Acuity Brands
3.4 of 5 30 reviews
www.acuitybrands.com Atlanta, GA 5000+ Employees

Acuity Brands Reviews

Updated Apr 4, 2014

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3.4 30 reviews

                             

72% Approve of the CEO

Acuity Brands Chairman, President, and CEO; President and CEO, Acuity Brands Lighting Vern Nagel

Vern Nagel

(18 ratings)

62% of employees recommend this company to a friend
30 Employee Reviews
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1 person found this helpful  

Sales

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Acuity Brands

ProsRapidly growing with many opportunities for upward mobility in company. respectable compensation. good benefits. Lean processes in place.

ConsRepetition of tasks due to too many decentralized tools, portals, & data gateways. The sales organization is overseen by operations executives and often times, sales efforts are thwarted in order to maximize the bottom line...top line growth is unimportant if financial engineering can be deployed to make the stock price go up. This company sees no value in marketing their brand.

Advice to Senior ManagementBOX, Salesforce, Lean Optima, Sharepoint ... Pick ONE and leverage it. SPEND money on marketing!!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Buyer/Planner

Buyer/Planner (Former Employee)
Winona, MN

I worked at Acuity Brands full-time for less than a year

Pros-Freedom to work on a great deal of projects
-Fare wage

Cons-Horrible company culture
-Unreasonable expectations
-Little to no training-- thrown to the wolves
-Long hours with little to no recognition for work completed

Advice to Senior Management-Develop better onboarding training for job specific

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A mixed bag

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Conyers, GA

I worked at Acuity Brands full-time for more than 8 years

ProsI learned more here than anywhere else. From learning from experts about every facet of the industry, to sharpening my Excel skills, learning budgeting, merchandising, literature, collateral, product development, cost reductions, inventory--I learned new things in every position.

ConsNot interested in innovation or intelligent risk-taking. Very little trust of people--every project of $2500 or more had to be signed off all the way to the president of the company! Too much emphasis on reducing costs, not enough on quality.

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't treat a $2500 project the same way as a $2 million project.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Go in willing to make a difference and do good work... Come home angry and exhausted.

Engineer (Current Employee)

I have been working at Acuity Brands for more than a year

Pros* location is close to home
* senior managers seem to have a good sense of where the marketplace is going, and where technology is headed, and is willing to head that way.
* PWeb really was a good idea. It's a flaky tool at times, but a very useful flaky tool.

Cons* Management expects salaried people to work well beyond an 8 hour day on a regular basis, and simply accept it. This is not the picture painted for you when you interview with this company, and you ask about whether the company encourages and enables a good work-life balance.
* Management also expects that salaried people "exhaust any means possible" to meet unreasonable (the codeword for this is "stretch goals") deadlines, and be available to do so at any time of the day or night. (So, if you have a hero complex, you have the chance to do well, if you do not burn out, or if you do not have a life outside of work that you value).
* Management seems to do nothing about the consequences to their staff for a corporate paradigm of being willing to accept unreasonably short-turnaround requests from their agents. They do not over-size the team to accommodate these requests and do not recognize the impact / consequence to properly scheduled deliverables, or to the ability of their lowest level of management to be able to accomplish their daily work. They do not say "no" to these requests, or have an "express" or minimal-time-commitment deliverable option that is encouraged under these circumstances (apparently, this kind of thing once existed in days of yore)... and will chalk it up to the lowest levels on the totem pole as "not being able to manage their time", and they will call their willful ignorance of the situation: "Management".
* For the inability of the team to "not manage their time well" (as per the manager indicated above), suggestions about providing training in soft skills such as time management or communications are completely poo-pooed as "they should know this already"
* When you ask a manager for guidance on what they want, expect to end up having to make something up yourself. They may not have a clue about what they are asking you to do.
* Although the company's senior management seems to have the idea that good ideas can come from anywhere (Kaizen approach, and the Acuity Business System), the hierarchy, and avenues of upward communication is rigidly enforced and very limited. (see also "in-crowd", below).
* Although the company has been "willing" to evolve departments for higher performance, they have put people in management positions who have not been trained as managers, and are already well invested in the old way of doing things, like to be the "hero", and do not know what to do when taken out of the central execution role. As such, these people do not seem to understand, at all, what overloading a team will do in the long run.
* If you are not one of the in-crowd, do not expect that your feedback will be accepted, even if it is completely sensible and logical. You will be ignored. You will not ever be invited to participate in a Kaizen. Your best thing to do in these situations is figure out who _is_ in the in-crowd and befriend them, and give them credit for your findings, as they may have a shot at making your situation better. You will know you are not in the in-crowd, because you spend no time socializing with the managers in their office, instead you will work _constantly_, all day long, and be stuck there after the people who do socialize and laugh with your manager leave and go home to their families. You will see the injustice of this, and it will very likely make you angry.
* Although the management claims to be "data-driven", do not attempt to question the data-set requested by management, the granularity of it, or the value (you will be labelled a problem child or, feared as a threat to their position, if you actually think for yourself in these matters, or attempt to help. It is better to let them find out for themselves that this was a wasteful exercise that needs to be re-done).
* Do not attempt to gather data without a mandate from a manager. Your data will not be recognized as useful, even if it is.
* Management will "Try Different Things" to improve performance that are clearly not going to improve performance, and instead, will add useless tasks to the people on the team who are, by work volume, already the bottleneck. More senior managers will LOVE these "Things", and pat people on the head for doing them, and the people for which the "Things" are suppose to improve work for will ignore them as useless. These "things" will duplicate data that is already available, real-time, in a digital format. Senior managers will not see this as one of the 8-Wastes that the company and they themselves, in theory tries to reduce. The people who try to tell them this will be ignored or labelled as difficult.
* The "Different things" management is willing to try may create a situation that borders on a Hostile Work Environment, but as there is no HR representation at your location, nobody has a shot at noticing that this is the case.
* With all of this, annual goals and expectations for staff are not actually set by management, and you will have no clue how your performance will truly be managed... but, you are pretty certain that you will not be judged the same way as the people who are in the in-crowd, or otherwise have become trusted individuals to the people who make these kinds of decisions.
* Performance feedback is arbitrary, inconsistent, and not clear.
* I've actually caught a manager directly above me in a lie. This is a problem.
* "Thank you" is very rarely heard. Ability & evolution seems to not measured by what you've achieved or learned, but by what gets missed.

