Rockwell Collins Reviews | Glassdoor

Rockwell Collins Reviews

Updated July 22, 2017
1,175 reviews

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1,175 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • People are down to earth and know how to have a work/life balance in a sometimes high stress environment (in 130 reviews)

  • well known company good benefits (in 71 reviews)

Cons
  • Have to be ok living in Cedar Rapids (in 126 reviews)

  • I'd rather be an intern than full time as there doesn't seem to be much of a work/life balance once you're hired full time (in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Excellent Company!! Highly Recommend!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Rockwell Collins full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Strong appreciation for workers as PEOPLE and not just numbers and means to attain sales goals. Hard work is awarded with team lunches, dinners, and socials (and sometimes a few bucks). Coworkers are generally very hardworking individuals who take great pride in their work and are dedicated to the people their products are meant to serve

    Cons

    Cedar Rapids is okay, but I personally don't want to raise a family there. As a young individual, I would recommend somewhere that has more going on, unless you like more of a country lifestyle! This company also has other locations, of course, so don't let this be a total deterrent.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work. Your workers love the time you put into developing them as professionals.


  2. "The sky is the limit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great products and the aerospace industry is an exciting field to work in.

    Cons

    The aerospace industry can be fickle as you never know when contracts are accepted or cancelled.

    Advice to Management

    Do more training for new hires. The training is very impersonal and the learning curve is too steep.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "Standard Aerospace: Heaven for the average, Hell for those who excel."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - One of the Technical Bastards in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - One of the Technical Bastards in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay is OK, projects can be interesting, defense business is relatively stable and can be a haven when the rest of the economy is on hard times

    Cons

    Let me count the ways... The usual managers who try to substitute attitude for competence, the runaway substitution of procedure for competence, the feeling of drowning in management fads and the acronyms thereof, the idiots from Iowa who are swell guys, but just can't sense the (not always) subtle but profound differences between Silicon Valley and Cedar Rapids, and the department managers who exemplify the Peter Principle and choke progress, the attempts to solve technical problems by political means. What does it mean when signature cycles take not 3 signatures or even 5 or 6, but more like 10 or 12? Or recurrent mistakes lead to an increased number of design reviews, yet the same mistakes still happen? Or you see a bunch of young employees not too long out of school, and a bunch of good ol' boys within walking distance of retirement, but not so many in between?

    Advice to Management

    Cedar Rapids is too insular, too parochial, too small a pond. Bring in more executive management from the outside, and from elsewhere other than Iowa. Decentralize to some extent, and try using original thought rather than aping the management fads of others. Most of all, reign in the VPs. If I had the charter to start a new division, I would want to answer to HQ only at the highest level, and have the authority to consider the vaporings of the lesser Gods as advisory only. In fact, I would want the ability to pitch any given one out on his or her ear and forbid their return. They are the single most disruptive and least visionary group of henchmen of all, consummate politicians yet disconnected from the reality on the ground. Clay Jones is OK; he has qualities that are required for a corner office. His public speaking ability is better than average but has the odor of coaching. Clay: save us from the lesser lights: they do not know how to let competence flourish; perhaps they fear it in others. They took the gold standard of the display industry and made dung out of it. What do you do with people who are likeable, sincere, and clueless?


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work and lots of fun work but superior performers are in a constant uphill battle."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Location, location, location. You cannot ask for a better community to work in than the world headquarters in Cedar Rapids, IA. The majority of individuals are friendly and in certain areas we have some of the world premier experts and you can learn a lot. Three weeks of paid vacation in your first year is truly superb. This along with dedication to helping people with work/life balance is one of the best reasons to work for Rockwell Collins. If you're self motivated you can make your own opportunities and leave others in the dust if you're willing to do so.

    Cons

    Truly superb performers can be held back based on trivial matters. For example, after 8 years of honorable service in the military, doing some of the same things I do now, none of that counts as "experience" because I was enlisted and did not have a degree at that time. I know several people in this same situation.

    Additionally truly superb performers will continue to get work piled on them until they burn out while others slide on by. This is not true everywhere in the organization but there are pockets where this is the norm. I'm not talking about technical prima donnas here who think they don't have to do anything because their so "incredibly smart" but those individuals who excel both at their assigned tasks and perform well beyond their expected job grades to take up slack of more senior personnel.

    Advice to Management

    Break through the middle management information bottleneck. The top level company vision does not get flowed down to the workers and lower level managers. Figure out that great engineers don't make good or in some cases even mediocre managers and leaders.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "A great place to work with limitless career advancement - in Cedar Rapids."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Financial Analyst in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Former Employee - Project Financial Analyst in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent benefits package. Complete health, dental, vision coverage with very low cost to the employee.

    Generous vacation time allotment - three weeks for new employees, stepping up to four after ten years and five after twenty years. Employees able to accrue up to 2x annual vacation allotment.

    Advancement opportunities are plentiful at the HQ site in Cedar Rapids, IA.

    Genuine commitment to ethics and diversity.

    Increased focus on the wellness of employees - spanning both physical and mental aspects.

    Transparent review and development process, with clearly delineated bonus structure based on performance review.

