SAM Companies Reviews

Updated Sep 10, 2020

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3.0
49%
Recommend to a Friend
64%
Approve of CEO
SAM Companies President and CEO Christopher M. Solomon
Christopher M. Solomon
11 Ratings
Pros
  • "Benefits are great (medical dental vision 401k match and etc)(in 4 reviews)

  • "Great benefits, competitive salary, interesting and engaging work(in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "Low pay, long hours and its obvious alls they care about is money(in 4 reviews)

  • "good ole boys(in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Best Company I have ever worked for!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Survey Crew Chief in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SAM Companies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Despite what people say, SAM pay is comparible to other survey companies if not better.

    Cons

    Nope, can't think of anything.

    Continue reading

    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. At SAM, we work to foster a culture of inclusion, learning, and technical innovation. We understand that to attract and retain the top talent in our industry, we must not only provide competitive compensation but also support our team members in their career aspirations. We have made a significant investment in our career and development programs to assist employees for their next opportunity at SAM. We understand that SAM’s success is made possible by the talented individuals that choose to work here and we appreciate the efforts they make every day. Thank you for your service and we appreciate your input.

  2. "Great Company"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SAM Companies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great professional Growth opportunities for all levels of employment

    Cons

    Not that mane vacation days

    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. As you mentioned, SAM is committed to our employees’ career development and professional growth. We have created career paths for each position in our organization and continue to make significant investments in learning and development across all levels of the organization. SAM also believes in a healthy work/life balance, and we provide competitive paid holidays, sick and vacation time to allow our employees the time off to focus on personal and family interests. We do continuously look for ways to improve our benefits plans and will certainly consider your feedback in our future planning. We appreciate your input.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Nobody I worked in the field with enjoys working here."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Technician 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SAM Companies full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    They dont care about their employees. It's all about the bottom line and they try to have Ice cream socials to make you feel appreciated, but they only do that stuff for office people, the field people get the scraps.

    Cons

    Majority of higher management is less than capable of managing. They do not have the employees back, they will overlook all the good you do for 1 bad thing or any negative. They will Harper on that 1 thing. They have they have 1 guy who they protect that forgets the job he is to do on a daily basis. It's like his first day every day. He is also a safety hazard. He handed stop/slow paddles to a person that had nothing to do with our operation, during a traffic control flagging operation, so that he could go get a snack. But he still works there. He also drove out in front of traffic on a 50+ mph road and ran over our cones causing cars to almost come into out work area to avoid him pulling out. Still works there. Performance reviews have been a minimum of 6 months late since I've been working for them. Nobody cares. It's been nearly 2 years since I got a raise. Oh, and they dont have any work right now because nobody wants to hire them to do anything. Survey dept is failing, the SUE dept is top notch, but they have added so much that all the good employees can't stand their jobs. The ship is sinking in Northern VA, I dont need your generic, scripted response. It's completely delusional and everything I said here is true. Do you like paying for almost half of your expensive health insurance? SAM buys smaller companies and kills their values, then they kill the company and the morale of the people they acquired.

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    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    At SAM, employee safety and engagement are of the utmost importance and numerous channels of communication have been implemented for information sharing. Safety practices are taught and reviewed in on-boarding training, weekly safety meetings and daily hazard analysis discussions. Included in the training is instruction on the reporting of any incidents, near misses or general concerns related to safety. Employees are encouraged to report these situations to their direct supervisor, safety department and/or human resources. SAM investigates all reported matters and takes prompt action to remedy incidents, deficiencies or concerns as part of its corrective action and continuous improvement programs. To encourage open employee engagement and input, SAM conducts regular anonymous employee satisfaction studies, individual employee performance discussions, has an open on-line suggestion box where all suggestions are considered by Executive Management and encourages employees to meet with an HR team member if they have a matter they cannot resolve with their direct manger. For continued employee improvement, SAM conducts annual performance evaluations and managers are to provide a final evaluation within 30 days of receiving the employee’s self-evaluation. There are times when performance reviews are not completed as timely as we planned. We continue to review our performance evaluation process to find ways to improve. SAM also monitors, considers and takes action on input from third party sources, like this one. SAM continues to increase sales and revenue and expand our geographic coverage through organic growth and acquisitions. Growth and acquisition have associated challenges, and SAM works to provide a safe, rewarding environment for employees while pursuing business goals. SAM’s benefit package, and employee events have been consistently highlighted as positives in employee feedback, we regularly evaluate and implement new policies and programs for employee benefits, and we have been identified as a Top Workplace for the past eight years.

