I worked at Sabre full-time (More than 5 years)
Dynamic environment, scope to learn and grow at a fast pace
Maintaining work life balance can be challenging at times
I worked at Sabre full-time (More than 8 years)
*The company is big enough to move around (laterally with no salary increase, NOT promotion) to gain various experiences in numerous product areas, technical platforms
*People with deep experience in the industry have been with the company for many years - there are people who have been with the company 10, 15, 20, 25, 30+ years; you don't find that in many companies today. There is deep industry and technical knowledge in many teams. You can learn so much from those who have such deep knowledge. Most are more than willing to share and teach.
*Many smart, talented people who are a pleasure to work with and work for
*Very fast pace environment, always opportunity to learn new things
*Many departments allow very flexible working arrangements (partially due to the space problem, see below).
*Many teams develop software using some flavor of Agile/SCRUM methodology
*When the senior leaders involved in the day to day management are very focused on specific initiatives (not micro managing, which is a delicate balance), teams thrive and are successful
*It's a good company brand to have on your resume (especially Travelocity) due to very positive brand recognition in the travel industry and technology
*Casual Dress Code (including jeans)
*Southlake Campus is very nice and modern
*More and more corporate bureaucracy, politics, and "rules" you must follow, especially in Technology from budgeting to what type of training you are "permitted" to take to how technology resources should charge time/each hour of their day. It's becoming more and more run like the "military" with rules, rules, and more rules.
*Southlake Campus is busting at the seams - there is a space problem (2-3 people in a cube, limited telephones, lines in the rest rooms, even for men) and parking problems (wanna walk a half a mile in the Texas heat or during a heavy spring rain storm to get to campus) that gets a lot of talk from senior management but limited action.
*Borderline (or over the line) intense, abusive behaviors consistently demonstrated by certain managers/directors/VPs/SVPs is ignored by HR. This seems to be a growing issue as more leaders are adapting this style. It's acceptable behavior where teams are managed by fear and intimidation.
*Some leaders are trying to build empires driving unnecessary reorgs
*Useless reorgs that happen at least once a year. Last year between layoffs and reorgs I had 6 managers within 12 months.
*HR is trying to "raise the bar" on performance and performance reviews but they are alienating more and more people. The new feedback approach is "you were just doing your job that you are paid for". This is the new talking point so we don't have to reward people for going above and beyond - instead we now have to tell them they were just doing their job. That's what expected of them. That statement is hard to define AHEAD of time and even harder to try to defend/debate when is it made. As managers, we have to communicate this message to our teams, which is not well received at all. It is even more difficult to motivate teams in a high pressure environment.
*Performance reviews use the system/bell curve grading approach, just like high school. The majority of people (over 75%) are graded "successful/average". Small teams, where it is nearly impossible to apply the ratios, cannot rate people as highly successful or outstanding (significantly higher bonus is awarded to these rankings) due to the quotas, even though that person earned it. Trying to lobby for an exception is nearly impossible. As a manager I recruit good people and then I lose them. If reviews are important to an individual, it forces that individual to leave your group to a larger one in order to have a better shot of getting a higher ranking next year (which leads to a higher bonus). The system forces good people to leave to another group or to walk out the door.
* Work life balance - mixed. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's 7 days a week for weeks or months (and rarely get a thank you, rarely does working those hours do any good during performance review time, just the pressure to continue with the death march)
*High Turnover/attrition due to not paying market rates, people use the company as a stepping stone in their career - it's a good name/brand to have on your resume, especially Travelocity.
Advice to Management
Address the cons above with meaningful action, not corporate fluff and positioning.
Stop the useless reorgs
Fix the performance review problem - more and more of the "troops" are talking about this and not happy with the new direction of "you're doing your job" feedback
Focus on a few things - not a laundry list where employees are spread so thin - performance review goals focus on too many things to do any of them well.
Fair compensation. Interesting work. Smart colleagues. Growth potential. Low cost of living if you live in Dallas. Flexible working schedule with the ability to work from home.
Long hours. Vacation is never a vacation. There is a culture of finger pointing and blame that makes the working environment stressful. Lots of over promises made to the customer that cannot be delivered.
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Travel Exposures, Global Opportunities, Transparency
Work / Life Balance & Visibility,
Advice to Management
Efficiency Global Management
I worked at Sabre full-time (More than a year)
Global, multi-culture environment with great people and friendly atmosphere. Great for self-drivers, multiple same level position-switch possibilities
Not that many challenges, might be not stimulating enough, lot of meetings
Advice to Management
Go for engineers! Don't need that many managers & BA's
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