Armstrong Garden Centers

www.armstronggarden.com
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Armstrong Garden Centers Reviews

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Michael Kunce
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  1. Working for a greedy corporate company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Armstrong Garden Centers full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working outdoors. Being around people. Helping customers make their yards beautiful. Great coworkers.

    Cons

    Out-of-touch upper management. Low pay. Little to no raises. Hours cut often. No opportunity to move up in the company. Poor insurance plans. Corporate greed.

    Advice to Management

    This advice is for the Upper Management, Not for the store managers who are generally honest and hard working.

    - Be more realistic about your expectations. Our stores are understaffed so please stop complaining that things don't look good enough and sales aren't high enough.

    - Train your regional management properly. Going around with an arrogant attitude, criticizing, and writing long lists of things (that we already know) need to get done isn't effective management. I can only speak for the Northern Region.

    - Run an anonymous employee satisfaction survey and listen to what people are saying and make some changes.

    Armstrong Garden Centers Response

    Jul 8, 2014Director of Human Resources

    Dear associate,
    I welcome an opportunity to discuss your concerns and comments directly. As an employee-owned company, we must work collectively to address concerns. This begins with accessibility
    ... More

  2. Helpful (2)

    Back breaking - poor pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Glendora, CA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Glendora, CA

    I worked at Armstrong Garden Centers full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work outdoors with plants. Have met some great co-workers

    Cons

    Promise full work, Armstrong defines full time as 32 hrs. Low pay no reviews or pay raises.Required to lift 80lb pottery over your head to shelf, no matter what your height or strength is. Expected to know EVERYTHING about ALL plants.

    Advice to Management

    Don't send your automated response to this. Actually read your reviews, visit your stores, talk to the employees without retribution. Do something about the reports of hostile work environment instead of sweeping it away. Management lives off bonuses the poorly paid workers make for them.

    Armstrong Garden Centers Response

    Apr 9, 2014Director of Human Resources

    In response to the above listed post, I wanted to reply and provide not just an automated reply, but a personal clarification of many of the inaccuracies listed above. Associate feedback is always ... More

  3. Helpful (2)

    Consider another company to work at

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Armstrong Garden Centers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Retail sales provide interaction with the public.

    Cons

    Unsupportive, backstabbing management provide disincentives to continue being positive about the company. Sales figures are available to all staff and company boasts about profits but shares little to none with employees. Their 'work hard play hard!' mentality has no one convinced that working harder will amount to anything. Seriously, ask any of their employees if their paychecks come close to what is required for the job. The employees are the company, and if the economy was better more of them would leave.

    Advice to Management

    Compensate your employees fairly. Treat your employees better. Fear is no way to lead a company. Why don't you have an anonymous survey to verify what has been said about this company? Put the results on Facebook if you are truly a transparent company.

    Armstrong Garden Centers Response

    Jan 6, 2014Director of Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns and comments regarding employment at Armstrong Garden Centers. As the Director of Human Resources and on behalf of the Armstrong team, we take ... More

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  5. Helpful (4)

    Corporate Keeps your "Raises"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Armstrong Garden Centers full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The only good thing about working here is being outside and enjoying the beautiful plants. The majority of your co-workers are friendly and have a good sense of plant knowledge. It's also nice to see different types of plants come in and the discount isn't too bad.

    Cons

    It's a lot of work for very little pay. The company advertises in it's company paper that "we had the best year EVER!" yet very, very few people received a raise (25 or 50 cents) or even a true appreciation for the hard work that goes into running a nursery. The hourly rate is extremely low to begin with and forget about trying to earn a living working here. Unless you are working in the corporate office, seems they reap in the extra profit the stores are selling, prepare yourself for long days and challenging customers. Also, this company hates to give you a review/evaluation. If you don't mention it, they wont take the time to give you a performance review. Then, once you finally receive the review be prepared to get nothing, even if you are an A+ employee. The regional managers seem to always have a 'chip on their shoulder' and are very defensive when an issue is brought to their attention, then the problems/issues still remain.

    Advice to Management

    You should treat your employees with more respect and throw them a bone every once in awhile. No one wants to stay with a company that doesn't provide strong growth or some motivation for their career...and ESOP is a joke.

    Armstrong Garden Centers Response

    Jan 6, 2014Director of Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns and comments regarding employment at Armstrong Garden Centers. As the Director of Human Resources and on behalf of the Armstrong team, we take ... More

  6. Helpful (3)

    Corporate minded company under smoke screen as employee owned.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager

    I worked at Armstrong Garden Centers full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The only pros for working at this company is being outside and enjoying nurturing plants and working with a good team that share the same interests.

    Cons

    Working with stupid customers who won't take your advice, even if they asked you for it. Being asked to sell products to customers even if they do not need it. Being promised a raise after a good review and not receiving it. Being railroaded by the upper management when a customer has cussed you out in front of the entire store and not being asked to leave even though they are verbally assaulting you, as well as threats of physical violence.
    The retirement facade that is paid into is not available until 6 years after you leave the company upon either retirement or more common when you choose to leave (because you found something better.)
    They invite customers to their social media account to verbally bash employee's and provide employee's First and Last names to customers who make the comments on the page so they may punish the employee's at their next visit either verbally or physically, which, is unsafe for the employee's. Not to mention they require the employee to provide their, again; First and Last name on their badge while at work or at corporate functions.
    Employee's in management positions are treated even worse; being given ultimatum's to choose what punishment they deserve when sales goals are not reached, labor percentage is not up to corporate satisfaction and employee's are not sent home under their required scheduled hours. Such instances should be dealt with by coaching, not threats. Such regular occurrences at this establishment are so common the management team is in therapy and the company pays little in that department as well.
    Complaining is not the right term to use when you think of me writing this comment. Nay, in fact the opposite. Only providing a first hand educational glimpse into the Armstrong employment experience so that you may think twice about working at such a Corporate company. Not an Employee owned company as they advertise.

