J Sainsbury
3.2 of 5 174 reviews
www.j-sainsbury.co.uk London, United Kingdom 5000+ Employees

174 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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Overworked and under-appreciated

Team Leader (Current Employee)
Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

ProsThere's a decent pension scheme and adequate discount which is increased at holiday times throughout the year. There are plenty of opportunities to attend Food Colleges in some departments, which can lead to NVQs in subjects relevant to your current role, which can then be transferred on. There are also some genuinely delightful customers who make it all (briefly) seem worthwhile.

ConsI have never worked for a company with such blatant disregard and disrespect for the well-being of its staff. On food service departments, scheduled hours are slashed to the bone meaning colleagues receive a bare minimum of breaks and sometimes go hours without even a drink of water, as it's apparently prohibited to consume anything behind the counter, and are often expected to assist other departments even though their counter is single-staffed and this means leaving it empty. Company rules state strict hygiene and apparel rules,which are flagrantly flouted by management, as it doesn't apply to them, apparently. There is a group who are 'in' with management and therefore get away with floating about and doing as little as they can manage, while the rest of us work like dogs to keep standards up. If you work over your shift time, you won't get paid - this is expected of team leaders who get treated like the scum of the earth by management and sometimes by colleagues, with no comeback whatsoever. It is an absolute joke that one of this company's mission statements is 'respect for the individual'. No consideration is given to colleagues who have families outwith the "2.5 children" scenario leading to terrible work-life balance for colleagues who may also have demanding personal schedules albeit without any child-rearing duties. Rules very strict on absence with no consideration given to those with chronic conditions or hidden disabilities, even after meeting with management to resolve issues, they are told that the "needs of the business" outweigh their own personal considerations.

From a business standpoint, the focus is very clearly on customer service, and yet colleagues who spend too much time with a customer (helping an elderly customer with their shopping, for example, or advising a customer on a recipe for the product they are buying) will receive a tongue-lashing. Much is made of their "legal documentation to prove due diligence" and yet colleagues are advised to falsify these or "just sign it" and even when arguing their case are told that they are in the wrong for following the correct procedure they were explicitly trained to follow. Lip service is paid to being safe and legal but to all intents and purposes it is only lip service and management clearly don't care if they endanger their staff and customers, as long as they can say "oh, we're compliant" and keep raking in the profits.

Lack of organisation: may be unique to my store, doubtful though that is. HR constantly and consistently "lose" papers submitted to them - expenses receipts, schedules, and worst of all training booklets. Some colleagues have been repeatedly trained and signed off on the same modules, the paperwork submitted, only to have it mysteriously go missing and the colleague being dressed down for non-completion. I myself am on my fourth copy of a certain module. Repeat training must cost a fortune in paper and colleague hours and certainly engenders a lot of ill-will towards the idling HR colleagues.

All in all the store would not be unpleasant to work in if it were not for the constant procedure 180 turns, appalling disorganization and mis-communication, or the daily microagressions and complaints of management leveled at colleagues who are already working near flat-out just to complete their daily tasks.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease start treating colleagues respectfully and as people, not as brain-dead automatons without any spark of creative thought or knowledge. Start listening to local knowledge and stop treating every store as if it were a big city superstore. Recognize the strengths you have in your colleagues instead of insisting they all perform in exactly the same way, and then criticizing them when they cannot perform at superhuman levels for extended periods of time.

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

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    I've been here a long time so it can't be that bad

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    I have been working at J Sainsbury

    Pros: Lots of opportunities if you want to reach out and get them. Company has great corporate values… Cons: Slow in some respects to get things done More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO


    A friendly environment that made an effort to make a boring job a little less boring

    Checkout Operator (Former Employee)
    Godalming, England (UK)

    I worked at J Sainsbury part-time for less than a year

    Pros: - You get to meet amazing people. - There's a light and non-corporate feel (for example dressing up on red nose day). - There's a real active… Cons: - Breaks were often late or supervisors didn't reply to reply… Advice to Senior Management: - Spend some money upgrading the tills and making them modern - it'll look better as well as being easier and quicker to use. -… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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