PPL Reviews | Glassdoor

PPL Reviews

Updated August 8, 2017
100 reviews

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3.2
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PPL Chairman, President and CEO William H. Spence
William H. Spence
37 Ratings

100 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Overall pay and benefits are great (in 7 reviews)

  • Great people, nice office, people willing to help (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management keeps cutting employees while increasing workload, and rewarding themselves with ever-increasing exec pay packages (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Company Adverse To Disabled Employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Special Projects Leader in Allentown, PA
    Current Employee - Special Projects Leader in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at PPL full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent wages and benefits for both management and union employees. Management environment encourages intellectual creativity and advancement. Career advancement opportunities available for individuals who demonstrate a willingness and ability to assume more responsibility.

    Cons

    Disabled adverse environment! Micromanagement style is prevalent within many departments. Culture which promotes job security through fear tactics. Employee annual review process in negatively based. Promotes work life over family life.

    Advice to Management

    When an employee becomes disabled (i.e. paraplegic) they should be given the opportunity to show they can still perform their job and not be automatically placed on long term disability for the rest of their potential career. This is especially applicable to nonphysically demanding management positions. Allow employees who become disabled the opportunity to return to employment. Dont throw them away!


  2. "No Diversity in the Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst Cooperative Associate in Allentown, PA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst Cooperative Associate in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at PPL full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you're white, a hillbilly, and deer or turkey hunt, this is the #1 employer to put in your adult working years as a PA native with nothing more than a high school or vocational education.

    Cons

    If you are a minority, have an IQ above room temperature, or generally seek a company on the north slope of the growth curve, look elsewhere.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "New and improved"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Quantitative Analyst (Risk Management) in Allentown, PA
    Former Employee - Senior Quantitative Analyst (Risk Management) in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PPL (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It's a job. Once great company.

    Cons

    Lean (cheap) business model. Not interested in employees any longer, just drones.

    Advice to Management

    You can't expect to grow the business or bottom line by cutting and cutting.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Promises of a Once-Great Company--Dashed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Developer Associate in Allentown, PA
    Former Employee - Applications Developer Associate in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PPL full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The pro's of a company like PPL can be described thusly: OK to moderately-OK pay (though lower than average for most like-jobs); Moderately-OK to middling benefits package (that's being cut more and more thoroughly each year); OK to average work expectations from a managerial point of view, on paper. It's a well-established company in the region with a Fortune 500, Blue Chip reputation. The people underneath management level are trying to do the best job they can with the limited resources they have, and are generally friendly and helpful to keep you around.

    Cons

    Now, let's talk about the cons of a place like PPL--With a company that's almost 100 years old, there are many things that have changed with the times and those that have not. Those that changed have only done so due to state and federal regulations, such as OSHA and labor laws. And if you think of a Fortune 500 company being dog-eat-dog, you'll get what the culture is.

    The "good ol' boys club" is alive and well. They preach diversity but generally, behind closed doors, will only take advice from those who are well below the cost expectations, or those who are the old white men.

    Nobody takes responsibility for anything but successes, but their environment rarely creates those. Stagnant workers with the old promise of pensions and/or being hired being dashed as their hiring practices are all over the board or plain nonexistent (unless it's internally, through political meandering). Make sure you know someone high-up before you try to join the organization, because you'll need it. They're behind the times in understanding technology, understanding their costs, and understanding how to grow the business.

    The only way they've kept afloat is through divesting their unregulated side (which was an unmitigated disaster), and cutting employees and their benefits. Unfortunately that doesn't help when their entire income is based upon PUC rate increases without backing and getting that sweet, sweet federal improvement money (hooray for Smart Grid projects!). Instead of doing things smarter, they do things dumber to bilk money out of the taxpayers and customers, and then decide that the only cost-cutting they'll do is by removing the people that are worth anything and replacing them with contractors.

    The PEOPLE are what make PPL great, or at least they did, before they replaced most of them with contractors. Unlike internal employees that had some sort of pride in the company they work for, and the community they serve, contractors do not care about the long-term viability of the company they serve--only about the next paycheck. PPL will probably be bought out by the PECOs and MetEds of the world within the next two to five years, and maybe management philosophies will change. Until then, however, I don't think the company is built to thrive--not anymore.

