Arkema US
2.6 of 5 44 reviews
www.arkema-inc.com Philadelphia, PA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Arkema US Reviews in King of Prussia, PA

Updated Feb 23, 2014

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2.7 12 reviews

                             

40% Approve of the CEO

Arkema US Chairman & CEO Thierry Le Hénaff

Thierry Le Hénaff

(5 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend
12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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Global Chemical Company

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I have been working at Arkema US full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe company invests a lot in safety, provides good benefits and compensation, but work-life balance is sometimes off as reduced headcounts sometimes result in people having to handle more than they should. Very good opportunities for mobility within the company.

ConsWork-life balance is sometimes a negative. Each business unit has its own unique culture.

Advice to Senior ManagementConsider increasing headcount to improve work-life balance.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Has crossed a line.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I worked at Arkema US full-time for more than 8 years

ProsCan be good for interns or others just starting out for foundational career experience.

Comprehensive benefits package.

It is evident that top local management tries to provide a high quality workplace. It is also evident that there are severe constraints in the way of achieving this.

GMs and Business Directors are usually rotated every 3 years so if you need to stay in an unfortunate situation, the situation is likely to change. Of course, this also works in the other direction!

Some good investment in infrastructure and business opportunities for future growth.

ConsWhere to start?! HR is a subpar, despite an organizational build outsized for the service provided. It is difficult to find anything positive to say about most HR liaisons to the BUs or staff groups. One certain HR miss is the annual survey that is purported to be anonymous, but targeted follow-ups reveal the opposite. HR also aggressively supports lateral job moves to the extent that it is widely viewed as self-serving.

Career options are limited because most BU management is centered in France, and a disproportionate number of expats are given jobs in King of Prussia. So far, no husband & wife expat teams have been concurrently assigned to the same BU, but that is rumored to change soon, to the complete bewilderment of many and outright concern of some.

Business and product development progress is weighed down by excessive administration requirements and highly politicized funding allocations. R&D and Staff group relationships are highly politicized with polite veneers.

Business administration operations are weighed down by an excessive pull to standardization across disparate product lines. This is further aggravated in some cases by the choice of lower cost software systems that do not provide sufficient capability for decision support. Since all projects are successes, this can result in some unfortunate person being assigned to a recurring, no-win, data clean up role to create the appearance of success but in reality just shifts work from one area to another.

The consolidation of the Business offices from Philadelphia to King of Prussia at the R&D site remains a hardship for many employees. Even employees who have a relatively easy drive to KOP have commented on their preference to commute by train and to work in a city environment. Additionally, the new work areas for the business people are substandard with excessively close quarters, insufficient lavatories and insufficient conference areas. The BU work areas are a constant source of aggravation and an impediment to optimal performance for many employees. The combination of difficult commutes, poor work areas, and stingy work-from-home options contribute to highly challenging work-life-health-balance situations for some employees.

An upgrade to the onsite cafeteria at the time of the business office relocation fell far short of the need on multiple levels. It is just sad to see the company promote healthful living in internal communications and with initiatives in wellness benefits and then fall short of holistically supporting those initiatives with the food offerings in the cafeteria and vending machines, especially when the whole idea of having a cafeteria is to provide a positive element to employees.

The team atmosphere that existed 10 years ago has been replaced by a disenfranchising and strongly hierarchical organization. Employees who were courted to stay with the legacy company in years past with promises of growth, expansion, and opportunity have yet to see that opportunity and now instead are seemingly viewed as aged and costly "resources."

The wellness medical benefits, while good, can be difficult to utilize, and the company that administers Arkema's self-insured plan, Aetna, falls short in supporting employee efforts to do so. The same question posed to Aetna in regards to medical benefit coverage will get different answers on different days. Services that should not require copays are too frequently assessed them and it is extremely difficult and time consuming to have these errors acknowledged and corrected. Other benefits require advocacy by the employee to obtain them, to the extent that they consume inordinate amounts of time and create the very stress they are supposed to alleviate. Other health and wellness services through multiple 3rd party vendors are spectacularly unhelpful beyond the most basic questions.

