Marks & Spencer

  www.marksandspencer.com
  www.marksandspencer.com

Marks & Spencer Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
Updated October 23, 2014
180 Reviews
3.1
180 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Marks & Spencer CEO Marc J. (M. J.) Bolland
Marc J. (M. J.) Bolland
80 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Additionally their staff discount is quite good as you can use it even on sale items (in 25 reviews)

  • 20% discount is really good and something that not many employers do these days (in 20 reviews)


Cons
  • Few staff available to give customers proper M&S levels of service (in 10 reviews)

  • Terrible work/life balance for full timers (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

30 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Style over Substance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Paddington, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Paddington, England (UK)

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    This is a great place if you:

        - Prefer talking about things to actually doing or delivering anything
        - Believe that style is more important than substance
        - Like writing documents that no one reads or coming up with plans that no one follows
        - Value pictures of screens above working software

    In short it's an IT department that hires lots of Business Analysts and Project Managers and outsources everything - and draws a lot of pictures of screens.

    Everyone is very nice and polite but I feel that underneath that veneer lies a culture of fear.

    Cons

    The culture feels a lot like the BBC in that change is very slow and conventions and beliefs are put before critical appraisal. This is not really surprising when you consider that M & S's brand has almost religious significance in our culture - like the BBC - and therefore people don't want to question it for fear of ruining it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your outsourcing policy means it's costing you twice as much to build most of your customer facing applications and your getting them in twice the time - causing you to miss many windows of opportunity in the process.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Loved the people I worked with but wasn't a great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Birmingham, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant in Birmingham, England (UK)

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    20% discount. Other benefits but only if you could be bothered to go through the process of signing up for them. Love the people I work with, they are hard working and go beyond everything they are required to do and we are a close knit team.

    Cons

    Firstly morale within the whole store has plummeted within recent years and that has effected the standard of customer service as no one seems to enjoy working there anymore. Also there is so much that management want us to include with our customer service that it comes across robotic. There is no thanks from upper management for the work you do. Not enough staff to do everything they want as they have cut back so much and not replaced staff that have left, you end up taking on the work of 3 people. Upper management don't interact with sales floor staff unless to criticize or to give us more jobs to do on top of the ones we already have. No real flexibility with working hours but they would do things for you if it benefited them. Poor communication between management and staff, you weren't told anything unless you asked. Poor pay for what you do every day and the bonus was just demoralising this year!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more staff and help boost morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Marks & Spencer is foolish to believe that it can maintain its fine tradition with low staffing.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Advisor in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Customer Advisor in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Marks & Spencer part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    A great, historic tradition. M&S is good at being an environmental friendly retailer that supports the local community. The quality of their food and ethical sourcing leads the field. Recruitment of homeless, long-term unemployed and disabled members of our society is commendable.

    Cons

    Staff morale is low in my store. Understaffing is compromising the ability of dedicated shopfloor staff to provide good customer service. M&S is famed for its culture and tradition but your enjoyment at work is only as good as your direct line managers. Store managers are preferring to maintain the corporate line rather than listen to experienced shopfloor feedback. Most store vacancies are for minimum wage part-time roles that include an element of anti-social hours. Opportunities to grow your career with a move to a skilled full-time head office role are non-existant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Saving money through low staffing is a false economy - customers are upset if they can't find staff on the floor and merchandise fully stocked - and leads to significant lost sales. Improve opportunities for career growth. Listen more to staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Some good points, but not going to give career satisfaction if you are career-focussed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Marks & Spencer full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good work/life balance
    Nice canteen food
    Pension

    Cons

    Senior management clueless
    Unrealistic targets
    Unlikely to get promoted
    Very slow at keeping up with the times
    Lack of duty of care

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the people who have not learned anything new in the last 20 years
    Listen to your customers - my mum cannot find anything that fits her body shape which is the average 65 year old body shape - very few look like Twiggy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Bland, bureaucratic & frustrating

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Commercial Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Commercial Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Marks & Spencer full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Staff discount, lots of training days, quickly able to be promoted to store manager (band C/D).

    Cons

    Expected significant overtime with no benefits,anti social hours - at least 2 through-the-night shifts a month. Staff who are de-motivated, lazy, highly political (bitchy/gossipy/backstabbing), untrustworthy HR, bureaucratic, un-meritocratic rewards system (high favouritism- whether from HQ/Division/Store Manager. very few benefits or incentives, understaffed in all depts. except HR. Lazy Store and Commercial Managers.Too much policy power given to Store Managers. Strong union power.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change to a more transparent promotional system, value your lower level staff, introduce incentives for lower level staff - because lets face it their jobs are monotonousness and need motivation. Tighter absence policy - large portions of depts go sick on wknds.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Bland and uninspiring place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Designer in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Marks & Spencer as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Easy hours - never expected to stay late. Great staff canteen with amazing freshly cooked food on offer. Lovely people within the team.

    Cons

    Hierarchical attitude, painfully ancient software and computers to work with. No creativity or outside-the-box thinking encouraged. It feels institutional - like a clock in/clock out mentality rather than an exciting and entrepreneurial feel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make all staff feel as important as yourselves

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Average

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in York, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in York, England (UK)

    I worked at Marks & Spencer

    Pros

    you are entitled to staff Discount, you also get a free uniform which consists of a black polo and trousers

    Cons

    The hours are unsociable, the location is difficult to reach by car. There are a lot of elderly people work there

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more tactful, delegate less, show more leadership, be prepared to take criticism on board, leave your private lives at home

    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Beyond the Graduate Scheme

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer

    Pros

    Great support, culture and starting point for a career. Opportunities to move between roles and great line management.
    Opportunity to 'cruise'

    Cons

    Process and policy driven culture restricts ability for projects and task to progress. No JfDI. Limited employee and management freedom to make decisions.

    Salary increases based on statistical distribution as oppose to discretion of Line Manager, frustrating many, including most recent Graduates.

    Does not 'move with times'; requires business case for use of tools often used elsewhere, such as Instant Messaging. Becoming more out of touch with other employee. Different internal perception of brand to external image

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Become more agile. Understand its better to achieve 90% benefit of an initiative then improve, as oppose to discussing how to achieve something for 5 times as long, utilising resource until the initiative is no longer relevant.

    Invest and reward young staff. Rate of development in younger employees may be greater than the flat rate percentage increase suggest. May not motivate and reward younger developing staff effectively. Pay rises without promotions when employees make significant development towards next level

    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    you will be stuck

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resource Advisor
    Current Employee - Human Resource Advisor

    I have been working at Marks & Spencer

    Pros

    the employee benefits such as discount cards ,waste sale 'etc

    Cons

    lack of respect for sales advisors no career advancement opportunities at all .....want to keep everyone on the sales floor no matter your qualifications

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no ethnic mix in top management at all only as section managers that is how far ethnics can go!

    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    OK but bitchy and patronising

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Section Manager in Cardiff, Wales (UK)
    Former Employee - Section Manager in Cardiff, Wales (UK)

    I worked at Marks & Spencer

    Pros

    Discount! 20% with no qualifying period.
    Staff are good fun and always manage to take things with a pinch of salt.
    Pay is good for retail!

    Cons

    Constant changing. Patronising managers describing staff as 'bodies'. Constant change with no explanation. Badgered into saying yes even when you cannot do something. Feedback always focussed on the negative. Inflexible with shifts and time off!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Target younger customers - get more maternity into stores. Focus back more on quality rather than price and constant sales and changes!

    Approves of CEO

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