Solstice Reviews | Glassdoor

Solstice Reviews

Updated January 2, 2019
148 reviews

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4.3
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Solstice CEO Kelly Manthey
Kelly Manthey
19 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "We have a training budget at our disposal for taking any course we want" (in 32 reviews)

  • "Best culture and work life balance is great" (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • "As a company grows and expands their offerings - there are growing pains associated to the growth" (in 20 reviews)

  • "work-life balance can take a hit at times" (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great"

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

    I have been working at Solstice full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Career growth & opportunities. Culture. Employee Experience. Flat Org.

    Cons

    Opportunities are available for those that have the drive to work for them.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to your people. Most love working here and just need to be heard.


  2. "Great People, Great Culture, Great Place to Work!"

    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 Solstice part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people here are great! They're very smart, creative, and you can tell everyone is happy to come to work. Servant leadership is the backbone of the company and it really shows in employee interactions and in client work.

    Cons

    The organization has experienced a lot of growth and some systems haven't been completely formalized yet. Despite a few growing pains here and there, the executive team and operations staff are receptive to feedback (positive and constructive alike.)

  3. "Best Place to Work!"

    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 Solstice full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have worked more than a few jobs during my career, but Solstice has thus far been the most rewarding. I work hard but I feel valued and that makes all the difference. I have found the culture here to be very supportive and inclusive of the path I've taken.

    You get to come to work everyday and solve some tough problems and the people here are given the autonomy and support to do it. During my time, I have already been on multiple projects and in my experience, it has been very ‘Choose-Your-Own-Adventure’. You have to be vocal and be willing to put in the time and energy, but it has been more than worth it! The opportunity is here to do some incredible things and build up life-long skills.

    Most importantly, I have made some great friends along the way and have built lasting relationships with my fellow Solsties. I have seen friends thrive and grow here (myself included) and it has been great to watch!

    Cons

    Solstice are all about transformation and that can be challenging to a client (even when they're asking for it). If you’re the type that just wants to clock in/out and collect your paycheck, this is probably not the best place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you do. The culture at Solstice is the thing that makes it stand out from the rest, so protect it carefully.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Lack of projects/sales is dampening sincere initiatives. Disorganized, lack of cohesion in core competencies"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Tech in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Engineering Tech in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Sincere desire to do good, shows in various HR initiatives
    - Focus on hard goals such as Digital TX instead of easy ones that many others adopt
    - Involved and accessible management - CEO, CTOs listen, unlike many other companies
    - Lots of young, energetic and dedicated staff; being encourages - Will pay off
    - Encourages training and growth
    - Celebrates socialization, cultural and charitable causes
    -

    Cons

    I am very sorry to say - While the long list of Pros above come with deep, sincere appreciation for the enormity of what Solstice has taken on, my list of cons is equally grievous.
    - Very haphazard and chaotic alignment of teams and goals. Leadership looks blind-sided most times
    - Most initiatives start with a few meetings, where a few "BIG-5" consultants hired for their "talk" give big speeches. I tried to get involved in a few very sincerely. These "talking heads" only wanted you to do the work but will NEVER let you talk to the customers
    - Technical capabilities of staff is not scaling or leveling up. The focus is solely on cheap Internet learning such as Udemy, Coursera etc. There is a clear lack of organization in learning. Some of us offered to help but the initiative didn't go anywhere.
    - Most dangerous of all - They hardly have a reliably growing customer base. For some reason, even in growth spaces, they are unable to find customers.
    - I talked to consultants all the time and quite a few customers were quite narcissistic with consultants expected to tow the line. Even senior members were at the mercy of customers' whims. I know "customer comes first" but Solstice has a habit of finding troublesome ones.
    - Servant Leadership is the biggest and the worst "Lip Service". There is no such thing except on paper. I hardly met any leader that cared anything the juniors had to say, perhaps except Henry? (CTO?), whom I found very amiable to even junior consultants. The leaders nod their heads when you talk but you can clearly see they are just waiting for you to finish talking so they can wash off the pretense.
    - The lack of customers and technical directions often leads to random layoffs. I found that very troubling. In any case, the market is good so most talented people are able to find work.
    - The level of noise about events, activities was falsely deafening. Consultants who had become close friends usually cut themselves off, often taking over the events and with little room for inputs.
    - Here is a classic example of falsity of socialization in Solstice. One fine day, a nice consultant was celebrating an anniversary. Not one person showed up to celebrate even for a few minutes even after multiple invitations.

