Renewable Energy Group Reviews | Glassdoor

Renewable Energy Group Reviews

Updated May 12, 2017
19 reviews

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3.4
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Randy Howard
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19 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good people, good science"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in South San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Renewable Energy Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Intellectually stimulating, monthly seminars and journal club, opportunities for professional development, freedom to work when you want, freedom to choose what you work on

    Cons

    Some (very few) have negative attitude, not fun to work alongside people who are disinterested in research.

    Advice to Management

    Improve goal setting for projects so work does not go to waste, be clear and specific from the start.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Ok, could be better."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Services Specialist in Ames, IA
    Current Employee - Operations Services Specialist in Ames, IA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Renewable Energy Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    REG values education, lots of employees are pursing Master degrees payed for by the company. They have a great summer internship program for students. The company is very structured, every employee from corporate to the plants goes through an intense week long orientation program. It's great, you learn a LOT about the company but it's exhausting. It is a very traditional, conservative work environment. Most of this is due to the CEO, no jeans ever, (not even of Fridays) and guys are expected to shave. The environment you work in varies greatly between departments. Some are great and others not so much, really depends on the Supervisors and Managers.

    Cons

    The internship program is great for the interns but can be a pain for the regular employees. You are expected to mentor and help interns which can take a lot of time. It's hard to balance your daily responsibilities and also mentor your intern. The work environment in very traditional, which can be good or bad depending on your own preferences. No jeans ever and guys are expected to be clean shaven. The environment can vary greatly depending on the department you are in. Some departments are great and the employees work well together, others are very cliquey and back stabbing. It really comes from the top down. There are some Managers & Supervisors who are great at their jobs, but not good with people. Which has made some departments and the employees very miserable. It's not about how well you do your job, but who you are friends with and how well it "appears" you are doing.

    Advice to Management

    It can be very frustrating when good work is not recognized and getting ahead is more about who likes you and not the quality of your work. Provide more training to Managers and Supervisors on how to effectively lead and manage their employees. Continue to support educational advancement opportunities for the employees who want to take advantage of it. Let employees dress casually on Fridays, it would help morale.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good company but could be better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in South San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Renewable Energy Group full-time

    Pros

    Smart and knowledgeable people. Exciting science with a fast pace. Bad experienced in LS9 days but now get better to start launching commercial products with better business models. Reasonable management generally.

    Cons

    Headquarter in Iowa. all health and dental insurances are Iowa based, which means hard to find a doctor in network sometimes. Also your monthly deduction from salary for those insurances is high.

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes people need to have a time to talk about their personal career goal and how to grow it. Too busy to think about project and company goal only.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Lack interpersonal skills and employee morale"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ames, IA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ames, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Growth, great business strategies, office space is nice

    Cons

    Micro management, very political, almost cult like in how they want you to perceive the company, managers lack people skills

    Advice to Management

    Work on management training. Your have people there who do not care abut their employees and that will translate to business over time.


  5. "Up and coming company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in Danville, IL
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in Danville, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Renewable Energy Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, organized corporate that mean well. Vast expansion opportunities

    Cons

    Lacks talent in refineries, pay starts out below average.

    Advice to Management

    Become more involved in the process to make sure the workers aren't slacking


  6. "IT Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst I, IT in Ames, IA
    Current Employee - Analyst I, IT in Ames, IA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Renewable Energy Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There is a lot of opportunity to grow. People are very welcoming. Good benefits.

    Cons

    IT doesn't seem to grow with the rest of the business.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more IT people at the same rate or a higher rate than the rest of the business grows.


  7. "Research specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Specialist in South San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Research Specialist in South San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Renewable Energy Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Moving in the right direction. With new people comes new ideas.

    Cons

    Career development process feels slow

    Advice to Management

    Don't be afraid to look within for management leadership.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - R&D/Production Area in South San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - R&D/Production Area in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Renewable Energy Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - older employees who had joined prior to takeover of LS9 seemed to be nice and welcoming to new employees like myself
    - good equipment, building and facilities
    - many commuting options
    - potentially exciting directions & products
    - salary is fairly competitive

    Cons

    - poor middle management, many "leaders" have no formal training and have very poor people skills. management all seem to be "friends" and gang up on perceived "outsiders" who are not afraid to challenge their opinions. created a toxic work environment.
    - projects are led by inexperienced researchers and have unclear direction
    - benefits are very poor. as a new employee you only get 2 weeks of PTO - shameful. healthcare options are very limited and not locally competitive.
    - as a result of reputation, poor benefits and very broad job descriptions, most new employees are straight out of college. hard to get high quality researchers to join.

    Advice to Management

    - listen to employee ideas and don't shoot them down, don't let untrained researchers manage new employees or talk down to junior associates.
    - clean house and bring in project leaders with successful backgrounds
    - must improve benefits packages for new employees
    - provide more long-term vision, direction of company is unclear, especially to newer employees


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chemist in Geismar, LA
    Current Employee - Chemist in Geismar, LA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Renewable Energy Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My manager is awesome. I can not say how great she has been.

    Cons

    My only con is a small one...I have always had a beard and working for REG you will have to shave.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Multitask and learn quick"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - No Time for Breaks Or Lunch in Ames, IA
    Current Employee - No Time for Breaks Or Lunch in Ames, IA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to get foot in the door into biodiesel. Cool logo. They want to dominate the market and will buy out competing proprietary technologies and incorporate into existing plants. They want to expand and grow. Easy to get hired. Good place to make a name for yourself as a leader forward thinker. Run so lean they have to be profitable. Makes resume interesting.

    Cons

    Pay is far below competing hourly wage scale. No internal I&C employees at all plants, they hire by contract to resolve controls issues, but they do resolve them. They run too lean on staffing, make rules then expect you to bend/break them to get everything done. Have spill and accident history, that should tell you something. Concerns about long term retention and attraction of top talent. Non compete agreement will spur talent away and non competitive pay keeps workers looking for cross opportunities in competing sectors.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure plants are adequately staffed first for safety and second to quell discontent and frustration. Then do thorough evaluation of current employee resumes and position. There are some really smart hard working people here. Smart enough to know they can get a better deal elsewhere with little effort but work for the prestige and employment specific experience.

    Stop trying to hide job advertising, using cloaked third party agency. Post all jobs on the internal website including management positions. Employees know every position your seeking to fill we are not dumb. Reconsider the non-compete agreement, they usually don't hold up in court for hourlys anyway. Attract top talent by advertising direct on indeed.com, anybody with half a brain knows its the best employment search engine and will be looking there, if they're not then they probably are not as resourceful as desired.

    Biodiesel in itself is too select. Look at some long term expansion into coproduct development/usage of the glycerin or merger with special ethanol, bio butanol producers.


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