LCRA for almost 18 years, I have seen it go down hill in the last 10. We have more directors, VP's and managers than we do worker bees, and they all get extravagant salaries, while the rest of us get told there is no money for merit raises. The environment and feeling is dire and people either stay just because they are close to retirement or because they haven't found something else. It is not a happy place, and things just don't get done - there are plenty of meetings but nothing is ever right the first time around, sadly...

    Advice to Management

    My advise would be to cut the upper management salary, pay the workers what they are worth and get some new ideas, instead of trying to re-work the old ones... Be man enough to say you made a mistake and move on already.


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