    Advice to Management

    What can you advise a company or management where the focus is on a false "culture" rather than growing/scaling together to face application modernization challenges? I don't know.

    I still wish the company and leadership well. Running a ship this kind in uncharted waters is not easy. But much needs to be done.

    First thing is - Stop overselling the culture while hiring, it appears real phony real soon.


  5. Helpful (13)

    "A company that does not stand behind what it claims"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Solstice full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Exposure to large companies and enterprises that embody what a good company culture should look like

    Cons

    As other reviewers said. Solstice marketing makes it *look* like this is a fantastic place to work. Once you're here, it's quite the opposite. You are suddenly staffed on projects that add 3 hours of commute time per day, without any say against this (I actually had colleagues doing a DAILY commute back-and-forth from Chicago to Madison, WI). Solstice still expects you to make up your full billable hours, without compensating you in any way for the commute or your time. In the case of my project, they asked for our feedback. I pushed project leadership hard for things like grocery delivery stipends or cleaning services... things that would show people on the project that Solstice cares about the time that you're sacrificing to take on an extra 15 hours per week in commuting time, and provide a convenience to them that was inexpensive to Solstice. This idea was shot down.

    Speaking of hours that you're not paid for, Solstice's touts its annual volunteer event, Pay It FWD. If you'd like to participate in this event and go volunteer for a charity, *you are required to make up every billable hour that week that you're going to miss while volunteering.* Solstice volunteers nothing to these causes. If social responsibility and philanthropy were actually important to you as a company, this event would not be modeled this way. I've worked for big, legitimate consulting firms before, and they paid for your time spent volunteering as their contribution to these charities.

    Also, your pay is mediocre, and vacation days are an absolute joke. The most horrendous to me is that Solstice does not observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This is 2018, and that just makes me cringe. You will also be expected to work pretty much every other holiday except for Christmas (*not* Christmas Eve), New Years Day, and the Fourth of July.

    While you're at Solstice, there is no personal space or sense of privacy. You sit across from coworkers at the same distance as if you were sharing an intimate dinner together (no barriers, no dividers). The intense workload you're given is in conflict with the number of times per day your coworkers will make eye contact with you and ask you to take your headphones out, to ask you a non-urgent question.

    What makes the lack of personal space and privacy even more maddening is that there are few expectations set around professionalism with Solstice's employees. One of my Solstice coworkers told our client all about their drunk driving accident, others will break out in to yelling and nerf gun wars while you're trying to take a phone call with your client.

    Advice to Management

    Put your money where your mouth is. We aren't dumb. A free breakfast, pizza, or happy hour every so often doesn't represent leadership that cares about their employees.

    Set expectations: During interviews, onboarding, etc. When you don't make the investment to onboard employees correctly before they go on to projects, the rest of the teams on those projects suffer. I have experienced this firsthand a number of times, and have spoken with other colleagues that have seen the same. Set specific expectations. Communicate directly and often with employees that don't meet those.

    Invest intelligently: Think about the sources of unhappiness and invest in those. Have UXR journey map the weeks of employees on different programs. Identify the pain points. Think about ways you can improve the quality of life of those employees. Then, actually follow through on delivering those!


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Fun company, but worst employment experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Solstice full-time

    Pros

    Fun company events, being around smart people, innovation

    Cons

    Ignored mentors input, made me feel like a mistake in hiring, pretend to care about you, but really, its just business when it all boils down to it. You're disposable.


  7. Helpful (14)

    "Great marketing of culture doesn't translate to reality"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Technical Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Solstice full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have met a handful of wonderful people, who are not only intelligent, but also truly kind. That's the positive effect of that effective marketing about Solstice culture: it tends to attract people who are attracted to the concept of servant leadership & a collaborative people first culture. Marketing & recruiting are both so strong that even Solstice's reviews on Glassdoor can't escape their reach. Some of the reviews here are so clearly just recruiters posting reviews.

