Sigma-Aldrich

  www.sigmaaldrich.com
  www.sigmaaldrich.com

Sigma-Aldrich Reviews

Updated November 10, 2014
Updated November 10, 2014
177 Reviews
2.8
177 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Sigma-Aldrich President, CEO, and Director Rakesh Sachdev
Rakesh Sachdev
82 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is pretty much what you want to make it (in 13 reviews)

  • Great people doing the best with limited resources (in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • No opportunities for advancement at remote sites (in 4 reviews)

  • Not much support regarding career advancement (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

49 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    SA Review

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

    I have been working at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Working at Sigma-Aldrich has given the opportunity to not only enhance technical abilities, but to lead. I’ve learned how to work with global teams and processes that have allowed me to develop a well-rounded view of our global market place. My initial position at Sigma-Aldrich was limited and now I have the ability to manage projects and staff resources. This has allowed me to truly explore my full potential.

    Cons

    Long hours and hard projects - Sigma-Aldrich gives you the opportunity to learn about every position within the company. They encourage you to work with cross-functional teams and learn as much as you can about your various areas of interest. Sigma-Aldrich gives the opportunity to excel in many different fields. Knowing that the work you performed on a project helps a customer enhance their manufacturing process thereby allowing them to produce their active pharmaceutical ingredients more robustly is very satisfying.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow revenue.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    I started in Customer Serice and moved through 6 positions in over 10 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Pay rate comparable to other companies in this industy.

    Cons

    Sigma-Aldrich is moving many of it's departments to India. This is a company that once prided itself on no lay offs, but is now providing separation packages to most of their headquarters in St Louis, MO.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Every department has their own interpretation of the rules. The "One Company" environment is not promoted and adhered to as advertised.

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

    Good benefits and work-life balance, hard to advance

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

    I have been working at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The work is interesting and challenging, definitely not boring. Great experience in the lab. Very useful in acquiring skills to find a job at another company. Great variety in chemistry. Flexible hours a plus. Work-life balance is pretty much what you want to make it. Stable company.

    Cons

    It's very hard to get a promotion unless you are willing to relocate to another site. Even then, it is difficult. Compensation is often under the average for scientists in certain geographic areas. Constant mandates from corporate HQ to develop new policies and procedures, without adequate support to do it. Very hard to hire new people, so employees must work harder to reach goals. Many job functions moving to India, without care as to whether the functions are done well. It's all about cost-cutting. Company does little to support scientific staff. Tries to do too much as cheaply as possible, rather than paying for expertise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enabling scientists to improve the quality of life also means enabling your own scientists. We are a microcosm of your customers. Our needs are their needs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Start for your Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Chemist I in Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Chemist I in Saint Louis, MO

    I worked at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Lots of techniques for you to learn
    -Friendly coworkers that are always willing to help
    -Great benefits
    -Always something new to do

    Cons

    -Just been sold to Merck
    -Lack of transparency between upper management and executives to the "ground forces"
    -Salary could be more competitive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Be more transparent
    -Have more competitive salaries

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Mediocre (and somewhat stingy) Corporation--your happiness will largely depend on your boss

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

    I have been working at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    -Lots of schedule flexibility (although depends on your boss to some degree): eg--flextime is largely accepted and practiced with some employees leaving at 1 PM b/c they come in so early, others work until 7 PM b/c they come in later, it is up to you how you construct your day.

    -Very safety-focused culture.

    -People are generally interested in learning more since this is a science-y company.

    -Generally very laid-back (depends on your specific facility).

    -Employees are very friendly and welcoming to new-comers--most people are very approachable and helpful. Since the workforce is on the older side, there is a lot of experience to go around which is generally a good thing (some of it dated or warped by biases, more in Cons).

    -Sigma makes a sincere and genuine effort to promote diversity and fair dealings with employees: eg--for the most part, people are promoted based on merit (not politics--although I'm sure some of this still goes on). Also, huge fluctuations in number of employees is generally frowned upon, so mass hirings and lay-offs are unheard of (however, this also means the company is very conservative in other ways...more in Cons).

    -If you are lucky enough to be in a "generous" department (more on this in Cons), you may have excellent training opportunities. Again, this depends very much on who your boss is and which chain of command you are in. After switching from one to another, my perks/benefits and opportunities increased exponentially--this makes me feel really bad for those left behind in my old department.

    -Decent matching 401(k) and tuition reimbursement ($5000/year).

    -Very good mental health benefits (up to 8 sessions/year).

