TranSystems Reviews | Glassdoor

TranSystems Reviews

Updated November 29, 2017
101 reviews

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3.3
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Rick Morsches
18 Ratings

101 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Forward thinking, great talent employed here, excellent benefits, remarkable work-life balance, cohesive team setting, dedicated employees (in 5 reviews)

  • Great people in individual offices (in 6 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "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 TranSystems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great projects to work on.

    Cons

    Could have limited work experience if in a small office location.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Not A Fake Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great location in Crown Center area with free parking, flex time, ability to work from home, decent benefits, friendly atmosphere.

    Cons

    While there are some truths to negative reviews (we have been through a couple rounds of layoffs recently and I don't think they were very well executed), TranSystems is not a 'zoo' and potential new hires shouldn't be scared away by horrible reviews made by disgruntled employees. I think a positive mindset goes a long way in the workplace.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent with your decisions and be honest with employees about the state of the company. Communication is key.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Lucky to work here"

    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 TranSystems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flex time, great benefits, fun work environment, dedicated employees.

    Cons

    I honestly can't think of any!

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating about the state of the company and any major changes.


  4. "Progressive Company that truly cares about their employees"

    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 TranSystems full-time

    Pros

    Forward thinking, great talent employed here, excellent benefits, remarkable work-life balance, cohesive team setting, dedicated employees.

    Cons

    Communicate company wide rather than relying on RVP's to send a message.


  5. "Success even when the market is tough"

    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 TranSystems full-time

    Pros

    The leadership, the vision, mission and strategy. Despite the recession and a sluggish recovery, TranSystems has continued to provide a return to its Employee Owners well above the market. It is a very conservative company and has been successful since its inception in 1965. Anyone who works here knows it is a company that tries to do its best by balancing the people and financial aspects of the business. They haven't been perfect, but there intentions are good.
    During the recession, most companies and 401ks took a big hit. But not TranSystems. The company performed well above market during the toughest times.

    Cons

    It has been a tough market for all firms in this segment and I am proud of how leadership has maintained its focus and conducted company-wide office meetings, CEO communications, etc, to keep people in the loop about how we are navigating a climate where the clients are spending less for the same services than prior to the recession. It has been quite challenging to get used to for everyone. I know we aren't alone because I know people who work for our competition and they are going through similar challenges.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage your people to hang on that we will get through this. Continue to communicate the status and keep pushing forward toward the strategic vision.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "TranSystems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Transportation Engineer, Civil
    Current Employee - Transportation Engineer, Civil
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TranSystems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I work with excellent, hard working engineers

    Cons

    Management has lost its way

    Advice to Management

    Decisions for the company are made by two people. This should change or else they will keep losing good people.


  7. Helpful (15)

    "TranSystems is the bottom of the barrel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free donut Fridays. Table Tennis in the break room. Free Keurig coffee. Some nice people, not all bad. Fun and games all day, every day if you are in the HQ office.

    Cons

    TranSystems is teetering on the brink of complete economic failure, and has been drawing ever nearer to this end for a very long time. They currently  have somewhere between 700-750 employees, but they have terminated well over 300 employees over the last three years. They keep hiring to backfill emptied positions, while terminating still more. What's more is they are constantly opening and closing office locations around the continental US in similar fashion. Each time they close an office there is a spate of employee dismissals.

    This practise of continually dismissing staff to keep their overall performance numbers aloft has plunged the entire organization into chaos, as institutional knowledge is repeatedly lost, and work responsibilities are reassigned to those who remain. Work processes are created, lost, and recreated over and over by each successive group of workers. As you can imagine, this results in a continuing erosion of operational effectiveness, overall. The aftermath of these dismissals force employees to spend much wasted time in confusion and attempting to recover lost or misplaced information. This obviously leads to a great deal of frustration for new employees hired to replace the former employees.

    The culture in the HQ office overall is one of emotional immaturity and dysfunction, coupled with very low morale. The HR staff try to over-compensate for this environment with even more childish behavior, and cliquey high school antics, where they frequently say things in a loud voice that would normally be considered inappropriate in a normal, healthy business environment. They seem to want to offend anyone nearby that they can, if possible. This causes a sort of inversion of what is deemed valuable or appropriate behavior. That is, the more obnoxious the talk (and the volume at which it's delivered), the better.

    Working here for me is more like working in a three ring circus, or on a busy street corner rather than in an office. And this is not just for part of the day; it's typically all day, everyday. However, the noise around me is not from others engaging in work related discussions, this is all completey unrelated to work. It's typically a lot of laughing, screaming (yes, screaming) and playing around, and thus creates an environment of continual distraction for anyone who might want or need to focus his or her efforts on accomplishing work. So, you might imagine what a problem this is when I am on the phone with someone, as I frequently am. Persons on the other end of the phone are likely to overhear anything.