    Cons

    After a few months on the job every new hire learns that Solstice leadership doesn't actually care that much for it's people or culture. If you want to thrive at Solstice, you need to be a great at two thing: politics and keeping a smile on your face while strategizing on how to use every bit of information/interaction to get ahead. The thirst to snatch that promotion ahead of those you work alongside (precisely those you smile at) is so strong. One more thing, the primary way to quench that thirst is by drinking the company kool-aid. If you don't drink it, you won't get promoted. Aside from that, pay & benefits are below industry standards while work life balance is pure fiction. The staffing of engineers, in particular, is poorly handled & people seem stretched thin. It's no wonder a lot of people leave after the first year.

    Advice to Management

    Walk the walk. Talk the talk. Respond to reports of those who are behaving badly in order to achieve a promotion & stomp out bad behavior, if you're truly concerned about building a great culture of collaborative people founded on servant leadership. People make the place. If it's rotting from the inside out, there's no amount of marketing to attract/retain good people.

    Solstice Response

    Sep 24, 2018 – CEO

    I am sorry you don’t feel the focus on people and culture. Despite the circumstances that may have made up your specific experience, the reality is that we put quite a lot of attention on our... More

  8. Helpful (15)

    "Great idea; disappointing execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Functional Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Functional Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The two stars I gave are entirely for the kind, energetic, intelligent, and well-intentioned people who work there. These are, of course, almost exclusively the people who have no real power in the organization.

    Cons

    Absence of structure, zero transparency, non-competitive pay, frat house culture (in the words of a current employee in good standing), unclear objectives, unclear guidelines for promotion, poor work-life balance (someone in a supervisory role once BRAGGED to me about the fact that she worked so hard when she first started that it made her sick enough to be hospitalized), to name a few.

    Advice to Management

    Stop talking about what a great culture you think you have and start actually paying attention to reality. People are unhappy, and they are worried about the future of their jobs and the company at large. There needs to be a huge reassessment in consideration of all the growth and change that has taken place in the past couple years. You can't keep operating like a startup with no structure and no accountability for those in supervisory roles.

    Solstice Response

    Sep 9, 2018 – CEO

    I am sorry you didn’t have a better experience with Solstice. While it’s hard to respond to generalizations, and every individual has a unique set of circumstances that shape their employee... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Awesome learning environment, great opportunity for career development"

    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 Solstice full-time

    Pros

    Everyone is fun to work with and very nice, the company truly invests in each of its employees and their growth as a professional, everyone is very committed to building the best products possible

    Cons

    No cons to mention currently

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up!


  10. Helpful (21)

    "Ain't No Sunshine in a Blackbox"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Solstice full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Reading through these 2018 reviews I can almost guarantee they were written by someone in HR. So ya...ignoring that massive red flag, Solstice does offer a good environment to learn and grow and most the people that work here are of a high-caliber.

    Cons

    Leadership is very disconnected and so many things at Solstice are blackbox. That is one of the most common terms I hear when I talk to people across the company about its internal operations. Things like career progression and project assignments (the things that matter most to employees) are a big mystery. It seems like every time a suggestion is made we get the same canned response, "We hear you and we're working on it."

    Hiring and promotions do not make sense in large part because Solstice has fought against standardizing its levels. The result is new hires have been brought in below what they should have been and many tenured employees have been elevated to levels that really do not make sense.

    The notion of a flat organization is a joke and one that the analysts and consultants of the company do not find very funny. Solstice needs to define the expected responsibilities per level clearer.

    There is no accountability for people that work internally. Things like getting training budget approved can take weeks to months which is very frustrating since that is one of the perks for working at Solstice. The hiring process was disingenuous. They sell you on the company's culture but don't tell you that many employees are now working offsite. And it isn't like most consulting firms that compensate you fairly for the travel.

    Advice to Management

    This company has grown exponentially over the last year and needs to change its internal processes. This company cannot scale with the way it is currently structured and it very clearly has not intention of staying a small company. The people that got you to this point will not and cannot be the same people that get you to the next level. At some point, some tough decisions are going to need to be made.

    Solstice Response

    Sep 24, 2018 – CEO

    As a current employee, I would love the opportunity to have a conversation with you directly to understand the specific circumstances that have shaped your perception. You raise valid points about... More