Saiful Bouquet Reviews | Glassdoor

Saiful Bouquet Reviews

Updated May 29, 2019

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3.2
58%
Recommend to a Friend
64%
Approve of CEO
Saiful Bouquet CEO Saiful Islam, Ph.D., S.E.
Saiful Islam, Ph.D., S.E.
18 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Good company to get some overall experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Saiful Bouquet full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Saiful/Bouquet has a great work environment. I was always treated fairly by my PM’s. I gained a lot of real-world experience right away working on large scale projects. It was tough during the deadlines, but that project knowledge and having to learn to deal with hard deadlines right away has definitely helped me in my new position. There are a lot of fun people there. From the Drafters to the Admin, they have a... fun group. They provided great health insurance benefits which unfortunately I didn’t use often.

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    Cons

    Long hours were the norm. Deadlines were really intense and stressful. And depending on your manager, your stress level could double or even triple. Work/life balance was poor. And I don’t think there was enough one-on-one guidance.

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job mentoring engineers. Management needs to be more engaging with lower level employees in decision making. Hours are extremely long. Try capping the day at 10 hours. Hire more people to ease the load on engineers. Pay for overtime or show monetary appreciation in other ways.( ie. Additional days off). Just do more to make engineers feel appreciated.

    Saiful Bouquet2015-06-29
  2. Helpful (17)

    "Honest Truth about the Company - BEWARE"

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

    I worked at Saiful Bouquet full-time

    Pros

    You have such an eclectic group of employees under your banner; you endeavor to improve employee and company productivity with your Annual Management Retreat. Your employees enjoy free baseball tickets on Dodgers night and discounted tickets for their guest. You host a Saiful/Bouquet Annual Company Picnic and Annual SBI Holiday Party in the interest of promoting goodwill between you and your employees. As we... near the end of year, it is the perfect time to review business practices conducted over the past year and decide which ones should continue and which ones should cease. Let me say before I begin that I believe you started out with the best of intentions when you chose to open for business as Saiful & Bouquet. Since 1997, there have been at least two major economic downturns, so I do understand the concerns of all owners who must meet a certain quota in order to maintain a current roster of employees and cover all operating costs while hoping to generate a profit in the process. I’m sure it was necessary to strategize how to stay afloat, not lose any members of your staff and even hire a few here and there. During the past six months you’ve been awarded new contracts; congratulations on your increase.

