Eastman Chemical

  www.eastman.com
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Eastman Chemical Reviews

Updated August 16, 2014
Updated August 16, 2014
569 Reviews

4.6
569 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Eastman Chemical Chief Executive Officer Mark J. Costa
Mark J. Costa
85 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Eastman is a unique place that values work-life balance and giving back to the community (in 41 reviews)

  • Pay packages are competitive, especially when you take into account the low cost of living in Kingsport (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • Being based out of a small town provides unique opportunities as well as challenges (in 23 reviews)

  • Sometimes to much burocracy which is taking the speed out of the decision making process (in 20 reviews)

More Highlights

33 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Okay

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

    Pros

    Community oriented and encourage employees to volunteer in the community
    If you are not happy with your current position or supervision, just wait because everyone changes positions every 1-2 years

    Cons

    People hire in right out of school and stay so not a lot of fresh ideas from employees that have worked at other companies - it is the Eastman way or the highway
    Very bureaucratic and political environment - must notify multiple layers and departments for any decision

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Changes in HR approach is creating a very negative atmosphere where employees are no longer willing to help each other because they know they are being ranked with the peers

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Acceptable

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

    Pros

    Very customer-focused organization
    Company attention to workplace safety

    Cons

    Work/Life balance
    Kingsport, TN is great for families but may not be ideal for single young professionals
    Very conservative culture, often resistant to change

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revamp the employee review system. Eastman's is very similar if not identical to the "stack ranking" system that burned Microsoft and severely damaged employee morale. It inhibits a culture of collaboration, instead inciting competition within teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    30 + years at Eastman

    • 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

    Pros

    The people from this area

    Cons

    Eastman has become too bureaucratic which limits creativity.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Profits over people.

    • 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

    Pros

    It is the only place in Kingsport to work.

    Cons

    Employees are not given the tools they need to work efficiently, they are expected to do the work of 2-3 people and are paid on the low end of the pay scale of other similiar companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are what makes a company great. There is no balance between work and home, it is all work. They are bringing in inexperienced new people and letting go the ones that have knowledge that only comes with experience. The culture being created is not one of happy employees. The current culture at Eastman is one of complacency.

    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Exciting, stressful, and understaffed.

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

    Pros

    Overall culture is very good. Depending on the reporting organization there are plenty of meet and greets, public forums, open discussions about activities, a fair amount of clarity regarding growth plans, and expectations.

    Management works hard to have a very good working relationship with all of the individual contributors. Many of the directors and VPs have luncheons and town halls to share what's going on. There is also a semi-annual corporate town hall where the CEO and senor VPs present the high level vision for the next time period. All of these events leave you with a good feeling of what's going on (though they are sugar coated to feel good.

    Nearly everyone is friendly and most of the coworkers are great to work with.

    Many positions offer alternative work schedules (four 9's and a 4) which is a great benefit if you get to take it. The schedule can be pretty flexible for doctors appointments, sick leave, working from home (if position allows), and requiring time off.

    There are also multiple picnics and social conventions throughout the year, which are a great way to socialize with fellow employees and upper management.

    The IT department is working on the latest technologies, which is very exciting. There is a big desire for greater productivity through technology and that has allowed many of us in the techno-sphere to get to work with the latest and greatest devices, applications, and systems. Depending on the position, you are allowed to provide direction from an individual contributor level which effects the entire company.

    Eastman is growing! (Positive & Negative)

    Eastman provides 401k matching up to 3.5% and provides and annual deposit for retirement.

    Many locations have onsite gyms. There are three gyms located across the Kingsport campus.

    Safety is emphasized and that is great to see.

    Dress is Business Casual Monday - Thursday and Friday is dress casual.

    Compensation when looked at across the US is just below market average, but it is more on par or slighter higher when considering the cost of living in the East Tennessee area

    Cons

    This is one of my biggest struggles with Eastman. There are many benefits to working here, but there are many cons as well.

    The Meetings: many employees spend so much time in meetings that we barely have time to work.

    Saturday night work: IT employees are expected to perform maintenance type work on Saturday nights. Understandable in a 24x7 environment with little time for downtime, but this is still a con in my view. These Saturday night working take away from quality (and valuable) personal time with friends and family. This takes away from work-life balance.

    On call: similar to the Saturday night work. IT employees for critical systems are expected to be on call 24x7. Depending on the team this could mean once in a blue moon, every other week, or in some cases I know of employees who are on call 24x7x365 with no relief. This is driven away several very good employees and has some on the breaking point. The people who are in the every other week model are still on call since they are 'backup', which means if the other person doesn't answer right away the backup is called. This takes away from work-life balance.

