Follett Reviews

Updated October 7, 2014
Updated October 7, 2014
72 Reviews
2.6
72 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mary Lee Schneider
20 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work life balance at the bookstores aren't usually open as much or often as a regular retail store (in 4 reviews)

  • good pay, flexible hours and wonderful people (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management seems to have not a clue about what is going on at the everyday worker level (in 6 reviews)

  • No benefits or perks for part time employees (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Was once a great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resources in River Grove, IL
    Current Employee - Human Resources in River Grove, IL

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

    Pros

    I liked my co-workers; good teamwork

    Cons

    poor management, low pay, lack of accountability, bully managers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    You've stepped up and moved from Casual Gamer to Full Out Final Level Boss Battle Mode

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

    I have been working at Follett

    Pros

    Challenge. If you crave work that is truly challenging with tough goals to work after, and have trouble closing your laptop and can't wait until the morning then you will accel here. Rewards are given based upon performance which is far.

    Cons

    You can burn out quickly if you are not used to this type of work environment. If you're a shark, you will do great here and be promoted through the ranks.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3.  

    Dickensian Gulags Right here in 'Murica

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Lexington-Fayette, KY
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Lexington-Fayette, KY

    I worked at Follett full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    We were paid money for our services while there. After years as a salaried employee, my eyes were opened to the true horrors of being an hourly working in the US. This new Nihilistic worldview, while sad, has enabled me to see the institutionalized abuse of the US labor force and systematic dismantling of the middle class/class mobility. They gave me the hate that drives my life's crusade.

    Cons

    Unreasonable policies, policies upon policies, upon policies -- so many no human could remember them all. Most delivered verbally, never written down -- and but ONE penalty for any violation: termination. Hence all of us served at the mercy of our half-to-fully insane masters. No one was safe, employees were fired as examples, or simply on a whim. No mercy, no concern, no consideration for the employee's value to the company, the cost of retraining a new person, the loss of experience...

    Managers behaved erratically, in a maddening way and it spread like a disease down through the ranks. My job was often threatened for having not done some random task that had no relation to my job position, nor could I have had any way of knowing it even needed to be done... Literally.

    This was their modus operandi -- crush your morale and self-esteem by convincing the employees that *they* were not good enough. Changing the "quality control" standards, so you're products got sent back to you over and over, and then you get dinged for that and no raise this year... And so on and so on.

    The plant president -- LITERALLY, I am not misusing that word; I am speaking of actual facts that happened -- was a big game hunter and had 2 snarling taxedermed HYENAS in his office, flanking the chairs where visitors would sit. Dead stuffed animals in a "professional" workplace.

    There were bomb threats, death threats, lock downs... So many disgruntled employees (remember all the arbitrary firings? After they pile up for a while, you're bound to stumble on someone taking it worse than most) that they had to hired armed security guards to patrol the halls and parking lots. To protect the managers from the madmen who would do them in.

    And I, having exhausted every scrap of emotional energy I had carpet bombing the countryside with copies of my resume, desperate to escape before their madness seeped into my head... I was drinking myself to sleep 5 nights a week. Sunday through Thursday nights to be exact -- the only way I could get to sleep on nights before I knew I had to go back in there. And through that horrible cycle of drinking, depression and hangover I caught myself secretly rooting for the "psychopaths" that threatened to shoot the place up. Even if they killed me in the crossfire, I thought... it would be worth it if even *one* of those maniacs who so cruelly lorded over us could be taken out.

    I have been out of that horrible place for years. I have a wonderful new job, yet I am *literally* still in therapy (and on several anti-anxiety drugs) because of the damage done by that institution.

    I was inspired to write this review because I learned that a colleague from BWI/Follett committed suicide last Wednesday. Seriously.

    No amount of money is worth the mind games those people play.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Repent.
    Give all your worldly possessions to charity.
    Commit suicide.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Cares about employees

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Follett

    Pros

    Bonuses, and great regional managers

    Cons

    The company is great but you are a contract vendor and it is sometimes hard to please staff and faculty

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have to be flexible and even tempered

  6.  

    Course Materials Manager

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

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

    Pros

    You are only extremely busy about three times a year - the beginning of each semester. Depending on the size of your school, you may be busy on graduation as well.

    Benefits package.

    Cons

    Not many opportunities for advancement, especially if you are unwilling to relocate. They are putting more and more work on the stores but also taking away labor hours.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Follett

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

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

    Pros

    At one point in my career, this section would have been easy to complete and several examples would have been easy to provide. Unfortunately, I have no Pros to offer.

