Eastman Chemical

  www.eastman.com
  www.eastman.com

Eastman Chemical Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
810 Reviews
4.6
810 Reviews
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Eastman Chemical Chief Executive Officer Mark J. Costa
Mark J. Costa
271 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Many roles/supervisors are supportive of maintaining a good work-life balance (in 79 reviews)

  • The compensation is competitive, especially considering the low cost of living in Eastern Tennessee (in 24 reviews)


Cons
  • Eastman is a company that is headquartered in a small town and has an aging employment base (in 31 reviews)

  • Work/Life balance is frequently just lip service when it comes to direct management (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    I have been working at Eastman full time for 8 years mainly in the Engineering Department.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer in Kingsport, TN

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Eastman has always said that they value their employees and that people come first and in many ways they do. We have an excellent safety culture which displays to the employees the importance our company places on the people and getting them home safely each day. My management has always been a great supporter of work/life balance, and in fact many of the areas of the company allow for part time schedules, especially for moms with young children at home where it can be difficult to balance having it all. The headquarters of Eastman are tucked into a neat community in northeast TN which has wonderful community, great things to do for outdoor-lovers, and also very close to large cities for shopping, arts, etc.

    Cons

    Eastman recently moved to a performance based rating system, where at the end of the year each employee is ranked as outstanding, exceeds expectation, meets expectations, and does not meet expectations. This system is quickly killing the morale at the company and the ability for people to work as a team (why help someone else do better at their job if they might be ranked above you because of you helping them?). Newer/Younger employees seem to be leaving the company either because of lack of morlae, or because the "grass is greener" somewhere else. Eastman has long had an environment of teamwork - and in fact, that is why we have hired the people we have because we are not the "competetive" environment that many other companies are. But with the performance rating system, we are starting to become more cut-throat. We do not pay the amount that we need to pay for a competitive environment (employees can go elsewhere and make 30-50% more easily). We need to come back to a culture that works for Eastman, one of teamwork and collaboration. In addition, the performance based rating system does not work well for an engineering department, where you have many employees contributing at a top level and then coming in as "meets expectations" at the end of the year. Every person in this organization provides a unique expertise and it is difficult to compare one type of contribution to another. Also, instead of reducting the number of promotions availble, the company needs to open the number of promotions and maybe even make MORE levels of promotion (especially at the lower salary grades). This is one thing that is important to the next generation of employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to keep in mind that in today's world with a wide-open job market, Eastman must hold true to our values and company culture to retain and hire good talent. The performance-based-rating-system is quickly killing the morale at the company and the ability for people to work as a team. Also, instead of reducting the number of promotions availble, the company needs to open the number of promotions and maybe even make MORE levels of promotion (especially at the lower salary grades). This is one thing that is important to the next generation of employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Concerned with Company's Direction

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

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Overall I really enjoy my job on a day to day basis. By far, the best thing about Eastman is the people. Most departments are team based and feel like a family.

    Cons

    I am concerned with how recent HR changes are affecting the company culture. Last year, Eastman started a ranking system with a mandatory bottom 5%. I've already seen the culture that once made Eastman great start to change as people become more competitive and focused on who will be thrown under the bottom 5% bus this year.

    Promotions are also few and far between. By choosing to work at Eastman, I've set myself behind my peers at other companies with more appropriate promotion levels. In addition, Eastman has forced flat budgets for the next 3 years. More and more people are leaving because of the culture changes, but we dont have the budgets to replace them. That leaves the rest of us to work long hours to pick up the slack.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Add more reclassification levels, stop ranking employees, and allow more flexible budgets. Right now, the biggest message I am getting from management is that their primary goal is to meet the stakeholder return promise at the employees' expense.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Intern

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

    I worked at Eastman Chemical as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Innovation is at the core of the company

    Cons

    Very unorganized and rude people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to be more enthusiastic

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not sure why I went to college for this.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in Longview, TX
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in Longview, TX

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pay is good. The insurance deductible is ok, but it has more than quadrupled since starting 3 years ago.

    Cons

    After starting questions about job security were being asked within a month. No chance of moving up unless you have your doctorate, even though the doctor’s bosses don't have one. Vacation use is not guaranteed and hard to take because the business always needs you more than not. Some vacation time is always forfeited without compensation. Eastman touts is safety program, but little if any common sense is used when implementing safety procedures. The only thing that keeps more employees from reporting that they are hurt is the fact that Eastman fires employees hurt on the job regardless of fault.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Requiring a high school transcript when applicant was a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is insulting. Respect those employees that went to college by not sticking them with the same degrading jobs that the high school dropouts do (that was not part of the job description).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    If you like having your hand held as if you were a Kindergardener, then Eastman is the place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Chemical Operator in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Chemical Operator in Kingsport, TN

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The only Pros I think I can really contribute towards Eastman is the wages. They are somewhat higher than average for most of Eastern Tennessee.