    Not enough vacation provided for work load during early years. Takes 5 years to accrue 3 weeks vacation and 10 years to accrue 4 weeks. Two weeks does not allow for enough down time to recover from the workload and stay healthy. This solution appears to assume that during the early years you will not have a very much stress.

    Frequent understaffing: many areas are overworked and understaffed. Some groups work overtime every week with no end in sight. This takes away from work-life balance.

    Everything is done the Eastman way. This means that simple solutions become complicated quickly as they are bent to conform to the Eastman way of doing things. Heritage exceptions most be supported forever.

    There is a lot of stress and management tells us that it is just a factor of life in the growth market. The company keeps growing (Yay!, good thing), buying acquisitions and not increasing staff to cover the work load shift (really bad thing!). Management also does some paper magic to make things appear like they are properly covered, but in reality one person is dedicated to a project while the other is there for backup in name only. 1.25 people assigned to project does not equal 2.

    Benefits keep shrinking. What was an A- benefits package has become a C+ benefits package since the recession.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please keep the employees in mind when Eastman has record profits! Employees are not just a point of cost; they are the people who innovate, make the product, sell the product, keep the company running, and the interface to the customer. The leadership team provides the guidance, but the employees are the ones driving the ship.

    Please stop cutting the benefits package. That will drive away all the talent that might be attracted or retained.

    Don't lose sight of what makes Eastman a great place to work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Most ethical company...right?

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

    Pros

    Has a lot of exceptional employees and is a great location to work. The Eastman company culture has an excellent reputation that is mostly deserved. Company is highly invested in the Kingsport, TN site.

    Cons

    New company leadership team is overly emphasizing a "performance culture." While this is theoretically appealing, in practice it falls flat. Comparing apples and oranges since in the current lean structure comparisons of employees is very subjective and IMHO eventually lead to declining morale & performance. Eastman has apparently recently introduced a somewhat arbitrary method to rid itself of low level executives and mid- to senior-managers. With the current management philosophy don't plan on a career at Eastman. A particular element to working for this company in Kingsport is that there are very few competitive employment opportunities in the area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider redesigning business ethics program so that it's primary leader doesn't refer to employee terminations as a "clean kill."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Use to be a great company to work for but has been raped of most good things

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

    Pros

    About the only game in town. Pays slightly above average but local companies are catching up quickly.

    Cons

    Average worker extremely under valued and often referred to as useless pawns that can be replaced at any time. Huge pay differential from salaried positions to operations roll employees. No incentive for operations roll employees to do anything other than show up because the Old bonus system was given to the upper echelon and replaced with a VIP (variable incentive plan) that amounts to basically a weeks pay. Not fair or equitable as lower management and above share the take and give nothing to the employees doing the work. Made more real money 20 years ago. Sad the direction this company is going by taking away benefits and decent pay. 20 years ago you could not pay someone to say anything bad about Eastman. Now, only employees rating company higher are either paid or scared.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value the foot soldiers, as they are truly the backbone of the company. VIP award is a joke with the performance we have had recently.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    A very class oriented place to work. Would love to know how many positive reviews came from the blue collar workers.

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

    Pros

    My co-workers are some of the finest people I have worked with, including my time in the military. Many of them work hundreds of hours of overtime and strive to improve the processes and the work environment.

    Cons

    If you wear coveralls your opinion doesnt matter much. Much knowledge gained through years of experience is often ignored. Auto mechanics may not design your vehicle but they know how to keep it running. The same can be said for the operators. Yes, we are punching a clock, but we try to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The folks in coveralls are people too and we work hard for the company. Please treat as assets and not liabilities. I have often heard the statement from managers "There are people lined up to get your job." And also, "If you dont like it get a job at McDonalds." Doesnt speak very highly of managements opinion of the employees but speaks volumes about management's attitude.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Rewarding set of people to work with...

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

    Pros

    The major reason to work at Eastman from a technology perspective is the people you get to work with on a day to day basis. The technical capabilities of those individuals and their team first attitude makes the interactive project work rewarding and successful.

    Cons

    The current culture is positive in my opinion but the current trajectory also suggests a work environment more focused on individual careers than collective success.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with ourselves about who we are as a company and what we are good at when thinking of what we want to be in the future.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great place to work

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

    Pros

    Have worked at EMN for many years and slowly climbed through the ranks by delivering more than the results expected. Full accountability which keep things transparent.

    Cons

    EMN is becoming a lot more political than practical. Need to take more risks and learn quickly from the mistakes. Very slow progression.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If the expectations are to become a true specialty chemical company, EMN needs to pay a lot more attention to customers outside of NA. There are big gaps that need to be covered that due to critical mass are not address appropriately.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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