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Vista Projects Reviews

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Bashar Hussien
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13 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Review from an Engineer"

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

    I worked at Vista Projects full-time

    Pros

    Nice new modern concept office with free snacks and pop, Good location with ample parking, Great coworkers since they stress only hiring good people, They were fairly transparent about the company, Employee owned, Good work life balance and had every Friday afternoon off

    Cons

    Missing some formal training, No defined career growth plans,

    Advice to Management

    Develop a more mature training program


  2. "Excellent company in troubled industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Services in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Project Services in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very good pay, great culture and communications, high-end engineering quality, pleasant offices, friendly coworkers

    Cons

    Company is subject to ups and downs of oil and gas industry and layoffs / down-times are frequent. This is not unique to Vista and they handle it fairly.

  3. "Process Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some knowledgable people that you learn a lot from them.

    Cons

    Bad environment when the market is down


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Project Lead"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good Document control and Quality system.

    Cons

    - Employees are judged on personal likes and dislikes instead of performance.
    - One man show.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of selecting unexperienced people as principals and giving them priority over the people that show good performance is hurting Vista greatly, Vista needs to learn how to keep good people and let go the flatterers. There CEO is responsible for this environment.


  5. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    In terms of EPCs in Calgary it is one of the best. Maintain a good reputation, have a strong history and is generally well run. They have not sold out like most mid size engineering companies and maintain a strong ownership group.

    Cons

    It is EPC so the nature of the work is up and down, also see oil and gas which has the same effect. As they arent a huge EPC, some people feel that they have to leave to get opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, weather the bad times and you will come out stronger than your competitors when things turn around.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Recent changes did represent decrease on company overall performance"

    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 Vista Projects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Company had provided a competitive salary along with a decent professional environment until mid 2013. The social committee was creative on making events, and Human Resources does a very good job on attending employees and keeping Company´s public image.

    Cons

    Starting on last quarter of 2013, several changes on Company structure and management downgraded the quality of the decisions, the attitude towards the employees and the due professional respect in regards project execution. Department Managers were eliminated, but the new decision making structure substituting the old system was not explained/made clear to the employees, perhaps because the experiment itself was still unclear and in-progress. As a result of all of these, the perception of the professionals working for VISTA regarding their future and career development suddenly became unclear, and this fact along with the downgrading relationship of Company Management with one of the Company´s main Clients, has encouraged some good engineers to leave the Company, and then the once wonderful work environment nearly vanished. The assets of this type of companies are their good professional engineers, hence it is essential for them to create a good team and to keep it.
    Lately, low opportunities for training and unclear career planning since the Departmental Managers were in fact eliminated. Another issue: interdisciplinary communication had never been appropriated, but lately was becoming less and less effective.

    Advice to Management

    With all due respect, come back to the original company values, make clear company´s structure and lay off the bad engineering managers, regardless some of them may be shareholders. Hire new ones for diversifying business so Company can execute projects in other different areas and get access to a more ample portfolio of Clients. Improve on training and keeping key valuable professionals.


  7. "People first company going places."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Controls Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Project Controls Analyst in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    One of the best companies I have worked for, highlights: Work Life Balance, Flat Structure, Personal Development, Interesting Projects, Experienced Colleagues, Bonus Program, Awesome offices and good computers.

    Cons

    Tight schedules, clients change direction often, not a lot of young blood, culture varies by team, no RRSP program.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on the same path!

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Good Company, but Mgmt a Bit Dishonest"

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

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

    Pros

    They pay industry standards. If you work hard and are worth it, you get recognized and your rate reflects your contribution to the success of their projects, rather than standard pay grades, which is a rare positive in the EPC world in Calgary. Offices are new and well organized. Facilities are great. Most managers are owners and very down-to-earth folks. Senior management very grounded and treats everyone with respect. Many opportunities for career growth.

    Cons

    Only Con I can think of (a serious one) in my humble opinion is regarding their much touted "ownership program", a model I think can either propel Vista to new heights or, if mis-managed, eventually bring about Vista's demise in the long term.

