Valdes Engineering Company Reviews | Glassdoor

Valdes Engineering Company Reviews

Updated July 18, 2017
27 reviews

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1.9
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Robert Valdes, P.E., S.E.
9 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at Valdes Engineering Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very ethical corporate culture with a focus on safety and quality. Very professional, supportive and friendly working environment. Excellent compensation and vacation benefits, as well as health care.

    Cons

    Sometimes the job requires travel, but that is to be expecting in professional services.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Unstable Working Environment"

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

    I worked at Valdes Engineering Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Compensation is average for the industry.

    Cons

    No transparency from Management, and too many management layers for such a small company. Terminations happen frequently with no warning and no explanation. I left on my own accord after only a short time because I did not feel this was a stable working environment that I could count on to provide me continuous employment. There is also extremely low morale due overly strict office policies.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "This company is not going to last long!"

    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 Valdes Engineering Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most of the people there are very nice and professional. As long as they are not in Management. The employees like to go out after work and hang out like bowling, dinners, or drinks. Management made it so that the employees had to schedule things without Management knowing. Breaks were limited as well, unless you go out to lunch with someone that is Management. Then you would be able to get 1.5 hours lunch.

    The pay is more than fare for the roles of the employees, but the employees don’t care about the pay because of the way that they are treated.

    Cons

    Management does not know how to lead an employee. There is no leadership at Valdes. There is no influence at Valdes. There is also no moral at Valdes. The employees do not care to, or want to, please Management in any way. They only want to do enough to hopefully not get fired. Which, if you read the other reviews, is exactly what happens any way.

    I just want to rebut the review from 5/18/17. Really, an Anonymous Employee gave the company five STARS. That great review that Valdes received either had to come from ownership or ownerships children, which in turn would have been or would be ownership. Depends on how you look at it.

    Valdes is the most unethical company I have ever worked at. I know of at least five times during my time with Valdes that Ownership and Management has acted in an unethical way. I will not give examples here, but I assure you that this company cannot be trusted. There are two things that the review got right though, excellent compensation and the focus on safety and quality. If you ask the employees, too much focus on safety. Every week, you are told on ways you could die. Quality would not be an issue if there were leaders that were likable.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to hire Managers, Directors, and Vice Presidents that people want to follow and take orders from. If for some reason ownership really wants to keep the pathetic individuals that they currently have, send them to a Leadership Training Class or Seminar. Also, work with the talent you have in your staff, help build them up instead of break them down. Ownership should also go to a seminar on a fear work environments or how to better run your company. A lot has changed in since 1992. You cannot still run your company like it was back then.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Was once a great place to work."

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

    I worked at Valdes Engineering Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I don't know that there are any pros here as the title states it was once a great place to work.

    Cons

    Constant management changes and employee turn over rate is disgusting. Company seems to be completely mis-managed and I don't think the owner has a clue about running and engineering company. This is not a good environment to work in.

    Advice to Management

    Hire someone who knows how to run a company and get the hell out of the way because you my friend do not.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Be Wary"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Valdes Engineering Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -The base salary tends to be higher than industry standard. They are willing to pay for talent, but the organization struggles to retain it for the reasons below.

    -The opportunity to work with some very skilled professionals in the engineering services industry, until either you or they quit, or are released.

    Cons

    -There is a lot of fear and paranoia within the organization, and it's done a lot of damage to the company culture.

    -It's very common for decisions at the higher levels of the organization to be made unilaterally, regardless of the impact it has on PMs and DMs with stake in what choices are made.

    -High turnover over the last 8 months, and the lack of transition plans for former employees (or onboarding plans for new), has helped to create an engineering/management environment where everyone wants to follow company standards, but few know what they are.

    -401K matching has been reduced significantly, which makes it difficult for a young professional to make progress toward their retirement savings.

    -Process improvement only seems to be a focus when there's no billable project work.

    Advice to Management

    The company can't grow if you turn over half your staff every 6 months - year.

    If quality standards aren't solidified, and then consistently enforced, the quality of your work product won't improve.

    Without a formal, company and department-based onboarding plan, new employees will continue to struggle.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Great People but Improvements needed in Employee Retention and Work Processes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Griffith, IN
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in Griffith, IN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Valdes Engineering Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Safety Culture
    Employee safety was taken very seriously. Care for employees' safety appeared to be very genuine.

    -Pay
    Salaries are high compared to other EPC firms in the area.

    -Client Exposure
    You will have to interact with clients frequently, which is good for networking when you get laid off.

    -Mentorship / Comradery
    Since the company is so small, most employees generally try to help each other out. Some managers made efforts to help build up employees' skills. No issues with backstabbing.

    Cons

    -Job Security / Employee Turnover
    EPC firms in the O&G industry tend to have high turnover rates, but it seems excessive here. Layoffs were frequent instead of cyclical. I knew about Valdes reputation about layoffs before joining, but I did not think the issue was that serious.....until I got laid off after working for only 10 months.

    -Work Processes
    Work procedures and processes seemed to have constant changes on a whim. Due to the constant changes, many employees refused to follow them, or just followed them half-heartedly.
    Even employees that had been with Valdes for several years seemed to struggle with several work processes, which caused miscommunication issues within projects.
    Some projects refused to follow the procedures set by the Document Control department, which caused frequent miscommunication and inefficiencies.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on Employee Retention. It's hard to build and run a company when there are so many new faces every 2-6 months.


