Whirlpool Reviews

Updated March 5, 2015
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76 Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful

    Unfullfilled potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Knoxville, TN
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Knoxville, TN

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

    Pros

    It's a big company and as such you can be in one part of the company and life is wonderful...other parts of the company it is just a job. If you can build internal networks effectively there is some upward mobility, but as other posts mention you need to be ready to move to Benton Harbor, Michigan. The upside is you are at a Fortune 500 company doing meaningful work and you get to enjoy a small town atmosphere.

    Cons

    Marc Bitzer, President WHR North America is a very intelligent numbers driven manager. I simply didn't interact with him enough to know if he really understands the power of company culture.

    The management of the sales force is a severe hindrance to market share. Over my six years with the company the numbers of sales people have done nothing but go down. I saw very little that indicated they kept the best in place.

    During my time with the company I saw lots of jobs awarded that were never posted internally or externally. A lot of hiring was done by the good old boy network. So if you want to join the company because you believe it is a meritocracy...keep dreaming.

    At this point there is a definite youth movement as well. During the layoff in January Whirlpool lost a lot of experience in it's field sales group. At the annual sales convention it was noticeable that there were very few grey heads anymore. Some of these changes may be growing pains as Marc Bitzer seems intent on giving the company a more international flavor in Benton Harbor and less of a men's only club in the sales organization. However, as a result at times you have fairly inexperienced managers that have a lot of clout about what happens to you and your career. Mistakes will be and have been made.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Focus on Quality, not Innovation.
    2. Lead with Values, not rules and enforcement.
    3. Learn how to sell and market your products.

    Internally and externally the company like to talk about it's "consumer centric innovation" and how it delivers value to the customer and to the shareholder. Micro-Etch shelves in refrigeration...flop. Fans in front loaders...whimper. A whole new drive system in top load...arghh! Just because Gillette did a study on it (innovation) 20 years ago doesn't mean it's a hard and fast path to follow for all industries at all times. An appliance is a consumer DURABLE product. The lifespan is 10 years or more. Why focus so much attention and energy on having a constant stream of new launches? Refocus the "innovation" on incremental quality improvement and keep the same basic product for a few years longer. GE by comparison has hardly changed a handle in ten years, but soldiers on because innovation simply doesn't matter that much and they sell better than Whirlpool does.

    Frontline employees in sales, credit, service, etc are micromanaged with 15+ metrics measured constantly. Find 1-3 things that matter, measure those things, hold people accountable for those things. The other stuff you manage. One thing I always hated was signing up for meetings. That's right...management wouldn't force people to use their calendar's and so you had to sign up for meetings like you were in the third grade signing up to go to the library or something. I can remember commenting to managers about this. Their replies were something like, "if you were in management you'd understand. It's too hard because someone always wants to change the session they are in." Well, I had been in management before (as a store owner and with a company at the top of the "great place to work" survey) and it is supposed to be called management for a reason...because you have to manage things. Like exceptions to scheduling. To manage with values instead of rules you have to have better managers.

    As I mentioned before right now many are young and don't have enough experience to shake a stick at. That is the fault of upper leadership not valuing the development of leadership bench strength enough over the years. However, over the years it has been a good old boys network so there was no development going on. The company is paying a price for that now.

    As far as learning to sell and market products. Can you believe that a Fortune 500 company has no CRM solution in place for it's sales force? It's freakin' 2012!! Those of us that kept account history did so for years on excel and word documents. A CRM solution is just a basic tool that will help deliver and secure continuity of service for the trade customers. Then back to the issue of not enough sales reps in the company to service the trade. There are literally thousands of one and two store "mom & pop" accounts that could grow (some double or triple) business with the appropriate level of effort. However, the current leaders (Fettig? Bitzer? or some bean counter in finance) see sales cost as an expense to be cut rather than a tool to grow sales. It's almost ludicrous. Mom & Pop aside there are too many larger accounts that don't get the attention they deserve either. Retail dealers or Builder dealers do not get the attention they need to drive market share overall for the company...and it can't be done without hiring more sales people.

    Whirlpool with the addition of Maytag should be close to 50% market share. They have trouble holding at 40%. I haven't checked in a while, but last I saw they were sinking towards 36%. There's a saying at Whirlpool, "If we ever get our act together we will steamroll the competition...if they get their act together they will steamroll us."

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Hope to never work for a major corporation again.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trade Partner Support Specialist in Saint Joseph, MI
    Former Employee - Trade Partner Support Specialist in Saint Joseph, MI

    I worked at Whirlpool full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    They do give you a lot of free stuff or sell them at good discounts!

    Cons

    The only way to move up in this company is if you know the right person or kiss enough ass.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful

    Good company to work for, limited chances to make a significant contribution and grow professionally

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Manager in Saint Joseph, MI
    Current Employee - Supply Chain Manager in Saint Joseph, MI

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

    Pros

    Solid brand with exposure to multiple areas of the business.
    Opportunity to learn process development and process control.

