General Growth Properties Reviews

Updated May 27, 2015
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General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani
Sandeep Mathrani
1 Rating

Pros
  • There was growth opportunities in addition to a great work-life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Good benefits - the pay is decent (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • There is no clear direction from upper management and the "fire drills" for information or tasks never end (in 6 reviews)

  • No communication between middle management and upper management (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Interesting Ride

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at General Growth Properties full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some great people and a fast paced environment. Also, a good location in downtown Chicago near public transportation and a business casual dress code.

    Cons

    Short term focus on profit while not investing enough in the assets that generate revenue. Exhausting fire drills to cut expenses every few months - at some point they will hand everyone a shovel and ask us to clear the snow in the parking lot.

    Advice to Management

    It would be great if the culture speak and culture were more aligned. You can't have a team when the bonus structure is such that only individuals in 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place are rewarded well and the rest of the team only gets a small portion of the bonus despite completing all your goals and even additional items beyond what was expected.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Corporate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at General Growth Properties full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Close working relationships among teams, pretty good benefits (with the exception of no infertility coverage), good PTO policy, great in-house lunch program with subsidy, free beverages and Keurig, free, well appointed workout facilities with showers, blow dryers and locker room, nice rooftop deck, good location to trains, dress code allows jeans every day, opportunity for advancement, excellent charity program that fosters engagement among employees.

    Cons

    The executive team is quite elitist. While departments are expected to cut costs and reduce headcount to save money the executives have no issues with spending large amounts of money on personal whims. CEO rules through fear. Executives have terrible language in meetings, are very condescending and change their mind constantly, requiring people to work exceedingly long hours to satisfy last minute requirements. Having worked here for a long time I had the luxury of seeing it when the old leadership cared about its employees. While we are doing very well financially people are unhappy b/c the leadership team only cares about the finances, not about how employees are treated. Layoffs are never ending and people who appear to be performing well are terminated which causes a culture of fear. That may be the intention of management but its not an ideal place to work if you are prone to stress.

    Advice to Management

    Think about how your words and actions appear to others, especially before judging people. remember you make millions and the rest of us do not so our bonus is important to us. Remember that we have families and personal lives and do not live to work, we work to live. People can do their jobs during regular business hours and still be excellent employees. Putting in more face time doesn't make someone a better employee.


  3. Benefits

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accounting in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Accounting in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at General Growth Properties full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The benefits are good and fulfill the needs of the employees.

    Cons

    The employee contributions are too expensive.

    Advice to Management

    Review the benefits and employee contributions when considering 2016 benefits.


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  5. Great people, poorly managed, sad... company had great potential.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The co-workers are great people.

    Cons

    The management is lost and in need of a mall directory


  6. Easy work made so complicated and STRESSFUL

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Property Accountant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Property Accountant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at General Growth Properties full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The salary is good. There are summer hours where you can leave at 2pm on scheduled Fridays Memorial Day-Labor day without you having to make up any time. Baseball games, bowling, and drinking makes everyone happy. There are lots of company outings and socials within the company. The company does a lot for charity. There has been multiple trips to the Chicago Food Depository to help package food for the needy. For the health conscious people there is a free gym.

    Cons

    The organization here is REALLY bad. I like to call it organized chaos. First of all it takes IT about a week if not more to give you access to the things you need. You may meet some nice people, but then again, you might meet people who will walk past you in the halls like you're not there. What happened to "hello?" Everyone has their own way of completing everything. During your first month of training you need to gather all of the info you can. After that, they throw you to the sharks. If you ask someone a question good luck getting a response. You're trained by your peers and not your managers. You'd be surprised at how much the managers actually know. Good luck beating your deadlines when you're always receiving the information late.

    Advice to Management

    Don't always look down on the lower levels. If you reach down, you'd be surprised at how they can help you go higher.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Changing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Management in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at General Growth Properties full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Company is changing. Improving slowly financially after emerging from bankruptcy and is now stable. Good salary and benefits.

    Cons

    New executive team (especially the CEO) wants to constantly clean house and promotes an atmosphere of fear throughout the organization. Most of the employees work in an environment where they are afraid they will be terminated at any moment regardless of how well they perform. Want to be known for having a great culture but do everything they can to make it bad. Not a friendly or stable environment to work at.

    Advice to Management

    Change just for the sake of change is not a good thing. Recognize the good work that your people do and work to inspire them.


  8. Was a Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at General Growth Properties full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Challenging, often every day is different and interesting, the location is great and most of the folks I work with are nice.

    Cons

    It was a great place to work, but now there is so much focus on profit, investment in the business is at a bare minimum.

    Advice to Management

    Less leadership through fear would go a long way.


  9. Disappointing, to say the least.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Development in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Development in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at General Growth Properties full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good name recognition; overall strong sense of purpose and pride in "righting the ship" following the bankruptcy; no one seems to work much more than a 9-5, so there is a good work-life balance; from a strictly-business point of view, it seems to be headed in the right direction, so long as the long-predicted "death of regional malls" doesn't come to fruition.

    Cons

    The development department is a generally depressing place to work... lot's of bored older people in senior roles who seem tired of putting up with the mud that is slung at them by the company, and lot's of bored younger people who feel held back by the lack of promotability, creativity, and excitement. Seems like the young crowd joined the group to get in to real estate development, but are stuck in largely administrative roles with no career development; executives like the preach the importance of our culture, going as far as throwing million dollar + "culture retreats" for the whole company each year, but then seem to take pleasure in cutting employees down and practicing an extremely closed-door policy... this is particularly true in the development department; pays substantially lower than comparably companies, though the CEO seems to have no shame in taking home a record-setting $22M in 2013.

    Advice to Management

    If culture is so important to your strategy for the company, live by it yourselves... it is not enough to preach it if you've created an environment where people don't find you to be particularly enjoyable people to work for. The frequent CEO emails written by corporate communications team have become a bit of a laughing stock... it means much more if you communicate to employees in a way less reminiscent of a press release.


  10. Lots of good people, also lots of bad upper-level managers

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at General Growth Properties full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, good pay, good workers.

    Cons

    Many bad upper-level managers trying to climb to the top and advance themselves on the backs of people working for them. The rank & file employees are far more knowledgeable than most of the managers. Ever since the company filed bankruptcy and a new CEO came in a brought all his cronies into manager positions, the company could care less about the employees that actually do the work. There is no clear direction from upper management and the "fire drills" for information or tasks never end. They constantly change their minds what they want, because they don't know what they want.

    Advice to Management

    Promote people into management positions which actually know the job. Value the knowledge of the people who have brought the company to the place where you joined it and started reaping massive benefits from it.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Employees are treated like the enemy when management has nothing left to extract from them

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at General Growth Properties full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers who care about each other Lots of potential for exciting projects Decent work/life balance Fairly good benefits

    Cons

    Management that has been put in place because of politics, and not because they know how to manage people/departments Lots of layoffs, coupled with frozen salaries (or very low pay increases over a long period of time) No adherence to HR policies that have been put in place. Management completely ignores process when it doesn't benefit them (many people have been laid off in the past 2-3 years without receiving any severance. The company gets around that by creating bogus "performance" issues against the employee, even when none are documented in the employee records) - STAY AWAY from this company unless you are politically connected (and, therefore, protected)

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees with respect and you might find that will produce better results than intimidation and micro-management



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