General Mills Reviews

Updated March 23, 2015
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3.4
729 Reviews
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General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell
Ken Powell
512 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company!

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Great benefits including 401k, annual bonuses, and stock match. Work-life balance is decent for salaried employees. There is much opportunity for advancement if you work hard and continue to learn.

    Cons

    It's a large company so there is a lot of opportunity to move around from location to location as you climb the ladder. This became somewhat difficult for me as my family grew.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your talent when they tell you they need to stay in one location. Also, if there is an employee whom you value, make sure they are paid what they are worth.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful

    Generally a good place to work

    • 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

    General Mills offers good benefits and good pay. It has a strong history of success. Nice vacation benefits including optional extra time off without pay. Decent medical benefits. They continue to grow with a lot of group coming from acquisitions and international growth.

    Cons

    Company has gone through 2 rounds of lay-offs in the last 2 -3 years. The 2014 lay-offs included many high level people with lots of seniority. General Mills used to be a place where if you worked hard and did a good job for the company, you could stay until retirement - the employees felt loyal to the company without question. That is no longer the case for many know that you can now be cut just years before you reach comfortable retirement after a long employment there.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Change will continue

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Smart people that are dedicated

    Cons

    Political. In a state of perpetual change

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need outside blood in c suite

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 11 people found this helpful

    Not the company it used to be...

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

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

    Pros

    The employees! My co-workers keep me coming to work everyday. Very family atmosphere.

    Cons

    In that family atmosphere, it's hard to see people let go. Currently, there is huge turmoil and not a lot of happy employees. The jury is still out as to if the ship can turn around after the layoffs and "re-wire" to be nimble and act quickly to produce positive results. Haven't seen it yet. There seems to be more confusion as to who's doing what. Poor communication.

    Very hierarchical and slow decision speed (although that's supposed be changing - stay tuned).

    Very political. In order to advance, be prepared to set up coffee chats in order for upper management to get to know and remember you. People advance based on brown nosing vs. letting results speak for themselves. If you have diversity in your favor, your opportunity to advance is better too.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give employees a reason to be loyal. Benefits, such as stock options, keep getting taken away and co-workers are leaving for other companies that pay more. In addition, with all the layoffs, the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder and get to the next level takes a long time. The younger generation won't stick around when they can get paid more elsewhere. I remember when people used to "bleed blue" and that loyalty no longer exists. Give employees a reason to stay. Bringing back stock options would be a good start.

    Re-wiring is a new way of thinking that should be taught to others. There are so many long term employees used to doing processes a certain way. Unless taught how to do things differently, they will revert back to the old way of doing things which equates to more work with less people. It's nice to tout phrases, but unless you teach people, it's empty words.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 23 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
  7. 3 people found this helpful

    Only accept a job at HQ. AVOID the remote sites.

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

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

    Pros

    Very professional team at HQ with great support from the home office.
    Wonderful people at HQ. Lots of employee give-a-ways. Cereal for life.
    Some departments are great to work for like QA and Engineering.
    1/2 days on Fridays at HQ during summer months to make up for awful winters.

    Cons

    Local site management in manufacturing plants are the demise of the company.
    Many little fiefdoms with LOTS of office politics.
    Lazy people at the bottom, stupid people at the top, good hard working folks in the middle.
    Soap opera drama everyday. "Outsiders" treated very poorly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all "Senior Leadership" in manufacturing plants, especially the PMs and FOMs.
    Do a DEEP DIVE AUDIT of the sites.
    Hire outside talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. Great Development Experience

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Mostly great managers who develop you if you take advantage of it.
    Terrific environment to continually improve yourself and take on new challenges.

    Cons

    Some departments still "stuck" in doing things for the sake of doing them the same way, every day
    Most managers good at workflex, some are not - they should standardize that.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful

    Good Company, but limited career movement

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

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

    Pros

    Great company for working mothers! Many of the managers are truly interested in developing you. If you are on the career path when you are recruited, it's easy to get to a manager level.

    Cons

    HR is very poor and do not like to get involved (other than listening). Very poor upward mobility past first level management (in Sales). Relocation is a requirement, which if you have a family, can be difficult.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Things are done the way they always have been, and it's hard to change that even though you preach that you encourage.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Great Company, potential for great experiences and opportunities...under certain circumstances

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

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

    Pros

    historically generous company in terms of benefits and taking care of employees, very good training and development programs/processes in place

    Cons

    very general mills-centric when it comes to advancement opportunities - as an external hire coming in at the manager level, very difficult to build support network necessary for promotion considerations

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    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

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