    Cons

    Sigma has gone out of its way to try to improve the "employee experience" in recent years (e.g. starting the FUEL campaign to connect your job with how you're supposedly helping solve real world problems)--this is appreciated, but it seems they are not willing to put their money where their mouth is, as it were:

    -Expect salary to be on the lower end of the market rate. Part of this is because the cost of living in St. Louis (and the other mainly Midwestern Sigma locations) is pretty low. However, Sigma is also very conservative and it appears that they would rather shoot for the C-average student than go for the cream of the crop, and they are okay with this if it saves them money and the people they get still get the job done...eventually and perhaps not the best that it could be.

    -As stated in Pros, basic benefits are generally decent, but lots of little things add up that can make your compensation package less than satisfying: absolutely no bonus potential, training/professional development seen as a luxury to be avoided unless ABSOLUTELY necessary, meager raises (even for top performers), stingy office environment (every pen or ream of paper ordered is scrutinized), things like extra Cardinals game tickets are SOLD to employees, etc.

    -To contradict statement directly above (but still a Con)--some departments are quite generous with employees, going above and beyond in training opportunities, team-building and rewards, work-life balance, opportunities for travel, use of company vehicles for official business (as opposed to my old department where you were expected to drive across town in your own vehicle), etc. However, even though I'm in one of those good, happy, generous departments now, it still bothers me that this is just luck of the draw on where you end up. It should be a company wide practice to promote employee training and other basic amenities of doing your job.

    -Again, some old-school managers are very...well, old-school! They watch you like a hawk (this is even for professional, salaried employees), they act like granting vacation requests is a special treat that you need to earn (as opposed to being a standard part of your compensation package, which it is),, they talk down to you, they micro manage, they think training is a luxury, they expect perfection, etc., etc. Just less than ideal management and it really frustrates me that people are treated like this.

    -A culture of stinginess has become very entrenched at some facilities. It is laughable and ridiculous some of the things that go on in the name of saving a few hundred dollars. This really gets to employees morale-wise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is great that internal communications have improved and I applaud your efforts on this front. I also think the FUEL campaign is a good effort.

    However, marketing alone will not improve employee morale. If you want to attract and retain top performers (or even average performers), you need to kick it up a notch on bonuses, competitive salary, etc.

    Also, it would be great to eliminate stingy little things like selling tea bags for 10 cents in the cafeterias, making interview candidates buy their own $3 lunch in the cafeteria, making employees bring in their own food for the "Company" holiday party, only allowing 2 pizzas to be ordered for a department being honored with 20+ people (come on, shouldn't you at least get them sandwiches or something a little more "formal"?), etc....this sort of thing probably doesn't really affect the bottom line all that much in the big picture, but it does contribute to low morale and sends a message to employees that they aren't worth the extra $3.10 or whatever.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Good people, upper management doesn't value employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Senior Developer in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    nice people, good planning processes relaxed work environment

    Cons

    promises of advancement not kept

    Outsource, Outsource Outsource,

    Compensation is low,
    Value of current employees,
    Would rather hire 4 outsource with the wrong skills rather that hire skilled workers at market price domestically

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    nurture in-house talent and stop the push to outsource if you want a maintainable & scalable applications

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

    Good Company, although low salary

    Former Employee - Senior CHEMIST
    Former Employee - Senior CHEMIST

    I worked at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very structured, is well-known, and can give you lots of experience

    Cons

    Don't always give credit for work done. Sometimes inflexible, and unnecessarily.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be a bit more flexible on personal leave. If a salaried employee works a lot of unpaid overtime, and they are out of vacation time but has a family issue that needs to be addressed, you should have the capability of either letting them make up the time, or taking the day off without pay (requested once during 6 years of employment, but was denied. It was one of the main reasons I left).

  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Well known company with many talented employees

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

    I have been working at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Stable company, knowledgeable employees, supervisors/ managers are very flexible with the employees.

    Cons

    Pay is less than the industry average. It takes a long time to get approval for a promotion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are being less appreciated with every year. Little things are being taken away with each year.
    If someone leaves the company very often they don't get replaced and the work just spreads to the rest of the group. Of course without compensation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good company to work for, but not long ago was a great one.

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

    I worked at Sigma-Aldrich full-time

    Pros

    Great people. Decades of scientific knowledge and operations people who know how to make a better than average profit. Still a large number of long time employees who you can learn from to better your knowledge, but diminishing quickly.

    Cons

    If you have a talented manager there are opportunities to move up and/or get diverse experience, but once you get one level above that the bench is empty. Management tends to run on crisis mode wasting incredible amounts of resources to manage costs and seems lost about how to grow the company in the future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actions speak louder than words.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company, limited opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent staff and management, good work-life balance

    Cons

    Salary was incredibly low compared to industry standard

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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