Sargent & Lundy Reviews | Glassdoor

Sargent & Lundy Reviews

Updated April 13, 2017
209 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.5
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Sargent & Lundy Chairman, President & CEO Thomas White
Thomas White
57 Ratings

209 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work/life balance, with every hour over 40 going toward comp time (in 10 reviews)

  • Good benefits and highly competitive salaries (in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance is second to the company, management has no hesitation to ask worker to stay to extreme hours or work weekends (in 9 reviews)

  • The "good old boys club", outdated software, lazy co-workers that will not do their job, unconcerned management (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (6)

    "Wonderful company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate III in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate III in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Management is fair and in my opinion has an excellent direction for the company. Incredible culture for quality. High quality peers. Excellent downtown location.
    Incredible extracurricular programs. (They have a fully paid for hockey club and sailing club among dozens of others).

    Cons

    Work can be demanding of free time. There can be a lot of long weeks. However, you are compensated for the additional time (comp or straight time). Seems like a fair trade off in my opinion.

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Jul 6, 2016 – Director of Talent

    We are thrilled to see this, and thanks so much for taking the time to provide your review. We look forward to keeping up with these expectations!


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Good overall, but needs consistency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    There are a lot of extremely smart technical people at S&L, and you will learn a lot about may different topics. Projects can span many different disciplines and involve various areas of expertise. Even after 10 years I'm always learning something new and gaining additional insight.
    Benefits are very good and they even offer some paid maternity leave.
    Promotes from within. Comp time/paid overtime.

    Cons

    Management practices are outdated and slow to change.
    When times are rough there is very little communication to employees on what to expect leaving a very anxious work environment.
    Work can be very high stress and hours can be long. Field assignments often put workers in situations where they are on the front lines and are not always supported in the office. Some managers/leads are quick to throw their workers under the bus when something goes wrong or automatically side with the client without defended the workers.

    Advice to Management

    Please provide more training to managers and people working their way up in the company. Encourage people to get MBAs and bring in outside management at some level to help usher in new ways of thought. Ensure that workers on field assignment are rewarded. Ensure that when an issue arises that everyone works as a team to solve the problem instead of playing the blame game. People are tunneled into working with one set of projects, provide better rotation within work groups so that talent and experience are better distributed and interactions are more uniform from client to client.

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 21, 2017 – Director of Talent

    Thank you for your review. Please don’t forget our tuition reimbursement program, which exists to encourage employees to further their education, including MBA degrees. Regarding management ... More


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Variety and Problem Solving Keep Me Engaged"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The reasons why I love my job include the following:

    • I have a variety of assignments and a heavy workload that keep me engaged and make the days, weeks, and months fly by.
    • I solve problems that are complex, require critical thinking, and involve collaboration with my peers and supervisor.
    • I’ve built relationships with a lot of very talented people throughout the company, and I’m always trying to continuously improve my work product to better serve them.
    • I’m asked for my opinion on a number of topics, and I feel that my opinion is appreciated by senior management.
    • I’ve had the ability to impact change throughout the entire organization.
    • The company has outstanding ethics and integrity.
    • I really enjoying the office setting and environment, including our fantastic downtown location, but also I have the ability to occasionally work from home, which is greatly appreciated.
    • The company is very supportive of continuing education and training. When I’ve asked to attend conferences or training related to my job, my requests have always been approved.

