The Standard

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The Standard Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
The Standard – US – “Standard Plaza”

The Standard – US – “Standard Plaza”
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 86 reviews

41% Approve of the CEO

The Standard President & CEO J. Greg Ness

J. Greg Ness

(44 ratings)

41% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great location in downtown Portland (in 13 reviews)

  • Good people, good benefits, fair location (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Of course, upper management received healthy salary increases while non-management salaries stagnated (in 8 reviews)

  • The news that layoffs were coming in favor of outsourcing to India was announced by the IT VP a few months ago (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights
17 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Middle management and "yes man/woman" heavy

    Claims Analyst (Current Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsAs has been said before, you do feel like part of a family.

    ConsIt's very possible that your job could be relocated (something that takes months of planning) and you are given as little notice as possible. You will be not offered any real assistance in transferring jobs.

    There is far too much middle management and hands in the pot. Too many "yes men/women" seem to get those middle management positions and therefore, any decision by upper management does not get the thorough debate that it may need.

    Also too many middle managers who create projects to justify their positions without truly realizing the possible impacts - a prime example is when the phone system was "upgraded" with a minimum (if any) of end user testing and user training. The service level - which had been excellent prior - went down the tubes. The solution? Mandatory OT on already stressed employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsider sorting the wheat from the chaff when it comes to management. Consider having a few people who will question things versus blindly approving whatever the boss says. The lack of dissenting opinions is what causes the most issues.

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

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

     

    Would not recommend

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsRelaxed environment, lots of autonomy, summer hours.

    ConsManagement has been horrible. Employee surveys are being conducted from employees dissatisfaction. Hardly any clarity on employee growth or advancement planning. Employee disorganized with a lot of random testing to see what management structure will work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSet clear goals and expectations, including team managers communicating team member expectations. Without that, the right employees are not identified and the firm as a whole suffers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    2 people found this helpful  

    Slowly Getting Worse

    Anonymous (Former Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsEnjoyed some of my fellow employees.

    ConsMy first insurance industry experience, but: Management seemed amateurish; lots of "people managers" and not enough actual workers or employees with technical knowhow. I was told the head of the company came from HR which I couldn't picture happening in another industry. Lacking Strategic direction. When I looked for employment elsewhere, I learned from several potential employers they weren't impressed by Standard employees because of the lack of training and experience received while at the Standard. A year after leaving, and working for a "real" corporation, I think they were right. Finally, NOT a place for high energy employees who want to gain experience and move ahead.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEarly retire anyone?

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

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Executive Asst

    Executive Assistant (Former Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsI had enjoyed the variety of the people in various departments.

    ConsVery old school or "good ole boys" type of environment. Don't have a voice or you won't have a job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart caring about your employees', their workload, and lifestyle; rather than your constant A to A+ Ratings. An A- won't kill you, and would also keep jobs available, rather than load up the ones left behind. Try to choose managers with a backbone and can see brown nosing for what it exactly is.....

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Chaos and crisis suppression every day for the worker bees, while the executives rake in the cash.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsWorking downtown is kind of cool, and The Standard has a huge piece of controversial art in front of its main building. This company was founded in Portland 100+ years ago.
    The public transit subsidy is a great perk, and SIC really does try to be "green."

    ConsMost of the key decision makers have no experience in doing the actual work. Upper management is smug and delusional. "Go along to get along" is the name of the game. There's big talk about core values, but the decision makers don't demonstrate them.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdvice to the CEO: Keep listening to the employees who speak honestly about the challenges they face in getting the work done every day. Remember that not all are motivated solely by money and "what's in it for me," and they are the most valuable employees you have. Some still believe that we are doing something that helps people (otherwise known as claimants; otherwise known as the only reason this company exists).

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

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

    3 people found this helpful  

    Company with extreme growing pains

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe pay and benefits are good. Work location and accommodations are great. The company has a philosophy of accommodating employees with disabilities above and beyond what is legally required.

