W.W. Grainger Reviews

Updated September 15, 2014
Updated September 15, 2014
530 Reviews
3.5
530 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
W.W. Grainger Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Ryan
Jim Ryan
348 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cohesive Strategy integrated throughout the company, Great Benefits (Profit Sharing (in 115 reviews)

  • Company strives for work/life balance and provides opportunities for growth (in 25 reviews)


Cons
  • The company projects a strong work/life balance, but in reality this is hardly the case (in 13 reviews)

  • Middle and upper management was very disappointing (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

146 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Overall a solid company but it's big and easy to get lost.

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

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Strong, stable company. Salary is ok, benefits are above average.

    Cons

    Staffing cuts, promos not always based on individual work ethic or contribution. Very much a "boys club" mentality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be less complacent, make a difference. Day-to-day doesen't move the dial.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Stay away from the call center!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CSA  in  Houston, TX
    Former Employee - CSA in Houston, TX

    I worked at W.W. Grainger part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very good pay, benefits, paid holidays, small perks

    Cons

    Request time off in December for the upcoming year, hard to get time off months before day, constant calls over 100+ a day, reprimanded for calling tech support too often for assistance with items, reprimanded if you take too many potty breaks, reprimanded pretty much for all cases that involving not being ready

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Place more focus on actual training then CSA's won't have to wrap up work after call, no focus on continuous training, vacation scheduling choose another way

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Claim they want the Best, perhaps it should start with the Manager(s)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Commercial Account Manager  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Commercial Account Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Name alone, but needs so much more.

    Cons

    Management and Have to be a favorite, it not, good luck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on listening skills, and check the mirror.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Internship--not bad, but not for me

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Very casual and friendly working environment, recognizable brand name when applying for future employment. It seemed that there was a very low turnover rate--people there had been or expected to be there for a long time.

    Cons

    Huge company, can be hard to navigate the bureaucracy, not a particularly interesting industry for me. They have a very specific and regimented way of doing things, which took me some time to adapt to and also made it feel like everybody was mindlessly working things up the ladder. But I suppose it's an industry that doesn't demand much innovation to succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having only worked there for a couple months, I can only give advice on a very broad level. But I had the most frustration with the the tangled web of communication that understandably comes with managing a large company. For example, I spent a week on a project only to find out that there was another department in the company dedicated to doing that exact work. But that just happens in a large company, so no constructive criticism there I guess.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    GREAT PROFIT SHARING PLAN! DECENT PAY HOWEVER THERE WAS ISSUES.

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Top Profit Sharing plan in the Country. Great people to work with. Work life balance was very good.
    Good place to work but you will learn as time goes on what is going on behind the scenes.

    Cons

    Hmm where do I start? when you have the best Grainger warehouse based on their "Championship" results for 2 of the 3 years you would think they would keep the warehouse open? Was Lake Forest Jealous of Janesville? Were they not prepared to take on the ideas of many great people there? Who knows.
    When decisions need to be made it should not take 7 people to get an answer. When you promote people with only being in the current position for not even 6 months that is just crazy. Nobody was ever established in a position long enough to form a good resource to. Also when you have tenured employees that are seeking opportunities to grow and retire with the company maybe you should give them a shot vs not getting the other job because the department manager that has only been with the company for a few months decides to hire someone she used to work with an her previous company? When many people lost their jobs they wanted to move in other areas of the company but it never happened. I feel as a tenured employee with many years of service that was well respected by my peers got blackballed. When it comes to getting promoted or applying for other positions in the company most of the time it seems the decision has already been made so what was the use of being interviewed multiple times? Pay was good but Janesville was treated as a "economically afffected" area so they didn't pay the range that should have been paid. They waste a lot of money on stuff that should not be wasted on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't promote people that should not be promoted. Put people in the positions that will benefit the company and employees. Get rid of the clicks and good old boys BS. Even though recognition has steadily gotten better there is still room for improvement. Decisions such as moving the "help center" to a different country didn't help either. I believe that bit you guys in the butt a bit.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Beautiful location (headquarters in Lake Forest) but it can get pretty ugly inside for minorities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager  in  Forest Lake, IL
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Forest Lake, IL

    I worked at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Wide range of experience and access to many different types of business professionals. In this atmosphere it is easy to attain additional skill sets.

    Cons

    African American and Latinos are patronized in many of the corporate departments. You will either be given very little work and told at review time that you should have done more, or the other extreme. You will be given more work than 2 people can complete in the allotted time and you will be reprimanded even though you put in 20 hours overtime each week for the last 4 weeks to complete the project. You hit your target date but WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG! Very condescending! Just keep your head up, smile and do your best and for most that will work unless you are black or brown.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop lying to your staff! The truth is always in order. Don't be unethical and layoff a worker you just found out has cancer so that you don't have to give them disability! I judge the company by the people that they put in roles to govern others. In my book you guys really missed the mark One day I am up for a promotion and discuss with my higher up and I confide that I am going through Chemo and 2 weeks later I am laid off. Fix your people skills!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you are laid back and want to find a place to coast, this is the place to be.

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

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - You can work here for the rest of your career and retire VERY well.
    - Work life balance is easy and your work does not follow you home. The company has a strong 8-5 culture that does not follow you home.
    - Company is very people focused and most employees are socially savvy.
    - Stable company with a wonderful reputation

    Cons

    - Jobs are very compartmentalized so making decisions and getting things done is difficult and slow. Jobs that are typically done by one person at many companies are done by two.
    - Too many layers of management
    - Too much focus on operations and how we work, not enough on what is actually being done
    - Bonuses and raises are below industry average
    - Company is dealing with constant pressure to reduce cost and is afraid to spend money reinvesting back in the business despite huge profit margins due to a large commitment back to its shareholders.
    - Company values personality more then competence and skill set, most decisions are made on charisma not intelligence

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be leaders and encourage your employees to make their own decsions and bring ideas to you. Stop perscribing your whims from the top.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Management

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at W.W. Grainger

    Pros

    Good Benefits with a strong profit sharing program. Salary is about average.

    Cons

    Lack of focus from leadership, so everything is a priority. Leadership lacks real leadership skills and experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set a clear actionable vision and focus on developing Leadership talent.

  10.  

    Career Advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Distribution Center Associate  in  Fort Worth, TX
    Current Employee - Distribution Center Associate in Fort Worth, TX

    I have been working at W.W. Grainger full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Company has excellent benefits. There is no 401K to contribute into. The company supports the retirement plan and overall a person will receive a better plan this way. This year employees received @ 21% of their yearly salary to go towards their retirement.

    Cons

    Inconsistency of processes and advancement promises. I was told one thing during my interview concerning a supervisory career from the process manager; they were impressed about my collegiate accomplishments- this was the reason I took the position as order picker. I was told to learn the process now it's a different story; yes I'm looking to resign.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your employees and recruits. Depending on what a person is looking for, I would not recommend this company just because of management inconsistency with career advancement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Needs to be on undercover boss.

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

    I worked at W.W. Grainger

    Pros

    They are a leader in the industry. However pricing is through the roof compared to the competition.

    Cons

    Accounts mangers feel like they are punished for doing good when second half goals come out with outrageous sales goals (22-35% over PY etc...)
    They have also started the process of moving out more skilled AMs and replacing them with lower paid, lower skilled Territory Sales Reps.
    The branch managers do get the resources they need in the branch either.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go on undercover boss. Take a good hard look at your company from the inside. Not from the "ivory tower" in Chicago.

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