Games Workshop

www.games-workshop.com

Games Workshop Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
44 Reviews
3.3
44 Reviews
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Tom Kirby
16 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Company, Great Benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - One Man Store Manager
    Current Employee - One Man Store Manager

    I have been working at Games Workshop full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You get the chance to be around like-minded individuals and be surrounded by the Games Workshop Hobby. The benefits package is probably one of the best in the United States and the hours are great considering this is essentially a salaried management position.

    Cons

    Not much room for advancement unless you want to move to Memphis to work at corporate (or Nottingham, UK). The next person in your chain of command is the head of sales for the US and Canada. There is pressure to perform, but the truth is that you get out what you put in.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work as long as you understand you won't be there for very long.

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

    I worked at Games Workshop full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    You get paid to talk about playing games and building models with people that are, generally speaking, also excited about playing games and building models. The benefits are pretty decent, pay is adequate for what it is.

    Cons

    It's retail, but more so. That is to say, retail always involves horrible people (the public) along with some very nice people, but Games Workshop attracts lots of people with limited social skills that have often put in a significant monetary investment and who now feel alienated by the recent insane push to spend more even as you get less back for your dollar (or by obscure quirks in the game that are no one's fault).

    I'm not sure what the deal is with the pricing plan, but it seems as though management is just experimenting to see how much they can charge. All well and good, but they act confused when nobody buys the brand new $150 box and pass blame off on the Hobby Center Operators instead of learning that yes, there is a point people will stop buying.

    If you plan to work here as a career, seriously re-examine your life. Not because working here is not honorable, but because there isn't really any room for advancement unless you make the right friends upstairs, and the salary is certainly not adequate for anything except the most basic lifestyle. Also, job security is laughable. The company is reorganized every 6 months (or so it seems), with anybody above HCO having to reapply for their same job/new title. HCOs are fired early and often, and there is basically no help for any HCO that is struggling other than the knowledge that if you don't start doing something right soon you'll be looking for a new job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put some stuff on sale every now and again. Make some of your "one click bundles" a savings for the customer. If you put a bundle out that has 6 vehicles and 50 infantry models and it costs seven hundred dollars, at least give SOME kind of bulk discount. Doesn't have to be much, and people will be more likely to buy. Instead, what normally happens is they get excited until they realize there is no discount, so they decide they'd rather buy it off the shelves, and they end up buying less models. Every time.

    Stop reorganizing how you do things. Hire someone who knows how to run a business, pick a business model, and stick with it. It looks to me like upper management is flailing around trying different things at random, hoping to find a business strategy that sticks. I don't have an MBA or anything, so maybe there's some secret plan or I'm just an idiot, but there have been many, many questionable calls that make no sense from the ground level, too many to list.

    Pretend to have some loyalty to employees like the old days. Then actually have some loyalty.

    For the love of God, stop with the stupid limited edition garbage. Limited editions should be special; they have become a given. Again, maybe there's a secret plan behind the scenes, but it just seems like you are using limited editions to inflate an already inflated price. I'm willing to bet that, for example, you could have made gobs and gobs of money on the shield generator model that you sold for $100 but which you only manufactured 1000. It sold out in like literally an hour. Why was it limited? It's in the book as something that EVERY 40k army can take, it's good in the game, and it looked pretty cool. If it was priced at, say $60 I'll bet half of all 40k players would have bought at least one, with many people buying 3. I don't know how much dough that brings in, but I can pretty damn well guarantee you it's more than the $100,000 you got. And I don't know if you noticed, but probably 400 of those things went up on ebay within a week.

    Finally, the sales goals being tied directly to the previous year with no other considerations allowed is idiotic. A new edition came out last year, driving a huge spike in sales, and this year it's Apocalypse, which no one plays? Too bad, deal with it. You had a great year? Well, you're screwed the following year if you can't pull it all off again. Perpetually. Could this be linked to why so many people are fired so often? Surely it's not just that everyone is lazy and terrible? Is it more economical to hire someone new every two years, or to work encourage employee growth and not just obsess over store growth?