    ConsCompany philosophy as well as HR philosophy are changing to accommodate the need to be a fast for-profit organization. Employees with tenure are being let go to hire new employees with"fresher" outlooks.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Staggering around in the misconception that the problem is "out there"

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsSome really great people at all levels.

    ConsSenior management is out of touch.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvolve your managers and employees; be transparent and self-aware; get a vision and strategy

    No, I would not 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  

    Used to be a good company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Portland, OR

    ProsGood people, good benefits, fair location

    ConsMorale has been on the down slide for the last few years. Mid to upper management making poor decisions, big turn over lately

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to why the turnover, listen to employee's, toss the toxicity

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

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

    7 people found this helpful  

    "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros*Company has been very humane during recent layoffs, providing decent severance packages and outplacement services.
    *Generous PTO policy.
    *HQ is in a nice downtown location.
    *Most employees are well educated and sincerely want to make the company successful.
    *Claims department does a great job despite being understaffed and inundated.
    *Claims are paid in a timely manner and using ethical standards.

    Cons*As many have said, company culture is passive-aggressive.
    *People are labeled as having "poor attitudes" when they express a contrary opinion. Once branded, there is no salvaging your career.
    *Conflict ("negativity") is discouraged, which means creativity and risk taking die. Workers keep their heads down to protect their jobs.
    *H.R. is there to protect the company, not to help employees, and some H.R. staff appear annoyed when they have to deal with employee issues.
    *Some leaders use fear as a management strategy. Without a safe environment for discussion and honest communication, morale and productivity plummet.
    *There are constant reorgs in some departments, leading to lost productivity and lack of vision.
    *Many leaders are not seen as trustworthy by their direct reports, and this is warranted.
    *Company is slow to react to economic realities and changes in the business environment, and hasn't invested in needed technology infrastructure to support growth and change.
    *Company invests in stupid ventures without doing their homework, while not investing in core business to stay competitive.
    *Cronyism runs rampant - the best way to be promoted is to befriend someone in power.
    *"Talent Management" is a joke. There is plenty of talent, but people are not encouraged to move around the company to learn new things. Smart people languish while managers hire and promote their buddies.
    *Employees work long hours while some VPs arrive at 9 and leave at 4.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet out of the ivory tower and actually walk around so you can meet/talk to employees on the front lines. This will only work if you make it safe for them to tell you what's really going on in the company without retaliation; otherwise they'll just tell you that everything is "fine." Hint: it's not. Quit hiring and promoting narcissistic bullies who don't "care about people" and only know how to manage up. Settle on a company strategy and have the balls to communicate your vision and invest wisely toward the goals you've set.

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

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Not a competitive company overall

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Portland, OR

    Pros–Upper management communicates with employees at all levels. Multiple times management would walk around my floor and asked me how things were going and so forth. This is rare...

    Cons–Cronyism to the maximum in this place. It literally pissed a lot of people off. In my tenure there, I saw a person get hired for another internal position after just 6 months of working there (there's an established 1 year minimum to apply). A woman got promoted to manager after less than a year of being there, but she was the wife of an upper management executive. I also saw a person get promoted 2-3 times from taking photographs to a higher marketing position in less than 14 months. These are just some cases from a long list of crazy promotions and things that went on there.

    –Compensation is extremely low compared to competitors, below average in my career area. I got a 1% performance bonus, that is ridiculous.

    –Meetings, meetings and more meetings: The culture seems to be around meetings–at least in my area–and the time wasted in meetings is just inconceivable. I have not seen anything like that anywhere else.

    –Talent is not recognized. I worked with people that had degrees nowhere close to the educational preparation required, and their mistakes were covered up by managers for the sake of who knows what. Some people were afraid of technical skills and preferred keeping it simple even when that couldn't be done to answer the questions needed to be answered.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRecognize the talent and skills needed for the team to succeed, don't settle for less than that. Don't be afraid about holding people accountable and avoid wasting time in meaningless meetings.

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

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