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    Cons

    I’m sure you are aware that you have employees working in excess of 40 hours per week, which is bound to happen from time to time. You are blessed with a staff that is either very conscientious or in fear of losing his or her job. I would venture to say both statements are probably true. In an effort to not fall behind in their workload, some of your workers work late into the evening during weekdays and/or work... in the office over the weekend, accounting for as many as 1/2-3/4 of your engineers and draftsmen. Let us take into account the deadlines which must be met requiring your employees to put in overtime. If a worker puts in a 24-hour day on what would normally be a 4-hour day on a Friday, he or she has already worked the equivalent of 20 hours, or a part-time job. On a 9-hour day it is an average of 15 hours, almost 2 full days’ worth of time. If an employee earns $1,000 per week, and worked 20 extra hours, this equates to $750 in overtime pay. If this same employee does this for 4 weeks, he would’ve earned $3,000 in overtime pay. If the same employee worked an extra 40 hours in one week, the overtime rate of pay would be $1,500. If he did this for four weeks, he would’ve earned $6,000. Now who could use an additional $1,500-$6,000 on their paycheck? What if this occurred over a period of 8 weeks/2 months? The value of the overtime would be $12,000. Now, I’m only referring to one employee. What if 5-12 employees were performing for SBI to this magnitude? The total amount of overtime pay would reach into six figures, not excluding “matching” taxes and 401K contributions. Company policies you drafted and put them into operation were designed to strengthen your company’s financial statement, to the detriment of your most diligent employees. Now which policies am I referring to? Well, let’s see: • Creating managerial titles that are “useless.” With the help of managerial titles you can “legally” stick quite a few employees in the “exempt” pile and thus be “exempt” from having to pay any overtime, and does not “exempt” you from pressing your workers into service beyond an 8/9-hour workday or on weekends. • Banking overtime hours. Most employees usually don’t report every hour worked over the allotted time for a given day on their time cards. Employees who work overtime, by your rule, can only set aside a portion of their excess hours to be used as time off (for good behavior, I suppose). These employees are told when to use them or lose them, like taking a vacation with no “extra” cash to work with. Would this policy be sufficient for you? Wouldn’t you rather have the cash instead? I would guess your answer would be a resounding, “Yes!” • Too Few draftsmen in relation to the number engineers. There seems to be a hesitation when it comes to hiring more draftsmen. Of course no one wants to lay off anyone for lack of work, but to expect 11 draftsmen to carry the workload of 35 engineers and meet all the deadlines on time, and without having to put in a ridiculous number of hours for “free” is ludicrous. In regard to banking these ridiculous number of hours, your “exempted” employees can’t be spared enough days to equal actual hours worked in excess of 40; they are too vital to the running of your company. • If we yell at them they will perform better. Mr. Islam, this isn’t strictly an issue you have with your employees. It seems other in management positions do likewise to their underlings, but it isn’t right, it’s unfair and disrespectful. No employer or manager needs to raise his or her voice to another person under their supervision. You are intimidating those individuals who are extremely sensitive and bringing some to tears; they internalize this emotional form of abuse and feel trapped-meaning, afraid to find another job. They develop illnesses because of the outpouring of acids to vital internal organs, causing great concern, pain and anguish. The employees who aren’t affected by it have family who abuse them in this manner and is therefore a useless method. You and your managers run the risk of becoming ill too. In this industry, there are more strokes, heart attacks, bypass heart surgery and yes, even death before reaching retirement. In my many years of experience I’ve seen it all, and it isn’t pretty; not good karma to heap on anyone’s head. Don’t give cause for your employee’s life insurance to be used prematurely to cover funeral costs. Speak in a normal tone; they will still hear what it is you have to say, and instruct your management team to follow suit. • Some of your workers are straight out of college or a university. There was this gentleman who worked at night in my same building who was studying to become an engineer. When I asked him how he was doing he told me he had so much material to absorb in such a short period of time, that he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to retain the information when starting his first job as an engineer. This is probably true for all of your employees fresh out of a college or university, whether they spent 2 years learning drafting or 4-plus years as a budding engineer. The education they receive does not include much if any structural material. They are at a loss the minute they enter past your double doors. You cannot assume they should know what wasn’t taught. Sure; you have senior employees who could teach them a thing or two, but who has the time? You have to be patient as you go about the business of training them. It takes time; it is a process. You wanted to save money by hiring at the lowest scale possible, and yet there is a price to pay at the other end, which is time, a most precious commodity in your company.

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    Advice to Management

    You have good employees, but you don’t treat them like they matter to you, but more like slaves who must do whatever you say and for as long as you say to do it, “free labor” for you after an 8 or 9 or 4-hour day has been exhausted. If you think your employees are excited to work for “free,” think again. Your employees have all sorts of expenses and needs to be met, same as you and Tom Bouquet, the co-owners of... Saiful & Bouquet. You have young employees having to provide for the new additions to their families; needing to pay off student loans’ physically and/or financially supporting older parents; in need of reliable transportation; needing or wanting to move to a different residence; wanting to purchase a home; their current residence is in need of repair; are needing to visit family. This can also be true of your “seasoned” employees paying on student loans for their children; in need of reliable transportation; needing to move to a different residence; financially and/or physically supporting elderly parents; dealing with medical issues; needing to make repairs to their homes; needing to visit family; needing to go on a real vacation. They want to spend quality time with their spouses, children, extended family and friends, but some you give no choice but to slave away the hours while others are able to enjoy their lives. Your employees may work for you, but you don’t own them or rule their lives. Whenever they work hard and long hours for the sake of SBI, how can you justify keeping any additional income they rightfully earned out of their pockets and place in yours, especially when it is by the fruit of their labor that you are able to reap millions of dollars in contracts? As I said earlier, it is time to examine which policies work and should continue and which ones you need to ditch. You may not be able to correct the “sins” of the past, but you can correct the error in judgment for this past year. It is time to ask God, who sees everything, knows exactly what you’ve been up to, for his forgiveness and vow to stop these egregious business tactics, effective immediately. And, it is not too late to give your employees what is rightfully due them. You can hand them their overtime pay in the form of a wonderful “bonus.” It would create an opportunity to sing your praises rather than vent and conspire to leave your company now that their knowledge and experience has increased. Extend these gifts to your personal assistants, secretaries and HR personnel who work tirelessly on your behalf. God needs to see that you and Mr. Bouquet can indeed be men of honor and worthy of your employee’s respect. Hiring more draftsmen will help you maintain a 40-hour work-week across the board, since you don’t want to pay overtime. If there is an occasional need to stay for a few hours your employee may be willing to oblige and without needing to be compensated for their time. If an employee doesn’t feel appreciated in ways that matter most, which for most is monetary, you will soon have a worker who is no longer doing his or her best and will soon leave for greener pastures. Also, be aware that there are other companies who do pay their workers overtime, even if you chose not to. Be patient with new hires. Create a foundation of success by training them and enriching their knowledge in this field. Refrain from showing your temper, throwing temper tantrums and bullying. Again, I trust you can behave in a more professional manner and all will benefit when you do. Now, I know I’ve said a lot, and you can choose to disregard everything I’ve just mentioned. It may seem like I’m attacking you, but in truth I’m wanting to save you from yourself-meaning, I don’t want to see you lose what you’ve worked so tirelessly to achieve. Be proud of your accomplishments, but not boastful; treat your employees with respect as an employer who believes in God should do. Please do not ignore what I’ve shared with you; I’ve seen many companies lose everything because they elected to cheat their employees and exploit their work ethics. Don’t implode, grow; remove the bad karma you’ve created for yourselves as business partners, your company and management staff. Offset it by doing good and what is right and pleasing in God’s eyes; otherwise, bad karma will continue to mount until it gives under the pressure.

