Portland General Electric Reviews | Glassdoor.com.au

Portland General Electric Reviews

Updated 16 Jan 2020

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3.5
59%
Recommend to a Friend
76%
Approve of CEO
Portland General Electric President and CEO Maria Pope
Maria Pope
28 Ratings
Pros
  • "I have been working as a contractor for PGE for about nine months and am really impressed with the organization(in 20 reviews)

  • "I have been able to successfully maintain a good work-life balance during my time here(in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • "PGE is in the middle of revamping several key areas of their IT ecosystem with decidedly mixed results(in 13 reviews)

  • "Work life balance was not really possible at my level but we were rewarded for our sacrifices through recognition programs and bonuses(in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Caution!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Operations 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Portland General Electric full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits are offered at PGE, even in Customer Service.

    Cons

    Chaos reigns throughout this company. If you are hourly, expect severe micromanagement and plan to work overtime as they are short staffed. If salaried, you will pay dearly for that salary (too much unhealthy stress).

    Advice to Management

    Stop putting people into leadership roles who have no business being there. Just because a person is someone's buddy doesn't make that person a good leader.

    Portland General Electric2020-01-16
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Let fear be your guide"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager 
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Portland General Electric full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Many great people as coworkers who are dedicated and intelligent. Your work is in service to the public and a basic necessity. 25% off your PGE bill. An interesting time to be in energy and for a medium-sized utility PGE is pretty progressive. The strategy is to fight climate change and that’s inspiring. Lots of job variety. Electric vehicle workplace charging. A generous parental leave. Many work locations depending on the type of work you do. Access to PGE Parks. Mass transit pass. Ample 401K match.

    Show More

    Cons

    They pay lip service to diversity and inclusion but don’t actually live it (the number of black employees that have been "performance managed" out is staggering meanwhile white heterosexual men have repeatedly been appointed to high profile positions with no formal process; women across the company are talking about the rampant “bro culture” that does not appear to be a red flag to leadership; there is much handwringing about how much “risk” to take in making a stand where other local companies have already done so, i.e. whether to hang pride flags). The soul of the organization is being squashed out by a lackluster officer team that appears to be operating from a place of fear of both the CEO and competition. The two newest officers are more competent but the CIO is provocative for the sake of being so demonstrating flagrant toxic behaviors and being celebrated for it. This used to be a place that cared about the people — to a fault. While things need to change and drastically so, they will fail as they are awash with people in leadership that don’t know how to lead. Talented good employees are jumping ship left and right and senior leadership’s response is that they weren’t a good culture fit. Meanwhile, they are maintaining toxic and/or ineffective people in leadership because they are “strategic.” The place is chaos — people frantically trying to do what they’re held accountable to do in the name of competitive threat meanwhile backstabbing coworkers, blaming, not being accountable and creating utter swirl such that very little gets done.

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    Advice to Management

    Your stated mission is a great one although it could be more aggressive. Your desire to have your cake and eat it too (be competitive while also under protection of the regulated monopoly model) will be a turn off to the very employees you wish to attract and customers you want to retain because no one likes an 800 pound gorilla. Prioritize — you can’t and won’t do it all and attempting to do so creates chaos and eventually failure. Yes competition is here but fear isn’t a good motivator. Promote and encourage a psychologically safe environment where healthy, candid conversation is rewarded rather than feared.

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    Portland General Electric2020-01-14
  3. Helpful (1)

    "Data Teams Marred by Toxic Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Scientist in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Portland General Electric full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Excellent individual contributors who are top notch at what they do. Virtually everyone on technical teams is technically proficient and willing to bend over backwards to get the job done. Most importantly, they are team players and a joy to work with.

    Cons

    PGE is in the middle of revamping several key areas of their IT ecosystem with decidedly mixed results. I was part of a new data science team that is led by management who believes intimidation, micromanagement, and fear are the best tools to achieve results. Strategy and tactics are often confused, creating an environment where there is a lack of shared vision. Meandering projects with moving goalposts lead to burnout and frustration. There are some outstanding contributors on these teams with great technical skills and thoughtful ideas who, unfortunately, are rarely listened to. Instead, a heavy-handed approach, where employees are distrusted rules. Technical development and documentation is downplayed in favor of endless Powerpoint presentations that will take up 25-50% of your time. I've literally seen managers take control of keyboards from employees at their desks so they can edit docs and emails while the employee helplessly looks on. In short, employees are not trusted to do their jobs and are constantly second guessed leading to an environment of uncertainty and doubt.

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    Advice to Management

    Empower your teams to collaborate and succeed. Upper management needs to make sure they are fostering and cultivating a culture to allow this to happen. That teams like this can exist in this state for so long means there is a serious lack of oversight and connection to organization's mission statement and long term goals.