    I can't tell if I smell desperation or oblivious incompetence.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Selling fun is still selling.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hobby Center Operator in Union City, CA
    Former Employee - Hobby Center Operator in Union City, CA

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

    Pros

    You get to be in a game store every single day, spending time with variety of interesting people who all share a passion. You develop a relationship with your customers, which can be very rewarding. You have a huge degree of independence, if not autonomy, and the operational support is pretty darn good. You get to teach people fun things, and generally create a fun environment for people to enjoy. There are a lot of smiles to be had at Games Workshop. Because you run a single-person store, every one of your accomplishments is undoubtedly YOUR accomplishment, and you do get recognized for them. The benefits are also excellent, and the employee discount is fantastic. A typical hobbyist will save literally thousands of dollars by getting a job with Games Workshop.

    Cons

    You are trained to have some contempt for the opinions of those same customers with whom it is so rewarding to develop a relationship. The job description, at the time of my employment, was "to deliver sales growth by performing the Retail Standards." The Retail standards were (are?) 20 axioms whose wording did not change, but whose definition developed further every three months or so. That means that the only thing that stays constant in your job description is the expectation that your store will make more money than it did at the same time last year. If you do that fantastically for two years and then fail to do it in the third, the first two years don't matter any more, even if you are performing the Retail Standards. In short, your numbers matter more than anything else. Because of this, there was relatively high turnover. You only see your fellow store operators at training camps every three months, and many of them don't last longer than two training camps (six months). Turnover was pretty high when I was there, and that has a negative impact on morale, even if everyone wants to put on a happy face. You will not be paid in proportion to the effort that you put in. It is a LOT of work to run a successful hobby center.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Distinguish between offering value to the customer and offering value to Games Workshop. Ask yourself with every decision of policy or product design, "what value does this bring our customers?" By "customers," I mean the majority of people who have purchased your products within the last three years, or a non-hobbyist who wanders into a Hobby Center. You charge a premium price for a premium product, but it doesn't matter if your product is the best if you are not delivering value in proportion to price. By the way, Tom, the best handbag in the store is not the most expensive one, it's the one that fits your needs. Fill a need. Create value, and sell that. Stop training your HCO's and HCM's to grasp at straws for reasons someone might enjoy a product, and start creating reasons for customers to enjoy product, including being happy with the price.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dream job quickly realized to be a nightmare.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hobby Center Operator - Black Shirt
    Former Employee - Hobby Center Operator - Black Shirt

    I worked at Games Workshop full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Good medical benefits. If you are in to the hobby the discount is great at 50% off of anything in the store. Getting to spend time in the store and with the customer base. Constantly learning and teaching new hobby techniques.

    Cons

    Horrible communication processes. Definitely a club, not a culture as they describe it. If you are not embraced by management on a friendly level do not expect to be given any kind of chance to succeed. Management does not see staff as people with lives, but rather as disposable. Horrible training, with 100% of emphasis on learning how to have Games Workshop "Sales Conversation." No training on policy, or culture. Questions directed to upper management can take days to answer and then will be met with vague answers, or ambiguous responses rather than actual yes or no. Trainers almost seem to be there more to make you feel like you are not doing your job than they are to actually make suggestions that could help your job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to upper management. Try to remember that even though you never see the people at the stores they are actually people with lives that depend on their jobs. The fact that there is zero direct reporting to management means that no one gets to know each other as people. That may be actually how they want it though so it is easier to fire willy nilly for any reason deemed fit. My only real advice is that I personally believe in Karma, what comes around goes around, and you should treat your staff the way you would hope to be treated by your bosses over in the UK.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Some of my best and worst memories

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Westminster, CA
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Westminster, CA

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

    Pros

    Getting to work with something you love
    Coworkers were awesome

    Cons

    Driving Distance was never compensated
    Inconsistent management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have faith in your employees and don't set them up for failure simply because you don't have the exact same point of view,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Long Term Employee, Content Creator GW Fan - No value to company once you annoy a connected Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Huge GW fan, played, collected, painted, wrote about the hobby in my dream job of writing for White Dwarf Magazine.

