TransAlta Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

TransAlta Reviews

Updated 11 July, 2017
99 reviews

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1.8
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TransAlta President & CEO Dawn Farrell
Dawn Farrell
47 Ratings

99 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Lots of great people that work within the company (in 10 reviews)

  • Comparatively good benefits although recently cut, good work life balance and opportunities to learn (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management personnel continuously changing roles/departments (in 9 reviews)

  • No job satisfaction, employee input is disregarded (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Circling the drain"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Calgary, AB
    Current Employee - Engineer in Calgary, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, rewarding work and excellent industry exposure

    Cons

    Endless personel downsizing and benefit cuts while CEO gets $2 million bonus. Managers hire friends from outside rather than competitively post positions.

    Advice to Management

    Leave the ivory tower and get in touch with your employees.


  2. "Power Plant Operator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Power Plant Operator in Duffield, AB
    Current Employee - Power Plant Operator in Duffield, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - When at job rate, good pay, decent benefits (for single employee, not so much for family.) Many overtime opportunities.
    - Multitude of equipment, can be an excellent learning experience for new grads.
    - Location, while out of town, is decent from the west end of City of Edmonton.

    Cons

    - As stated above, good pay, but comes with years of writing badly written level exams that "qualify" you to operate in a First Class Power Plant. Training is extremely minimal, and operators have no say in how their training program works or when a new employee is ready to tackle an area after said training.
    - In regards to previously said overtime "pro", actually working overtime has the expectation that the operator will perform double the normal amount of work, which grows by the day. (Avg day, not too busy and no run-ups or shutdowns, 20,000 steps including twisting very large valves that are at least 3 people jobs).
    - Management institutes bullying tactics to get their way in all things, some going the extra mile to punish employees.
    - Very very poor planning and co-ordination department. Often times a vital piece of equipment will not be fixed for months, attitude being that operators must "pick up the slack" for the broken equipment, even if it violates SOP's and safety rules.
    - A general lack of respect towards Operations and no support in education or training for different roles. Absolutely no room to grow.
    - Local union completely powerless, employees and operators fired in the past for others screw ups on jobs, LOTO's, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your employees, do not denigrate an entire work group due to a few bad apples. Above all, listen.


  3. "Power Plant operator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Power Engineer in Sundance, AB
    Current Employee - Power Engineer in Sundance, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Wage is decent, shift schedule isn't too bad. Not a far commute from Stony Plain and Spruce Grove.

    Cons

    Very Dirty, Poor upkeep of equipment, major disconnect between upper management and front line staff. Maintenance performed is minimal. Most equipment is "limped" along in order to continue operation. No Preventative Maintenance is performed. Not a Proactive business.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to frontline employees. Start fixing the small equpiment defects in order to prevent larger more costly repairs in the future!


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  5. "Dissention"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    100yr history; Friendly people; Newgrad program; TransAlta Renewables; Australia growth.

    Cons

    Regulatory fines; Dividend cuts; Debt rating; Preferred share scam; Constant reorganizations; Employee relations; Negative morale; Promotion criteria; Constructive dismissals; Ongoing layoffs; Manager resignations; Wage freeze; Pension cut; Vacation cut; Training cut; Parking fees; Old systems; IT applications; Coal plants; Carbon legislation; Project execution; CEO belittling; CFO integrity; Building Cafeteria.

    Advice to Management

    Listen and understand what employees say.


  6. "Interesting work but appears sometimes a bit 'dusty'"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TransAlta full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting business environment. Lots of opportunities to take on different roles (if you know the right people). Stable business (although market gets tougher).

    Cons

    Internal procedures and leadership style a bit 'dusty' (well, it is an old company). A tendency to rely on external resources to fill open positions and to provide advice instead of relying on internal know-how.

    Advice to Management

    Be open to change and try new (unconventional) ideas.


  7. "Coal is dead"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Power Plant Operator in Sundance, AB
    Current Employee - Power Plant Operator in Sundance, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Close to home, opportunity to get steam time and get out

    Cons

    Mis managed with no accountability


  8. "Sinking ship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time

    Pros

    Challenging work and good coworkers

    Cons

    Very poor management that's too focused on other things. This job use to be good but the economy turned and the company took every opportunity to take advantage of the workers by cutting pension, days off, no raises, etc. hard work is expected with little or no recognition. But those people who do little work or barely contribute are not punished at all and continue to get away with it

    Advice to Management

    Do the complete opposite of what your doing and chances are you would finally make some good choices. Be ready for when things in the province turnaround cause there's guna be a mass exodus of your good staff


  9. "Systems Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Calgary, AB
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Calgary, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TransAlta (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The best time to work was when I joined in 2006 and was appreciated to work on SAP Portal Projects

    Cons

    Replacing Canadian employees with companies from India, not a good idea. Outsourcing to a local company in Canada is acceptable.

    Advice to Management

    The Leadership should have a positive vision and think about local population first, cause bringing staff from overseas has really not improved the reputation of the company.


  10. "In dire need of an overhaul"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sundance, AB
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sundance, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Comparatively good benefits although recently cut, good work life balance and opportunities to learn. Realization in the upper ranks of the need for drastic changes to turn things around.

    Cons

    Overall toxic work environment characterized by severe mistrust and micro-management. Inconsistent policies and favoritism. Stalled promotions and employee growth. Use of bullying and temper tantrums by immediate leadership instead of professional competency.

    Definitely not an employer of choice at this time.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Need a shot of integrity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Leader in Wabamun, AB
    Current Employee - Leader in Wabamun, AB
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at TransAlta full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some very talented employees who conduct themselves with integrity. Good opportunity to apply for jobs in other geographic locations. Communication company wide is strong. Female affirmative action is alive and well. Strong diversity. Lots of opportunity to learn. Salaries are very good but no raises for past few years.

    Cons

    Company reputation with regulators has taken a hit. Promotion is stalled. Upper management personnel continuously changing roles/departments. Hiring 'mates' for senior leadership at coal plants who are disrespectful to suppliers, partners and employees. Use bullying, rudeness and temper tantrum tactics instead of professional competency. Pension and paid time off reduced. As people leave/laid off, work is pushed downward and becoming unsustainable. Many employees want out but are stuck due to poor job market.

    Advice to Management

    Hire leaders who have a integrity and genuinely care for employees while attaining business goals - it is possible. They need to set the example, not dictate it and then throw a profanity laced temper tantrum.


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