General Mills

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General Mills Reviews in Minnesota

Updated Jul 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.0 246 reviews

93% Approve of the CEO

General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell

Ken Powell

(209 ratings)

87% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Modest people, job security and healthy work life balance are some of the advantages (in 104 reviews)

  • General Mills offers several great benefits (in 41 reviews)


Cons
  • Found that there were very short breaks, sometime also a poor work-life balance (in 49 reviews)

  • Career path movement in their sales organization can be difficult (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights
37 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great training, but many are more focused on internal relationships than actually winning in market

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsBreadth of portfolio and geographies served
    On site gym, health care, store, caribou
    Training, rotational program

    ConsCulture is so consensus driven it can't move very fast

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart hiring externally, lay people off sooner when it isn't an ideal fit

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great exposure, but very cookie-cutter with low salaries

    Logistics Planner (Current Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsThere are a lot of people that are great to work with and it is very exciting to work on brands that people recognize and have personal connections to. If you're looking for a company to have a set career track, then this is the right company for you. It is a very conservative, slow-to-innovation Fortune 500 company with lots of project management opportunities.

    ConsIf you're looking to branch out and make your own career choices, this is not the company for you. GMI is very conservative and super risk-averse... translation: things never change (even if they say they "want" things to change). The culture is definitely home-grown Minnesotan and definitely has a functional-silo mentality. Forget all of the things they tell you about "Supply Chain Innovation", this is a pure Marketing company- plain and simple... translation: you need to market yourself. GMI is very big on promoting from within to the "favorites" despite actual deliverables. GMI is also big on meetings before meetings before meetings before meetings because the consensus process takes FOREVER.

    Also, they might have had work-life balance in the past. However, I typically work 50-70+ hrs/week while making $10k less than market value with ZERO overtime and minimal internal recognition. One big issue is regarding location. If the company asks you to move and you say no for whatever reason, you are put on a "list" that potentially prohibits upward mobilty. Oh and did I mention that you're expected to move every 1-2 years? Yea... not the best situation.

    Overall, GMI used to be a great company, but is definitely not up to par for young, innovative career professionals.

    Advice to Senior Management- increase base salaries: have a more robust compensation package for the amount of work we do (i.e. if we are going to burn out, we might as well get paid well!)

    - truly execute against corporate goals to "act bold & move quickly": take greater calculated risks on projects, corporate culture and recruitment strategies (i.e. too much nepotism!)

    - more " atta boys/girls": in lieu of increased compensation packages, at least reward those key players who ACTUALLY deliver at/above goal through recognition (i.e. a "good job well done" email goes a long way to improve employee morale)

    - increase diversity: not just regarding ethnicity, but employees who do not have the EXACT same perspective and mentality to foster new and innovative ideas to 1) win the market QUICKLY & 2) retain young professionals since so many have left in the past 2 years (i.e. it's cheaper to retain an employee than fire & hire anew)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Contract employee

    Food Labeling Specialist (Former Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsIt's essentially a brand name to have on your resume. Lots of people there have many years of experience and are very bright. Good learning experience and a good way to discover the "corporate" lifestyle.

    ConsAs a contractor you most likely will not be include in employee meetings, gatherings, emails, etc. Location was in the 'burbs. Has the "Minnesota Nice" atmosphere. Sometimes you feel like another number in a cubicle.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Good place to work if you're in the right arera

    Staff Consultant (Former Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsFlexible work arrangements (if you have the right manager); "country club" atmosphere - fitness center, Caribou, D'Amico, Aveda Salon, Company Store, Concierge, Auto Service Center, etc. all on campus. There is an annual bonus for most.

    ConsLots of managers and not a lot of doers anymore. Doers end up working far more hours. Low morale among certain groups. No longer feel like a valued employee. No budgets for training or employee celebrations.

    Advice to Senior ManagementValue the employees who are working hard to make General Mills a successful and growing company. Listen to their needs. Value ongoing training, not just free in-house sponsored training.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great place to work!

