TransAlta Reviews | Glassdoor

TransAlta Reviews

Updated July 11, 2017
99 reviews

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1.8
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TransAlta President & CEO Dawn Farrell
Dawn Farrell
47 Ratings

99 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Lots of great people that work within the company (in 10 reviews)

  • Comparatively good benefits although recently cut, good work life balance and opportunities to learn (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management personnel continuously changing roles/departments (in 9 reviews)

  • No job satisfaction, employee input is disregarded (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Busienss Development Manager"

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

    I worked at TransAlta (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay, good benefits. I enjoyed most of the people I worked with and the work that I did.

    Cons

    TransAlta's long coal portfolio double dipped in volatile markets, with fossil plants serving thousands of MW at tar sands refineries. When oil prices dropped and refineries went idle, TransAlta suffered, doubled with the regulatory move away from coal. TransAlta has also not been able to benefit from the collapse in natural gas prices as much as gas heavy merchant companines like Calpine and NRG. Weakness in Pacific NW power prices, have also created challenges for the company.

    Advice to Management

    Management is finally coming around about 3-5 years too late to the realization of the albatross coal has become. The market is currently valuing its stock based on its 70% share of TransAlta Renewables, meaning the market view of the fossil generation portfolio is zero.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Mismanaged, Unethical, Biased"

    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

    I worked at TransAlta (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Was having good impeccable people

    Cons

    Frequent unfocused changes. Coterie of people who looks for their own and keep only their clan. No appreciation of talent and no desire to utilize it.

    Advice to Management

    Complete overhaul

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good pay and benefits, but long hours are common."

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The pay scale and benefits are good.

    Cons

    Company is slowly changing from primarily a coal based electricity producer to a gas/renewables portfolio. Workforce reductions have been steadily taking place over the past few years as a result of the generating asset portfolio change from coal to gas/renewables.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people more.


  4. "Circling the drain"

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

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, rewarding work and excellent industry exposure

    Cons

    Endless personel downsizing and benefit cuts while CEO gets $2 million bonus. Managers hire friends from outside rather than competitively post positions.

    Advice to Management

    Leave the ivory tower and get in touch with your employees.


  5. "Analyst"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Vacation and flex days are among top 10 percentile
    Health benefit decent
    Work load is reasonable, easier for workers who strike for life work balance

    Cons

    Upper management not well-liked as you can see from other reviews
    Withdraw from the back-up model, to the point there is little contingent plan or back up plan when people are away
    Have a push of the 'loyalty' talent program but keep letting people go

    Advice to Management

    Be consistent of what you say you would do and what you are actually doing. If a slogan doesn't match with practice, don't let it out at the first place.


  6. "Summer Student Laborer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TransAlta full-time

    Pros

    Great experience, got to work in a plant environment. Safety focused. Seemed committed to providing a safe work environment. Good managers.

    Cons

    Work was somewhat repetitive in nature. Nothing really stretched the mental faculties in this role.

    Advice to Management

    Continue providing summer student positions - they are a huge value to the students, and can help fill some of the more menial tasks.


  7. "Do not do it. If possible would give zero stars"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - OMT in Port Hedland (Australia)
    Former Employee - OMT in Port Hedland (Australia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Could have been a great place to work but stuffed up by very bad management from the beginning

    Cons

    No shift allowance, no overtime payment, no standby payment, treat contractors better than own staff. Manager and above continuously lie.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up.

  8. "Power Plant operator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Power Engineer in Sundance, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Power Engineer in Sundance, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Wage is decent, shift schedule isn't too bad. Not a far commute from Stony Plain and Spruce Grove.

    Cons

    Very Dirty, Poor upkeep of equipment, major disconnect between upper management and front line staff. Maintenance performed is minimal. Most equipment is "limped" along in order to continue operation. No Preventative Maintenance is performed. Not a Proactive business.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to frontline employees. Start fixing the small equpiment defects in order to prevent larger more costly repairs in the future!


  9. "Power Plant Operator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Power Plant Operator in Duffield, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Power Plant Operator in Duffield, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - When at job rate, good pay, decent benefits (for single employee, not so much for family.) Many overtime opportunities.
    - Multitude of equipment, can be an excellent learning experience for new grads.
    - Location, while out of town, is decent from the west end of City of Edmonton.

    Cons

    - As stated above, good pay, but comes with years of writing badly written level exams that "qualify" you to operate in a First Class Power Plant. Training is extremely minimal, and operators have no say in how their training program works or when a new employee is ready to tackle an area after said training.
    - In regards to previously said overtime "pro", actually working overtime has the expectation that the operator will perform double the normal amount of work, which grows by the day. (Avg day, not too busy and no run-ups or shutdowns, 20,000 steps including twisting very large valves that are at least 3 people jobs).
    - Management institutes bullying tactics to get their way in all things, some going the extra mile to punish employees.
    - Very very poor planning and co-ordination department. Often times a vital piece of equipment will not be fixed for months, attitude being that operators must "pick up the slack" for the broken equipment, even if it violates SOP's and safety rules.
    - A general lack of respect towards Operations and no support in education or training for different roles. Absolutely no room to grow.
    - Local union completely powerless, employees and operators fired in the past for others screw ups on jobs, LOTO's, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees, do not denigrate an entire work group due to a few bad apples. Above all, listen.


  10. "Industry player"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TransAlta full-time

    Pros

    - Opportunity to learn about the industry
    - Established company with recognition and respect in the market
    - Great compensation packages
    - Great benefits packages

    Cons

    - This company experienced many of the challenges associated with operating in difficult market under a regulatory microscope
    - Financial misfortunes led to many rounds of layoffs and the related hit to morale

    Advice to Management

    To weather the market storms Management would do well to embrace innovation in all areas of the business from technology to HR.


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