    Portland General Electric2020-01-07
  4. Helpful (6)

    "Do not apply here if you are an ambitious woman or person of color."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Portland General Electric full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    PGE's clean power and diversity aspirations are very inspiring. A lot of extremely smart and capable people are buried within the ranks in this organization. Might be fine for someone new to their career that needs expereince. If you are a nice, reasonably smart and somewhat competent white man who is good at flattering your boss you should apply immediately. This is one place in America where you can still find an openly unlevel playing field that works to your advantage and that no one seems seriously interested in changing.

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    Cons

    Upper level management is completely disengaged in the grassroots. As such, many who quickly rise through the ranks are primarily people who surround themselves with yes-men and are good at perception management whether or not their competencies back that up. Very many of them are smart, likable white men who are incompetent leaders. The company boasts about its 20% of women on the board of directors and that women make $1.03 to each $1 that men make but this is primarily because women and people of color at PGE are underemployed. Other than the CEO there are very few women and people of color in management tracks and director roles except in more traditionally female and administrative leadership areas like HR/Admin/Legal. Those diverse leaders and managers who are there tend to be more qualified than their typically affable white male bosses and are promoted and advanced less quickly. If you have leadership skills and expereince to back it up, go elsewhere. You have options. You will advance more quickly and your talents will be more appreciated than at PGE.

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    Advice to Management

    Wake up to what is really going on in your organization and stop cherry picking aspirational facts to back up press releases. The executive management team needs to be doing more soul searching coupled with management by walking around - not just on the 17th floor. Stop listening to a host of directors who - by and large - are good at saying impressive things they know you want to hear in meetings, practicing laissez faire leadership, favoring and advancing sycophants, and then extracting results from subordinates (where high performers including competent women and people of color are overrepresented) without leading. I have heard several VPs talk about Amazon's leadership principle of customer obsession but there is another principle PGE should apply " Dive Deep. Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them."

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    Portland General Electric2019-11-25
  5. Helpful (4)

    "Avoid the HR Department"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Specialist in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Portland General Electric full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    This used to be a great company to work for and they held up their "guiding behaviors" rather well. It could actually be fun at times. There are still some great places in this company if you can find them but they are becoming increasingly rare.

    Cons

    PGE HR does a poor job dealing with non-performers and has a habit of shuffling people around to different departments that they know have had issues, be it performance, attendance or otherwise, instead of managing them out the door. They have a person on their management team who has a history of behavioral issues and who also falsified their employment application – this information is in the public domain - the company knows about it but does nothing. On the other hand, some employees in the department, current and former, have had promotions, or empty promises of career advancement dangled in front of them, then strung along only to find themselves displaced and in some cases slandered to justify poor decision-making. It's a very passive/aggressive environment. The company tries to look like they are not discriminating against older workers and tenured employees but if you make people miserable enough they will simply self-select out making it easier to justify your analytics. While PGE is embattled by shrinking market share and trying to reinvent themselves, it does a poor job at transforming departments and holding people with questionable backgrounds accountable. The company heavily promotes its diversity initiatives and then turns around and hires white men to run the critical infrastructure of the company; this doesn't seem to be problematic for the HR Department yet they are in charge of driving the diversity programs for the company.

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    Advice to Management

    You promote doing the “right thing” - you know what you need to do but based on your history - you probably won’t.

    Portland General Electric2019-12-03
  6. "Great Employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Portland General Electric full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Rapidly changing workplace that is getting more agile and creative. Things are changing a lot and for the better, I cannot wait to see what we continue to do and how we support our community.

    Cons

    Sometimes change can be a little slow, but that is a side effect of being regulated.

    Portland General Electric2019-10-28
  7. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Portland General Electric full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Love the culture, challenging work and fun workplace. Very innovative.

    Cons

    Sometimes feels like a waterfall culture.

    Portland General Electric2019-10-15
  8. "Fantastic company that is eager to improve"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Copy Writer in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Portland General Electric full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work-life balance Strong team culture Competitive pay

    Cons

    An industry that's evolving, which means policies and processes are constantly influx.

    Portland General Electric2019-10-01
  9. "Great company -lives their Core Values"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Portland General Electric full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Takes care of employees, supports diversity

    Cons

    slower decision making, could be more nimble

    Portland General Electric2019-09-27
  10. Helpful (2)

    "Fast Paced"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative 

    I worked at Portland General Electric full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits Opportunity to move within the company

    Cons

    Goals un realistic at times Management treatment not equal to all employees

    Portland General Electric2019-08-19
Found 124 reviews