There are newer employer reviews for Harbor Freight Tools

1 person found this helpful  

Retail sales

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Kansas City, MO
Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Kansas City, MO

I have been working at Harbor Freight Tools full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

Generous vacation and sick time accrual. Many stores opening across which should translate into opportunities.

Cons

Extremely poor communication at store level. Totally lacking true accountability. Company needs to have a feedback system that protected against retribution.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

District managers should talk to the team when in the stores and not ignore issues.

Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

334 Other Employee Reviews for Harbor Freight Tools (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Rudderless Ship in a niche market

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

    I have been working at Harbor Freight Tools full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Paid Time Off accrual, relatively decent work-life balance for retail management, potential of company (though being squandered at this time).

    Cons

    Unfortunately, there are many and much of this is the result of an absentee owner with only a passing interest in the business other than to leverage the value of the company to pay himself excessive dividends rather than investing the earnings back into the business and the people in the stores.

    For the past three to four years, there has been a litany of programs from individuals at corporate that frankly don't understand what HFT is in terms of culture and history. Yes, change does need to happen to keep companies relevant (just look at Sears, K-mart, and others), but a constant stream of programs that are marginal in effectiveness only creates confusion and frustration at the store level don't yield productive efforts. There are far too many DMs, RMs, and others that expect blind obedience, but they themselves couldn't implement the programs effectively given the lack of staffing required to fulfill the expectations of said programs. "Change is coming" is what the stores are hearing, but if the changes already put in place can't be implemented effectively, perhaps a return to fundamentals would be advised. MMSOP, Epicor, Chameleon, and IDP are the most recent efforts that frankly create more work than efficiency.

    There is no commitment to development from within despite what HR may say on the posters at the front doors. The IDP is a farce when there is no commitment on the part of the DMs and outside hire SMs to implement, support, and execute the intended purpose of the program. This reflects a lack of commitment and involvement by the HR department to create a long-term strategy to support the growth of the company and develop the talent (it does exist HR) within the organization. Rather what is experienced at the stores by the employees and junior management is an organizational indifference by the HR department. Bring up a complaint and they will do their utmost to squash it or ignore it in hopes that it will go away. All one has to do is examine the turnover at the stores (all levels in the store) to see that HFT is positioning itself for mediocrity. There are some good people in HR, but most certainly not at the top tiers of the organization. Laissez Faire management is perhaps the best description of the managerial focus for this critically important department.

    The lack of communication (positive that is) and clear vision from the executive level also creates confusion and a lack of clarity of purpose at the stores. Many of these individuals have been brought in supposedly to take the company to a new level and direction, but unfortunately since they don't and won't listen to the stores and use fear, intimidation, and threats to enforce poorly designed programs and policies, mediocrity is the norm rather than the exception, which is a shame since there are many in the stores that have good ideas and a commitment to excellence, but are ignored or blacklisted because they have solutions to problems facing the company. This is reflected in the elimination of Engagement Surveys to assess how employees feel about their role and the company. There hasn't been an Engagement Survey in two years and the last one's results were not shared with the employees (must not have been very good).

    Given the gross margin this organization achieves on its merchandise, the staffing levels that are skeletal at best reflect more of a commitment to padding profits than achieving real growth (simply opening more stores isn't an effective long-term strategy) and threatening cashiers and store employees with discipline and termination to force customers to sign up for mailing lists and a member's program with questionable benefits along with giving away millions of dollars of products to inflate "customer" counts reflects a marked lack of understanding of how to grow a business. Staffing and payroll budgets could be increased to ensure that the most important element of growing the business is addressed and that being staffing to provide customer service while the store is open rather than allocating 1/3 to 1/2 of the payroll budget to "dark hours" programs (MMSOP, POGs, ad sets, and price changes). More names on the customer rolls doesn't mean customer service exists.

    Unfortunately for the customer that shops HFT, the management team (DM, RM, corporate) isn't committed to providing a positive shopping experience, but is very quick to create a hostile working environment for the internal customer (store employees) that correspondingly creates a less than welcoming environment for the external customer shopping the stores.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stopping believing in your own grandeur (you aren't that great), listen to the grass roots employees (it worked for Sam Walton who honestly earned his billions), stop rolling out ill-designed programs and changes if you can't get the current ones working as intended, promote from within (start by creating opportunities by removing DMs, RMs, and corporate executives that don't and won't listen to those doing the work), and increase the staffing at store level to mitigate turnover.

    This company has potential in its niche, but unfortunately its being squandered by those that are unwilling to accept that its current focus is encouraging mediocrity rather than excellence. Managing and leading an organization requires more than platitudinous mutterings.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Harbor Freight Tools Response

    Jun 20, 2014HR Liason

    We agree, this company has tremendous potential, and we look forward to its continued growth. We also greatly appreciate your feedback about areas where we can improve. If you'd like to share ... More

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Seniority means nothing

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

    I have been working at Harbor Freight Tools

    Pros

    Decent benefits, good co workers(if they can stick around long enough to get to know)

    Cons

    Too much favoritism.If you're young and cute it's a great job for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be a little more respectful to long term employees possibly looking for promotion.

    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Harbor Freight Tools Response

    Jun 20, 2014HR Liason

    We're glad to hear you're satisfied with Harbor Freight's benefits and enjoy your co-workers. We also appreciate your feedback about areas where we can improve. If you'd like to share specific ... More

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