- Blue Mountain, Inc.07.Dec 2015
We are routinely brought into the owner's office for congratulations when deserved. The small size of the company (just over 100 employees now) means that unproductive employees do not stay long typically. It is definitely a "unique" company culture, very relaxed atmosphere most of the time, which it needs to be with the (typically) long hours - 7AM-5PM is the norm after a the first few weeks for most.
Support from management
Employees are always encouraged to innovate and come up with new ideas. Also, being a small family-run business, there is constant contact and communication between the owner, department heads, and individual employees.
Most employees work excellently together. In cases where two employees don't happen to collaborate well, Supervisors and the Owners work to find groups that they do work well in. What makes the company work out so well is the number of individuals from different departments and backgrounds who work well together as a group.
Freedom to work independently
Workload distribution early on is basically whatever comes along, like with most places. However, within a few months, most employees get set projects and timelines they must finish by. Most work 50+ hours a week, unless they are restricted on hours, and are free to work late, leave early, work weekends, etc. once settled in.
Communication is very good. Typically, if you need software or data, the owner will ensure that you get it quickly. Being a small private company, profits are not discussed typically, but there is very good communication throughout the process. The owner (Doug Six) works to ensure that everyone has what they need on a daily basis.
Women, and diverse individuals, are not at all disadvantaged. The owner and boss (Doug Six) does a great job of promoting the best and removing the worst employees, so even High School dropouts, College students, and graduates, regardless of hiring position, are put into the greatest position to improve the company's situation.
Attitude towards older colleagues
Long serving colleagues are definitely appreciated - Pat Foley (co-owner) was also one of the first employees, hired in 1991 or 1992. We have hired many older individuals, many of whom worked out and have been promoted, and some who did not due to attitude, work-ethic, or being a no-show when needed.
There is no definitive program for advancement, but advanced training, as well as initial training upon hiring is encouraged, and many hires who lack college degrees are encouraged by the owners to pursue further education, and all advanced training is paid for upon request. Many employees who bring up career advancement training get it paid for within a few weeks, and many office personnel started out as field hands, and upon showing promise and skills, were promoted within the company.
Overall compensation for your work
Wages and salaries typically match responsibilities, with average employees (myself and friends who work with the company) recieving multiple raises within a year of hiring. Furthermore, the benefits package was great when I was hired (almost 5 years ago) and has only gotten far better since, other than the free daily home-cooked meals (I miss those but they went with it going from 20 to 100 employees). Salaries are always paid on time, bonuses are regularly given based on performance. Pay periods are Wednesday-Tuesday (1 week), and paychecks are direct-deposited by that Friday.
Office / Work Environment
Computers are typically very much up-to-date. Mine is several years old of a case, but 4-core processor, multi graphics cards, multiple screens, latest CAD, latest GIS software, and much more. Lighting levels are set by departments - as such, Mapping (3D glasses and images) sets their room very dark, while some groups turn on all the lights. Noise levels are relatively quiet, other than an occasional cow or sheep from across the road.
No real comments in this field, not applicable.
Vacation days can be taken at any time within company rules (which are rather lax). Not sure about the rules on new employees as they have changed, but within 3 years all employees get 3 weeks vacation. The nature of the work means, especially for field crews, they may have to wait to take vacation time, but typically, if you request the required 2 weeks in advance, you get your vacation approved (I try and schedule mine around work, and never had it declined). Somewhat undermanned, given the isolated location, so most personnel have to work 50+ a week (I know of many who want to and get 100+ hours in a week). Families are taken into consideration, and weekend hours are only rarely required. New employees typically have to wait a few months to start getting vacation. My family is several states away, and I recieved a couple paid vacation days to go visit my parents courtesy of the owners.
I have never heard of anyone who was not fired from Blue Mountain for performance ever bad-mouthing the company, and the image definitely reflects working here. I have turned down 10 offers, from competitors, other companies, and even my previous employer (a Fortune 500 company) with a pay raise from my current salary to continue to work here.
Positions have been removed due to technology, but almost exclusively they look to retrain and move employees around internally before laying off or firing. I have never seen a single layoff during my time with the company, and feel very secure.
The office does have many resources for disabled employees, although the community is not very conducive for that, and the nature of most of the work (field work in rural, mountainous WV, typically on site before any equipment or clearing takes place) is not the greatest for such.
Definitely - would say the average for even occasional field personnel is around 50 hours a year in training and refreshers (after the first year).Blue Mtn has one of the best safety ratings in the industry, with only one on-job fatality (a heart attack) and 3 injuries in a vehicle accident. Employees all have stop-work authority, both internally and externally, and utilizing it, as well as suggesting improvements, is regularly encouraged, both by BMI (Blue Mountain) and all of our clients. Much better than a previous employer, where I worked in a machine shop, and the sole exit was a long, narrow hallway lined with drums full of explosives (not exactly OSHA-approved).
Yes, definitely a sense of accomplishment. Have had many challenging and difficult tasks, and many late nights (even a 30 hour workday!) getting projects done to send on schedule. Typically once finishing a major project, you get a "lull" to relax, clean up, and get ready for the next big project.
Inclusive / Diverse
Diverse opinions and ideas are definitely supported, as is diversity, although the rural/isolated location of the office does not lend itself well to diversity. For proof, look at diversity statistics on Monongalia, Marion, and Wetzel Counties in WV as well as the state as a whole.
The following benefits were offered to me
- CompanyBlue Mountain, Inc.
- Are you a Current or Former Employee?Current employee