    Cons

    Not being valued by management. Consistently wanting more and more out of associates, even when everything was being given. Keeping associates in the same position, year after year after year, with little to no chance of advancement or even lateral moves to help expand an associate skill set.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat associates with respect and make them feel valued, a simple "thank you", or "nice job" would be a nice start. Showing appreciation for a job well done is important.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Follett = Titanic....it's just sinking and sinking, do NOT get dragged down with it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager I
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager I

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

    Pros

    Good work life balance at the bookstores aren't usually open as much or often as a regular retail store

    You could possibly move up through out the company if you are willing to move where ever a position is open, whether it be 20 minutes away or completely across the country

    Cons

    The company has gone down hill, they laid off full time employees and then turn the positions into part time with no benefits......I'm talking MASSIVE lay off of several hundred.

    Home office support is HORRENDOUS! People in Audits, A/R and A/P are of absolutely NO VALUE to the individual who is running their department or store. Things are always going wrong when trying to reconcile, and when you call the home office for support, they can NEVER figure it out, meanwhile your store takes the hit and it effects your overall employee review and bonus.

    Home office is increasingly controlling more aspects of what happens in the store, and there is nothing the store can do it about.....they want to cut your book orders, even though you KNOW the professor will get angry and specifically asked you to bring in that amount, oh well too bad!

    A giant 10% discount on college books! BIG DEAL! get them cheaper online or off another student....seriously,

    Insurance plans for full-time employees sucks! Huge out of pocket expenses and deductables.

    They will purposely I MEAN PURPOSELY, set you up-coming years budgets significantly higher so you cannot make it and therefore will not get a bonus. This has become increasingly apparent in the last 3+ years. I know a store manager who had their JULY book sales budget increased by 75% for that month....IN JUNE.....if you know college, you know July sales in bookstores are DEAD! You are not allowed to even bring in stock for Fall until 4 weeks before classes start which is early August, and you need to have all your overstock from Summer gone 2 weeks after classes started. June and July sales are dead for most campuses, so why would they increase by 75%?

    To top it off they cut this same store's available payroll hours to only 20 hours each week for the month....that is not even enough hours to pay the Salaried Manager, let alone support an expected sales increase of 75%!! When the manager called the home office to see if it was a mistake they were told " no everything is correct, you're going to have to figure it out and work with your regional manager if needed".

    Honestly there are too many "cons" to list.....this company is NOT a place to advance your career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This company is going down hill. Sales are down and they are losing contracts left and right. Eventually College bookstores will be mostly online, and the on-campus presence will be minimal. If you are a college student and just need a part - time job that is local on campus then go for it. But do not look at this as anything more than a passing job at minimum wage to fill the time.

    I was an assistant manager for about 6 years, did many things within the store and on campus to improve the overall shoppers experience, but I was smart enough to jump ship right before it started sinking under it's new CEO.

    Follet is the Titantic, you are thinking of working here, JUST SKIP IT, if you currently work here and are reading this, don't be afraid of change and GET OUT while you can!

    There is no future in college bookstores, they will be obsolete soon enough.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Software development

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

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

    Pros

    Location means reasonable commute time. Work from home policy helps with the work/life balance. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    Morale is down the toilet along with bonus, benefits and profit sharing. Constant reduction in benefits with no end in sight. Periodic layoffs leave you constantly wondering if you will be next. The Follett family's new values revolve around increasing their shareholder value. Being profitable isn't enough. Record profits aren't enough. They want more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quite telling me you value "each and every associate" while you continue to cut benefits. You've destroyed morale. Merging the various companies into a single entity has created chaos. Outsourcing jobs may cut the hour!y cost but you are not looking at the total cost of a project due to higher defect rates and lower efficiency. It isn't cheaper if it takes more people longer with more errors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    challenging work but fun at the same time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Follett part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I get to meet different people with different needs. I like to help students make the most of their college experience.

    Cons

    The pay is not to good compared to other companies in the area. No benefits or perks for part time employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more money and employees will be more loyal to the company when hours get cut.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Follett was a decent place to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cashier in Saint Petersburg, FL
    Former Employee - Cashier in Saint Petersburg, FL

    I worked at Follett part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Decent pay
    Didn't have to workends

    Cons

    Sporadic Hours
    Couldn't work while the college was closed
    Breaks were hard to come by when it got busy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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