    Vista boasts the fact that their senior employees are owners and hence they have a very unique model in the industry. Which is true, if the program was run TRANSPARENTLYL. From the outside, this marketing gimmick looks pretty good. But once in, you realise this shareholder program is no better than the Autocratic Patrionizing systems of the Middle East. They do not have an official (public for all to see) criteria on how shareholders are selected. They claim it is based on long term service. Yet, some of them became shareholders in a few years, and other very derserving long term employees languish on the sidelines. Vista says there is an additional criteria of "substantial contribution to the success of Vista Projects". Yet, some of the shareholders (such as the ones in Process or IT) are young folks with no "substantial contribution". I can very confidently say other regular employees have much more of a proven track record of successful contributions to the company than these folks. Ask anyone in the company, and almost 98% of the regular employees will tell you they do not see these specific young shareholders as instrumental to the success of Vista. They have not contributed much except in the way of maybe good social relations with one or two of the founding owners.

    What this does is gives a feeling to the rest of the workforce, that if you can get on the good side of the existing shareholders (socially) you have a chance of becoming an owner yourself, even if there are 10 others within the company that have longer service records with Vista and have obviously made tremendous contributions to the success of the company. It feels more like a mafia type organization with your ownership chances based on who you know in the company.

    Advice to Management

    You are immensely decreasing the morale of the 98% of your employees who are not shareholders by keeping your shareholder program opaque and non accountable to anyone. You need very clear guidelines on who gets in and who does not. Or else, you need to simply scrap the entire program, because you are doing more harm than good. The 2% of owners are not the ones delivering every day work to your clients. The rest of your employees are. If you antagonize this 98%, your quality of work will go down and so will the entire company eventually. You maybe better off scrapping the entire program and making it clear that "no one" can become a shareholder. Period.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great Company for Career Progression ..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cost Control in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Cost Control in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Vista Projects full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Company started off as a small EPC and has developed over the years to a full blown medium sized company working on some of the biggest projects in the oil sands. It's greatest strenght of being agile and responsive to client needs has been maintained over the years. Senior management are owners of the company who take personal accountability for the success of the firm. Thus Vista's values are evident in the every day actions of its management: the care, utmost diligence, and personal accountability for client's full satisfaction is practiced right at the the top tier down to every employee. It is a very different culture from most other EPCs, where the system is mostly geared to taking "advantage of the client as much as possible, without upsetting them so much they walk away".

    Cons

    It is a great place for someone who desires gaining a solid work experience and old fashioned, non-pretentious ethics. However, it is a very fast-paced environment, with exceptional work fully rewarded and any slack duly noticed. So, if you are the relaxing kind, Vista may not be the best place, because you will be expected to hit the ground running really fast and hard, as if your life depended on it. For most employees, this challenge is welcoming. For some, it maybe a turn off.

    Advice to Management

    Remember:
    1. There were certain characteristics that allowed for Vista's growth (the agility of a small business, client satisfaction, non-compromising ethics, lack of red tape, non-bureaucratic processes/procedures, the ability to adapt to changing business / client needs, and above all, the ability of your employees - not just technical, but more importantly, their soft skills, the seamless ability of your employees to "buddy up" with their client counterparts). As Vista grows, retaining these unique small company traits will ensure your client base in the long term.

    If it is only by size and complexity you wish to compete, then there are hundreds of other EPCs out there who are bigger, faster, stronger, and more powerful. Just not necessarily, the best.

    2. Client's are aware of all tricks up the sleeve's of EPCs. They know how EPCs think and try to manipulate their own interests (over the client's). Out of politeness, most Clients may not say it out in public, but they are fully aware (and overwhelmed) by any prentious marketing by service providers. As such, continue on with your transparent ethical approach, for in this day and age, those are the unique characteristics that are hard to find.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Unorganized and not directional but has potential"

    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

    Pros

    Small office. Free parking. Friendly staff. Especially HR

    Cons

    They expect you to do the work very quickly and use less hours. I feel this is unprofessional.


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