    Other pros include:

    • Outstanding benefits
    • Dozens of company supported athletic and social activities

    Cons

    Frustrations include the following:

    • An IT infrastructure that is critically outdated and includes numerous homegrown applications that are slow, glitchy, have frustrating user interfaces, and poor reporting capabilities.
    • Management will sometimes listen to ideas from a new employee that have been brought up by existing staff for years.
    • An imbalance of workloads within departments. If you have drive you’ll be given a lot to do, and if you lack initiative and self-direction you can often just coast along with minimal work, and spend hours a day on instant messaging or browsing the web.
    • Annual performance feedback can be brief, occur 11-months after the evaluation period is over, or not occur at all.
    • IBM Notes email -- It has numerous shortcomings that that directly impact my work on a daily basis, and because of this I’m not able to work as efficiently as I’d like.
    • The office Wi-Fi is significantly lagging what is needed and expected of a modern workforce. It’s as if the company wants to discourage its use and is intentionally throttling the connection speed. I’ve had embarrassing situations with business guests and vendors that couldn’t connect, which has delayed and derailed meetings. It’s also unreliable to travel to meetings with my laptop, so I spend an unnecessary amount of time printing paper reports.

    Advice to Management

    Sargent & Lundy is a fantastic company with a proud 125-year history. I’m extremely thankful and appreciative that S&L has allowed me to develop in my career in ways I never thought possible, and it has done the same for countless others. And in order for the company to continue to develop a highly competent and satisfied workforce for the next 125 years, I offer the following advice:

    • Our CEO Tom White is a great leader and has one of the highest CEO ratings on Glassdoor, and I’d love to hear even more communication from him that reinforces the company's values, mission, and goals.
    • Be more willing to change, and change quickly.
    • Increase communication from the top down, focus on the positives, and make it a priority to increase engagement throughout the entire organization. Give employees meaningful feedback on a regular basis. Create a greater connection between compensation and performance. Be clear about goals and expectations, and help employees see how their work matters to the organization. Reward, recognize, and show appreciation to employees in a fair and consistent way, and recognize and celebrate both individual and company successes more often.
    • Don’t allow Directors to resource hoard, which stifles career, limits variety of assignments, and creates disengaged employees.
    • Improve IT infrastructure, but don’t implement new systems without having buy-in from the users.

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 17, 2017 – Director of Talent

    Thank you for taking the time to provide a thoughtful review. We’re happy to see you value your experience with us and feel you have the ability to impact change throughout the entire organization ... More


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Aggressive Growth Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Project Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity for challenge. Company is in growth mode so is willing to give younger engineers lots of responsibility.

    Above average compensation with healthy yearly raises.

    Cons

    Complete lack of management support. Lack of organization and communication leads to poor work assignments and lack of clarity in responsibility. At times pure choas.

    Advice to Management

    Company has been around for years and won't change one bit...

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 21, 2017 – Director of Talent

    Thank you for your review. We wish you well in your career.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Positive Work Environment from the Inside, Out"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Sargent & Lundy has been around for 125 years, which, in and of itself, is a testament to its stability and success. There are countless employees who have began and ended their careers here. From a compensation and benefit standpoint, Sargent & Lundy is extremely generous to new graduates. As someone who has accumulated a fair share of student debt, this was greatly appreciated. In terms of the work environment, S&L promotes learning and career development through mentorship. The office layout has helped me to grow professionally because you are seated with 3 individuals with similar backgrounds to your own. This has provided me with the opportunity to ask for feedback or to ask questions on a moment’s notice. S&L also encourages its employees to get to know one another outside of work with its variety of Company Supported Activities. All in all, Sargent & Lundy has been and continues to be a great place to work!

    Cons

    Since Sargent & Lundy has been around for as long as it has, it has adopted a very ‘old school’ mindset with a lot of its business practices. At times, suggested initiatives are either not received well or slow to be implemented. This can cause some frustration with day to day work. For instance, we are still using the email system LotusNotes, which could be replaced which several other more efficient emailing programs. I also believe more frequent communication between managers and employees would help in employee engagement. Many employees do not see the value in the work they do and more recognition (or suggestions for improvement) will help them to be more motivated and engaged in the work they do.

    Advice to Management

    People know about Sargent & Lundy and want to work here. I would suggest to continue to foster this by listening to employee concerns, implementing suggestions when feasible, and increase communication throughout the company.