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you are interested in correctly sizing a team to handle an increased volume of production, please refer to the basics of process control engineering / industrial engineering (heck, any kind of traditional engineering design), and how big a vessel / pump / VFD must be to handle rapid changes in volume of work, over excessively short time frames. If you do not change HOW the work is done (such as through innovations in technology), and do not modify the basics of the amount of time it takes to accomplish the work, you will need more people to do more work, or more time to do it. This really is not rocket science.

If you burn out the people who actually DO want to find ways to make the work easier & faster to do, you will _never_ get the best out of them. This should be obvious, but from my experience here, it does not seem to be understood by management.

You have people in management positions who do not seem to be able to see past the end of their own nose, or who are highly invested in maintaining their power structure. This ultimately is getting in the way of the evolution that would be available by creating a culture where everyone actually IS empowered to make a difference.

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

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Chaos

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Conyers, GA

I have been working at Acuity Brands full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe people are nice and professional. This company has potential if it were more organized and management could clearly communicate priorities and plan resources.

ConsThe company is very disorganized and chaotic at time as they change what the priorities are every other month. There seems to be lack of direction and lack of resources becasue management is disorganized.

Advice to Senior ManagementGoals should be clear, realistic and resources available
Priorities are not in order
Streamline processes

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

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Comfortable, Creative, Corporate

Graphic Designer (Former Employee)
Conyers, GA

I worked at Acuity Brands as a contractor for more than 10 years

ProsComfortable atmosphere. Management not too overbearing.

ConsRecent penchant for getting rid of experienced employees to bring in the uninitiated.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagers should manage and let designers design.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A rewarding experience with a lighting industry leader

Director (Former Employee)

I worked at Acuity Brands full-time for more than 8 years

ProsExposure to all phases of luminaires and designs. Resouces available to develop products in the right way when a clear focus is developed and fully executed.

ConsDoes not understand the difference between R&D and Product Development and resources needed to support each function. Does not stay the course in executing strategic strategies.

Advice to Senior ManagementDevelop a clear and focused product develpment strategy and stay the course. Put in place a management infrastructure that has an experience base in the each respective discipline. ( I. E. You don't put manufacturing types as technology or R&D managers.)

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Leader in lighting, unsure of long term stability outside of Atlanta Ga operations.

Human Resources Leader (Former Employee)
Columbus, OH

I worked at Acuity Brands full-time for more than a year

ProsDecent compensation and benefits. International operations career exposure can be a great opportunity, Stock has rebounded in past 12 months. Solid operational base and lean environment.

ConsChallenged to be gloablly competitive with excess manufacturing capability. Unsure of stability outside of engineering or sales functions. Continuously moving oeprations outside of the US.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Acuity Brands review

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Acuity Brands full-time for more than 8 years

ProsExcellent pay and benefits
Highly organized and well led
Fanatical attention to employee safety way above agency compliance
Good training decks assessable on the company share site

ConsCorporatate attitude with "one size fits all policy" even when it doesn't.
Poor human resources structure other than corporate
Continued loads placed on personnel already overloaded
Over processing- causing too much time away from core responsibilities
Too many goals set to impossibility causing a perception of constant failure even when some goals are met.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe more flexible with products outside your core product lines
Cut down on unessesary Corporate programs

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Industry leader in innovation and market share -- hard experience to top.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Conyers, GA

I worked at Acuity Brands full-time for more than 5 years

ProsGood strategic leadership; profitable operation with deep ties in the industry; focus on innovation and market presence.

ConsNot ideally positioned to capture growth from resuming residential construction. Challenges within sourcing verticals. Unwillingness to draw more talent from the ITP work pool.

Advice to Senior ManagementRelocate Sales and Admin closer to the city.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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