  4. Helpful (1)

    "Would not Recommend"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SAM Companies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Training opportunities, up-to-date equipment and technology, compensation for education and professional licenses/organizations. Professional development is heavily rewarded.

    Cons

    Toxic work environment and managers don’t have the soft skills, desire, or foresight to address any it. Half of the managers spend their days sitting around and chatting, while the minority work incredibly hard to compensate. Similarly, half the techs in the office are so overworked it's sad and the other half also sit around doing close to nothing all day on their phones or facebook. Overall a very poorly balanced team. No matter how hard you work, you'll get the exact same compensation as anyone else in your arbitrary title bracket. So much wasted time in meetings. Rampant nepotism. Lack of presence or involvement from the leaders of the company - never once visited our office in the year I've been here, except for one who did not take the time to introduce himself to anyone. A 180 degree difference from the previous firm I came from (maybe we had exceptionally good leadership.) From my observations, SAM very much believes in the "right seat on the bus" mentality where if someone is terrible at their job and a generally poor teammate, rather than firing, demoting, or reprimanding them, they will give them new opportunities to try to find where they might fit better, even if there was a better candidate for that position who had proven themselves to be qualified and enjoyable/cooperative to work with. I’ve seen this happen three times. I've seen some ambitious, talented, and agreeable folks walk out the door because of it, and I fully supported their decision. I personally have been content and fulfilled working for all my other places of employment, but I dread coming to work every day at SAM because it is an overall drain on my well-being and has dampened a lot of the drive I initially walked in the door with. Will be moving on soon and sincerely do not recommend this company to anybody who wants to have a thriving career or enjoyable work life.

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    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    Thank you for sharing your feedback. We take pride in the advanced technology and comprehensive training programs we provide our employees, and the leadership skills training we have instituted for members of our management. At SAM, we value the input of employees at all levels of our organization. Employees experiencing any work related issues are encouraged to discuss them with their manager. And if an employee is not comfortable speaking with their direct manager about the issue, she or he is encouraged to meet with a SAM Human Resources team member confidentially to discuss the issue and create an opportunity to work towards a resolution. We encourage you to utilize these avenues at SAM.

  5. "Poor Environment / Horrible Management"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SAM Companies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good Technology, decent office space

    Cons

    Horrible Management at all levels, Project Management methods not used to properly evaluate projects.

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    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    We appreciate you sharing your thoughts. At SAM, we focus on providing our employees the most advanced technology and training to successfully deliver client projects. As we continue to grow and expand into new geographies, we always face new challenges. From a project management and operational perspective, we are, in fact, continuing to invest in additional training for all levels of project management staff, and instituting refined processes to evaluate project status, identify and resolve any existing issues, and deliver projects that exceed client expectations. Thank you for your contributions during your time with us, and we wish you the best in your career.

  6. "Blah"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Survey Technician in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SAM Companies full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good benefits. Free taco Wed.

    Cons

    Good talent is not retained. Revolving door. Managers not knowing the basic process of running a job. The techs know more than the managers. Who's doing who's job?

    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. SAM’s learning and development program provides our staff with the training and tools to become well-versed in industry best practices. Through our training programs, we not only expect our managers to continue building their knowledge of the industry, but also building their leadership skills so that they may guide and mentor their teams. In fact, we have instituted specific training focused on leadership development. We believe that through training and hands-on experience, our employees become industry experts and in collaboration with their mangers and colleagues, provide service excellence for our clients. We wish you the best of luck in your career and we thank you for your service with our firm.