    Business Planning Manager (Former Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsThey are flexible with work-life balance. Their manager of people mantra is "Good to Great" and they really do stand behind that, offering managers various training classes. They have very good benefits and they pay is in-line with the competition.

    ConsCareer path movement in their sales organization can be difficult. You really have to network continually and be on top of your career path at all times to continue moving up in the organization. HR is not very helpful for the most part, they seem to be very political and not really on your side.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    9 people found this helpful  

    For some the Glass is Half Empty, for others Half Full

    Marketing Associate (Former Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    Pros+ You work with very talented, passionate and very smart people
    + The campus is lovely. Lots of in house amenities: a convenience store, dry cleaning, gym, cafeteria, coffee shop.
    + You work on some of the most recognized brands in market
    + Benefits and pay for marketers is good
    + Tons of focus on personal and professional investment. People development is a high priority to the organization
    + Focus on collaboration
    +Minneapolis is a great place to live. Just buy a good coat and car starter.
    + Highly ethical company

    Cons- If you are like me and love trends and being on the forefront of innovation; then General Mills is not the place for you. Too slow to innovate. Too much focus on mass market consumer vs. up and coming niche opportunities. Example: GMI totally missed the ball on Greek yogurt. They are currently "missing the ball" on many other nutrition opportunity areas.

    - Way to much focus on managing up, self promotion, "who you know", rather than on focusing on high quality work. To move up and be in good standing you have to set coffee time with the movers and shakers within the organization. That means that the real work needs to get done after hours. In the same light, too much focus on extracurriculars that do not add value to the business but add time and stress to employees day to day.

    - Work Life balance can go both ways. Depends on what function you are in and who your manager is . Marketers work late into evenings and on weekends. Some bosses send Friday evening requests for Monday am deliverables. I did have other managers who would respect time after 5:00pm and during weekend. But there are more managers of the former than later style.

    - Diversity is a myth. Though the company does focus and cater to hiring minorities, these are expected to fit a personality mold that is very Minnesotan. Communication styles of other cultures, which tends to be passionate and verbose get "corrected" with main point style that may seem un-natural to the culture. If you don't master the style and culture you are out. General Mills then, is not a diverse company. It seems like everybody is a cookie cutter image of one another. I would often refer to is as Stepford Wives Syndrome.

    - Minnesota Nice - conversations between managers and employees are often sugar coated. The language that General Mills uses to communicate with employees when it comes to performance is very political. Managers communicating low performance can state it in a very positive light. You need to know how to translate the language or better yet, the company needs to be more honest and direct with employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet with the times.
    The biggest risk to the company is not taking risks. Though General Mills touts they are not afraid of failing and taking risks actions speak louder than words and they play it too safe. Truly embrace diversity not just from a multicultural background but from a personality and belief system background.
     Type A's aren't better at decision, specially in the light of the new millennial generation.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    It is bitter sweet

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsMany amenities, enjoy perks provided when meeting goals, Have resources to get things done, which is a huge plus. Good about communication to employees.

    ConsVery high school like in its culture - many clicks, people not always honest to your face, highly competitive, work life balance talked about but not really supported...

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust that your employees know what they are doing and have the necessary expertise. Support them when they show initiative.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Good Company Overall, But There Are Better Places for Engineers

    Senior Engineer (Current Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsGood company with great amenities. HQ is an impressive place with a coffee shop, salon, company store, and many other unique services. The people that you work with are very smart and are there to help support you in terms of learning. Formal training programs are truly world class (how the company works, how to get things done, influencing skills, etc.). Awesome technical training for non-food science or food engineering professionals (i.e. chemical engineers, etc.). On-boarding and actual "on the job training" has improved over the years. In general, developing food products is a very fun and rewarding job (more so than working in a refinery or a chemical plant!). Most importantly, the company's dedication to ethical behavior, community outreach, and diversity is impressive and are the top reasons I'm proud to work for this company!