    Coworkers located near me spend up to 2-3 hours per day taking extended walk breaks, and doing other things like chatting, and playing ping-pong in the break room. This behavior all seems to go completely unnoticed by management. As such, unless you are a motivated person with a strong personal work ethic, there is no incentive to perform well, and your efforts will likewise go unnoticed.

    Overall, I would say there is no basic respect for the individual employee at TranSystems. The company does what it must to cover itself legally, and that is all. Many of the HQ staff are incredibly immature in their behavior and less than professional in their dress and demeanor, but no one seems to care, as HR sets a very poor example for everyone. They are, in fact, the worst offenders. And so you can forget about approaching them if you have any kind of real issue, such a harassment claim. They do not care about helping you, they only care about covering their rear-ends legally, and getting you quiet.

    TranSystems' President will tell you how important his employees are to himself and the rest of the company, but easily observable facts state the opposite is true. Over the last year they have dismissed nearly the entire IT department, including the CTO. The person they replaced him with seemed to be a stand-up kind of guy when he first arrived, but has made promises to his staff only to turn back on those promises later. When I say promises, I mean promises of titles, pay, and positions. I am talking about the old bait and switch, here.

    It seems to me TranSystems refuses to learn from its mistakes and change its course. They refuse to acknowledge that their business model of specializing in transportation engineering (a market that's been depressed in the US for decades now) is essentially flawed. They should be diversifying, rather than turning away potential projects. There are other CE firms headquartered in Kansas City that are flourishing.

    So, what's the deal with TranSystems? According to themselves, they are bent on being seen as the leaders in the transportation design market, but oops . . . TranSystems is actually like number 18 on that list. Why are they so low on the list? Because they have earned it with poor project performance across the board. This is due to the fact that they continually make bad business decisions, and treat their best employees like garbage.

    If you work here, and you frequently make sacrifices to deliver your best work, you will likely go unrecognized. In fact, your chances are much better at being thrown out in the street with the trash. I am currently looking for another company to work for but have not found anything yet, but I am hoping to get out very soon.

    Advice to Management

    The following comments are "for what it's worth." This company is doomed to failure if you can't exemplify the basics of professionalism and respect for your employees. You must create an effective employee retention plan that protects your most productive and engaged employees. Rather than cutting valuable individuals from the team, then having to replace them, reduce everyone's hours across the company until things smooth out. This one is important - you need to get another HR department, even if you have to outsource the work. They are poisoning the work environment from the top down, by being such poor leaders in terms of attitude and behavior. Realize that your best and hardest working employees do not want to sit in a zoo, day in and day out. The dysfunctional environment you have now is a sad replacement for one that would have dedicated people in it. Focus on business diversification. You can remain in the field of engineering, but do not limit the company to doing only transportation projects. You should be able to compete with B&M, B&V, HNTB, and other firms that are doing much better overall than TranSystems. However, you have to GROW there a little at a time. The way you are doing business now is killing the best efforts of your people. LET GO of the reigns. Bring in people that have the experience necessary to take you to where you want to go and then LET THEM LEAD.

    I don't expect any of this advice will actually be heeded, but I believe it is good medicine - and NECESSARY, considering where things are at right now and where they are headed.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Tired of Fake Reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TranSystems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Office is in nice location within Kansas City.

    Cons

    It is sad and disheartening to see a negative, yet completely accurate and truthful review about the company be followed up with fake, positive reviews from management. TranSystems' approach to reviews mirrors the management style of the company: when a problem or concern arises, they choose to ignore it, cover it up or justify it. Do not be fooled by the fake positive reviews that happen to coincidentally appear right after a negative review.

    Advice to Management

    You are in the service industry: your people are your most valuable resource. You need to recognize that. Stop treating your employees like they are disposable. Focus on improving your retention rate. You will continue to push away top talent if management styles do not change.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Disappointing and Dishonest"

    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 TranSystems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good staff to work with, great teams when able to keep employees. Lots of work if you are in the right departments. Human Resources staff is very experienced.

    Cons

    Many rounds of layoffs in 2017, 20% or more in some areas. Suggested all staff work overtime and not complain. Leadership turnover high at the regional level but rarely from corporate level.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest about how unprofitable acquisitions are.


  10. "Sr. Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at TranSystems part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Big enough to have opportunity, small enough to care.

    Cons

    Coordinating project information between offices.

    Advice to Management

    Keep increasing professional growth opportunities to employees.


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