Surrey Satellite Technology Reviews | Glassdoor

Surrey Satellite Technology Reviews

Updated July 24, 2017
16 reviews

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3.1
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Surrey Satellite Technology Interim Group MD Sarah Parker
Sarah Parker
2 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "meh..."

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

    I worked at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very good people to work with. Entire lifecycle involvement is encouraged.

    Cons

    Sketchy leadership team management commitment and leadership skills. Airbus executives are bringing new discipline but losing much of Surrey in the process.


  2. "Lively, open-minded company with an interesting and supportive workforce"

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

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    SSTL provides the ability to work on interesting products in an interesting industry (space) without the policies and paperwork that most of the other big industry primes suffer with. It provides a free environment to do some proper detailed engineering activities: own a product from conception through to in-orbit usage. The majority of the engineering workforce is engaged, goes above and beyond, and are interesting and supportive to work with. The environment suits engineers who have passionate ideas and the ability to control their work to realise their ideas within budget constraints. The pace of work is fast: in a good way - there is never a dull moment and every day is different and rewarding. The flat organisation structure also allows individuals to shape their own destinies and to create their own opportunities. The open-door policy and colocation of staff means that anyone can go and have open conversations with managers, directors and CEO at any time.

    Cons

    The open/free working environment does not suit everyone: some people operate better in a more regimented environment. SSTL has got a little big over the years and would benefit from downsizing or subdividing the company to get back to focussed work groups with clearer vision and better communication channels.

    Advice to Management

    Mission, vision and strategy statements need to be established and realised. This is currently in flux due to new market pressures. The leadership team are aware of it however and working on it.

  3. "Interesting work, weak management"

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

    Pros

    Competitive salary, excellent facilities and knowledgeable/experiences engineer

    Cons

    Poor upper management, cash flow main concern rather than delivering projects, loosing good company reputation, can bully employees into leaving.

    Advice to Management

    Lead my example.


  4. "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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I love the company culture, the people you really are part of the family. Lots of interesting work to get stuck into and therefore, a lifelong learning experience.

    Cons

    Need some short term wins and longer term strategy needs to be clearly communicated on an annual basis, some uncertainty regarding leadership and future direction of the company but i am sure this will all be ironed out.


  5. "Good place for passionates of Space"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time

    Pros

    This company gives a lot of flexibility in working hours and also to change roles within the company. Very friendly environment.

    Cons

    The food in the canteen is of poor quality. The salaries are, in general, lower than the average and they do not match the costs of living on the area.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CADM Manager in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - CADM Manager in Guildford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Forward thinking, enthusiastic to embrace new ideas and technologies, always looking for the next development

    Cons

    No good for an old fuddy-duddy like me! Also, I live too far away and the commute is too long.


  7. "Good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Challenging, good benefits, able to collaborate with others

    Cons

    No real structured management, needs work on the details

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Great atmosphere, challenging work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fascinating job that gets you involved with the entire life of the spacecraft. Very good atmosphere among colleagues. Working with very good engineers. I have only praises for my line manager.

    Cons

    Company goals unclear in some areas and not presented properly by the management team. Chronic lack of resources is frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership team invisible except for an update every few months. Very average people management.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Lacks direction, lacks leadership capability, untrained & inexperienced managers manage via intimidation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Guildford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    First I just want to say, I am not writing this as an embittered ex-employee or someone with an axe to grind. I am a current employee considering a company change. I want to put comments in here that set the scene for potential new recruits so they can get an overall view along with other people's comments.

    Good to get a first job here either engineering or project management as you will be exposed to a lot (somewhat double edged sword). It is sink or swim so if you thrive in that environment then great. If you show aptitude and assertiveness you can gain a lot of experience in a short timeframe.

    If your first job then you will learn about office politics quickly.

    Good holiday entitlement but the trick is being able to take it.

    Cons

    In brief it is known in the space industry as a sweat shop. 60-80 hours a week for sustained periods can be the norm. Especially if you show aptitude. ie you are relied upon to cover for the more shall we say 'less able' staff. This means there is no buffer from a resource perspective when extra support is really needed. You work til you drop essentially. There is a reluctance / fear to deal with poor performers ultimately resulting in lacklustre project delivery performance from project to project. Poor performers in engineering and project management in equal measure. Very much a clique atmosphere, with senior managers in the business outwardly showing favouritism and displaying very poor behaviour. Project/programme managers and engineering still purport an 'us and them' and 'pass the buck' mentality. Generally to hide their own lack of responsibility or poor capability and performance. Senior managers, programme managers, engineering managers all show a lack of emotional intelligence and a lack of personnel management skills. The company kids itself in maintaining 'the old family SSTL way' it has over 500 people! The company structure seems to change every year. This time career paths have essentially been cut off for engineering and project management, driving moral down. Communication on topics that count is very poor. Ever decreasing Times 100 scores indicate a downward spiral with the senior management right in the bullseye. Lack of timely (or any!) decision making is endemic from the top down. Taking personal responsibility seems to be taboo. The leadership is disparate and not a good example to follow. Real leaders and change agents seemed to have left the company over the last year; the people who make positive things happen seem to have gone. Eventually I think the company will be absorbed into the parent company. I suspect that date is approaching fast.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your leadership team make-up, be honest with yourselves are you a coherent, decision making, forward looking, exciting, enthusiastic group of people who can lead and instil the same qualities in the guys that work for you? I think you know the answer to that. So do something about it!


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Weak leadership, weak and overworked middle management, disorganised and directionless"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Surrey Satellite Technology full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you position yourself correctly, by blowing your own trumpet in the right direction, you can rise to the top.

    Cons

    The company is organised on a matrix management structure, but is under-staffed for key skills. This is a recipe for disaster and it shows! Lots of pseudo-religious statements are made with little except sales to back it up.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being self delusional about company capability. The company morale has deteriorated severely and is a sign that the current C-class management are on borrowed time. Too many things are not seriously measured in the company; anything not properly measured is not managed.


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