Golder Associates Employee Reviews in Canada

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
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Good Company with Some Challenges
Senior Groundwater Scientist (Former Employee), Calgary, ABMarch 2, 2016
Pros: Compensation/Benefits; Global Network; Respected Company
Cons: Inflexible; Draconian HSE Culture; Layoffs
Golder is a good place to work, particularly for ambitious younger professionals. The company culture was the strongest advantage of the company for me when I started, but it is mostly gone now. It is still not the soul-grinding chaos of some other consulting firms I have worked with, but lacks flexibility and support for non-linear thinking, as most large companies do. At least in some offices, they have suffered in the oil slump, with many layoffs and morale problems. The compensation and benefits are good, and advancement (see ambitious younger professionals, above) can be good. Management works hard at keeping the company afloat, and I am impressed with the new CEO. Work-life balance is often addressed in communications, but in practice there is an unwritten expectation to tip that balance far over to the work side. The HSE culture is somewhat punitive. I would work there again.
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Beware - Things are not what they seem
EHS (Former Employee), EdmontonOctober 3, 2015
I was lured to this company with the expectation of a great work culture and work-life balance that was second to none. What a bunch of absolute rubbish!
First, there is only a work-life balance if the work is slow. If the work is slow, then people get laid off. If there is lots of work, you are expected to perform regardless of the number of hours or days involved or number of days out of town.
As for the group culture, the only way you will fit in is to plant a smile on your face and do everything you are told without questioning your instructions and without every saying no due to personal circumstances.
Management is aloof, elitist and unapproachable. Our group had 15 people when I started. Within a year and a half, 5 were fired for dubious reasons, mostly because they didn't 'fit in'.
Be very very careful with this company. They are not at all what they sell themselves to be.
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Good Company to work
Former Employee (Former Employee), CanadaJanuary 5, 2016
Pros: Flexible
Cons: Average Salary
I worked in that company for about 8 years. These days this company is going through some financial challenges and losing so many talented people.
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Run as if it were a project, rather than an enterprise.
Junior Engineer (Current Employee), Saskatoon, SKApril 2, 2016
Pros: Good benefits package and decent salary for the work I was doing.
Cons: Young engineers and technicians are leaving the company, there are no opportunities for them to advance in the near future.
Company had just gone through a "slimming down" process due to the slow economy. Many people, mainly the younger staff, were just happy to be employed.

I disagree with their management style in that they are 100% focused on "chargeability" or basically, is a client paying for the work you're doing right now. Any downtime was seen as a negative and you were encouraged to use banked time if you had no chargeable work. With that, they feel that productivity and chargeability are the same thing. Productivity is my responsibility, chargeability, should be my managers responsibility. If I don't have any chargeable tasks, I should be given other, still productive, things to do and not just sent home.

I feel that this really hindered the development of young staff in that they're missing out on opportunities to tag along with more senior staff and see how things are done at the level above them. They are very reluctant to train you on new things because while you're being trained, that time is non-chargeable. You end up being stuck at a certain point, or on a certain project where you aren't able to develop your skills. Even when one person is overloaded with work they don't move people up because "it's better to have one person at 140% chargeability, than two people at 70%." They'll often dangle the "moving up" carrot out in front of you to keep you engaged, but you begin to see their tactics once your initially planned date of advancement is 6 months past and there's no talk of things changing.

I'm not sure if it's just the Saskatoon office, but it seems like someone asked, – more... "how do we make more money?" and the easiest most basic answer they came up with was "make sure our employees are chargeable all the time." This will make the company money, yes, but it does not add value. There will soon come a time when they can't compete because while being cheap, all their staff is under-trained, and under-experienced. – less
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Non
Project Coordinator (Former Employee), Vancouver, BCAugust 18, 2015
I was disappointed with the company's false claims about being different and striving to make the workplace a better and healthy environment. Salaries are market average, there is no job security (two rounds of lay offs in less than one year), benefits are standard and there is a visible distance between management and staff.
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Very brilliant coworkers
Air Quality Intern (Former Employee), Mississauga, ONJanuary 29, 2016
Pros: Company has a great reputation
Cons: Company not doing so well lately
• Analysis of manufacturing operations to understand their processes to model air emissions and performance;
• Prepared Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA) as well as Emission Summary and Dispersion Modeling (ESDM) reports for mines and other industrial operations; and,
• Incorporated the Ontario Ministry of Environment Climate Change (MOECC) technical guidance documents and US EPA Air Pollution-42 Emission Factors to calculate emission rates and prepare emission Inventories for various manufacturing and industrial processes.
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No job security
coordinator (Current Employee), calgaryNovember 23, 2015
Cons: no sense of community
Golder was initially a great place to work, but over the years the management structure has declined making job security almost non-existent. There is no trust within the company.
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A good place to work
accounts receivable clerk (Former Employee), Mississauga, ONJanuary 11, 2016
Very friendly work environment where you feel a sense of belonging.
Employees work as a team and the management interacts freely with junior staff and consultation between management and other staff is the norm, I love the place
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Wonderful place to work
Environmental Assessment Specialist (Former Employee), Calgary, ABMarch 24, 2016
Great culture and working environment, amazing people to work with. Always a safe working environment, always willing to help grow employees. Great team work in all aspects.
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Receptionist
Reception/ Administrative Assistant (Former Employee), London, ONNovember 5, 2015
Pros: Loved the people i worked with
Cons: Didn't really have any
I worked there for about two years. Loved my job there. I answered phones and greeted clients. Filing and typing up reports and letters was also part of my duties. I was also responsible for keeping track of the technicians - they had to sign in and out at my desk. Loved the people and the environment. We had a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends that I still keep in touch with 27 years later.
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Very supportive environment and nice perks
Program Administrator - Marketing and Proposals (Former Employee), Mississauga, ONOctober 2, 2015
Pros: Summer weekly BBQ onsite, good amount vacation and personal days
Cons: Lay offs
Great place to work with supportive management and morale. Good amount of vacation and personal days. Great family/life balance. Very big on health and safety. Amazing coworkers. Very in depth training.
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Dynamic and interesting, management can be sketchy.
Coordinator (Former Employee), CalgaryFebruary 21, 2015
Pros: great human resources and benefits
Cons: meetings meetings meetings!!!
i worked in the Calgary office for 4 years. My first position was great, fast paced, I was left to my own devices but was either micromanaged or wasn't managed enough!
When I was "reorganized" to a different division, my manager was a NIGHTMARE! I wound up quitting soon after.
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Good company, on the surface anyways
Application Specialist (Former Employee), Calgary, ABDecember 26, 2015
Tough to fault since the axe fell pretty quickly once the economy began to suffer. Cutting front line employees didn't seem like the best idea to make up multi million dollar shortfalls but that happens when the "old boys club" makes the decisions.
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Great Company, going through financial problems
Payable (Current Employee), TorontoAugust 26, 2015
Pros: Nice people to work with, very smart and team oriented
Cons: very unstable environment mass layoff since 2013 - now
Golder has layed off well over 500 people to date and the lay off continue.

