SAA Reviews | Glassdoor

SAA Reviews

Updated June 28, 2017
20 reviews

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2.9
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Nelson Algaze
14 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. "SAA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Newport Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Designer in Newport Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SAA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Many social events, everybody is polite and willing to help you, the opportunity to advance in terms of salary and position and training is good.

    Cons

    -like any other company salary could be a bit higher
    -work can become monotonous
    -project are mostly office spaces(Tenant Improvement)


  2. "Shlemmer + Algaze + Associates, Interiors & Architecture"

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

    I have been working at SAA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Ability to collaborate across multiple internal offices in different geographic areas with current technology platforms that significantly enables projects to progress at a faster pace. Investment in up to date rendering software that leads to increased productivity.

    Tuition reimbursement program that supports overall career development.
    Good work/life balance and flexible work week schedules (to accommodate that L.A. traffic, it’s no joke, studies rank LA traffic world’s worst; thank goodness for Waze and the commuter benefits). Summer hours are great!

    Mid to large size company with a small firm “feel”, co-workers are ambitious and determined individuals that are easy to get along with. There is great satisfaction working with equally committed and passionate indivudals collabartively developing concepts and watching those concepts transform into a client’s reality.

    Recently renovated work spaces in Downton Los Angeles and Culver City – fresh organic fruit and snacks in the offices – wine down Fridays – monthly massage - bottomless coffee (if you’re into that sort of thing) - the views are awesome from 12th floor of the DTLA office!

    Dynamic and passionate President that genuinely cares about the employees. This is evident through his willingness to engage everyone and connect on a personal level regardless of your role in the firm.

    Cons

    No so much cons but rather improvements:

    Medical plan offering is good (13 medical plans to choose from, some at no cost for single coverage) but could be better by offsetting more of the family premiums.

    Would be good if there was an employee lounge area with video games (WII, X-box, pool table etc.).

    Could do better at recognizing great employee performance at the firm level versus at the office level.

    Offer cross-training between the different Studios/Disciplines.

    Advice to Management

    Although there are logistical challanges, it would be good to have senior management be more of a physical presence at each of the offices on a regular basis.

  3. "Project Design Lead"

    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 SAA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    ● many company wide perks such as chair massages, summer Fridays, happy hours, etc.
    ● one-on-one meetings with directors provide staff to voice concerns/opinions.
    ● pleasant working environment and staff.
    ● great work/life balance

    Cons

    ● extra hours may be required when deadlines occur, as with most architectural + design firms.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Thank you for your review. We appreciate that you understand the importance of providing feedback during your one-on-one meetings. That open communication is critical to help the company grow and... More


  4. "SAA"

    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

    Pros

    SAA is a great place to work!

    Cons

    Benefits are not that great.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Did you know SAA has 16 hours annuity for charitable contribution time off and chair massage day? If you are referring to the actual benefits or the cost of the health insurance, we currently offer... More


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Political, Unethical, Bad Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to learn if you are a young designer out of school. Low pay

    Cons

    Poor management, part time CFO, part time HR. CEO wants to be a Gensler and copies their strategies without having a clear vision that applies to SAA and where the company is at today.

    Although the CEO sells the company as a "large design firm" there's only 3 people in San Francisco and 1 person in New Jersey.

    The company is run as a mom and pop business, all locations are disjointed and there is no clear direction.

    You will not get any praises or acknowledgement here. No raises, bonuses or yearly reviews. No mentors or role models.
    Managers get no training and everyone rins their team however they can.

    There's 20 mamagers, no room for growth here. High turnover. Good people leave constantly because they dont get a raise or a promotion.

    The owner keeps profit all to himself and doesnt invest in his people.

    The culture is horrible, everyone points fingers at each other.

    NOT A GOOD PLACE TO WORK!!

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your best asset, invest in their growth that will lower the turn over.

    Get some structure and a strong management team with individuals who have a business background, not just designers in management roles. Is not working.

    Share the profit, reward people financially.
    Pay people well and choose carefully who you hire.

    Stop the politics, there's too much negative gossip in this place. People at all levels talk bad about the company internally and externally.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Thank you for your review. We completely agree that our people are our best asset! It seems like you left during a transition period because many of these items have been addressed or have changed... More


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Used to be a good place to learn."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Job Captain in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Job Captain in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SAA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    When I started working here, I learned tons of architecture knowledge working with my specialized team. I was introduced to a vast knowledge of construction. They let me join them with client meetings and construction visit.

    Cons

    No room for advancement. Just Selected employees are getting the benefits of designing. They don't explore their employees talent. Your stuck whatever you are doing from first date of hire. Even if you spent time for free to present alternative design they will just dump it in the trash! No words, no acknowledge etc!

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees that works below PM level. It is not just the PM who brings money on the table. That's why architects firm are called TEAM they all contribute to make that lines into reality!

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Everything about a successful company starts with a team! We completely agree that all SAA’s successes have come from the collaborative efforts of many talented individuals working toward a common... More


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Saa is going down hill"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at SAA full-time

    Pros

    average pay, good benefits, casual environment

    Cons

    -lack of leadership
    -boring projects
    -unqualified/inexperienced project managers
    -no room for growth
    -lack of recognition
    -office culture promotes cliques/gossiping
    -high employee turnover
    -no HR

    Advice to Management

    invest in your employees.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Thank you for the feedback. Investing in our employees is very important to us. While we have always offered tuition and licensing reimbursement, health and wellness incentives and celebration hours... More

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Used to be a great place to work!"

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

    Pros

    SAA provides a good work life balance including summer hours and flexible hours. They also have pretty good benefits, probably the best of anywhere I've worked

    Cons

    Things went wrong about 2 years ago when they brought in a psychologist to "help" the office. The CEO used to be a great guy but since she came on board, I have nothing good to say about him. Loyalty is their "core value". He has no loyalty. They drove out several hard working, well liked members of the executive team leaving us with no one with experience running HR. Our old HR director was fantastic. There is a mass exodus happening right now. If you are a designer and want to design, this is not the place for you. The only people who get to design anything are a select few on the Studio team. They are hand picked by the Studio director who is not nice to work for.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to your core values and actually live them, not just hang them on the wall. Remember when SAA was a great place to work and try to bring that back. You've lost a lot of great people by treating people badly and I'm happy to report most of them love their new jobs and would not come back.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    We are very happy to report that we genuinely feel these items have been acknowledged, addressed, remedied and the perspective has now built a nurturing environment with a more aligned executive team... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Disappointed"

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

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, casual office culture

    Cons

    Lack of business development and consistent work leads to unfilled timecards, empty portfolios, and unmotivated workers. High turnover rate has caused very low office morale. SAA likes to tout themselves as a design firm, but they are down and dirty paint and carpet - nothing more.

    Advice to Management

    Senior office management is wonderful, but the Principals are disconnected. Hiring a real HR Coordinator might help ease tensions and prevent good people from leaving.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Thank you for your feedback. We realize there was a great need for that HR position and have filled that role since.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Project Coordinator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at SAA full-time

    Pros

    No Micro Management
    Cool Work environment
    Flexible Schedules

    Cons

    No Raises ,No Bonuses,No Recognition

    Advice to Management

    People need to be acknowledged verbally and financially - It's what makes a employee happy and loyal. Just because we aren't designers or architects doesn't mean we aren't worthy of acknowledgement.

    SAA Response

    Jun 14, 2017 – Director of Marketing

    Thank you for your review. We agree, our coordinators are the glue that keep everything together! We are sorry that you felt underappreciated and that you did not get recognized for your work. Our... More


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