HNI Reviews

Updated July 21, 2015
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3.0
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HNI Chairman, President, and CEO Stan Askren
Stan Askren
7 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Development Engineer in Hickory, NC
    Former Employee - Product Development Engineer in Hickory, NC

    I worked at HNI

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Company working to modernize furniture manufacturing, treats employees well,

    Cons

    Still holdouts to the old ways of furniture manufacturing, corporation very large, too much SG&A expenses.

    Advice to Management

    Trim the dead weight in upper management that is not adding value to the products.


  2. Staff accountant

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

    I worked at HNI

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The pay was good as well as the benefits.

    Cons

    Unorganized and very picky. Stressful environment

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees suggestions


  3. Helpful (1)

    Conservative company that lacks momentum and focus

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

    I have been working at HNI

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    HNI is member-owned, so the benefits are pretty good and the profit-sharing system is cool (ultimately though, my once-a-year profit share just pays for a grocery run). The company is extremely solid and has paid dividends to its shareholders every year since the 1950's. It weathered the 2008 crash well and will continue to be profitable for the foreseeable future.

    Cons

    HNI is a holding company for about a dozen subsidiaries ("operating companies"). This gives HNI strong leveraging power, but disastrous focus. The company seems pulled in a million different directions, and on top of that, it's an ultra-conservative company that is highly, highly risk-averse. So it's afraid to go in any one of the million directions it's pulled in, and the result is stagnation. The company frequently finds itself playing "catch up" with competitors, and experiences a high turnover rate as employees grow frustrated and leave. Also, the company doesn't compensate very well. While the CEO enjoys $4-5M/year salary, many of the company's employees struggle to make ends meet. On top of that, they are expected to prioritize work, always, and a healthy work-life balance is pretty much nonexistent at this organization. HNI is headquartered in rural Iowa, so perhaps this makes sense, but a dramatic shift will be needed before the company can expect to attract the incoming workforce (i.e. millennials).

    Advice to Management

    HNI needs to formally split its office furniture and hearth products branches into two separate companies, with Stan Askren (CEO) taking the lead over the hearth products company and someone else - someone newer, fresher, and more in-tune with the times - heading up the office furniture company. This individual should focus on consolidating, if not the opcos themselves, overall brand direction and purpose. In addition, this individual should eliminate "old boy" compensation structures and strive to attract and retain top talent by instituting a more progressive culture and business approach.


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  5. Engineering summer internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Industrial Engineer in Muscatine, IA
    Former Intern - Industrial Engineer in Muscatine, IA

    I worked at HNI as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great culture, great people, fast moving company. Lot's of improvement to make in manufacturing & operations so can lead to good IE experience. Real work, real experience.

    Cons

    Over saturated with Interns- either have nothing to do or too much, complete dependent on what department you get placed in. Not the cleanest manufacturing facilities.

    HNI Response

    Apr 21, 2015 – Member & Community Relations

    Thanks for the thoughtful feedback on your internship with HNI. You're absolutely right - our culture and people are what make working here such a great experience. We pride ourselves on offering ... More


  6. Helpful (6)

    Great people - tyrannical CEO

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

    I worked at HNI full-time

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    People are excellent / managers are good with a great work ethic / the business units; Allsteel, Hon, etc. are solid businesses. Rapid Continuous Improvement culture is

    Cons

    The biggest obstacle to progress is the CEO, Askren. An individual who shows no respect to people, bullies them and acts condescending. He rules by fear and position.

    Advice to Management

    Be willing to stand up to tyranny. HNI will be better when the CEO is retired, and people are again truly valued.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Hours are fine but company doesn't value seasoned members

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Training Facilitator in Muscatine, IA
    Current Employee - Training Facilitator in Muscatine, IA

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

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

    Pros

    New members get decent pay, a lot of overtime during the busy season. Seasonal workers get paid very generously.

    Cons

    Management plays favorites making promotions a pain to get. No Supervisors want to follow the training process so members are rushed in to performinng the job. Have never seen upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Don't ignore seasoned members. Don't play favorites and care about your members.


  8. Helpful (1)

    HNI

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Muscatine, IA
    Former Employee - Manager in Muscatine, IA

    I worked at HNI full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, easy to move to different business units

    Cons

    Located in muscatine, long commute

    Advice to Management

    Be open, listen to the employees


  9. Helpful (1)

    Programmer Analyst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Computer Programmer in Muscatine, IA
    Former Employee - Computer Programmer in Muscatine, IA

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly workplace, ample opportunity to improve skills and grow beyond initial skills. Great training for entry level employee.

    Cons

    Culture is dated, not a lot of younger employees, but they are actively working on this. Also, many employees live out of town meaning fewer locals to make friends with. Depending on the team, extremely complex and old systems to support. Very confusing for entry level employees. Especially when on call.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Was a great place to work... now a good place to work... heading the wrong way

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Muscatine, IA
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in Muscatine, IA

    I have been working at HNI full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Good place to learn manufacturing and good visibility to management - run like a smaller company

    Cons

    Latest senior management additions a different breed - Too many thinkers at the top

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within - Remove Leadership not adhering to company's long standing principles


  11. Great company if you're looking for a steep learning curve in a very short time period

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Engineer in Muscatine, IA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Engineer in Muscatine, IA

    I have been working at HNI full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    1. Exposure to a lot of different manufacturing processes - wood, laminate, steel, fiberglass, plastic etc 2. Get trained on structured design and development processes with good standard operating procedures (The documents and spreadsheets are there to follow, even if implementation is not always executed as per the prescribed process). 3. Large engineering groups to fall back on. 4. Big company, not too shabby resources for employees to really take charge and self-learn on things like lean manufacturing, Design for Manufacturability, Product Management etc. 5. Different brands, different price points. Can switch between different HNI OpCo's for quick exposure.

    Cons

    1. Too much hierarchy. 2. Meet a lot of people who treat their positions as jobs, not careers. 3. Lot of incompetent people hired to top positions. 4. Company gives more relevance to communication skills and not level of education etc (For instance, they will consider an internal candidate who has a Bachelor's in General Studies for an Engineering or Product Management position, over a candidate who has a Bachelor's and Master's in Mechanical Engineering, more diversified experience for the same positions). 5. Very low starting salaries. Profit sharing is a joke. Advice to freshers: Get a job here, work your behind off, learn all you can and leave. Do not plan on staying more than 2-3 yrs or you WILL get pigeonholed in your career.

    Advice to Management

    Work on better ways to retain your engineering talent.



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