Transport for London Employee Reviews about "senior management"

Updated 19 Aug 2020

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4.0
82%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
Transport for London Commissioner Mike Brown MVO (no image)
Mike Brown MVO
242 Ratings
Pros
  • "Always interesting work with a great work life balance(in 100 reviews)

  • "Free travel around the whole of the TfL network(in 86 reviews)

Cons
  • "Disconnected from senior management(in 44 reviews)

  • "None absolutely loved my job with tfl(in 38 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "senior management"

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  1. "Operations Assistant review"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Assistant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Excellent progression opportunities - Salary is tied to RPI so income progression is very good - Holidays are excellent - Really good benefits including free travel as well as a host of discounts - Secondment opportunities and internal vacancies - Really good company culture 'Family values'

    Cons

    - Upper senior management can be a bit nepotistic in structure - A lot of politics mostly to do with upper management though - TFL itself is a huge company with lots of sub departments - issue here is that not everything is clear so a lot of chasing up can occur which is a pain - HR department is a bit slow. Uniform department is a mess. - Cross department communication can be here or miss - Depending on department; shift work will most likely be the style of work. Can impede on work/life balance slightly.

  2. COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "TfL Engineering / London Underground"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    One of the oldest and largest integrated public transport agencies in the world. Carries out a bewildering array of activities, including operating a railway, commissioning services from private provides, and running megaprojects. Hence the scope for gaining experience in these fields, shaping the capital, and (possibly) changing things for the better is pretty much unique. Many of your colleagues (especially on the LU side) will have a deep expertise in their field, and a public service mindset. Provides a chance to experience a vertically integrated railway (and all the challenges that brings) from the inside, which can be fascinating. From an engineering perspective, a chance to get exposed to a diverse range of technologies and projects, from the very large to the very small, many inter-disciplinary. Being both the owner and operator of LU creates opportunities in the organisation to do roles that may not be available elsewhere. Most colleagues (at least at the lower levels) have a can-do attitude and a collaborative mindset. Graduate and apprentice schemes offer a great opportunity for learning, and are generally well run. Alumni of the schemes that don't cash in their experience elsewhere (and retention rates are surprisingly high) are the backbone of the organisation. Pay and benefits are very good (especially at Band 4+), and no expectation to work beyond contracted hours for most.

    Cons

    Senior management spend time micromanaging, leadership and vision in very short supply. The new Commissioner is a notable exception, hopefully he will be able to lead by example. Gold plated pensions means it doesn't make financial sense for most to leave the organisation for most after a few years service. Hence, many lifers in mid/senior ranks serving their time, not rocking the boat, and blocking upwards mobility for less experienced staff. A bureaucracy (in the technical sense of the term), which is probably fine for the operational parts of the business but falls down elsewhere, where a more dynamic approach may be beneficial and many people shirk from accountability/making decisions. An inherently political organisation, on the macro level (it is headed by an elected politician), permeates down to lower levels with initiatives coming up from nowhere (see Engineering Transformation) and disappearing just as fast (NBfL, Meaningful responsibility can be hard to come by in the lower levels of the organisation, experiences very dependent on luck/line manager. Very old fashioned and conservative approach in many pockets of the business, caused by resistance to change, and in many cases ignorance of the way things are done outside. Things are changing but slowly, see for example lean initiative (only 30 years later than the rest of the world). Unionised attitude of the operational side of the business. Some of the stuff that goes on is incredible, straight out the 1970s, and would never happen in the private sector. Unfortunately the backwards looking and obstructive attitude this creates pollutes the whole organisation to a degree. There is a general lack of will to acknowledge to this elephant in the room make any fundamental changes. The unions know that any strikes are politically unacceptable, and are able to take advantage. A sense of entitlement, and generally arrogant unpleasant attitude (empowered by unionisation) among many (but not all) front line staff. To be fair, the Tayloristic attitude of a lot of management doesn't help matters. Big-bang organisational changes (PPP, Fit for Future, Engineering Transformation, etc) come and go every few years, make a lot of noise, and generally lower morale and create cynicism among longer serving staff. There seems to be a complete lack of introspection among senior leadership regarding the purpose of the changes and the vision for the organisation going forward. Within engineering and projects, many years of dependency on one-man-band contractors created a "who you know" culture, even at senior levels, and limited opportunities for permanent staff. This has changed with recent IR35 changes, however along with losses from Engineering Transformation has conspired to create a brain drain of experienced engineers. General inability to manage low performers. The lazy or incompetent generally get shifted about the organisation to areas where they can do the least damage. In ten years, I only saw two permanent staff let go, both for fraud (even one of those incidences was touch and go as to whether they'd be re-instated). Opportunities for structured training and development almost non existent within engineering. Lack of stable funding (even pre Covid) and the seeming inability of the organisation to do long term planning creates lack of certainty, and leads to inefficiencies. Covid-19 has been ruinous for the organisation, with many programmes being cut or de-scoped. Too early to tell what the future holds, but I expect hard times ahead and a lack of investment over the coming years as political battles get played out with TfL in the middle. The glory days of the Olympics and almost unlimited funding for Major Projects appear to be long gone.

