- Schneider Electric20.Jul 2018
The company is more focused on promoting programs for public image than productivity and struggles to make any organic growth. As a hardware company they had a good image and culture but as a software\services company they are not sure and the culture shows this. They do not handle layoffs very well and the employees who remain after a layoff know it's not a team driven culture but an individualistic "get what you can while you can" culture.
Support from management
Management is the biggest problem. There was a culture of poor managers and many were simply managers due to surviving at the company and knowing the business but not how to work with people.
They are only teams in name but groups of individuals in practice. The majority of people I worked with across product teams were individuals. Nobody really had anyone's back and the general practice was to get someone else to do the work.
There's often too much at the corporate level. Individual business units had silos between them and other business units and even within the unit itself.
I collaborated with an internal panel on gender equality initiatives. It comprised of many white males making speculations and decisions on what women wanted. Females were reportedly asked to provide their opinions regarding what made them feel good. Topics such as nursing rooms or quiet spaces to deal with stress were discussed.
Attitude towards older colleagues
It's a semi-retirement home for the older employees. Many an older colleague told me all they had to do was show up and not complain about the practices too much. It was however much more a company designed for younger employees who are more naive. Older employees did not get promoted except for the occasional management opening due to a retirement or death. Then the next most tenured employee in that area would be considered.
It's hard to move to new positions within the corporation. There is more recently a corporate practice of treating people as the same asset regardless of experience, field, or position.
Overall compensation for your work
You can make a lot more money elsewhere. Salaries are not very competitive but benefits helped offset some of the sting. I immediately jumped to 30,000 more and have since commanded 70,000 more on the market than what I was paid at Schneider.
Office / Work Environment
The offices are clean but very noisy and distracting. The corporate practice is to continue to reduce work space as a standard and evolve from cubicles to more of an open office concept with short walls on the cubes. Most people wore headphones when not in meetings or worked from home when they had to do actual work.
They promote this as part of their narrative for the public.
It is very good and the best quality about the company.
If you can accept not much work will be done due to processes and practices then you can settle in nicely. I often observed many colleagues would leave early and work from home. Thursday was generally considered the end of the week and for those who do go into the office on a Friday often headed to the bars early and then home right after lunch. It's a big part of the culture and the lower salaries promote it. It's also a French company and the French offices take off for all of August so there is a natural slowdown during that period for all projects because the company typically ensures every project is controlled via a stakeholder or team in France. I often observed employees had a 9 to 5 approach, at best, and were not looking to do more. Whether the work got done or a project was successful was less important than showing you hit your personal targets. People collected their checks and did not want to rock the boat.
They surely promote themselves in a fantastic light but the reality behind the scenes is always a bit amusing to employees. Many of the newer solutions I saw promoted in public were not in production at any scale and were not yet sustainable.
I observed many layoffs due to poor business decisions by teams and overspending or poor cost estimations for products. Many people who joined from an acquisition are let go within two years. Sometimes the company handled it well but the majority of people I knew who were laid off just disappeared with no explanation to colleagues or teams working with them unless it was a VP. We often learned of lay offs of our colleagues outside of normal work communications.
They put on a show to promote safety in the office I mainly worked in although a lot of the implemented practices such as a badge operated turn-style or a receptionist with a check-in policy never made me feel truly safe. There were onsite security cameras and an unarmed security guard.
The real challenge is surviving the day to day corporate bureaucracy. It's a very large company with many silos and management cannot get out of the way. You have to accept that change is very slow to come by and you must find alternative ways to channel your ambition outside of the company.
Inclusive / Diverse
Having worked behind the scenes on a diversity inclusion program there, I know if you fulfilled a diversity need, it did not matter if you were not qualified for a role. It was about checking boxes.
Suggestions for improvement
- Remote supervisors are out of touch with the teams. The company gets in its own way and does not have a software pedigree. It is a hardware company by practice and allows life long employees to become managers and stall progress.
What I like about the company
The work life balance was very good. Generally the employees don't feel bad if nothing is accomplished as long as they can slide out early on a Thursday and work from home on Friday.
What I dislike about the company
Life-long employees become managers due to process versus experience or capability. The company is slow to change. Salaries are not very competitive. If you do not come from France, it is very difficult to advance.
The following benefits were offered to me
- CompanySchneider Electric
- Are you a Current or Former Employee?Former employee