Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Employee Reviews

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A great place to work but the management was lacking
Engineering Intern - Protection (Former Employee) –  Charlotte, NC6 July 2017
Schweitzer Engineering Labs is by the leader in power system protection with their relay technology compared to their competitors. That alone makes this company worth working for. The only quarrels I had with SEL is that the management seemed to be ran poorly at times and there was sometimes not much charisma within the office. Other than that, the projects were always exciting and the engineers were always willing to teach you many lessons.
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Challenging yet fun place to work
Software Engineer Intern (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA27 June 2017
Everyone that I worked with seemed to enjoy working at SEL. They didn't have a lot of work for interns to participate it which was rather unfortunate.
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A very good place to work
Software Engineering Intern (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA26 June 2017
An employee owned company. Gives value to the customers and the employees. Friendly environment. Great co-workers. Easy to work with the team. Positive vibes.
Pros
Friday Lunch
Cons
Deadlines
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A semi positive experience
Customer Service Representative (Current Employee) –  Pullman, WA6 June 2017
I love my co workers and my manager. SEL does a lot for the local community and the benefits are great. However, as an hourly employee, I was made aware that my position was not really valued and that I could be very easily replaced. Which was a real disappointment after having consistently received excellent reviews from my supervisor. This was also in direct conflict with the value system aggressively promoted by the company. Also, the work / life balance is horrible. The number one thing people complained about is that their personal lives were suffering due to the impossible work loads. Obviously, some departments were worse than others in this respect.
Overall, it's a worthwhile company to look at for a career as they provide great training, it's employee owned and the benefits package is a good one. If you don't mind a strenuous work load, this is the place for you!
Pros
Free Friday lunch, benefits package
Cons
Didn't feel valued, Overwhelming work load
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Un Excelente lugar para trabajar
Gerente Sr. de Unidad Productiva de Casetas (Former Employee) –  San Luis Potosí, S. L. P.15 May 2017
Una empresa que te dá excelentes opciones de crecimiento
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No longer a great place to work
Project Manager (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA14 May 2017
After 12 years I have watched the working enviroment deteriorate to downright unfriendly. And the call this an employee owed company. It's more like a slave ship now. The workers in the trenches see whats going on and how to improve things but no one wants to listen. Management is strictly top down and a large portion of the middle managers are either incompetant or thier ego's are in the way of making things work better. Not to mention the nepatism problem. To many family members are put into management just because they are Schweitzer's or related. Also management makes huge changes without thinking them out only to have to go back to the old way causing total chaos in the interim resulting in constant manditory overtime. Family life??? forget it. My last 3 manager were downright hostile.
Pros
decent wages and benefits
Cons
hostile working conditions
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Good company that promoted a community of teamwork.
Senior Assembler (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA1 April 2017
A typical day at work involved testing built units to ensure that they met the quality that our company was known for. The culture of the company is that they are all working together to give the consumer the best product they could receive and to make it so every individual would feel like they could be proud of their company.
Pros
A lot of learning to promote growth of employees
Cons
Human Resources feels like it isn't there to help the employees.
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A productive and active company that values their employees
Hardware Engineering Technician (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA1 April 2017
SEL is a company that strongly values their employees. The management made their employee's happiness a priority through training, plenty of time off, and profit sharing, which improves productivity.
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Hardware engineer
Hardware test engineering Intern (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA30 March 2017
Good place to work, fun people, very professional. Learned about embedded systems, firmware, and testing. have a lot of fun events.
over all, good place to work.
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Safe productive work
Product Test Technician (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA 9916322 March 2017
SEL is a great company for those that want a stable job. SEL provides great benefits and above average pay for the industry in which it resides. Mostly indoor work.
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Decent place to work
Technician (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA7 February 2017
This isn't a bad place to work. They have really great values and they place a high priority on quality. Workplace culture is pretty laid back and friendly.
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Great working Environment,
Software Engineer Intern (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA25 January 2017
Working as an intern at SEL was the opportunity of a lifetime while I was finishing college. Their hourly rates were unbeatable in the entire Pullman area. The industry and all the employees felt like family and everyone is overly friendly. I learned a lot about software engineering practices as well as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and even project management, overall excellent experience.
Pros
Competitive salary, family benefits
Cons
some project management concerns.
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My experience
Engineering Intern, Protection (Current Employee) –  Houston, TX19 January 2017
My experience as an Intern at SEL was great as I was able to learn a great deal. Everyone working at SEL are very friendly, casual and willing to teach youngsters. The internship proved to be very useful as I was given a lot of responsibilities and i was able to get involved in the projects I was assigned to, completely in-spite of being just an intern. Overall, my experience at SEL was very enjoyable.
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Very productive work place, high expectations for everyone working there.
Software Engineering Internship (Current Employee) –  Pullman, WA2 December 2016
This is a family-oriented employer. They are all about high quality work in a friendly, high quality atmosphere. They promote from within and allow their employees to get all the experience they want. Friday Lunches are a great bonus (free food!) and from time to time employees are rewarded with a profit sharing program.

