Washington State Department of Licensing Reviews | Glassdoor

Washington State Department of Licensing Reviews

Updated June 29, 2017
19 reviews

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3.0
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Pat Kohler
10 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. "State Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Specialist - Custodian of Records in Olympia, WA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Specialist - Custodian of Records in Olympia, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Washington State Department of Licensing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I enjoy working without direct supervision and testifying in court for my job. It is very exciting to be able to explain complex issues to the the jurors.

    Cons

    The amount of traveling that is required by driving on crowded major roadway and freeways.

    Advice to Management

    Continue during what you are doing by giving sounds advice and encouragement.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great staff, Terrible management"

    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

    I worked at Washington State Department of Licensing full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Great opportunity to help consumers and serve the public
    -Motivated, hard-working staff
    -Excellent benefits

    Cons

    The Business and Professions Division (BPD) is a viper pit. Management is very political. Many managers are afraid to rock the boat. Lots of finger pointing and backstabbing. Some sections are a hostile work environment. If you're a yes-man or yes-woman, they will have your back, promote you, and sweep your mistakes under the rug even if you are totally incompetent. If you challenge management in any way, they will scheme ways to get rid of you or blame you for others' mistakes.

    Management is under constant political pressure, and this leads to ethical compromises.

    Advice to Management

    Put ethics and the public interest above your own careers. Hire managers based on ability and expertise, not cronyism. Try actually following your "Lean Culture" values instead of just talking about it.

  3. "Quality state agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Management Analyst in Olympia, WA
    Current Employee - Management Analyst in Olympia, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Washington State Department of Licensing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Career growth opportunities
    Systems renewal/intitiative opportunities for pragmatic folks
    Supportive management
    Strong community

    Cons

    Large agency woes, i.e., confusing lines of communication, long wait for changes


  4. Helpful (1)

    "CSS2"

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

    I worked at Washington State Department of Licensing full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice desk space, chair, ergonomics...

    Cons

    You must be a brown noser, in order to advance. I witnessed workplace violence, bullying, favoritism, etc. Was disgusted to see such poor management, management does not like anyone with disabilities, or whom may be different... They refused to let me work until 5:30 or 6pm, to make up time, if I was half an hour late taking my son to late start school, or had difficulty with my medical issues. But the favorites seemed to get any request granted without exception... I have never worked for a state agency before DOL BLS, but after my 3 years experience, I will not work for the state again. I have severe medical issues, & I was treated so very poorly, since the state FMLA law protected me from losing my job... I was bullied by my supervisor for 2 years, and she discredited my experience to my entire department, harassing me daily. Many coworkers witnesses her behavior and told me.. I tried getting help from my union, her supervisor, anyone... But she portrayed me into such an awful employee, I lost my job. Many clients contacted supervisors to say how great I was, but it didn't matter.. so favoritism is very much a huge problem there for sure, sad but true...

    Advice to Management

    Mandatory diversity training for supervisors or managers


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Administrative Assistant 3"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Tacoma, WA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Tacoma, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Washington State Department of Licensing full-time

    Pros

    Pay is decent for the position type. Good time off. All holidays. Earn a day of sick leave and a day plus of vacation leave each month. Vacation leave rises up to nearly 2 days/mo over 14 years time. There are two personal holidays each year.

    Cons

    Anyone there over 6 years, their pay will become stagnant. Went 8 years with no cost of living raise. In one biennium they took 3% away, gave it back the next biennium and our medical benefits have become worthless over the years.

    Advice to Management

    My managers are amazing. Other managers are worthless. As always, punishing a worker for sick kids or personal issues will not endear them to their job or managers.


  6. "Amazing coworkers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Ma3 in Olympia, WA
    Current Employee - Ma3 in Olympia, WA
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits are great, but even greater are the people you get to work with. They are true stars.

    Cons

    State pay is not great. That's by necessity - it all depends on the budget that the state legislature approves, but it's never enough. Pay divvied up out of taxpayer dollars will simply never compare to the private sector.

    Advice to Management

    Create more opportunities for advancement and cross training among divisions.

