United Stationers

  www.unitedstationers.com
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United Stationers Reviews

Updated June 24, 2014
Updated June 24, 2014
55 Reviews

3.1
55 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
United Stationers President and CEO P. Cody Phipps
P. Cody Phipps
20 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Company is very supportive of work/life balance (in 4 reviews)

  • job was close to home with good pay & good benefits (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • poor work-life balance and disrespect between associates ignored by management (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Ambiguity is the Rule

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

    Pros

    Pay and benefits were pretty good, and there are some good managers at mid-level. Lucky employees end up with one of these good leaders.

    Cons

    Even in smaller departments, ambiguity and conflicting priorities rule the day. It's easy to flounder for a long, long time waiting to get clear direction, but taking initiative to lead or decide is politically dangerous.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    -

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Close to home- short commute

    Cons

    Too loud. Not enough resources

  3.  

    Opportunities for growth did not exsist outside of lead or supervisor roles.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Care Representative  in  Suwanee, GA
    Former Employee - Customer Care Representative in Suwanee, GA

    Pros

    Round table and focus group discussions to improve business processes and communication.

    Cons

    Offsite management of local supervisors promoted bias treatment, low accountablity, and high tolerance for low morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    On site management of supervisors is a must. A supervisor training program should be implemented to ensure certain skill sets equal or exceed those they are leading.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    It's OK - If you have the right Director

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

    Pros

    Tries to do the right thing by it's employees if you are in the right group.

    Cons

    Company is a little dysfunctional and does not understand shipping/receiving and customer service

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what the customer wants/expects and make it happen. Policies are written to protect internal processes first and not satisfy the customer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Transportation Management team has zero experience in real world driving applications

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Driver  in  Carol Stream, IL
    Current Employee - Driver in Carol Stream, IL

    Pros

    co workers are awesome ...vacations and bonuses when they feel like giving the to you. if you make the simplest error they take your bonus..when management errors it is forgotten,

    Cons

    transportation management has no clue. zero years experience driving constantly pushing safety meetings on a team over drivers with 20+ years experience and an impeccable safety record.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    listen to people who have real life experience.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fortune 500 or Unfortunate INFINITY

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

    Pros

    The people around you are usually what keep you coming to your job. Somewhat job security if you fly under the radar and keep your mouth shut while making the same salary (or less) year after year (starting after Mr. Gochnauer left).

    Cons

    Pay has decreased over the years even though a "quarterly review" pie graph with some color try to convince you otherwise. They change to a more expensive (for the employee) health care offering (which charges you to have a spouse) and then send letters asking why their costs have increased more than yours have. Internal systems make the vendors that do business with them cringe at how archaic the processes are. Managers that are part of the "good 'ol boy" club and have no educational background are rewarded to move up in the company. People who stream YouTube and Pandora are rewarded; if not promoted regularly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the front line defense of your company. The MBA professionals that you have hired are more figure heads than industry leaders. Don't let your ego get into the way of vendor and customer relationships. Creativity and entrepreneurship are the keys to success in our dwindling business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    not the best but not the worst place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Ops Manager  in  Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Ops Manager in Denver, CO

    Pros

    the pay's not bad, you get some vacation but wont be able to use it due to cutbacks with people.

    Cons

    no work life balance. And H/R is out of control at this company. I always thought H/R is there to help you, not at this company. The H/R dept. is dishonest and will lie to you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please practice what you preach on the cultures and values.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Tsk, tsk.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - A Title is a Lose Term @ United  in  Orchard Park, NY
    Former Employee - A Title is a Lose Term @ United in Orchard Park, NY

    Pros

    They employee about 5,000 people. They have an excellent dedication to the community.

