General Mills Reviews

Updated August 3, 2015
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General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell
Ken Powell
29 Ratings

Pros
  • work life balance is not frown upon (in 118 reviews)

  • Great benefits and onsite amenities (in 43 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance tilting towards work (in 53 reviews)

  • Overly complex and slow organizational structure makes decision making very difficult (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

40 Employee Reviews

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  1. Challenging envorinment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Manager in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at General Mills

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

    Pros

    Solid benefits package, work flex, smart people, get solid experience managing a business

    Cons

    GMI has lost its soul through recent restructuring and layoffs. While the need for change has been declared, leadership doesn't walk the talk, managing their careers v. managing their business and teams.

    Advice to Management

    Find and hire leaders that inspire trust and action.


  2. Helpful (11)

    Fading Fast

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

    I have been working at General Mills full-time

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

    Pros

    I joined General Mills knowing full well I would not be making as much as I could be at another company. I chose to join the company regardless because of the excellent benefits and unlimited growth potential. I am sorry to say neither applies anymore and employees have taken note- turnover seems to be skyrocketing.

    Cons

    The company keeps chipping away at everything it can to cut costs and make shareholders happy. Unfortunately, this has left the majority of employees unhappy and many of the best are leaving. The most innovative and talented employees are left stuck in their little box of "safe" job responsibilities because General Mills is too scared to do anything new. This leaves the best employees bored, and makes great talent and the people who could truly bring a new life to the company walk out the door. Also, the pay is terrible and benefits are reduced more and more every season. Many of these changes are "hush-hush" so as to not rile employees. Employees used to justify the low pay by saying what great benefits they got, but we're all starting to scratch our heads now. The low pay can be easily noted by seeing how many employees actually have part-time jobs or ventures outside of General Mills.

    Advice to Management

    WAKE UP! An extra summer picnic and social hour isn't going to make employees happy. Promote from within, reward and embrace your true (existing) talent. Pay people what they deserve. Stop taking away our benefits.


  3. Helpful (2)

    No pay or promotions, stuck in same position

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Associate in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Marketing Associate in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at General Mills (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Get the opportunity to work on we'll known brands. People overall are nice and good to work with. Supportive cross functional team

    Cons

    No promotions you will be stuck in this entry level job if you don't have an MBA from a top ten school. You train in new MBA hires on how to do their job, but get paid half their salary. Pay is lower compared to other jobs at this level. Turnover is high don't plan to stay more than two years.

    Advice to Management

    promote this position, an MBA does not mean you have a great marketing mind....


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  5. Helpful (10)

    Human Resources

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Sadly, not many anymore. Even the decent pay doesn't offset the daily grind of non value added HR work.

    Cons

    HR function is a joke and the rest of the company knows it. HR leaders are incompetent, arrogant, and dysfunctional. You get ahead by brown nosing senior people and not by your own contribution.

    Advice to Management

    Upgrade your HR leaders. The junior people are leaving because they can't see a path forward that doesn't involve 70 hour work weeks and silly politics. Sad to see this is what has become of a once great company.


  6. Helpful (8)

    Lacks agility and diversity of thought

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supply Chain in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Supply Chain in Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at General Mills

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

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities first 1-3 years Great place if you love the corporate environment 1/2 day Fridays during the summer

    Cons

    Too many people who think the same way- no room for independent thought Lack of agility to keep up in marketplace Very political Too many meetings, not enough actual work being done Style is rewarded over substance Very s-l-o-w to make decisions or change Just went through major restructure and are still sputtering Low morale

    Advice to Management

    Start moving with more agility. Listen to ideas other than your own. You've missed the boat on what consumer wants and are struggling now. Be less Minnesota-nice and more direct.


  7. Helpful (9)

    Not about the people anymore.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Buyer in Minneapolis, MN

    I worked at General Mills full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    + Work life balance is great + Great benefits + Great people + Summer hours + Dress for your day

    Cons

    - Slow moving company - Higher level management does not care about its people anymore, forcing good employees out of the company - Promotions are class-based until you get to a high enough level: hard to stand out - You are at the mercy of management as to what your role will be

    Advice to Management

    - If you say you value your employees, act like it. - Stop talking about 'big initiatives'. Actually follow through. - Keep the talent you have, and stop forcing out good employees - Work on retention of your future employees


  8. Helpful (10)

    Top-Down Snobby Culture

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

    I worked at General Mills full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Flexibility to work from home, child care options. Variety of brands.

    Cons

    Very top down. And overall, it's not very fulfilling to schlep soup, fruit snacks or cereal every day. The worst part about the company though is the culture - Many employees take themselves and their "brands" way too seriously. People can be stuck up - yes - just like high school all over again. Friends of friends get promoted and protected. Everything from reserved parking spaces to reserved conference rooms for "executives only" - often, executives don't even acknowledge people "below" them on the corporate ladder. Even director and VP level people are nervous to meet with those above them... so much so they even will change clothes - put something "nicer" on because they're afraid of the higher-ups.

    Advice to Management

    Have lunch in the main lunch room with employees. Be seen. Listen and talk to people. Not just in your "town hall" meetings but day in / day out. Say HELLO and introduce yourself to the people who sit near your office... don't just walk by with a self-important "air" about you...


