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High Speed Two Reviews

Updated 29 November 2017
51 reviews

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3.4
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Mark Thurston
10 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • This is the largest infrastructure project in Europe and our teams comprise experts from many different countries (in 11 reviews)

  • Also, 'The largest engineering project in Europe' carries a lot weight in getting into rooms with world class suppliers and 3rd parties (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Constant change, overreliance on contractors who are not managed, uncertainty over exact roles and unclear expectations from senior management (in 4 reviews)

  • and with no audit trail no one will be held accountable (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Groundbreaking programme that will revolutionise travel experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of Railway Operations in Birmingham, England
    Current Employee - Director of Railway Operations in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at High Speed Two full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Exciting with ability to set new standards in what a railway delivers for its customers. Teams are made up of highly capable and motivated individuals from diverse backgrounds.

    Cons

    As a public sector entity be prepared for the myriad of governance stages and at times very bureaucratic engagement needed both within the company and with the Department for Transport

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the work to build confidence not only in our delivery capability but that we can be trusted to push out the boundaries of what a railway can do for both its customers, and the nation as a whole


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Face paced, challenging buy often very reactive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Birmingham, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at High Speed Two full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great place for progression and opportunities to shine as project still in early stages and many processes and procedures to design and implement.

    Cons

    Often quite a rushed and reactive approach to problems to get short term gains when often more restraint is required to take the difficult decision and delay a result for longer term, sustained results.

    Advice to Management

    Consult staff more regularly and consider / act on their advice to improve business operations rather than trying to solve all the companies problems at a strategic level. Staff could be empowered more to do their jobs by being allowed to solve problems at a tactical level in teams to deliver a sustainable solution that satisfies multiple requirements.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Exciting but frustrating"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Service Delivery Analyst in London, England
    Current Employee - IT Service Delivery Analyst in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at High Speed Two full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Exciting Project
    Good people (whilst they are on the project)

    Cons

    Long hours with very little reward.
    Red tape adds to lengthy delays and creates frustration.
    High turn over of staff.

    Advice to Management

    Look after your staff


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Growing too quickly to keep up with the changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Project Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at High Speed Two full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good pension scheme and generous annual leave allowance. Some really knowledgeable people and opportunities to learn and grow.

    Cons

    They made some excellent people redundant recently (without the appropriate approvals in place to pay the agreed redundancy packages). All of the talent and corporate knowledge has now left the business and HS2 has completely lost its way. It can't keep up with the changes and yet continues to grow. I struggle to see where the leadership is coming from - I don't think it's from the current executive team

    Advice to Management

    Advice to the HS2 Ltd Board - get rid of the executive team and bring in a Senior Leadership Team who represent of HS2's core values to fix this mess before it's too late


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great project to be associated with."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Structural Engineer in Birmingham, England
    Current Employee - Senior Structural Engineer in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at High Speed Two full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Salaries are very generous. Depending on your grade you get an extra 10, 15 or 20% on top of your salary.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy. Confused management. Some of the staff are from the EDP and it looks like they look after their own. Direct HS2 staff are sometimes neglected,especially if your line manager if from EDP.
    Salary grades are all over the place. Some staff who are not chartered engineers are given grades above those who are chartered.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great project but..short term thinking"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engagement Manager
    Former Employee - Engagement Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at High Speed Two full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Exciting, high profile project
    Diverse workforce
    Committed people

    Cons

    Stressful at times due to lack of certainty and controversial nature of project
    Lack of structured career development

    Advice to Management

    I left because promise of career development never materialised- do more to support, keep and nurture talent


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Anon - Commercial"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at High Speed Two full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great project, true opportunity to contribute to lasting change
    Great people with hard work ethics
    Positive impact on education and work opportunities in the Midlands
    Echo much of the previous comments much more than just a railway

    Cons

    Lack of stability, direction or decision making in/at senior and exec management level... In some cases a revolving door.
    The governance - understandable for public purse project but overly convoluted even steps to simplify are turned into management science by committee.
    Bring that together and it creates chronic paralyse which demoralises and devalues some brilliant expertise and people.

    Advice to Management

    Make some decisions with conviction
    Communicate and engage with your teams.
    Stop living milestone to milestone
    Stop acting out a extended episode of W1A


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Full of anti semitic lefties"

    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 High Speed Two full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice offices funded by taxpayers. You get to go home.

    Cons

    Bullying ineffective management. Overbloated bureaucracy. Hr not fit for the purpose

    Advice to Management

    Anti semitism is a criminal offence


  10. Helpful (2)

    "An exciting opportunity to be part of a leading infrastructure project."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Construction in Birmingham, England
    Current Employee - Construction in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at High Speed Two full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is the largest infrastructure project in Europe and our teams comprise experts from many different countries.
    The pace is fast and our approach is maturing as a project-leading and industry transforming organisation.
    Focussed training on assurance, behaviours and 'Doug the right thing' has been cascaded and is now embedding within the Construction Directorate.

    Cons

    Some find emerging culture presents uncertainty that they cannot cope with and so they criticise instead of taking the opportunity to influence things for the better.
    HS2 has rapidly expanded in organisational size while, due to the nature of putting bills through Parliament followed by procurement and construction, the nature of the business has changed. Perhaps the impact on staff could have been more carefully planned to avoid repeated restructure.
    This is a massive project and so influential leaders are involved in all stages. Perhaps more focus could be placed in building on the knowledge and experience from each area of the business.

    Advice to Management

    Please ensure that HS2 has an efficient, non-bureaucratic structure from the top down so that responsibility is passed to a practical level to enable efficient construction and future operational management.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "All change!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in Birmingham, England
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at High Speed Two full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fast-moving environment, nice new offices in Birmingham. Usually scope to be involved in things outside of your immediate role.

    Cons

    Although a fast-moving the the direction of change can be erratic and ill-thought out. There is a lot of overlap as things have grown so quickly that duplication happens and areas of responsibility aren't always clearly defined so if you need a clear remit and line management it may not be for you. Needs better social structures and support for wellbeing.

    Advice to Management

    Improve internal career development opportunities


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