I've gained experience in C, C++, Python, how hardware works behind the scenes... Every day is something new and the co-workers are not only an excellent source of information, but they are excited to share that information and help when they can.
Pros
Friday Lunch, Profit sharing, job security, onsite gym/daycare
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Cheep management
Engineer (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA20 October 2016
If you dont mind about salary, dont have family to balance your life, you are not minority to be discriminated, dont mind to live a small college town in middle of no where, dont have experience or you need work visa, it is an OK place to start for a short term. They dont lay off people but stress them out to leave!
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Company Goals and Objectives, also the social things are great, very good environment to work
Associate IT Analyst (Current Employee) –  Khobar, Saudi Arabia1 October 2016
Very good , friendship relations and social , good environment to work, learn, build your experience, good place to have an excellent experience, good benefits
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Fun and Productive work place
Training Coordinator, Child Care Intern (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA 9916327 September 2016
This is an amazing employee owned company. I worked for them as a summer high school intern and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had in the work place.
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Empresa Manufacturera
Controlador de Producción y Planeación (Current Employee) –  San Luis Potosí22 September 2016
Empresa donde se tiene un ambiente sano para la convivencia
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Dishonest supervisors and poor management on the manufacturing floor. Excessive disciplinary actions against employees and bullying from bosses.
Assembler (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA7 September 2016
As an assembler your work is based on numbers.
The worker is required to produce a certain amount of units.
Working in little cells with other people can be fun. However managers and supervisors hover.

SEL touts to be a great company to work for.
In the manufacturing plant part SEL managers and supervisors hover over workers.

Workers are singled out and used as an example if they speak about an issues and the supervisors and mangers don't agree.
Favoritism, dishonest reviews on evaluations are standard operating procedures. In the plant work, I found bosses say one thing and do another. They are not held to SEL standards, though they preach them all the time.
It feels a lot like a military environment. Be seen and do the work but don't talk and we don't want to hear what you have to say.

Line leads, supervisors and managers push assemblers to reach for training and for being certified in depts yet they do not offer this when an employee ready. Tough to get advancement and recognition. it seems as though this is based on if the employee is liked.
I saw many people passed over for advancement when they were ready for training because they were not liked or did not kiss up to the line lead or supervisor.
SEL old managers on evenings have a rep for being bullies. I found this out from several employees. Some stories involved, disciplinary actions that were trumped up.

SEL is good at publicity and marketing but these human rights violations on the manufacturing floor are serious and not discussed.
HR when told about these issues does not take them seriously.
  more...

I would not work for SEL again as an assembler nor will I refer someone to them for that work.

Assemblers are treated as a number.Furthermore, assemblers are constantly being hired because there are problems on the manufacturing floor that HR has not dealt with. It is too bad because there are some good things about SEL. However the bullying and prejudicial decisions towards employees is a huge problem.

The most enjoyable part of the job was getting to know people in the cells.
There are many hardworking and kind assemblers at SEL. Some enjoy there job and managed to avoid the landmines there. Many have chosen to ignore the issues and survive regardless.
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Pros
Free lunches, but you have to choke down the food while listening to rhetoric SEL's greatness.
Cons
Games, bullying by managers, dishonesty, oppression and favoritism is a live and well at SEL.
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SEL is not a great company.Dishonesty, hostile work environments, bullying mngrs & line leads. HR knows and ignores this.
Assembler (Former Employee) –  Pullman, WA3 September 2016
Typical day at work: EST test walk onto the floor into the dept and sit down and begin work.
Work consists of reading work instructions and following computer directions how to assemble or complete a task.
This is not hard work but it is boring at times.
Work instruction are not always updated and your work is slowed because of this. Workers are judged by how much they produce.
Lack of updated work instruction results in the worker getting poor numbers and getting in trouble with supervisors. Its disorganized.

There is unprofessionalism by managers, and power plays with bosses and line leads against employees.If a worker works better than a line lead the line lead can stop there training and deny the work job progression If the manager receives a complaint about a line lead from a assembler they tell the assembler to 'don't talk about this, I will handle it." The employee does not know what has happened.
Or issues are ignored by upper management.
This happen to me and several people I know. I asked about it and was told, "we always support our line leads, no matter what."
The managers walk around a don't do anything they just watch workers work. Its menacing and stalkerish, the cameras and hovering of bosses is ridiculous.