    1. Good benefits
    2. Good environment for creativity
    3. Peer respect (to a point).
    4. Impressive discounts

    Cons

    Fired after my main Manager called me (rude word) to my face, in the middle of the office at the top of his lungs and I complained to HR over Managers treatment. I was a 15 year long term employee who was a hobby writer and recognizable face within the Games Workshop fan base. I would of happily worked for GW as it was my dream job to write for White Dwarf manager

    1. Egos
    2. Private Boys club culture in upper management.
    3. Does not value employees - see them as disposable.
    4. Low pay for professional positions - if they can they will low-ball you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have no advice, the culture will never change and planning is knee jerk reactions. Majority of staff are afraid to lose there positions on a moments notices or are reflections of upper management in terms of temperament and view of employees. No long term future.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    Enjoyable if it weren't so unnecessarily stressful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hobby Specialist in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Hobby Specialist in San Jose, CA

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

    Pros

    Learn how to paint, teach Warhammer, get to be immersed in the hobby and get very familiar with it. Usually make friends with the regulars, and have fun running events.

    Cons

    Pressure to perform in sales numbers sucks the life and fun out of the hobby, and cavalier attitude towards firing makes employees feel like they are not valued by the company, and are instead disposable commodities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your people a bit more. Don't drive the sales stake into the heart of your employees, let them actually enjoy themselves, it will come across, and it will mean they sell more in the end. Look at successful independent stores, the passion and joy that goes into their store and the events that they run.

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

    Beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in Memphis, TN
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in Memphis, TN

    I worked at Games Workshop full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flex time, 25 days of vacation.

    Cons

    Promises of promotions that never come. Turn over is tremendous. Understaffed. UK constantly changing US management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of the employees you have and they will quit leaving.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Don't get too excited...you'll be let down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Hobby Center Operator - Black Shirt in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Hobby Center Operator - Black Shirt in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    Pay is ok considering not very hard work, your customer base is mostly very cool people who you get to spend a lot of time with, the product is pretty neat.

    Cons

    Upper management has no idea what they are doing. The American CEO of this hobby company doesn't even participate or understand the hobby. The company itself continue to alienate the customer base because upper management doesn't understand or care to understand them and then punishes store operators when they can't meet unreasonable sales goals. Also, the management team and the store operator scene is very weird, everybody has divided into little groups that kind of worship different upper management people. If you kiss up enough to management and make enough friends, your production doesn't matter and you'll be rewarded. If you are independent and quiet, chances are you'll be alienated and eventually fired regardless of your production. It's a pretty messed up company which is exhibited by declining sales and rising turnover.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit. You don't understand your customer base and every idea and move you've made over the past three years has hurt and not helped the company. You aren't respected and don't do a good job. Get true hobbyists in upper management who understand the hobby and customer base.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Loads of potential to be a fantastic place to work, but isn't

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Back Office Worker in Memphis, TN
    Former Employee - Back Office Worker in Memphis, TN

    I worked at Games Workshop full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    This review is for the NA HQ in Memphis (not retail stores). Super casual, flex hours, laid back but things get done. Great to be able to take a break by going to the game bunker and browse around. Lots of hobbyists work there and you get 50% discount on most products. Great people. Overall, it's a fun place to work.

    Cons

    The company is in turmoil as the parent company in the UK tries to figure out how to be the central figure in charge. They really suck at change management — for instance, shutting down NA manufacturing and telling everyone losing their jobs that the "experts in the UK" will be doing it better, and a UK tosser letting a manager find out that he is losing his job in a meeting with his entire department. In 2013 alone, they fired the CEO (5 years), CIO (< 3 mo.), the entire training staff (some had been with GW their entire career), trade sales manager, staff accountant (GW put through college), and more. The year previous they shut down US manufacturing and fired the NA CIO (position elimination). Major turmoil.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You make a big deal about the culture as documented in Tom's "Black Book," but that culture no longer exists. Instead, everyone is constantly on edge about losing their job and it affects moral, behavior and performance. All you need to do is return to those guiding principles. They grew the company from a nothing startup to an international concern.

    Note to Glass Door reviewers: Mark Wells is no longer CEO. Tom is both CEO and Chairman.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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