  9. Helpful (6)

    Finance Leadership Development Program

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Finance in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    - People. Unquestionably a significant number of smart, thoughtful, and driven people - Comp and ben is some of the best in town - Corporate amenities (day care for the kiddos, gym, dry cleaner, company store, etc) are really nice to have - Can get a highly diverse set of experiences

    Cons

    - Overall reported results continue to be poor, morale still feels low following the well publicized layoffs, and the new structure is experiencing growing pains - The 're-wire' of certain functions and roles seems a bit ill conceived and in many cases is actually causing the org to be less efficient and effective (not to mention making the work less robust and interesting which is a drag on morale) - Career progression can be extremely slow within finance - Despite attempts to improve, it is still a VERY difficult environment for external hires to break into and move up in the organization

    Advice to Management

    You have an amazing pool of talented employees committed to making GMI the best it can be - take full advantage of it!!!


  10. Helpful (32)

    Proceed with caution

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

    I worked at General Mills

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

    Pros

    If you fit the right profile, GMI will initially be the right place for you. New hires will find a very good benefit plan (though that is being chipped away at) and for those that work at the Minneapolis campus, there are several internal perks (cafeteria, coffee shop, fitness center, etc.). Consider also that the quality of your peers is generally very good – lots of opportunity for newer and younger employees. If you hold the right degree from a prominent Higher Ed institution (and if you learn quickly how to navigate the maze of internal politics) your path will be paved for you, so “good luck”. And finally, on the surface at least, the company also makes admirable efforts to promote racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity.

    Cons

    Here is where it gets complicated, however. GMI’s corporate culture is hindered by a fundamental dishonesty that permeates the through all upper management levels of the corporation (director and above). Harsh, certainly, but a statement evidenced by empty rhetoric, meaningless platitudes and easily compromised values statements. GMI can easily be categorized as a stiff and immobile company that struggles with true diversity. An apparent contradiction to the kudos above, where GMI falls shorts is diversity of thought, diversity of scope of vision, diversity of opinion and other “below the radar” attributes. GMI is a consensus driven company that that is slow to deep dive into the world of true innovation. This has become an increasing concern – much like the grad student who delays thesis defense because of a fear there may be one slight gap in his/her research, GMI has allowed itself to become a company where innovation and honesty become casualties of a self-imposed functional paralysis. Rather than move decisively and boldly, projects get delayed or watered down by commissioning another study, holding another series of meetings or just simply finding (or inventing) a reason to kick decision making further down the line. I am not sure this is easier, per se, but it does provide a temporary cover while a rationale is constructed to validate decisions, right or wrong. Finally, individual success is dependent on one’s ability to adapt to a “good ol’ boys” style of personnel networking, augmented by a byzantine performance appraisal system where preferred candidates for advancement often receive several promotions in a short period of time while many others may see promotions delayed or non-existent. For much of the GMI decision makers, experience and competence are less valued than the promise of some great future reward and one’s ability to manage up.

    Advice to Management

    1. Embrace true diversity, not just diversity that is easily quantifiable (see above). Seek out true innovators (you still have some on staff, though that number is declining), and reward/acknowledge them accordingly. 2. Be honest with yourselves and understand who you are. GMI is a large, monolithic corporate entity and no amount of re-imaging can change that. While not a Nestle or Cargill in overall size, GMI is far from being a “small company”. 3. Here’s one for the executives and VP level officers. When times get tough, stand up and be accountable. Recent actions and behaviors have done little to inspire confidence in company leadership; most people understand that the issues the business faces is not due solely to the presence of misaligned mid-level managers and too many older employees. When tough times occur, embrace and demonstrate the innovation you place so much emphasis on. For a business that touts innovative problem solving, the responses generated during these self-manufactured “trying times” – (consulting groups! plant closings!! mid and low level employee layoffs!!! new and improved org charts!?) – are remarkably ordinary. 4. Broaden your vision. The last 2 ½ years have seen some very talented people (especially in ITQ) pushed out the door, many for no apparent reason other than they don’t fit neatly into pre-conceived notions of what constitutes a professional. General Mills was once was a great place to work; there was much to set it apart from other similar businesses. Previous posts here have addressed the company as either “horrible” or as “wonderful”; it may be fair to assume each perspective likely reflects the degree the writer was impacted by recent layoffs. The truth is that neither is completely accurate – there are plenty of beads, baubles and perks (especially in Minneapolis) to impress even the most worldly newcomer; as well, there are enough veiled flaws and petty annoyances to keep the frustration level always at level 7 (out of 10). In the end though, General Mills is what it is - a large, lumbering leviathan, struggling to maintain relevance in a changing world, striving mightily to delay its own evolutionary extinction.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Doesn't understand millennial employees

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

    I have been working at General Mills

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

    Pros

    -The people are what make the company -Work life balance -Work Flex

    Cons

    -Promotions are based on tenure vs. talent -Doesn't to coach out higher levels to promote advancement within the out -As a younger employee, you don't really have responsibly/decision making power -Very old school in they way they think / operate (they think millennial are crazy for our demands... think again)

    Advice to Management

    Understand not only your consumers by your employees. I foresee a huge talent retention issue 2-5 years out.



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