    Cons

    Strategic direction of the company is consistently changing and functional areas do not/cannot align.
    Does not provide leadership development opportunities. Always seeking the next "top talent" without understanding the implications or training required to grow talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Choose a path to grow the company and pursue, the continued meeting of bottom lines through cost cutting does not feed innovation or drive talent development. Leadership is touted, but in reality is weak. Take hold of every opportunity to develop junior employees and strategically bring in outside talent, do not use it as standard practice. Stop the continued focus on individual functional area results, actually hold groups accountable for the performance of the shared company goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Still there, but looking

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evansville, IN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Evansville, IN

    I have been working at Whirlpool

    Pros

    Salary is very good and co-workers are very good and dedicated indivduals.

    Cons

    Upper Management is awful. Forced bell curve forces continous cycling of manpower. Complete closed minded approach to actively listening to their employees. If you propose any idea that is perceived as misaligned it is given no consideration and then you become blacklisted. HR is a puppet of management and is far from being "Human Relations". Management is making no commitment to the area. Facilities are old and rundown.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and breed an environment of openness rather then abuse those that present new ideas. Dump, Dump, Dump forced bell curve.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Good place to learn how to lead but not a place to make a long term career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Benton Harbor, MI
    Current Employee - Team Leader in Benton Harbor, MI

    I have been working at Whirlpool

    Pros

    Hard working employees
    Leadership learning environment
    Strong middle management layer

    Cons

    Highly politicized
    Promotions based on who people like not who can do the best job
    Poor Senior Leadership
    Poor financial base

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. Constant change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Benton Harbor, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Benton Harbor, MI

    I worked at Whirlpool

    Pros

    Work Life Balance is excellent
    People are great
    Top Company/Brands in Industry

    Cons

    Constant leadership changes made it difficult to fully follow through with strategies. Direction kept changing.
    Middle of nowhere in Michigan. Chicago isn't that close, 2 hours to get to a major airport.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give better direction and support with decision making.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful

    Tough Industry in a tough economy equals short-sightedness and unfortunately an aversion to risk.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Benton Harbor, MI
    Former Employee - Analyst in Benton Harbor, MI

    I worked at Whirlpool

    Pros

    Southwest Michigan is a great place to raise a family.
    St. Joseph is beautiful in summer although workload prevent nearly any time to enjoy it except weekends.
    Very easy to get a good business education at Whirlpool.

    Cons

    Extreme emphasis on making monthly and quarterly numbers often causes very short-sighted decisions to be made at the expense of longer-term opportunities.
    Employees, especially at lower levels, are seldom encouraged to take risk or pursue ideas that might fail, and failure is looked upon very negatively.
    LOTS of warm bodies filling seats and carrying out orders by the higher-ups. Culture is such that challenging management is a good way to eventually be on the outside looking in.
    Very few true leaders in middle and upper mgmt ranks. It was very hard to find a mentor that embodied qualities I was looking for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take risk, embrace failure, and change quickly--the same qualities that enabled Whirlpool to become the behemoth it is today. In the business environment you're currently in, a top priority should be figuring out how to get everyone at all levels in the company working in unison toward the same goals.
    Look for legitimate top talent and promote and incent those individuals as soon as possible. Most are leaving or looking to leave soon.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Management looks at the "big picture," but misses the forest for the trees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trade Partner Support Specialist in Knoxville, TN
    Current Employee - Trade Partner Support Specialist in Knoxville, TN

    I have been working at Whirlpool

    Pros

    Employees have decent benefits, and some of the ongoing projects are making it easier for us to serve our trade partners effectively. Communication is improving, and immediate leadership (team Leads and Operations Advisors) are effective and competent in their positions.

    Cons

    There are gross discrepancies between how employees and contractors are treated, even though contractors are expected to meet the same standards of productivity and quality as employees. Hiring freezes and arbitrary policies are pushing out contractors who are handlers of key accounts, which is having a detrimental effect on overall employee morale as well as turnover rates.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please stop the double standards; hire the contractors who do some of the key work with the company. Remember that a focus on quantitative data needs to be balanced with qualitative data.

    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Lots of opportunities for advancement, but with a lot of day to day frustration

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Benton Harbor, MI
    Current Employee - Manager in Benton Harbor, MI

    I have been working at Whirlpool

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to shine
    Ability to experiment with different career paths

    Cons

    Constant internal churn
    Senior Level Management opinion often trumps in market research
    Senior Level Management gets overly involved in the day to day business
    Matrix based organization resulting in an overwhelming amount of review meetings
    Poor talent retention

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put people in roles that best represent their skill sets
    Accept market research and don't change project direction based on opinion

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  11. Good experience, but lack of focus on the people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Engineer in Evansville, IN
    Current Employee - Lead Engineer in Evansville, IN

    I have been working at Whirlpool

    Pros

    Global company with lots of opportunity (especially if your from a low cost region).

    Cons

    Very political environment. Engineers are treated like a stranger off the street.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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