I was given excellent feedback from my trainers on my work, they wrote weekly reviews on my progress.
'Good attitude, great work, quality etc'...then when my evaluation came this feedback was ignored. Not even discussed.

I was top builder in my dept and still given poor review, equivalent to a C-.
My review said, "Does not meet standards."
  more... I had no absences and no tardiness, perfect attendance and great trainer evals.

None of my work mattered.
The supervisor and managers wrote what they wanted about my work.I had made this mistake of going to HR about the very manager who wrote the evaluation. This was never changed.


This particular manager told me (in a evaluation) when I persisted on examples of why I was given a poor score on a work detail that:
"No one likes working with you. No one likes you.That's what you need to know."

This was unprofessional.

I inquired further saying, "I do not understand what is going on in this review. I have not been given this feedback about my work, I was told my work was great. I don't understand this please explain where this is coming from?"

This manager said, " Do you understand English? I mean you do understand English don't you?" "Are you gonna cry now?"
I was tearing up and shocked to be spoken to like this.

I got up and went to HR. They listened but didn't do anything.
To my knowledge he was not reprimanded.
I never had my questions answered and my review was not changed or addressed.
I was told, "This is great opportunity to learn from this feedback."
Incredible. He is still working there.


One man I talked to had been at SEL for 15 years. he hated the managers, he had been denied training and progression so much that he had given up trying. He said he was on a disciplinary action for 3 years. He now was working as the head trainer in the cell but not promoted. Not paid more money and not credited for training others. Not given a raise for that amount of time.

There are good people working as assemblers. Lots of great assemblers there and kind people. But many will not say anything bad about a manager, line lead or supervisor for fear of retaliation. They are scared.


In the meeting to cover the results of the greatest places to work survey at SEL the HR rep did not answer employee questions about what SEL was prepared to do about the negative feedback given about supervisors and the unfair treatment towards employees. In particular, a 75% overall negative approval rate was given about Managers and Supervisors. Some of my colleagues asked what was gonna be done since the feedback was so poor about management and supervisors.

The HR representative responded:
"Well we are not going change our systems at this time. We feel we should stick with our way of doing things and see our processes through. This is a survey for feedback, only. "

People in the room were shocked.
Some employees said, "So why ask for a feedback if you are not willing to learn and Identify Measure and Improve?'

(SEL Value) Which is a business model SEL preaches daily and at all friday lunches.
The HR rep repeated they same statement. She was of course non responsive to everyone.

Schweitzer spends money on painting a great picture about itself. The marketing and public relations can be seen by the platform they sell on every advertisement all over the Palouse and Spokane area.

SEL is not a great company.
Its assemblers are miserable and scared to speak up about issues. There is retaliation, dishonesty, oppression, bullying and unmonitored game playing from bosses, a lot is bad things are happening there to good people. Its too bad that there is not a union there. It would alleviate the games and hold SEL accountable.

SEL goes through assemblers and hires many assemblers because they cannot keep them. IT IS A TERRIBLE WORK ENVIRONMENT.
They fire people all the time. They treat their employees like they are are expendable.

(True story)
I saw one young father get fired, he has cancer and a family of four. Just finished his third chemo series. He had been there 5 years, I was told he was a outstanding employee by several people who worked with him. He was fired for writing a small smiley face on a tag.)
I know a employee who was written up for hugging a friend who received some bad news about a family member. The employees had known each for 7 years.

All the nonsense there and bullying destroys the morale of assemblers, leaving them feeling like nothing they do is good enough. Eventually, they settle for the oppression or get fired on some trumped up charge.




If you want to work for a fascist military company....work at SEL. You can expect prejudism,dishonesty, favoritism and lack of advancement.

Do not work for SEL.
Underrneath the 'greatest manufacturer in the US" neon sign SEL tout's and advertises themselves to be is the hidden, big fat check SEL writes to keep the public from knowing the truth. The assemblers are bullied and treated badly. No money or benefits can change the gross negligence of the administration to identify, measure and improve their management antics.

IT IS A GROSS WASTE OF YOUR TIME AND SPIRIT TO WORK AT SEL. SEL does not appreciate their assemblers.
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Pros
Free lunches, but you have to choke down the food while listening to rhetoric SEL's greatness.
Cons
Games, bullying by managers, dishonesty, oppression and favoritism is a live and well at SEL.
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Overall rating

3.9
Based on 57 reviews
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3.7
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