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    Saiful Bouquet2015-07-24
  3. Helpful (16)

    "Entry Level Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Saiful Bouquet full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Will find it okay if you are workaholic and are willing to learn

    Cons

    Very little family/personal time on weekdays

    Saiful Bouquet2015-06-07
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Fast-paced and creative place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Structural Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Saiful Bouquet full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working with some of the most hard working, fun and talented people in the industry. Management is extremely passionate about engineering excellence and putting their best work in front of the client. They have been adding a lot of perks that make the work environment fun.

    Cons

    - Work life balance is a bit off. More accrued vacation would be a great trade-off - Need to discuss clear growth plan with employees - Better training needed so expectations are clear from the start.

    Advice to Management

    Start having weekly meetings so everyone is kept in the loop on all aspects of the companies growth. Don't lose your way as the company grows. Keep on the path that made Saiful Bouquet one of the premier engineers in California.

    Saiful Bouquet2015-06-01
  5. Helpful (1)

    "CHALLENGING & HIGHLY REWARDING!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Pasadena, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Saiful Bouquet full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I started working at SBI as an engineer more than a year ago and although the work load was very demanding, the amount of knowledge I gained was invaluable. The benefits of working at SBI is that it is a fast paced, prestigious and rapidly growing company that will challenge you to grow. There is opportunity for advancement if you perform well. Also, the projects you work on are a huge resume booster. Moreover, the... corporate culture is young, people are friendly, and you literally get to work with the best engineers in the business. In short, if you see yourself as intelligent, detailed oriented, hard working, and passionate about engineering this is the firm for you! Personally, I'm happy that I chose to work at SBI and feel proud to be a part of the most talented family of engineers in the industry!

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    Cons

    The bar is set high and you have to be on top of your game, therefore this firm is not for the mediocre. I have seen some engineers not able to cut it. Since the work is demanding, you have to be passionate of what you are doing and if you are not, it will ultimately lead to your failure.

    Advice to Management

    Conduct team building exercises such as ropes course events with the outcome objectives of increasing communication, synergy and trust. This may help cultivate vertical solidarity between upper management and young engineers.

    Saiful Bouquet2015-05-29
  6. Helpful (20)

    "Modern Day Slave Drivers with an Unscrupulous Conscience"

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

    I have been working at Saiful Bouquet full-time

    Pros

    Big projects in your resume, friendly and optimistic peers, free cup of noodles for staying late.

    Cons

    Do you love to mentally wake up to bashing and smashing in the mornings? Do you love to work through lunch? Do you love to stay late? Do you love working weekends? If so, no one cares because plainly put: it's expected of you.