    Cons

    Cheap. Cheap with pay increases -not even the rate of inflation, benefits are less and less each year. Got rid of retirement plans. Moved to a PTO system rather than just plain old vacation/sick/personal time. They set unrealistic financial goals as an excuse for their frugal ways while still being able to look good to shareholders. They pride themselves on being a Fortune 500 company but consistantly are at the bottom of the list. United certainly is not a leader in the industry nor as employers. Systems are completely outdated and cumbersome. Not just for the employees, but for the poor customers trying to navigate! Respect levels towards hourly employees are little to none. They are treated as if they should be lucky to have jobs when in reality they drive this company and should be viewed and treated as valuable. It seems the less intelligent you are, the quicker you are able to move up the corporate ladder. Maybe that is because you are then more of a "bot"? (most of management won't even know what that means) I would bet my life all the really good ideas, processes and procedures came from hourly employees. But managers are not too dumb to take credit! Another reviewer stated the management feigns concern, and I believe that is true. It's as if they take classess because they all use the same mannerisms and verbiage. I guess the more apt you are to brown nose, be a superior's pet, whatever you want to call it, the more you can get away with and the less you need to be productive. Every company has cons. And it's just my opinion this one has more than the average.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend some money! Get with this century. Take the lead, stop being followers. You have subpar service), subpar systems, subpar attitudes, subpar intelligence. Strive to be the best of the best. Learn how to spell, speak and act like professionals. Meh, I could go on but honestly, I don't care and you probably have some makeup to put on, or food to eat, a golf date to make or a text to send.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Welcome to the 80's

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

    Pros

    Telecommuting only in some departments, decent benefits, good senior leadership, great volunteer opportunities, good associate network groups.

    Cons

    Several employees are living in the past and have a childish mentality that includes telling on people. Change is a word that scares most...but not all departments are bad. Everything new is really from about 5-10 years ago.

    I don't know how some people are managers or directors...just because they have been there for about 20 years and used to be the most knowledgeable a long time ago. There are people who don't know how to use great programs like excel or even laptops (wow). Definitely not the best place for young people to work at.

    There are 2 different companies - United Stationers has more departments which people are miserable in. Lagasse seems more friendly and open to new ideas....has a younger crowd which definitely helps.

    If you try to apply for a job in a fueding department, they probably won't hire you because of your background. There are also too many new people in some departments that have no idea what they are doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Layoffs aren't always a bad thing. I couldn't ever be promoted in my dept unless I waited 10+ years. It would really be beneficial to find out how employees feel and do a massive clean up. There are a lot of people who are going to hit retirement...and in order to get fresh new talent, you need to make sure changes. It is a pretty good company but there's a few departments that are ruining the image.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good pay... to be treated like an expendable worker ant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Order Picker (Shelf)  in  Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Order Picker (Shelf) in Denver, CO

    Pros

    The pay and benefits were actually really good for a warehouse position. Much better than most other warehouse positions out there.

    Cons

    You're treated as though you're nothing better than a worker ant. You're looked down upon by certain superiors. They do a good job of feigning respect for you, but in actuality they care very little about you. There is one person in upper management at the Denver facility that is an extremely nice guy and I would have loved to work for him. I interviewed with him as opposed to my direct manager, and therefor was fooled because my direct superior turned out to be terrible.

    As an example of no concern for you: I was hospitalized on a Sunday with an injury sustained outside of work. I get back to work on wednesday after recovering and find that I'm being written up for not giving 24 hours notice for missing work; Even though a call was placed to my manager ASAP after getting out of the hospital on sunday. I understand that the policy of 24-hour notice is put into place so that people don't abuse sick days and leave everyone else shorthanded that day, but when I'm in the hospital, with a semi-serious injury, to show no leniency or even concern for my health what-so-ever is just poor managing. They don't seem to grasp the concept that a happy worker is a productive worker.

    They give you "check-marks" on your record for various infractions. If you get something like 6 check-marks on your record, you're terminated. They also give you somewhere around 6 sick days, but because of the "24-hour notice for missing work" policy, you are given a check mark whenever you actually use them for the intended purpose of calling off when you wake up with a 102 degree fever. You do the math!

    I showed about as much interest in advancing within the company as i possibly could. i volunteered to learn every position possible within the company, yet this was very rarely acknowledged. I stayed late to help finish work a few times, yet was rarely acknowledge with so much as a half-hearted "thank you." After that, i just stopped volunteering for it because it obviously wasn't appreciated. The second the clock hit the end of my shift, I was out of there. I'm not going to help you if you don't appreciate me!

    Thinking back about it now, most of this review is actually centered around the manager of my department. He wasn't an evil or mean or terrible person or anything like that, he just really doesn't know how to be a manager. He just needs some training. I sometimes worked in other departments and the managers were reasonable, from the little I was exposed to with them. So I don't know that this company is a terrible company to work for, so much as this one department is.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to the upper management would be to make sure that the people you promote to manager are truly management material. I would suggest some sort of training for it as opposed to just putting someone in there that has never even been a lead, yet alone a manager.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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