  7. "A culture of turnover"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SAM Companies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good client list and backing by a VC firm

    Cons

    The management has little to no understanding of how to keep talent. It’s a revolving door. The blame game and toxic negativity drives people away. Senior management picks favorites and is not open to the humble resolve needed to perform. The sales credit runs everything. There are no corporate support functions for growth or the branch offices. Turnover in the corporate departments like marketing and recruiting are tell tale signs of a negative culture.

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    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. SAM has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, and throughout this growth we have worked to foster a culture founded on our core values: People, Integrity and Ethics, Excellence in Service, Safety, and Community. We are proud that our employees have voted SAM to be a TOP WORKPLACE eight consecutive years in Austin. We are appreciative of the effort our employees put forth to support SAM’s success, and we understand that by providing employees with learning opportunities we are positioning them to become the best in their fields of expertise. Through our suggestion box campaign, employer surveys, and CEO Connection sessions we are demonstrating the importance of transparency at SAM. Every employee has a voice at our firm, and we encourage each individual to share ideas to help us improve. Although we never want to have our employees leave our company, when they do decide to leave SAM, we hope that we have assisted them in developing skills that will make them successful. We wish you the best on your ventures, and we thank you for your contributions during your time at SAM.

  8. "Solid outfit; best photogrammetry team in TX?"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Geospatial Tech in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SAM Companies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Leading edge tech, growth oriented, lots of employed geography majors. Some earlier reviewer whined about a perceived lack of diversity- you either know photogrammetry or you do not, there is no "diversity" in aerial mapping. Huge collection of highly competent photogrammetry, LIDAR and GIS personnel anywhere. This is not a feel good hippie dippy office- its an engineering type office with a focus on productivity and bottom line, as most businesses are. Be serious, learn and you can advance.

    Cons

    salary is only ok; was easier to move around when smaller; large company now with much more management so maybe less opportunity for growth than before?

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    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    We appreciate your feedback and thank you for your contribution to the organization. SAM has always been an industry leader when it comes to adopting new technology, and we continue to expand our capabilities by investing in the latest tools to increase the value we deliver for clients. Having grown from a small firm to a larger, national company through organic and acquisition expansion has allowed SAM to tap into new markets and build our project portfolio. Our success is made possible by the talented individuals that we employ, and we encourage all employees to continue building their expertise by remaining engaged with their projects, asking questions and participating in the training offered by our Learning and Development program. We understand that professional growth and career paths are important, and we have been working diligently to define each role’s career path within our organization. We encourage employees to maintain a positive work/life balance at SAM, and there may be times when we ask employees to work overtime to meet our business objectives. We understand working overtime means time away from your family, and we thank you for your willingness to assist us when those times are needed. We value your efforts during your time at SAM, and we wish you the best in your career.

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good Company to work for."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Survey Instrument Operator in Austin, TX
    Recommends

    I worked at SAM Companies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Challenging work, Learn new skills at variety of job locations.

    Cons

    Transfer to different offices, for a few weeks or days.

    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    We thank you for your feedback and are pleased you had a positive experience during your time at SAM. We are proud to be recognized as a leader in the industry and are thankful for the opportunities to work on exciting and challenging projects across the nation. These projects provide our employees with hands-on learning and development of new skills. As a thriving company, we know there is great talent throughout our organization, and there may be times when we have to ask our employees to support our workload by traveling to other locations. We thank you for your willingness to assist us and appreciate your contributions to the SAM team. We wish you the best in your career.

  10. Helpful (2)

    "Don't waste your time."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at SAM Companies full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This was a great place to work when it was So-Deep.

    Cons

    When SAM took over, nobody was happy. Many people eventually left the company because of this. Low pay and will not think twice about laying you off. It's all about the bottom line, nothing else.

    SAM Companies Response

    President and CEO

    We are sorry that you did not enjoy your experience with SAM. SAM acquired So-Deep in 2016, to combine the strengths of two great companies and enhance the value we deliver to clients, and we have achieved that goal. Subsequent to the acquisition, SAM has significantly upgraded the technology utilized in the acquired offices, specifically deploying new field vehicles, IT and office equipment. While acquisitions, change and business transitions can be trying, our company continues to grow stronger because of them. For all employees that move on from SAM, we wish them the best and hope they find the career opportunity that best suits them.

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