As a former employee, my new grass may or may not remain greener for long, and I wish both the company and my former colleagues the best. There is still some strong potential that can be realized with smart management and investment.

Advice to Senior ManagementShake up HR. Temper the politics of the staff groups and R&D.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Manager

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I have been working at Arkema US full-time for more than 10 years

ProsHealth benefits and location of corp. site

ConsHR is made up of the most untrust worthy employees!! Not an employee friendly company in United States.

Advice to Senior ManagementLousy pay! Despite what you may think.... It is not a privilege to work at Arkema!!!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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The best eighteen months of my working career, working in the glass coatings group.

Senior Process Engineer (Former Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I worked at Arkema US full-time for more than a year

ProsWonderful people in my group, hired me based on my job experience, not on my degrees. Safety first company. Flexible working hours. I was able to go to China twice to assist with installation and commissioning of glass coaters.

ConsLaid off due to economic conditions in glass manufacturing world wide. Our number one costumer did not renew yearly contract for chemicals.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work. Maybe push sales force a little to get sales.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Nice company to work with

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I worked at Arkema US full-time for more than 10 years

ProsDiverse technology and professional people

Conshard to change positions for technical people

Advice to Senior ManagementOverall good management team. Need to be more proactive of innovation.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Very flexible

Engineer (Former Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I worked at Arkema US part-time for more than a year

ProsGreat learning experience for young engineers. Part time work was flexible. Lot of experienced people to answer questions and present ideas to.

ConsFacility had cut back a lot of jobs due to the downturn in the economy. However, at the time this was very commonplace everywhere.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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OK experience

Scientist (Current Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I have been working at Arkema US full-time for more than 3 years

Prosgood location, good work/life balance

ConsNo motivation for PhD level employee. Scientist level employee does not have bonus while the entry level manager receives significant bonus. Management team does not care employees' career development.

Advice to Senior ManagementCare your employees; Improve communication with employees

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A Giant Vampire Squid Sucking The Knowledge Out of the American Employees and Then Discarding Them

Project Manager (Former Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I worked at Arkema US full-time for more than 10 years

ProsThey make it easy to leave, which is fine with them, since they're constantly downsizing.

ConsThe productive employees are used by non-productive management types and then scapegoated and terminated.

The HR department is made up of clueless bean counters.

The roads around KoP are a slow-moving parking lot.

Office politics rule, so if you travel a lot, you have no idea what traps the slackers have set for you when you get back. After all, if someone is going to be let go, they don't want it to be them.

Raises are poor and the bad employees are rewarded like the good ones.

Lack of funding for new products.

Lack of career development. They don't want to get your hopes up that you might actually get promoted.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your American employees like your French ones.

Quit posting misleading reviews here.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A Company to avoid.

Senior Engineer (Former Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I worked at Arkema US

ProsKOP facility is located in a relatively nice location at least in comparison to other chemical companies. Reasonable ability to balance work life and family life.

Cons1. A few entrenched managers are rewarded with bonuses while the worker bees receive mediocre compensation.

2. Few advancement opportunities; these are won by brown-nosing French cronies, corporate nepotism, or affirmative action.

3. Bright engineers report to incompetent managers who constantly second guess their efforts.

4. Performance reviews are comical--almost Dilbertesque.

5. A very cliquish culture with surprisingly left-of-center employees—at least for a chemical company (French influence?)

6. Recent company survey rated management and company morale as very poor.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop behaving like a backwater organization. Clean house of poor managers. Bring in outside consultants to review worker resumes and identifiy top talent based upon objective criteria. Assess managers based upon ability to actually manage. Develop people!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Quo Vadis?

Senior Research Scientist (Former Employee)
King of Prussia, PA

I worked at Arkema US

ProsRegular 40 hour week.
Nice colleagues.
Low pressure environment.
Flexible work and projects.

ConsMissing directions.
Everything is a grassroot effort.
No clear career path.
Job security has diminished.
Cost savings only way of increasing profits.
No general bonus system.

Advice to Senior ManagementWhat do you want to do? New products, restructuring, sell the company, merger?

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Arkema US reviews and ratings in King of Prussia, PA — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Arkema US CEO Thierry Le Hénaff. All 12 reviews posted anonymously by Arkema US employees.