This is not the place to seek employment right now. Please stay away until the new CEO gets a better handle on the finance or you will be sorry you did not listen.
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Excellent culture; difficult to move and make changes
Leader - Project Management Office (Current Employee), Vancouver, BCApril 5, 2014
Pros: great teams; good benefits
Cons: frustrating management systems
Golder is an employee owned company. This has the incentive-benefit of in essence working for yourself, as shares in the company provide an annual return. The major shareholders are the Principals and Associates, who act as a "shadow management". This makes it difficult to keep the company nimble and enable changes.

As Leader - Project Management Office, I am responsible to develop the project management skills within Golder, globally. This includes training and development for our PMs, Organisational Support, developing knowledge, tools and systems and developing global hubs of expertise.

The most enjoyable part of my job is interacting wiht my teams and co-workers, a truly splendid group of people committed to the future of the company.

The hardest part of my job is to maintain focussed and positive in an increasingly difficult work environment where project management is seen as periphery to the main technical thrust of the company.
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Proceed with Caution
Accountant (Current Employee), Saskatoon, SKOctober 5, 2015
I started at this company in 2008. At this time, the company was at its apex of profitability. With revenues flowing in through office doors all across the country (Canada), pressures to stay chargeable and busy were not as great. Employees were encouraged to upgrade skills or engage in professional development on company dime. It was a great time to be at Golder. When the price of oil started to slip drastically in 2013 I witnessed first hand the squeeze starting to take hold on the company, particularly in central Canada (Prairies Region) where I worked. Then, in November of 2014, 500 people were layed off across Canada one of which was myself. And this despite being very chargeable. My own specific reason was a disagreement with a newly appointed Office Manager who exhibited very real signs of autism and a complete inability to lead people. In any case,it worked out for the best as my shares were liquidated prior to what I've heard was a 30% drop from 2014 to 2015. I sold out at $50 and they have since dropped to $38!! I've heard through former colleagues some of the larger offices are hacking jobs left and right (Fall 2015).

For me it's worked out good, as I have since found gainful employment and don't miss some of the uneducated used car salesman Associates and Principals that work out the Calgary and Edmonton Offices (EHS!!).
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Mass Lay offs
Chargable employee (Current Employee), CalgarySeptember 19, 2015
Watch out, layoffs continue and do not seem to be anywhere near over. This company is very unstable right now. There is a new CEO and there seems to be a great deal of change going on.
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Over worked under paid
Accounts Payable Coordinator (Former Employee), Calgary, ABMay 7, 2013
Cons: long hours, no parking, no employee rewards or appreciation, did not pay for education or courses, poor health benefits
Golder did not provide any flexibility, even though they promoted work life balance they did not follow through. I was in a car accident on January 14th 2013 and they were not accommodating. My manager was not punctual and attentive.
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It was a great company!
Coordinator (Former Employee), GlobalMarch 15, 2015
It 'was' a company based on people, passion, excellence, and your own personal best. I say was, as the management has changed, and pulled the company out from under the feet of the long time owners. It is now simply about the numbers, and the passion, drive, and culture is dead.
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By far the worst place I've ever worked
Environmental tech (Former Employee), Ottawa, ontOctober 26, 2014
Pros: very safety oriented, decent pay
Cons: micromanaged, intimidation, dishonest
Micro manged... Would even call my cell if I went to the washroom without asking. They tried to get me to come in after I had surgery (not work related) while I was short term disability. Constant intimidation an treats to fire if you don't do what they say. Kept trying to get me to work out of town ( upto 4 hours away), when that wasn't even mentioned in the interview. Upper management is horrible...constantly making employees cry , making them upset. Watched over my shoulder and made me chose and write answers for the 50 best company survey. What a joke... No wonder they made the cut when managment gets to fill out the survey instead of the employee.
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Headquarters
Atlanta Georgia, United States
Revenue
$75 Million
Employees
501 to 1,000
Industry
Links
Golder Associates website