  7. "Principal Mech Engineer"

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

    I worked at Valdes Engineering Company full-time

    Pros

    Opportunities for quick advancement and good salary

    Cons

    Issues with communication and sufficient upper management leadership

    Advice to Management

    Improve communication with middle level managers

  8. Helpful (17)

    "Look Elsewhere"

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

    I worked at Valdes Engineering Company full-time

    Pros

    Pay and benefit packages are competitive for a company of this size.
    The company is made up of some very talented drafters, designers, engineers, PEs, PMs.

    Cons

    There is a constantly changing organizational structure, and employees are not kept abreast of the changes. Levels of management will be added/removed/changed, and no one will know how those roles fit into the company or their own work.

    The company is run on fear. Any time there is an error made, rather than performing a meaningful root cause analysis, management immediately goes into blame mode, and finds (and generally fires) the person they deem immediately responsible, failing to recognize that most failures are complex, and are at least partially caused by inadequate communication, training, etc. Every Thursday morning there is an all-hands meeting, which masquerades as a safety meeting, but is generally used to call out failures (sometimes by name) from the previous week, and remind everyone that if the errors continue, people will lose their jobs. No lessons learned, no root cause, just threats.

    There is poor communication of client specific requirements/standards, most of which relies on tribal knowledge.

    Drab office, a la 1975.

    Management takes the "the client is always right" mentality to the extreme, failing to protect their business and employees when appropriate. For example, if the client provides incorrect information, which the engineers end up working from, management will degrade and likely fire the employee who worked from the client-supplied information, rather than identify the mistake with the client and work to resolution.

    Training is nonexistent. Employees receive virtually no training in Valdes specific procedures, and absolutely no training otherwise. Any training that is provided must be done on your own, or client time. No training time is provided.

    Poor PTO policy. There is no sick time. All time off comes out of PTO, regardless of reason. We had a power outage in the building one day, and were expected to take the remainder of the day (about 6 hours) as PTO.

    Minor, but worth noting, there is an inexplicable policy that completely bans facial hair. The reasoning given is that you may be required to go to a client site, where facial hair is not allowed (in case respirators are required), but the policy is strictly enforced, regardless of whether or not you will ever go on field assignments.

    These concerns (and others) come down to poor management. It all adds up to a poorly organized company, which is constantly in a mode of saving face with clients due to low quality work, and blown budgets/schedules.

    This is not a company you should join if you're expecting a long-term career. You and your employment are treated as a commodity, regardless of your skill, experience, or years of service. I would only consider Valdes if you're looking for a stopgap position.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize who the ineffective leaders are, and remove them from their positions. Most of your employees can help you easily identify who these people are.

    Train your employees. If employees do not have an intimate understanding of Valdes specific processes/procedures, how can they be expected to follow them? Don't hand new employees a binder of procedures and expect them to read it on their own time.

    Stop with the knee jerk reactions to everything. When something goes wrong, stop, breathe, and work WITH, not against your TEAM to determine the cause. This will lead to a better work product, a more engaged team, and employees more aligned with your expectations.

    While you may be a consulting organization, stop treating your employees like man hour commodities. The paycheck you give them is not something that should be held over their heads. It's compensation for hard work, and work that will become even more productive if you make them feel as if they're a part of the organization.

    Stop passing the buck when projects go south. Recognize that when the same failure mode occurs from project to project, you have a systemic, organizational failure, and not (generally) an employee level failure.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Ok Full Time Experience"

    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

    I worked at Valdes Engineering Company full-time

    Pros

    Compensation seems fair to above average. Average benefits. Fellow engineers in group were great to work with.

    Cons

    Although industry of engineering consulting can be volatile, seems extra so here. A lot of mismanagement and lack of communication. Does not seem to be acquiring a lot of work due to potential poor reputation. As a result, there is little to no opportunities for professional growth.

    Advice to Management

    Promote or acquire the right people to win work and retain talent.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Designer"

    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 Valdes Engineering Company full-time

    Pros

    The people within your group are good to work with, a lot of knowledge from senior level that will sit with you and explain what is going on and what needs to be done. Overall good work environment with engineers and designers.

    Cons

    Continues fear every morning if this is your last day, a lot of hire and fire that seems to have no reasoning behind it or the reasoning is not given to the individual employee and just stated as "Lack Of Work".
    For a Minority owned company that is given work based on being minority owned doesn't seem to give Minority employees a chance within there Organization.

    Over preaching of safety and quality seems to be the topic at the weekly office meeting/beating with management not giving any real fix to the issues but when a mistake is made no matter how minor or major you job is in jeopardy from that point forward.

    Would not recommend this company if you are planning to leave your current employer because there's a high possibility you will be let go within a year of your start date.

    Advice to Management

    Try to retain more employees that are brought into the organization to help build a strong knowledge base with your employees and clients. This may help with the issues the company is having with sending deliverables that are consistently rejected from the Client because the high turnover and lack of knowledge from your workforce.


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