    Advice to Management

    Over 20 engineers quitting last year tickled SBI's pickle. The answer isn't to enslave exclusively international students. Grow a heart-- we're human, too.

    Saiful Bouquet2015-06-03
  7. Helpful (19)

    "Serious Culture Problem"

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

    I worked at Saiful Bouquet full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good colleagues and nothing else.

    Cons

    Saiful usually starts yelling at people early in the morning at about 9 am. He is treating people as slaves. In contrast with other companies in USA, SB has a terrible company culture ever. The company has two doors. One to enter with hope, the other to escape and start your normal life again.

    Advice to Management

    Fortunately, economy is getting better and people can find jobs more easily nowadays. The time to take advantage of people for free, is over. Saiful should try to change his behavior even if it is too difficult for him, otherwise nobody can stay and work for this company.

    Saiful Bouquet2015-05-17
  8. Helpful (22)

    "SUCH POOR UPPER MANAGEMENT!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Saiful Bouquet full-time

    Pros

    Saiful Bouquet began as a boutique company that seemed to have the right ideas and the right people to make all the industry big shots rethink their strategies and raise their game if they wanted to remain relevant. The company Principals are all cross trained to be able to collaborate on projects and theoretically pick up the ball on any aspect of any project as needed. There seemed to be a willingness to... collaborate with the Project Managers and Drafts staff to ensure that project deadlines were being met adequately and that staffing allowed for adequate coverage while ensuring that we delivered a superior product to our clients. The corporate vision for the company has always been presented as one that affords opportunity for employees to thrive and prosper as the company grows, both in Pasadena at the main office and now at the satellite locations in Orange County and San Diego. Unfortunately, the reality could not be further from the truth. Saiful Islam crushes ideas and gags them ensuring that any creative vision that an employee may have, be it a partner of the company, an engineer, a draftsperson, or a member of the office staff is quickly dismissed. Should a partner of the company express interest in supporting the engineering staff in coming up with creative solutions to troubleshoot projects or address staffing deficiencies that lead to unmet deadlines, they are immediately shut down by Saiful, often times even humiliated in very public office settings. The partners seem to be bullied into retreat. Upper management is completely incapable of addressing employee issues and is more concerned with having help on their own projects so that they can meet the impossible commitments they have made to their clients. Collaboration, which was what I looked most forward to when joining Saiful Bouquet really does not exist. Unlike other Structural Engineering firms, having satellite offices does not mean that employees can transfer from one office to the next. Ours is a solidly closed concrete door policy. Pasadena does not encourage the offices partnering together for the benefit of the company as a whole. The company does not seem to encourage or take pride in their employees stepping out of the office boundaries to collaborate with peers, to do committee work, mentor, or support organizations in the preservation of the industry as a whole. The term "sweatshop" has been used in other reviews. I do not like this term one bit, but struggle reconciling the Saiful Bouquet of today with the company I was thrilled to join years ago. I believe there is so much potential here and yet, we cannot see to tap it. The company would be an excellent training ground for new engineers interested in a "boot camp" structural engineering experience, but most assuredly the experience would be short lived and once the training period has completed they will move on quickly to a place that allows them an opportunity to be a relevant team member with industry /industry superior compensation and a work/home quality of life.

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    Cons

    Saiful Bouquet is essentially the "good-guy-bad guy" team of Tom Bouquet constantly doing damage control on whatever mess Saiful Islam has gotten the company into. Granted, their names are on the company letterhead, but the expectation that the company would thrive being run in the manner of a third world dictatorship is simply unrealistic in these times. Employees are worked to death and with little promise of... improved conditions beyond the annual speech that Saiful gives promising that the company would hire more engineers/staff to relieve the overworked team that often works from sunrise to sunrise with little compensation. Overtime in the traditional sense does not exist. Promotions are also non-existant. Tom Bouquet is a great guy who really wants to run the company with an employee sensitive hand but the reality is that he does not seem to have the spine or the voting power to put an end to the sweatshop scenarios that occur at all of our offices. The tools and support to do good is there. The will to do good is there. The veto, however, seems to come from above. The reality is that you cannot attract or hold on to top notch employees without being willing to compensate them according to industry standards. To pay what the industry pays, but expect a work week that is at least 50% longer than competitors will not endear the company to its staff. I've lost many colleagues to competing firms simply because they could not handle the pressure or the stress of working at SBI. Truth be told, we've had employees who were willing to retire or leave the private sector all together and take city jobs just because something at SBI left such a bad taste in their mouths that they just decided they were finished.