    Tuition reimbursement, legal assistance, computer purchase programs and other nice perks are plentiful.

    Cons

    Advancement opportunities at sites outside of Cedar Rapids can be limited in non-engineering functions.

    Despite having the infrastructure to support it, company is reluctant to embrace telecommuting as a routine option for employees.

    Pay is marginally lower than competitors.

    Bonuses are capped fairly low. An entry level employee might make $5000 in a good year.

    Advice to Management

    Actively seek out and embrace new ways of attracting and retaining young talent. Don't let the company's "old guard" dictate culture. Growth demands that the workforce get younger and more mobile.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Company success is good, this does not always propogate through to employee satisfaction."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Involvement in cutting edge embedded technology. Location cost of living is relatively low. Flexibility in work schedule. Prior approval is necessary for working remotely, but in most cases this just requires an email to leadership.

    Cons

    Compensation may not be keeping up with industry standards. Advancement may be limited by company policies compared with other companies. Work life vs. Personal life balance is not always optimal. Uncompensated overtime is often strongly encouraged.

    Advice to Management

    More attention should be paid to employee satisfaction and reward, specifically loyal employees. I've heard of cases where "new hires" with experience are compensated better than current employees with equal and often times more experience and competency.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Rockwell talks a good game, but lacks opportunities for employee growth."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The best reason to work for Rockwell Collins would be the people. They have outstanding talent and the culture of the non-management people are very helpful and willing to work with you to get the job done.

    Cons

    No opportunities for professional growth at Rockwell Collins. They talk a good game but if you are not a new graduate (who they vision as having all the answers) few opportunities to grow. They also have no problem dumping their core knowlege people down a hole. They right off the whole block of people between 45-55 as old and unproductive.

    Advice to Management

    Grow the minds you have working for you. Not dull them with unchallengeable work activities.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Great perks and benefits, but not enough meat to satisfy the young workforce"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place from a new college graduate.
    Located in a decent size city with low cost of living, so it provides new grad the opportunity to save some extra money.
    It provides great benefits - tuition reimbursement for career advancement.

    Cons

    Too much politics within the upper management
    Low workload at times when management struggles to make a decision on a project
    Many of the older work force is approaching retirement, so there are many young and inexperienced work force.

    Advice to Management

    Many find the City of Cedar Rapids a bit boring - Rockwell Collins needs to invest in the city to retain its young workforce - This is especially important because many of the older work force is approaching retirement.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Pays Well, but Induces Frequent Headaches"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive salary. Good benefits package. Good for students and people wanting to get acquainted with "industry". Casual dress for engineers and other non-sales folks. San Jose location also has an "every other Friday off" schedule which is very nice. Varied opportunities for every type of engineer: electrical, mechanical, optical, etc. High technical skill level (I've worked with lots of very smart engineers). High quality and workmanship standards. Advancement opportunities for managers seem plentiful (I'm not "management track", though, so this one doesn't really apply for me). Surprisingly progressive as far as being positive toward women, minorities, etc. in the workplace; discrimination is taken seriously and not condoned, even though the overall atmosphere can be a bit "conservative" at times.

    Cons

    Frequent re-organization. Communication from leadership is often indirect and unclear. It is difficult to determine what you're actually supposed to be doing until it turns into an "emergency". Performance review process is long, complex, messy, and altogether exhausting for both employees and managers. Frequent calls to drop what you're working on and suddenly do something else; lots of things end up on the "back burner" to the point where it is very hard to know what's important. Management does not communicate their priorities very well; communications range from vague to downright passive-aggressive. Employees are encouraged to take training, but then told that there's no budget for training. It often feels as if no matter what you're doing, it's the wrong thing.

    Advice to Management

    Please try to communicate your expectations more clearly.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Heading in the right direction but this large company will take a long time to arrive."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Project Specialist in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Project Specialist in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Established company. Publicly traded. In order to maintain CMMI and ISO levels of accreditation, Rockwell Collins must follow policies and processes.

    Cons

    Constantly high stress levels for past 18 months. Lean staffing creates 45 to 50-hour work weeks without overtime reimbursement. Management will not allow a week-long vacation for past year due to staffing concerns.

    Advice to Management

    Constant surveillance of middle managers to ensure that they are supporting ethics and diversity through their actions with staff. Unfortunately, a few middle manager still act as if it were 1980 when they could dump on staff instead of delegating (which would help train new leaders within the organization through exposure to the responsibilities of leadership), berate and disempower their teams through statements such as 'you do not earn enough money here to have an opinion on that issue' and teasing a team member in front of co-workers concerning personal habits.
    Hierarchical systems make difficult marriages with team-based structures. Someone needs to tell a few electrical engineers that a Bachelor's degree only opens a door, it does not give them license to be the royalty at Rockwell Collins.
    Team managers have been recently dubbed as career coaches and trainers for their young teams. If these managers did not have coaching skills before August 2008 and Rockwell Collins has provided little training to them, what can be expected from these managers but the same old ways of micromanaging those who excel at their jobs while ignoring a few electrical engineers who are consistently slow performers?


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