    Cons

    I often come to work and feel like I should have brought my lunch in a Scooby Doo lunch box and a Snoopy sleeping pad. Our management acts though we are not competent enough to make personal decisions. Example: Make sure your sleeves are down, don't forget your goggles, you need gloves to handle a water hose. Safety is a good thing and no one wants to go home injury free any more than I do, but there's a difference in being safety minded and completely going overboard. Also, with the new clothing regulations for entering the company property, I often wonder if I'm entering Eastman or Chernobyl. After working for Eastman for 20+ years, and knowing what I know now, I should have sought out another form of employment!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please stop treating us like we are in day care. I don't need someone to hold my hand crossing the street. I'm not 5 years old anymore!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT!!! Homophobic, Racist, Redneck Good Old Boys run Eastman Chemical...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Chemical Plant Operator in Longview, TX
    Current Employee - Chemical Plant Operator in Longview, TX

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    They pay you every two weeks ($31.46 hour Operator)... Small yearly bonus (some years)... Bare bones health insurance... 40 hours of paid vacation each year...

    Cons

    Company is ran by racist homophobic goof old boys!!! Few opportunities for advancement unless you related to someone in a position of power. Forced to work an insane amount of overtime due to manpower shortages. Lower than average pay. Operators and Maintenance workers are not valued by the company. Day workers and office personnel are given priority within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered employees are openly discriminated against by Eastman Chemical. Same sex spouses are excluded from insurance. Also, employees with same sex spouses are excluded from emergency leave and excluded from bereavement leave. It will be challenging for Eastman Chemical to recruit and retain the best and brightest employees until all employees are welcome and included!!!
    Very poor work-life balance at Texas Eastman for Operations due to manpower shortages. Operators are required to work insane hours of overtime and are forced to transition from days to nights within 24 hour periods. It is not uncommon to have one one day off per month while working 12 hour rotating shifts.
    Eastman Chemical has no mentoring programs and unless an employee is related to someone in power that have zero chance for advancement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Disappointed All Around

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

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Your can start with more than two weeks vacation based off your previous work experience. Benefits are good.

    Cons

    All the great reviews but overall for me not a good place to work and already looking for new employment. No work life balance in my position. Mentor has no interest in assisting. Lack of collaboration in my work group. Parking situation is terrible. Company wouldnt budge on base salary. Attitude that they are only game in town so take it or leave it.

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Experienced employees are not valued

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

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Kingsport is a quiet town and close to the mountains. A good place to live if you like the outdoors. The cost of living is reasonable. Some departments have decent co-workers that are great to work with.

    Cons

    Health care benefits with Cigna are frustrating. "In network" is only half the doctors and half the hospitals in the area. If you live in Johnson City, you have to go to Kingsport or Bristol to go to the hospital. No sign of Cigna working things out with MSHA (the other half of the doctors and the hospitals). With high deductable health plans, we should be able to go to any doctor or hospital.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect and value diversity and experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A work environment dominated by white males, most of whom are intelligent and think highly of themselves.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Superintendent in Kingsport, TN
    Current Employee - Superintendent in Kingsport, TN

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The headquarters is located in a great place to live and raise a family. Most employees spend a career here and are very dedicated to doing a good job. The cost of living here is relatively low, salaries and benefits are competitive.

    Cons

    Current management philosophy does not demonstrate that people or diversity is valued.
    There is a lot of micromanagement going on at high levels which keeps middle managers runnng around in many circles trying to please their bosses.
    Too many early to mid career business and technical personnel as well as managers are spending 24/7 thinking and doing things for the job and not in a position to have work-life balance. There is too much fear in the workplace to push back.
    It is not unusual to hear statements from directors and above that are discrimantory towards groups of people and would be extremeley embarassing to the company if made public.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have strong people at all levels in the company. Let them do their job. Provide direction and goals but let your people make decisions on how to meet those goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Spring Coop

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer Assistant in Longview, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer Assistant in Longview, TX

    I have been working at Eastman Chemical as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Involved in multiple departments as an intern, exposure to various plant processes and procedures

    Cons

    Severly underworked. "Your only an intern" gets said too often. Texas Eastman has a strong culture to it. It is a very large company that resembles much of coorporate america. No one really cares what you do just so long as you stay "busy" and don't interupt them. It is very difficult to get anything done quickly. There are loads of paper work to fill through and fill out and then you need to wait for days to get approval signitures. So many people involved in even the simple things. As an engineer you never really perform and engineering calculations. You outsource to contractors and suppliers. You just tell them what you have running currently, what you would like to run, and then "review" their proposal when they get it back to you. As a mechanical engineer in a chemically heavy environment your primary function is as a glorified repair man playing the role of project manager for the instillation of piping and other process changes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall it is not a managment issue, the people who work here enjoy the layed back atmosphere where you get payed tons of money to do nothing. If that interests you by all means come join their team. Personally it drove me crazy not being able to keep myself busy. Fortunetaly I had some online classes I was able to tackle while at work. In the end the frustration drove me to quite a week early. I do not care if I'm getting payed well, I want to feel like a valued contributor and earn my pay!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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