    Work-life balance doesn't exist. If you're management (i.e. non-union), you'll be expected to work your $50+ and like it--for the good of the company. They're a "put fires out and be the superhero" company, not the "make sure things are built so they don't suddenly burst into flames" kind of company. Everything a modern company shouldn't be.

    Advice to Management

    Understand how to do the jobs below you.

    Understand how the peons and "resources" have to cut and scrape and duct-tape to get the projects done within time/scope/budget (usually failing on one or two of these).

    Understand that keeping things "above the line" in Oz Principle language only works if EVERYONE stays "above the line," including yourselves.

    Keep your promises--hiring, firing, benefits, and political wrangling.

    Don't let completely worthless people keep climbing the ranks and bilking projects' costs without investigating them.

    And try to keep open communication the key instead of secret cabals of politically-expedient numbskulls at the helm.

    All of these things have led to the downward spiral over the last 5 years, and unless things change, it won't get better.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "PPL Electric Utility Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Manager in Allentown, PA
    Current Employee - Manager in Allentown, PA

    I have been working at PPL full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The company has many older skilled workers with deep knowledge and the company dedicates significant resources to the training of entry level personnel. It is a good place to learn and improve technical skills especially for people entering the industry.

    Cons

    The senior leadership is chosen based on their perceived loyalty and alignment with the executive leadership ideals. The present senior leadership has little direct experience in dealing with people and have minimal if any, supervisory experience.
    Supervisors are told what ratings they are to give the underlings for performance appraisals and it weights most heavily on the arbitrary criteria of “behaviors” as measured against the executive leadership values. Knowledge skills, work output, customer service and working with peers is secondary.
    The president wants to change the culture of the company and one aspect is to hold people more accountable. While the goal is good, the senior leadership in their zeal and focus on pleasing the president, takes this to extreme and thus employees are evaluated mostly on how well they are conforming to the values and behavior tenants.
    When employees raise valid issues the employee is considered oppositional, defensive and quickly labeled non- conforming and the senior leadership quickly pounces on their supervisor. And the supervisor is given a poor evaluation for not keeping the employee in line. In other word, the senior leadership is fanatical in insuring that the executives do not perceive them as not being able to follow the executive behaviors expected. It is a very contentious and adversarial atmosphere.
    An one gains some time with the company, they need to consider their ideals and beliefs especially if one has aspirations of becoming a supervisor. If you have principals and you are not willing to put them aside in order to climb the corporate ladder, PPL Electric Utility is not the company for you.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Allentown, PA
    Current Employee - Manager in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PPL full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good work experience to build resume for next employer.

    Cons

    Unfortunately the company no longer cares about employee morale or work hours. Hours are ridiculously long and job expectations are unrealistic. Upper management keeps cutting employees while increasing workload, and rewarding themselves with ever-increasing exec pay packages. Current management is so out of touch and has ruined the company

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourselves and get people in who know what they are doing.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Would be a nice company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Foreman in Frackville, PA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Foreman in Frackville, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at PPL full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    very good pay, and benefits .....

    Cons

    terrible work environment , good old boy system big time ..... a cut throat company

    Advice to Management

    keep your resume warm

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Things have gone downhill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Allentown, PA
    Current Employee - Manager in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PPL full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay. Work-life balance is okay.

    Cons

    Culture. Leadership. Commitment to employees.

    Advice to Management

    The people matter and that should be reflected in your treatment of them. There is more to this business than the Board of Directors. A great place in ruins.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "over view"

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

    Pros

    Great People, good atmosphere, good hours.

    Cons

    salary is the lowest in the industry, there are no promotions or pay raises, company show no interests in developing employees and people get promoted base on who they know and not base on how good they are.
    401k is worthless, preforming well under market returns.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your employees and show them that you care. make an effort to promote base on knowledge and loyalty and not base on your politics and who you get along with.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "ok place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomsburg, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bloomsburg, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PPL (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    ok place to start out in

    Cons

    to many negatives it is no longer a nice place to work


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