Fellowes

www.fellowes.com
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Fellowes Reviews

Updated February 3, 2015
Updated February 3, 2015
22 Reviews
2.8
22 Reviews
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Jamie Fellowes
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good group of people working together to get the job done

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

    I have been working at Fellowes full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Comfortable work environment, some really engaging leaders and passionate team members.

    Cons

    Work from home options are not warmly welcomed. Senior leaders have an old-fashioned expectation of 8a-5p in the office.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Great company to work for if not interested in career growth

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

    I have been working at Fellowes full-time

    Pros

    Good values, friendly culture, great coworkers, very competitive pay, good benefits, flexible-ish schedule (depending on manager) overall decent place to work

    Cons

    Micromanagement from the very top down creating a culture of people too afraid to make decisions on their own, supposedly focused on innovations, but unwilling to support new ventures with real capital, difficult to get promoted within

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support new launches and internal talent whole heartedly

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Lack of Culture, Unusual Norms, Zero Constructive Communication

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

    I have been working at Fellowes full-time

    Pros

    There are some very nice individuals working at the company and I think most of the employees are genuinely kind. When you get face time with the Fellowes family, I think they truly care about their employees, but that time is very rare.

    Cons

    There are many challenges, which I've tried to distill into 3 main categories...

    1. Culture - There is a complete lack of culture at Fellowes. Each business team works on it's own "island" and rarely communicates with one another. Each VP or GM is deemed fit to manage their business team, but there are very, very different management styles within the organization. The CEO & Executive Team are on their own separate island far, far away from the business teams.

    2. Norms - The company is rooted in norms that date back almost 100 years. There are an overwhelming amount of employees that have been working at Fellowes for 10+ years. Yes, this means they have job security, but it also means change doesn't happen easily, if at all. There is zero thought leadership because everyone is completely content with the way things were done yesterday, are done today and will always be done. Also, the company is located all the way out in Itasca, IL. The majority of employees are older and living out in the suburbs. There is not a large talent pool coming from urban areas or the city of Chicago due to the distance from the city. In addition, there is a strict "you must be in the office from 8-5" policy. Fellowes is missing a huge opportunity to garner better talent from the city by providing transportation from the Metra station just blocks away.

    3. Constructive Communication - Although the CEO and Executive Team have communicated a strategic focus, it is not drilled down into the business teams. Therefore, the VP or GM can interpret the strategic focus as they like. In addition, there is a serious lack of follow up from the CEO and Executive Team to see if the business teams are actually focusing on their strategic vision. There are definitely "chosen" business teams where the CEO and Executive Teams are looking for growth, but it's not something that is communicated clearly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Culture - Put out a company policy regarding things like work from home, consider a casual dress code, encourage cross-business team meetings and collaboration. Fellowes talks about the changing work environment and how we need to adapt our products, but the company then hesitates to morph into a modern company itself. Yes, company policies mean VPs or GMs will have to give up slight control of their business, but this could make for a much more united company.

    2. Norms - Start recruiting! There are some great brands & products in the Fellowes portfolio, but a lack of awareness and difficulty in transportation to Itasca are likely two large hurdles prohibiting better talent. Also, I think there needs to be a realization that the people who got the company to where it is today are not necessarily the same people that will help the company grow and adapt in the future. Encourage thought leadership and provide meaningful training to the organization.

    3. Constructive Communication - Do not take a "one strategic focus fits all approach." Talk about which businesses are priority for growth, which are important for the bottom line, etc. Give the company visibility to what's happening and trust your employees, beyond the VPs or GMs, to be key in decision making. Stop assuming and start asking more pointed questions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great culture and people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Professional in Itasca, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Professional in Itasca, IL

    I have been working at Fellowes full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Culture is very collegial. Global nature of company gives opportunities to work with other countries/cultures.
    Company keeps staff well informed on what's going on in the company.

    Cons

    Limited opportunities for career progression.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Rewarding, meaningful work in a challenging industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Quality Director in Itasca, IL
    Former Employee - Quality Director in Itasca, IL

    I worked at Fellowes full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    There are unique opportunities to learn and contribute beyond a persons level in the business. As a family owned business they are not slaves to quarterly "wall street" results and instead can set longer term strategies that payoff over time. Highly ethical workplace. Very rewarding and exciting to work across many cultures, countries and markets. You can make a difference here. New CEO has purpose and vision of future that "feels" right.

