- SOGETI U.S.A., INC20.Jan 2016
The company spent some time on "sch_ool spirit", encouraging participation in after-h_ours social events. Where the company culture failed was that management expected the rank and file to attend business-related functions on their own personal time after h_ours. In addition, there was a major stigma as_sociated with being "on the bench" - the anxiety of not knowing when you might be going to another project grew each week you weren't actively billing, and while bench time could have been a time of both re-charging and technical development, the subtle message was that you were one step closer to the door. The accountants even had a term for this ... "burden".
Support from management
Leadersh_ip was present, but could have been better. Styles of management were a mixed bag, ranging from the nuanced to the pushy. I was hired by a really cool supervisor but he went on to other areas so that was a disappointment.
Teamwork was disappointing. On one project on which I was working, when I raised issues it took far too long for the organization to respond, and after my time on the project ended I was stigmatized for raising the issues. I had been told by an account rep that out in the field I wouldn't be "out there by myself" but I never fully felt that was the case.
Freedom to work independently
When it came to day-to-day activity, most of the time I was satisfied, even if I was "on the bench" (unas_signed to a project). I would not say, th_ough, that I ever felt fully empowered, even th_ough my ti_tle included the term "senior".
Weekly status meetings in which consultants were informed where they might be dispatched to were sufficient, otherwise, there wasn't much communication despite Sogeti's enormous infrastructure.
I imagine Sogeti was satisfactory for women, as I saw quite a few in the office. But most of the consultants were still males.
Attitude towards older colleagues
Since Sogeti tends to hire more experienced workers to fill out their ranks, I saw older workers - I count myself amo_ng them at 51 years of age - in their numbers. But I did not see any workers in their 60s or beyond.
Sogeti has a track for technical workers interested in climbing the ladder, but it's mostly administrative, as is the case at most businesses.
Overall compensation for your work
Compensation and benefits were satisfactory. Sogeti claims to have a bonus program, but it's front-loaded so management and sales get the best chance at cash_ing out - technical consultants, at a lower billing rate - won't see the same numbers on which bonuses are based.
Office / Work Environment
Working conditions were satisfactory. Sometimes work space at the h_ome office was tight if more consultants were not out in the field. At client sites, space was usually not an issue.
If Sogeti was environmentally conscious, I rarely heard about it.
Overtime on actual billing engagements was rare, but one thing I didn't like was that the company expected employees to attend business-related meetings on their own personal time outside of business h_ours. No other company I've ever worked with has done this. Company meetings are a cost of doing business, yet Sogeti felt to maximize its profitability, it was better to have 40 h_ours billing every single week rather than 38 or 39 with an occasional work function. It's a very bad and selfish policy to do this to workers.
If there's pride in working for Sogeti, I didn't see it. In fact, at a couple of meetings, I sensed some of the more experienced employees had some resentments about h_ow Sogeti was treating them.
Little to none. Sogeti is a "mill". Every year they tap the current job market to see wh_o might be useful for their book of business and they bring them on board - usually to the bench right away - while their account managers (sales) set about finding them work. Sogeti is a heavily numbers-driven organization - if a consultant's utilization falls below 50 percent, they're considered to be on the ch_opping block. Any employee could be tossed at any time for any reason. This also created pressure for employees to accept any field opportunity, even if it wasn't a good fit.
Accessibility seems to have been adequate.
Safety appears to have been adequate.
There was enough challenging work, but my complaint is that I didn't get to do the kind of work in line with my career goals. In order to stay billable, I took whatever was available.
Inclusive / Diverse
It may not have been a business goal, but Sogeti coincidentally had a diverse group of consultants.
Suggestions for improvement
- Stop stigmatizing workers on the bench. The bench sh_ould be a time period in which workers can do technical development and re-charge their batteries after particularly challenging as_signments.
- Change the bonus structure so it's not dollar-based - its current structure favors managers wh_o can bill out at at over $150/hr vs. technical people wh_o normally bill much lower ($125/hr). A technical consultant will never catch a manager if managers have a headstart.
- Have business-related functions during business h_ours. DO NOT expect employees to use their personal time for business meetings, seminars, or anything else. Meetings and other communications are a normal cost of doing business - a strict definition of 40 hrs a week every single week is unrealistic and impractical. A client isn't going to stomp away and take their business elsewhere if an employee has to take 1 to 2 hrs to attend a Sogeti function.
- Find a way to normalize the uneven nature of management personaliti_es. I observed different styles ranging from the laid-back to the drill sergeant. Employees remember when they're treated badly by management with an atti_tude problem (no matter h_ow talented he might be) and in software development, distractions of any kind are anathema to producing quality code.
- Modernize your infrastructure. An old, outdated version of SharePoint to manage docu_ments, contracts, forms, etc., is a big turn-off and is beneath what I would expect from an organization that bills itself as world-cla_ss. Either clean up the SharePoint or get a modern, simpler product.
- For every single hire, be up front about the financial/numerical nature of consulting. If you know in advance that someone might be a hard placement for jobs, tell them that. Explain the utilization percentage metric, and h_ow it figures into their position, including the expected life span of the average consultant (9 to 12 months). Had I known h_ow unstable my position was from the beginning, I might have spent more time earlier seeking out alternate employment. Better still, it would be better for the company to be up front about this during the interview process.
What I like about the company
Sogeti - being the American arm of a major international consulting firm - has the funding and corporate heft to be able to work on IT projects for major organizations. They are well-funded, so they are able to offer reasonably good salaries to talent they bring aboard.
What I dislike about the company
Sogeti has too much dysfunction to be a good long-term place to work. Employees on the bench are stigmatized - by management as well as each other - for not being out in the field where placement is really the responsibility of sales. IT infrastructure, while existent, is surprisingly outdated - an old release of SharePoint runs the docu_ment control center. The company needs to leave employees alone after business h_ours, too - have business-related functions during the day - it's a very small hit against billiable h_ours over the long haul and clients may actually appreciate small discounts in their invoices from time to time. Managers' personaliti_es run the gamut, also - there doesn't appear to be any training for h_ow to treat employees - I recall one manager in particular as being a bit bullisome, curt, and even rude - despite his high placement in the local organization. And my first experience calling for as_sistance on a project was not a good one - instead of being ma_de to feel as if there was a team present to help sh_ore things up, I was considered the problem - and that would be thrown in my face later that year.
If Sogeti wants to be the company it THINKS it is, it's going to have to change its policies, its atti_tudes, and its infrastructure. At best, the company as I worked for it is a C-minus place to work.
The following benefits were offered to me
- CompanySOGETI U.S.A., INC
- Are you a Current or Former Employee?Former job since 2013