General Mills

www.generalmills.com
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General Mills Reviews in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Updated February 27, 2015
Updated February 27, 2015
302 Reviews
3.4
302 Reviews
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General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell
Ken Powell
302 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can have a good work life balance if you make it a priority (in 118 reviews)

  • Great benefits (but decreasing), good teamwork, great training opportunities (in 43 reviews)


Cons
  • Be prepared for a poor work-life balance if working in a plant production facility (in 53 reviews)

  • Slow decision making, progression in one's career can seem very slow and formulaic (in 17 reviews)

More Highlights

302 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Management Communications in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Intern - Management Communications in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at General Mills as an intern

    Pros

    Free food
    Work on great brands

    Cons

    Located in minneapolis
    Most employees are 35+ years old

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have more offices across the nation

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company, tough business environment

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

    I worked at General Mills

    Pros

    Compensation, focus on personal development, corporate campus, community involvement, good people

    Cons

    Pace of career progression, business growth, organizational turmoil

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Proceed with caution

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

    I worked at General Mills

    Pros

    If you fit the right profile, GMI will initially be the right place for you. New hires will find a very good benefit plan (though that is being chipped away at) and for those that work at the Minneapolis campus, there are several internal perks (cafeteria, coffee shop, fitness center, etc.). Consider also that the quality of your peers is generally very good – lots of opportunity for newer and younger employees. If you hold the right degree from a prominent Higher Ed institution (and if you learn quickly how to navigate the maze of internal politics) your path will be paved for you, so “good luck”. And finally, on the surface at least, the company also makes admirable efforts to promote racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity.

    Cons

    Here is where it gets complicated, however. GMI’s corporate culture is hindered by a fundamental dishonesty that permeates the through all upper management levels of the corporation (director and above). Harsh, certainly, but a statement evidenced by empty rhetoric, meaningless platitudes and easily compromised values statements.

    GMI can easily be categorized as a stiff and immobile company that struggles with true diversity. An apparent contradiction to the kudos above, where GMI falls shorts is diversity of thought, diversity of scope of vision, diversity of opinion and other “below the radar” attributes. GMI is a consensus driven company that that is slow to deep dive into the world of true innovation. This has become an increasing concern – much like the grad student who delays thesis defense because of a fear there may be one slight gap in his/her research, GMI has allowed itself to become a company where innovation and honesty become casualties of a self-imposed functional paralysis. Rather than move decisively and boldly, projects get delayed or watered down by commissioning another study, holding another series of meetings or just simply finding (or inventing) a reason to kick decision making further down the line. I am not sure this is easier, per se, but it does provide a temporary cover while a rationale is constructed to validate decisions, right or wrong.

    Finally, individual success is dependent on one’s ability to adapt to a “good ol’ boys” style of personnel networking, augmented by a byzantine performance appraisal system where preferred candidates for advancement often receive several promotions in a short period of time while many others may see promotions delayed or non-existent. For much of the GMI decision makers, experience and competence are less valued than the promise of some great future reward and one’s ability to manage up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Embrace true diversity, not just diversity that is easily quantifiable (see above). Seek out true innovators (you still have some on staff, though that number is declining), and reward/acknowledge them accordingly.

    2. Be honest with yourselves and understand who you are. GMI is a large, monolithic corporate entity and no amount of re-imaging can change that. While not a Nestle or Cargill in overall size, GMI is far from being a “small company”.

    3. Here’s one for the executives and VP level officers. When times get tough, stand up and be accountable. Recent actions and behaviors have done little to inspire confidence in company leadership; most people understand that the issues the business faces is not due solely to the presence of misaligned mid-level managers and too many older employees. When tough times occur, embrace and demonstrate the innovation you place so much emphasis on. For a business that touts innovative problem solving, the responses generated during these self-manufactured “trying times” – (consulting groups! plant closings!! mid and low level employee layoffs!!! new and improved org charts!?) – are remarkably ordinary.

    4. Broaden your vision. The last 2 ½ years have seen some very talented people (especially in ITQ) pushed out the door, many for no apparent reason other than they don’t fit neatly into pre-conceived notions of what constitutes a professional.

    General Mills was once was a great place to work; there was much to set it apart from other similar businesses. Previous posts here have addressed the company as either “horrible” or as “wonderful”; it may be fair to assume each perspective likely reflects the degree the writer was impacted by recent layoffs. The truth is that neither is completely accurate – there are plenty of beads, baubles and perks (especially in Minneapolis) to impress even the most worldly newcomer; as well, there are enough veiled flaws and petty annoyances to keep the frustration level always at level 7 (out of 10). In the end though, General Mills is what it is - a large, lumbering leviathan, struggling to maintain relevance in a changing world, striving mightily to delay its own evolutionary extinction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    A one time great, employee first company that has lost itself.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    Smart people, good marketing budgets, and great family location in MN.

    Cons

    Politically charged matrix, slow to change, and losing it appeal as being an employee first company. Slow to move forward with today's work environment of flexibility.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember what WAS good about General Mills and start doing it again.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Overrated

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

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

    Pros

    Smart and dynamic co-workers, beautiful site and buildings, on-site amenities such as Caribou Coffee and employee gym.

    Cons

    - Management at both upper and middle levels often comes across as arrogant, especially in Finance and IT.

    - Employees -- especially long-term -- are treated like numbers on a spreadsheet: if they become too "expensive" they're simply replaced with shiny, new, younger and lower-paid college graduates. This seems to happen even to long-time employees who consistently get good performance reviews.

    - A seemingly company-wide reluctance for people to own processes makes finding solutions to some problems very inefficient and circuitous, sometimes resulting in dead-ends.

    - There's far too much rigidity and regimentation throughout, so getting things done can be painfully slow.

    - "Minnesota Nice" culture gets old.

    - Career advancement is difficult, overly cumbersome, and sometimes mysterious. It doesn't need to be this hard.

    - Very, very political corporate culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees -- especially those who've stuck around a long time -- are valuable assets. Treat them as such. Spend time and energy developing those who demonstrate good work ethic and devotion. If you treat employees with a high degree of respect, they will reward you with great performance...maybe even cutting-edge ideas that will get the company out of the slump it currently finds itself in. Otherwise, you will likely conduct another mass layoff in a couple years -- again -- after discovering that this recent round of layoffs didn't magically make things better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Employees, Could use better upper management

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

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

    Pros

    Allowed a lot of freedom in direction I wanted to take my work. Wonderful teams and good bottom level managers.

    Cons

    They lost the culture of the 80's and 90's that made it such a great place to work. Lots of perks but workloads are heavy. Used to be too many layers of management that have recently been cut so perhaps that might make things better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut your own salaries.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    Overall great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Associate in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Marketing Associate in Minneapolis, MN

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Love the people and the training program.

    Cons

    Hate the minnesota nice culture and the below average salary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent about giving feedback.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company with significant challenges ahead

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    Some of the smartest people, extremely strong pay and compensation and a highly ethical culture.

    Cons

    Challenging business environment, difficult to progress in your career to higher levels and the workload, especially with all the restructures and lay-offs, can be extreme.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Nourishing Lives

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Integrated Marketing Communications Planner in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Integrated Marketing Communications Planner in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    * People, culture
    * Challenging projects
    * Great managers, employee development

    Cons

    * Packaged foods industry
    * Employee advancement

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    NA

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Accountant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Accountant in Golden Valley, MN
    Current Employee - Accountant in Golden Valley, MN

    I have been working at General Mills full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Company to work for.

    Cons

    Politics can be a road block for driving results.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work Like balance is great, benefits have been slowly declining.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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