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 3, 2017 – Director of Talent

    We appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective as a recent college graduate! Thank you for the positive comments, but we especially appreciate your feedback on areas you feel we could ... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great For Long Term Employment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    This company is packed with veteran engineers and designers with decades of experience. No matter what your discipline you will gain experience in others while working here.

    Cons

    Very old company. Uses an internally developed design and engineering software suite that is way behind the times. Change is encourage, but things move very slowly once a change to any internal process has been agreed upon. They are very set in their ways.

    Advice to Management

    Encouragement of ideas from fresh hires that have experience outside their company to better their software and engineering policies.

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 17, 2017 – Director of Talent

    Thank you for your comments. We strongly encourage all employees to share their ideas and even have a formal Performance Improvement Process (PIP) system for employees to do just this so they may ... More


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great Experience at Legendary Firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The firm has been a staple in the power and energy space for over a century. I now understand why they have such a great reputation after working at S&L's headquarters in downtown Chicago for a little over two years. Strong Leadership and technical expertise bring in exciting and compelling projects. Welcoming, collaborative and knowledgeable employees create a vibrant work environment. Great benefits and fun corporate events/parties.

    Cons

    Leadership can be slow at times to embrace change. Lotus Notes

    Advice to Management

    Switch to Outlook.

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 3, 2017 – Director of Talent

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on your experience at Sargent & Lundy!


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Not your average corporate culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sargent & Lundy full-time

    Pros

    People at Sargent & Lundy are genuinely warm and friendly – all the way up to the CEO, who is incredibly down to earth and approachable. The work is interesting with projects in progress all over the world. With it being more than 125 years old, it’s a stable company with a great industry reputation, and plenty of opportunity to grow your career at any level. It’s a fast-paced environment without being ego-driven or cutthroat. It’s privately held, so you’re not at the mercy of your shareholders or the overwhelming bureaucracy that is often a core trait of publically held companies. This might also be why they have much better pay and benefits than industry competitors. Every new hire gets a mentor at start, which is a nice touch I’ve never experienced anywhere else. They also have tons of company sponsored clubs and team sports that employees are heavily engaged in and really take seriously!

    Cons

    Lacking best in class IT systems, many of which were home grown in the late 90's early 2000's and still haven't been modernized. It's an old company so there are a lot of 'long timers' who have spent their entire careers here and nowhere else, which sometimes means some aren't quick to warm up to new ideas and change can be slow. There are strong rumblings that executive leadership is actively working to address this and influence a culture change, though. The pros at S&L really do outweigh the cons.

    Advice to Management

    S&L is a great company with so many positive traits, and employees really love working here; make sure to take action on employee feedback so you can continue to be one of the best companies to work for in Chicago. Please invest in modernizing your IT systems; trust your employees (even the long timers) to adapt to welcome changes that are beneficial to the long term health and success of your business. And it would be great if you could throw in some ‘perks’ to really appeal to the modern workforce (ex. work from home once a week, Mon-Thurs 9hr work day and Fri 4hr workday, sabbaticals, company swag, free coffee).

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 4, 2017 – Director of Talent

    Thank you for such a thoughtful review; we’re glad to see you have had such a positive experience! Your suggestions are especially helpful as this type of open and honest feedback helps guide our ... More


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Project Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Depth of company. Rich history.

    Cons

    Dinosaur management style. Inability to plan beyond 1 year.

    Advice to Management

    Create a 5 year plan. Tweak it. Create a 10 year plan. Go further.

    Sargent & Lundy Response

    Apr 3, 2017 – Director of Talent

    Thank you for your review. We wish you the best in your future endeavors.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Decent place to work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sargent & Lundy full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits and highly competitive salaries. Company sponsored activities after hours. Most of the people are pleasant to work with.

    Cons

    A flat organization.
    Value opinion of male employees more than women.
    Need more mentorship for women. Still a male dominated company.

    Advice to Management

    Diversity needs work. Not a lot of advancement for women. Non existent for Minorities.


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