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    Advice to Management

    Take some time to revisit the original vision for the company when it first opened its doors and the spirit of being a collaborative boutique firm that offers a superior product at a competitive price then make the difficult changes that are necessary to work toward that original vision. Take on less projects until we are actually able to deliver what we promise in a manner that exceeds ours and our client's... expectations. Promote and recognize our employees who work hard to make us an industry leader. The overall satisfaction of our employees and their reluctance to leave SBI at any price would be the true measure of our success as an employer. People talk about the reputations of employers like Starbucks or Costco in their respective industries and recognize them as industry leaders. It is shameful to hear some of the opinions currently expressed by my colleagues on this site and many others. Talking down to people won't fix it. Collaborating with people and creating true partnerships with clearly defined incentives and company mandated limits to the work day regardless of pending deadlines will, by default, create a harmonious and balanced environment that will nurture the employee/employer relationship. The resulting pride and will to exceed expectations and thrive as a team will encourage the currently disgruntled, disillusioned employees to change their outlook as they sense that the company values their time and dedication away from their families to ensure that the face of SBI is a strong and superior one. Allow engineers and draft staff an opportunity to provide input in how goals will be met in pending projects.

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    Saiful Bouquet2014-11-10
  9. Helpful (1)

    "Gratifying & Rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends

    I have been working at Saiful Bouquet full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I have been employed at SBI for 10+ years and have worked previously at several competitors’ offices. Given my experience with other firms and my longevity at SBI, I can honestly say that my time at SBI has been fulfilling and rewarding. I see from other posts that there is a perception of people being over-worked. If someone has worked as long as I have in the private industry and for multiple employers, they... understand that we are in a service orientated industry that has demanding clients. Those clients want what they want and they want it quickly as time is money – each day a building or project does not get constructed, means that they are not making money on their investment. It is because the SBI team continuously meets these high expectations of their clients and produces an outstanding brand that they have been such a success and grown so fast in such a short time compared to their competitors. I personally have great satisfaction and feel proud to be part of such an organization where my talents and hard work are recognized not only by my employer, but by my clients and peers.

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    Cons

    The work environment is not for everyone – the work that is being produced in this office is not the typical for the industry. The firm does not design residential houses or pipe hangers. As noted earlier, the demands on the individuals is high as expectations by our clients is high and they expect a certain standard. Having said this, an individual is expected to work hard and the regular 9-5 work day does not... exist in this private sector. The exposure that an engineer receives to the type of projects the office produces is unsurpassed by other firms – thus the experience gained and the resources available by colleagues is unmatched and it is up to the individual to determine their fate by either accepting the challenges and growing or not – this type of environment is not for everyone as it takes a certain personality, and that is okay as well. If the challenges are accepted and the individual demonstrates growth and responsibility, then they are equally rewarded.

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    Advice to Management

    Management should look to strike a balance with competitive compensations against tight profit margins. In addition, management should try to ensure that the firm policies for overtime are uniformly followed as these tend to be misconstrued by the beneficiaries of said overtime.

    Saiful Bouquet2014-10-28
  10. Helpful (21)

    "Poor Leader, High Stress, Sweatshop"

    StarStarStarStarStar
     

    I worked at Saiful Bouquet

    Pros

    Good Health Benefits and most of the employees are great people.

    Cons

    Saiful Islam the president of the company runs his company like a sweatshop. Over worked engineers and drafters and no incentives. Plus they have to look forward to being yelled at and put down by Saiful in front of everyone if anything does not go his way. Saiful is rude, unprofessional and a sorry excuse for a leader. He is always preaching about how we need to be professional but his actions are far from... being professional. The engineers are salaried employees and they work every long and hard, sometimes until 2 or 3 am. However if they are just 5 mins late the next morning they have to hear about it even if they were at the office late the night before. They no not appreciate the hard work their employees put in, they only see the mistakes. Also, there are 10 partners at this firm but no one has a say in anything that goes on, it's Saiful's way or the highway!

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    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the great employees you have and stop thinking that you can treat people anyway you want. Saiful needs to take some management training classes and anger management as well.

    Saiful Bouquet2014-10-30
Found 27 reviews