    Advice to Management

    This goes to the highest of management; not to the hardworking management, (you know who you are.) Learn to share, have some compassion, and never take your employee's for granted. These people actually do all the hard work and should be the ones benefiting from the new ventures, new stores, new investments and new opportunities Armstrong is benefiting from.

    Armstrong Garden Centers Response

    Jan 6, 2014Director of Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns and comments regarding employment at Armstrong Garden Centers. As the Director of Human Resources and on behalf of the Armstrong team, we take ... More

  7. Helpful (4)

    Spring is a great opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Armstrong Garden Centers full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Learn about unique flowers and bushes.

    Cons

    Stagnant management and out of touch leadership. I work hard and am a professional. Neither is rewarded. Very low wages by industry standards. The company uses their poorly performing ESOP with a lengthy vestment period to convince employees that they are 'owners' of the company. They send lots of memos with exclamations (eg: !) to convince the workforce that their words have meaning. It is a shame that this company uses their employees as just widgets to pawn their merchandise. This once was a great company.

    Advice to Management

    Look at the way Costco is managed, they pay living wages and still make a considerable profit. Unless you practice what you preach, no amount of using exclamations (eg: !) at the end of your communications will change the current state of complete dissatisfaction with your company. Spring is your busiest time of the year, use this as an opportunity to treat your employees fairly. Making employees work every single weekend is not balancing work/family/life-start there.

    Armstrong Garden Centers Response

    Jun 25, 2013Director of Human Resources

    With regards to the above listed review, I welcome your comments and feedback and invite you to contact me directly at glehigh@armstronggarden.com. Our company success is founded on each employee ... More

  8. Helpful (5)

    Work harder and harder for empty promises = corporate greed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Armstrong Garden Centers full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working outside is definitely a plus, as is working with plants, developing relationships with return customers, and most of the employees are good people who really appreciate being able to be outside working with plants.

    Cons

    Its impossible to drink the kool-aid that this company serves. They consider promotion to the 'green-shirt' status worthy of tons of praise, but give you little to no additional compensation for an exponential increase in responsibility and work load. The wage IS NOT enough to live on even if you have roommates. They expect excellent customer service but are not willing to share one penny of their (large) retail plant mark-up with their sales people as a commission, yet they expect sales, sales, sales. The company is based exclusively on a financial business model, yet the majority of the employees do not see the profits. The ESOP is weak. They always remind you that you're an owner and that you share an interest in the profit of the company, but the bonus is negligible. Full-time ranges between 32 - 40 hours but your hours can still be cut without pay. They will; however, graciously thank you for going home and taking the financial hit to promote the company's prosperity (don't forget that your stock ownership will benefit from this).

    Advice to Management

    If it were not for the employees that work every day in your stores you would not have a nursery corporation. This company can definitely afford to give more to its people. Its time to make a change and truly walk your talk. Pay more to the people you promote as being experts in the field. Show them that you understand the concept of respect and don't keep them down by expecting way more than you compensate people for. Morale is key.

    Armstrong Garden Centers Response

    Jan 6, 2014Director of Human Resources

    Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns and comments regarding employment at Armstrong Garden Centers. As the Director of Human Resources and on behalf of the Armstrong team, we take ... More

  9. Helpful (6)

    It has become a corporate style company that cares only about the bottom line, not their employees or customers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Armstrong Garden Centers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working outdoors among beautiful plants. Meeting and helping customers with their landscaping challenges. Health care benefits. Nice fellow employees

    Cons

    Low salary. Required to work weekends. Constant schedule changes. Few raises despite promises. Poor ESOP plan. Zero job security.

    Advice to Management

    Your sales force is your front line. Stop reducing it. Treat them fairly, ethically and with loyalty! Keep your promises.

  10. Helpful (3)

    Get to work with beautiful plants

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quasi Management
    Current Employee - Quasi Management

    I have been working at Armstrong Garden Centers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Bountiful sunshine and interesting plants.

    Cons

    Wages: They do not pay a living wage, and consider 32 hours full time. Scheduling changes at the whim of regional managers. If it rains you get sent home without pay. Employees have not received raises in 6+ years. Rarely if ever are performance evaluations conducted.
    Horticulture experience is not valued: HR not focused on hiring experienced horticulturalists.
    Company does not favor or reward innovation: Slow to adopt technology, makes insular decisions without field testing prior to deploying new equipment.
    Poor leadership: Regional managers not professional and provide lackluster motivation.
    No upward job mobility: Nothing beyond a store manager is an option.
    Work Schedule: Managers making less than $40k work 6 days a week, 60+ hours. Working weekends is a requirement. Few holidays off.

    No recycling program for plants or plastics.

    Advice to Management

    Time to hire a professional leadership team that can manage operations including marketing.
    Pay a living wage and hire horticulture professionals.

  11. Helpful (4)

    red flags

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Armstrong Garden Centers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    fresh air, working in a pretty environment, nice co-workers

    Cons

    awful management; corporate greed; mostly part-timers working with 0 benefits with no opportunity to grow in the company

    Advice to Management

    take some advice from Howard Schultz owner of Starbucks

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