    ConsEven though the company gets A++ scores in the areas of diversity, community involvement, and ethics, unfortunately there are some major issues that make me question my long term career here.

    Upward mobility: There are some functions in the company that seriously lag behind others in terms of promotion. If you work in R&D, expect that you will be left in the dust when you compare yourself to your colleagues that work in Finance, HR, Sourcing, etc. Even functions that share some of the same competencies and educational requirements like Supply Chain (i.e. B.S. in Engineering) have faster career progression. To put this in perspective, the average time to promotion to manager level is around 8-9 years for many functions (HR, Supply Chain, Sourcing). In R&D, you are a trailblazer if you make it to manager in 10-11 years, with most taking sometime between 12-15 years. The good news is that R&D has exceptionally good work/life balance with relatively low stress. However, if you are a "driver' and work/life balance isn't important to you, delivering outstanding results above and beyond your peer set generally won't get you promoted any sooner like it would in Supply Chain, Finance, or Marketing.

    Compensation: Starting salary for a R&D chemical engineering major right out of undergrad is good but is considerably less than what you could make in the oil or pharmaceutical industry (which is to be expected). The only complaint I have is that after you are hired, your salary does not keep up with inflation. In other words, new entry level engineers' starting salaries will be dangerously close to the salaries of those with 10 years of experience. I guess that's the price you pay for a fun and relatively stable job (everyone has to eat, right?). Finally, you will find that as a new hire your starting salary is competitive within the context of your functional peers (Sourcing, Finance, Logistics, Sales, etc)., but because of the limited mobility you will find that these people will pass you up very quickly in terms of pay.

    Diversity: It's hard to complain about diversity at General Mills because they get so many things right. The company's commitment to all minorities through it's support of affinity groups like the Black Champions Network, Hispanic Network, and Asian Network is amazing and very inspiring. Also, the number of minorities (namely African-Americans) in executive and senior leadership positions within the company is outstanding. However, those of us who work in functions like R&D and IS, have no line of sight to what it takes to get there. The majority of of the AA Director & VP representation happens in the Marketing & Supply Chain functions. It's hard to envision my long term career at a company that barely has representation at the manager level in the group that I work (or a pipeline to get there for the talented employees that they have!).

    Overall, the company recruits highly motivated, talented, technical leaders for the R&D organization but unfortunately suppresses them with a lack of career mobility and incentives.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFigure out the right incentives to reward employees for the hard work that they do in ALL functions. Move the R&D culture from a place where "treading water" is OK to producing outstanding results above and beyond is rewarded appropriately. Figure out why there appears to be a glass ceiling for AA employees in R&D despite the abundant talent that comes into the organization. Why don't we advance beyond a certain point? Why do we leave the function...or worse, the company?

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Politics and who you know...a lot of show for work/life balance; the meat isn't behind it

    Desktop Support Analyst (Current Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsGreat benefits, workplace ameneties, discounts, etc. Good emphasis on employee health and wellness. Great oppotunities for new grads from prestigious schools.

    ConsDecisions begin made by upper levels without knowledge of how things really work. Politics and who-likes-who plays too big a role in promotions, etc than high quality of work. Too much outsourcing to contractors and moving jobs internally to India.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInstead of trying to get people to improve on their "weaknesses", take better advantage of their strengths. Look beyond someone's history to their accomplishments and interests.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work, good work/life balance, slow career growth,

    Senior Scientist I (Current Employee) Minneapolis, MN

    ProsGood work life balance, good benefits, great facilities, outstanding people to work with.

    ConsVery slow career growth (in R&D), below industry median compensation, conservative culture, averse to taking risks and still a Mid-western company vs. a Global company. Marketing oriented company, technical strenghts not valued as much.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to get really global (mindset), reward all employees at industry levels, not just marketing personell.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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