General Mills Reviews

Updated September 30, 2014
Updated September 30, 2014
609 Reviews
3.7
609 Reviews
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General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell
Ken Powell
458 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can have a good work life balance if you make it a priority (in 117 reviews)

  • Great benefits (but decreasing), good teamwork, great training opportunities (in 42 reviews)


Cons
  • Be prepared for a poor work-life balance if working in a plant production facility (in 52 reviews)

  • Slow decision making, progression in one's career can seem very slow and formulaic (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

47 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Slow moving company going in the wrong direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Golden Valley, MN
    Former Employee - R&D Engineer in Golden Valley, MN

    I worked at General Mills full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You can work as hard as you desire

    Cons

    Corporate leadership (lack of), slow promotion timing, Low pay against industry standard, Lack of respect for R&D personnel, Belief that business can grow based on hope and getting "their fair share" without working at it, no direction, two layoffs in three years

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Choose a direction and communicate it to the employees. Too many projects got started and went unfinished due to MANY changes in direction. Research and Development employees are looked at as second class, plant employees are looked at as third class but they are the groups that put the products on the shelves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Arrogent, self promoters

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

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, good brands, lots of resources

    Cons

    Highly political, poor leadership (cannot make decisions), arrogant & self promoters go far. Overly complex and slow organizational structure makes decision making very difficult.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some risk and make decisions; promote talent versus people who are politically connected and self promoting. Keeping smart, talented people will help you deliver better results.

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

    Minnesota nice, mid-western company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research and Development Food Scientist in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Research and Development Food Scientist in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent work life balance, health/ dental benefits. Good campuses and onsite facilities. Good people and good brands to work with.

    Cons

    Poor salary, no growth, extremely political. Need to fit to culture - conservative, consensus before meetings. Not very accepting of different work styles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward people for what they deliver on the top and bottom line, not just creating corporate buzz words.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    It was good experience that will be beneficial for future opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - R&D Technician in Golden Valley, MN
    Current Employee - R&D Technician in Golden Valley, MN

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The free food is a nice perk.

    Cons

    As a technician you do the majority of the product development without the credit. You are viewed as the lowest on the todum poll and many people will let you know you are. Credit is never assigned to the person who originally developed it. Also, technicians are very underpaid here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't start hiring unexperienced people just graduating with their BS as Scientists when you have never allowed current technicians to move to the Scientist level. Not a good move if you want your current experienced techncians to stick with the company.

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

    Sr. R&D Technician 2 - This company was a different entity 5 years ago. What is has become saddens me.

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

    I worked at General Mills full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Lots of perks to keep you on campus spending your peanuts at the company stores. Multiple training and volunteer opportunities.

    Cons

    Lower than market average pay, little consideration for employees welfare or work life balance.
    They preach a work environment of inclusion for all working styles as long as your working style is an extrovert. Meetings are held for the sake of meetings. All of which center around the HQ. Be prepared to make multiple trips per day to HQ if you are at one of the offsite tech centers.
    Even with the time suck of meetings real work is still expected to happen. There were many days that I left home with my daughter still sleeping only to return to her already in bed. Work life balance was a joke.
    Be prepared to be on call for any production issues at any time. They will call your home and personal cell phone number for any issue they do not want to deal with. All production issues will suddenly formulation issues and you need to fix it yesterday.
    Leadership was promoted based on who they know, who their political allies are and not on ability to lead or perform.
    Advancement - slow and difficult. Again due to being a highly political environment it's about who you know and who you have on your side.
    Project work - Like to juggle? Then this is the company for you. Be prepared to juggle multiple projects, meetings and commuting to attend meetings while still trying to keep the (often) unrealistic new product development requests in check from sales and marketing.
    Volunteering - GMI has made a strong and definitive statement that it is committed to helping the community. It recruits employees heavily to help with it's various philanthropic efforts. However employees were once able to volunteer for small period of time during business hours. Now all volunteer work (highly encouraged - aka required) must be done in the little personal free time the company allows you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase compensation to encourage retention of good employees and new hires.
    Be mindful that to have a truly diverse workforce you must have multiples working styles. Embrace the introverts.
    Be committed to appropriate work life balance. Make it more than lip service.
    Enough with the meetings. Evaluate the meetings being scheduled. Do they add value? Is a meeting needed?
    Promote based on results not politics. This should be obvious.
    If volunteering is being so highly encouraged they allow for some work flexibility. That is why your volunteering numbers have tanked.
    Use layoffs to help low performing / bad fit employees find something that is right for them. See Amazon's policy where employees are paid to leave.
    Evaluate the projects that are being taken on. Do they add value to our portfolio as well as our customers? Are they profitable and sustainable? If not then cut your losses early.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Solid benefits but culture is on a downward spiral

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

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, some very good people, and good brands

    Cons

    Corporate culture is now consulting based. Hotelling for desks, separation of duties for scalability, and self promotion to get to the top. Unfortunately it is more important to talk about why you cannot do something and form a committee than it is to do the actual work. Because of this some very good people are leaving and it will probably have to get worse before it gets better

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the leaders who cannot execute or judge talent and promote the right people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    It was a challenging experience.

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

    I worked at General Mills full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You have an incoming class of bright, young people your age.

    Cons

    You do not truly have much ownership or authority in such a large company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Two words: "Always on".

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

    I worked at General Mills full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Will make your resume. Good pay (for CPG). Lots of free food giveaways. Work life flexibility (i.e., you won't be working just M-F 9-5, so make that vital appointment in the middle of the day).

    Cons

    Only 1/3 of their managers are "great managers", as uncovered by the company's own analysis. Yet, they seem to do nothing to help those managers improve, or get them out of the company. The worst offense seems to be a lack of ability (willingness?) to prioritize. As a result, teams go after way more than they should, resulting in NO work-life balance!

    Despite what you may have heard during recruiting, you should plan on working all day, then into the wee hours of the morning, and on weekends as well - year round (i.e., not just when you're new, or during planning season). Oh, and those "summer hours" when the company supposedly closes at noon on Fridays? Don't make any plans until after 5 if you're in marketing. Basically, it's an "always on" culture, with very little respect for personal life boundaries.

    On top of all this, I felt like if I'd found the cure for cancer, I'd be nailed for not curing the common cold as well. If I had to do it all over again, I'd still probably accept the offer, but would plan on killing myself for a year and resigning on day 366 for a position with a more sustainable lifestyle in a more desirable location.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your marketing managers to be more effective so they don't burn out their internal and external team members like disposable cogs in a machine.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't value the employee, value the politics

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

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule and benefits packages

    Cons

    Experience and ability to apply and produce are not valued. If you are morally and ethically challenged and have a good political bend you will do well. Rewards the young and inept, who aren't willing to pay the price and truly learn and execute.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Truly assess and reward employees on ability to produce and apply. Walk the talk and be progressive, innovative, and world class leaders instead of hiring or buying the world class technology / methods and then not executing or applying it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Long Hours

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Factory Employee in Cincinnati, OH
    Former Employee - Factory Employee in Cincinnati, OH

    I worked at General Mills part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good overtime pay, three thirty minute paid breaks during 8 hour day (5 paid breaks for 12 hour day), double pay on sundays

    Cons

    A lot of hours, can call you at 1a.m for overtime work starting at 3a.m, if missing shift you lose job, Physical labor. New employes given very little opportunity to succeed, try to weed out new employees through trial period. Make good money, no time to spend it. Schedule of 12 days on 2 days off. Typically 12 hour days

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more employees to lessen workload

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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