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. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Vacation and flex days are among top 10 percentile
    Health benefit decent
    Work load is reasonable, easier for workers who strike for life work balance

    Cons

    Upper management not well-liked as you can see from other reviews
    Withdraw from the back-up model, to the point there is little contingent plan or back up plan when people are away
    Have a push of the 'loyalty' talent program but keep letting people go

    Advice to Management

    Be consistent of what you say you would do and what you are actually doing. If a slogan doesn't match with practice, don't let it out at the first place.


  3. "Summer Student Laborer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TransAlta full-time

    Pros

    Great experience, got to work in a plant environment. Safety focused. Seemed committed to providing a safe work environment. Good managers.

    Cons

    Work was somewhat repetitive in nature. Nothing really stretched the mental faculties in this role.

    Advice to Management

    Continue providing summer student positions - they are a huge value to the students, and can help fill some of the more menial tasks.


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  5. "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!


  6. "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.


  7. "Industry player"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TransAlta full-time

    Pros

    - Opportunity to learn about the industry
    - Established company with recognition and respect in the market
    - Great compensation packages
    - Great benefits packages

    Cons

    - This company experienced many of the challenges associated with operating in difficult market under a regulatory microscope
    - Financial misfortunes led to many rounds of layoffs and the related hit to morale

    Advice to Management

    To weather the market storms Management would do well to embrace innovation in all areas of the business from technology to HR.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Poor Leadership"

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

    I worked at TransAlta full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Quite active in the community.

    Cons

    The executives, particularly the CEO, are first and foremost looking after themselves. Employees have been laid off, had pay freezes, pensions cut in half, casual Fridays eliminated, and days off and bonus targets reduced. Execs have had bonus targets increased, no job cuts, stock options added, one-time bonuses and enhanced retirement provisions. Even shareholders noticed this year by voting no to the say on pay. There is no leadership by example at TransAlta.

    Advice to Management

    Quit!


  9. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    TransAlta had a good benefit program, great vacation, decent pension, good company culture, and overall a is a great company to work for.

    Cons

    Going through major changes right now due to the coal phase out happening in Canada. Could be downsizing some departments.


  10. "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.


  11. "My last hope is an acquisition"

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

    Pros

    Good interpersonal relationships
    Nice benefits
    Competitive salary

    Cons

    Clueless, authoritarian leadership only pay lip service to employee empowerment, they don't hear us despite repeated signs of discontent and bad reviews by the lower levels - just look at the Glassdoor reviews!
    Decisions follow the "my way or the highway" model
    Penny-wise, pound-foolish company
    The only hope is it being acquired by someone that gets rid of most of the senior leadership

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the front lines and be accountable for the company problems. You are risking losing top talent once the downturn recedes. Doing rounds of "reorganizations" and "improvement projects" can do very little when the real problem, *senior management*, refuses to change.


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