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  3. "Good learning opportunities"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Commercial Assistant in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London for more than a year

    Pros

    Good learning opportunities Good support from managers

    Cons

    Job uncertainty Disconnected from senior management

  4. "Great teams, interesting work - disappointing senior leadership"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Rolling Stock Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Transport for London full-time

    Pros

    Vital job supporting the transport network which genuinely does keep London moving - the recruitment hype is true, it really is vital work and when stuff goes wrong London feels it. Work life balance is frankly incredible, and while you can make more money in the private sector the amount and flexibility of annual leave (plus the potential for sabatticals) is incredible. Plus free travel for yourself and another member of your household. Overall great opportunities to get stuck in at the operational end of things, and a strong emphasis on technical ability within the engineering structure is invaluable for progression in your professional development. Living in London with a young family and keen to get chartered? This could be the job for you.

    Cons

    The flip side is that when things go right, the public doesn't notice. Senior management are not focused on long term cost, the aim at that level or higher being to add four years to your CV then go private with a bonus. Recent restructuring has led to complete loss of confidence in senior management by the workforce, and the engineering departments have been losing young professionals at an alarming rate. A bit of genuine leadership at a senior level would go a long, long way. Perhaps inevitably this leads to a considerable amount of cynicism and burnout at lower levels.

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  5. "Good Company - Dependent on Area"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Apprentice 

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits Work-life balance Good level of Potential experience

    Cons

    Areas going through transformation and job uncertainty A lot of job politics Senior management change strategy and leadership often

  6. Helpful (1)

    "Decent pay but a lot of issues"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Salaries compare well with private sector. Good holiday and benefits TfL oyster card interesting projects

    Cons

    Lots of dead weight Favoritism/popularity valued more than skill/competence EXTREMELY hierarchical Limited opportunity to move into senior management

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  7. "Untrustworthy Employer - Steer Clear"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Pension. Some offices nice. Tea and coffee provided.

    Cons

    Stressful job with no recognition of the hard work put in by its employees. The norm is no salary increase each year despite exceeding objectives with any prospect of financial recognition wiped out by annual "calibrations" which take place behind closed doors - annual performance ratings are given by direct line managers who know the staff and witness their performance but these are then amended (erroneously entitled as "calibration") by very senior management with no transparency as to the reasoning why. This by an organisation that prides itself on transparency. Senior management expect its staff to abide by the TfL Values but do not live up to these themselves. If negotiating a salary then really push TfL hard for the maximum you can get as it is unlikely you will get any salary increase in the near future regardless of how hard you work or how successful you are in your role or in meeting your objectives.

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place, lovely people"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Commercial Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great place to work,good work-life balance and great benefits. Good people to work with and interesting projects.

    Cons

    highly political and bureaucratic, career progression somewhat stifled, senior management set in their ways.

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  9. "IT"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time

    Pros

    good benefits supportive friendly nice good culture

    Cons

    senior management projects take too long under performance not managed not effective

  10. "Good experience on the whole"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Transport for London full-time

    Pros

    Good work life balance. Very interesting projects.

    Cons

    No prospect of pay increase, lots of senior management who are institutionalised and not very commercially driven.

Viewing 1 - 10 of 44 English Reviews