    Side note - the Director is no longer Haight, it's Pat Koehler.


  7. "Not terrible"

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

    Pros

    Lots of innovation going on here and attempts to stay current. Huge IT department with good leaders. Excellent benefits, PTO, etc.

    Cons

    It's a state job which can get boring but the security is worth it.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Don't work here"

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

    I worked at Washington State Department of Licensing full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Line staff are for the most part ethical and hard working employees who care about the public and try hard to do a good job.

    Cons

    Management gives a lot of lip service to valuing employees, however, the reality is far different. Executive leadership and most management positions are occupied by people who put themselves first. Employees are frequently scapegoats for mistakes and blamed when the truth is that management either gave unclear instructions or lied. Someone has to take the fall and it's never them. The Human Resources office personnel are in over their heads. Executive leadership is all about appearances and how they look to the outside world; substance, reality and the law are not a concern. It takes forever to get them to accomplish anything. They're really great at giving themselves kudos and raises, creating useless layers of management and mismanaging and wasting taxpayer money.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up, quit, start over with ethical leaders who put the public and employees first.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Licensing Examiner 2"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Licensing Service Representative Two in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Licensing Service Representative Two in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Washington State Department of Licensing (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It's definitely hard to get fired

    Cons

    Untrained, and naive supervisors with no people skills, not just IN the offices of Licensing,but across the entire spectrum of state positions, many,many supervisors are untrained in people management or how to even talk to there staffers in a professional manner. I have seen situations where amidlevel supervisor will order an underling to disregard the higher level supervisor direct order,get the underling fired intentionally, and fear of another's race causing the sup to award benefit for fear that if he didn't this African American would do something,so he learned he could miss work,not call in and the next day show up and be chosen lead worker with the pay bump it brings, making the other ten people who were there the day before, angry and then taking orders from the guys with less experience who quickly learned he could miss work or be late, take a two hour lunch and still be put in charge where others are in fear of losing their jobs if thirty seconds late back from lunch,or with three minutes left,he's looking for you. Horrible treatment of staffers, and fear of reprisal, and loss of promotion opportunities for those people who have these horrible people as supervisors between you and your future, not just one time but time and time again. Horrible uncomfortable treatment of staffers and I saw it lead to fraud and theft

    Advice to Management

    Set standards for supervisors, not just years on the job and then an opening and then promotion with absolutely no leadership training or people skills and realize that not everyone can lead a group of people and on two occasions, the supervisors couldn't even supervise one or two or three.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great career opportunities"

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

    I have been working at Washington State Department of Licensing full-time

    Pros

    If you have the chance to work here, do it! executive leadership has proven to be extremely supportive, professional, positive, and they make it a point to build a genuine relationship with all employees regardless of ranking.

    This kind of support really does make a difference in how valued and satisfied an employee feels. DOL as an agency really focuses on embracing all generations, diversity and inclusion, open communication, employee recognition, respect, team work, and continuous process improvement. You have an opportunity to work with intelligent minds and develop your career. You have ample room to promote and grow! Really an overall extraordinarily wonderful place to work.

    Peers have a way of being supportive and willing to help each other! Team work is part of the culture and compassion exists here. You just can't avoid making an at work friend!

    Locations are always conveniently placed in areas near food which make life easier.

    Employee engagement is huge!

    The director is truly an outstanding fearless leader and it definitely shows agency wide. If you want to work for an agency that is directed by a brilliant individual that cares about your success and can turn any vision into reality then DOL is where you should be

    Cons

    Highly unlikely, but you could run into mild passive aggressive behaviors from those who have a negative mentality and/or are resistant to change. Keep in mind that this will happen no matter where you find yourself employed.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being so positive! It really does make a difference and it makes your agency unique
    The desire to promote within and willingness of also opening recruitment up to fresh faces is balanced very well.

    Try to keep an eye on the mid-level management employees who openly resist change and improvements, you may identify them from subtle hints or questioning. If they're willing to show disagreement to you..image how they might express this outside of your presence.


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