    Cons

    The 24-7 global demands can be tiring. If you are not self directing it can be difficult.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would suggest that there are some decisions in the business that can be left to a lower level. Perhaps manufacturing should be more geographically diverse. Low cost solutions in some cases should be examined with skepticism.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Stuck in a culture from the past - and not a good one

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Itasca, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Itasca, IL

    I worked at Fellowes full-time

    Pros

    Smaller company provided access to many cross functional departments, which was a good experience.
    Salary was competitive with the marketplace for the position.
    Work-life balance was reasonable.

    Cons

    Office was over a manufacturing facility which made it pretty bleak.
    Lack of diversity and lack of respect for diverse thoughts, beliefs and backgrounds.
    Family run companies just don't often thrive from one generation to the next.
    Leadership mindset was stuck in the past and struggled to understand new ideas and points of view.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in leaders with diverse ideas rather than only the exact same ideas of the family / owners. Respect that your personal beliefs and values are just that - YOURS. Other people have different ideas, values and beliefs that are not incompatible with still having a dynamic, talented, diverse workforce.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Keep your resume updated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Itasca, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Itasca, IL

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

    Pros

    I worked with some great people. Unfortunately, we all knew that we'd all eventually be leaving the company. There was no long-term optimism.

    Cons

    Too much favoritism governing the decision-making process. Many (many) good, competent, intelligent people shown the door, while many less-suited and inept permitted to stay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Excellent place to grow and be appreciated for honest work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Alliance Manager in Itasca, IL
    Former Employee - Customer Alliance Manager in Itasca, IL

    I worked at Fellowes full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Company culture, values and mindset for continuous improvement.

    Cons

    Staffing reorganiztion efforts can occur frequently.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand how bringing in new talent can upset existing culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    So much wasted potential

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

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

    Pros

    The regular people in the company are universally some of the best I have ever worked with and are a delight to interact with every day. The new first floor remodel is inspiring and the next phase has everyone excited.

    Cons

    The leadership of the organization, with a few exceptions, is so out of touch with the reality of the work that is needed and the work that is actually getting done, that poor decisions are made every day. The office environment is the most political and toxic environment I have ever worked in and results in employees so busy needing to CYI that other things go undone. No one under a director is ever consulted on decisions and any key decision is done by the Ivory Tower Executive Team and most of the time lacks the needed information to actually make a decision that makes sense. Those bad decisions then will result in confusion, extra work and mistakes further adding to the need for CYI because when things go wrong someone has to be blamed. The executives who made the decisions in isolation only care if it is complete - not if the work is actually correct, right or logical because how could they ever be wrong (Domeo)? They have to protect their gravy train so when things go bad the witch hunts begin and ultimately someone that spoke the truth or called to light a problem during the project gets fired. The T-Day group and especially the Ivory Tower are all amazingly immune to any accountability when their ideas go wrong.

    Then there is no one to turn to for help when you are being mistreated. With the exception of the new Employee Relations Manager who genuinely seems to care about us but can't get anyone to listen, the entire Human Resources, safety and security (trying to say that with a straight face) departments are universally viewed as absent at best and most days just a useless joke. They care more about how to take my salary back with the charity programs we are forced to hear about and contribute to all year long than they care about doing anything to benefit to the employees. What happened to charity begins at home? How about you start by paying a competitive salary instead of giving everything away to strangers! We are tired of hearing about GIVE and China – enough already!

    With each passing day the embarrassment at what we have posted as our "core values" grows more glaring. What once was a good place to work is now just a place to get a check until something else comes along.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen for a change. Note to just the words we say but to what we are actually trying to tell you. Then, it would be nice to see an actual reaction and result from ANY of the feedback you ask for. HR sends out surveys, collects data and reports on the summary but there is nothing beyond that, no resulting action. Also let us make some of the decisions. Most of us are actually good at what we do and are not allowed to really do what we are capable of because of micromanagement. It is time to wake up and listen before it is too late. How many more good people have to quit before you recognize the problem?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Flexible company that can turn on a dime, but can often go in the wrong direction.

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

    I have been working at Fellowes full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Friendly work environment, the employees are really on top of their game.

    Cons

    Executives are too detached and arrive at poor assumptions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend quality time with employees below the director level. It would be very enlightening.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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