General Mills

  www.generalmills.com
  www.generalmills.com

General Mills Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2011's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
58 Reviews
4.0
58 Reviews
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General Mills Chairman and CEO Ken Powell
Ken Powell
156 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Marketing is a great place to start out of undergrad...but not to come into out of grad school

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    - Benefits package
    - Nice facilities (HQ)
    - Summer hours

    Cons

    - passive aggressive culture
    - work/life balance
    - promotion to MM is too long and uncertain
    - no candid conversations
    - work is largly adminstrative and "entry level" for the talent GMI hires
    - you will quickly find yourself behind your business school peers at other companies (responsibility and promotion)
    - complacency with status quo

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to embrace construtive/direct feedback

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    for a major company they didn't have procedures in place for training

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cedar Rapids, IA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cedar Rapids, IA

    I worked at General Mills

    Pros

    good benefits, i had flexible wrk hours, vacation was 3 weeks prorated, they put on great lunches for many reasons

    Cons

    no training materials were in place when i started, they expected me to document all of the processes even for depts i didnt work in, the reports i was trained on were used for 5 months, then they gave me 3 more to work through without training for 5 months...impossible expectations of a new employee, no conceren for personal life, i had to work 10-20 overtime every week

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    provide training material for new employees, let them be hands-on to train, not sit and watch someone else, don't add additional locations to a new employee's workload before they have learned the basics first. Be clear up front if they are supposed to work on a specific project or not, don't expect them to know what a boss wants, the boss has to be clear upfront.

    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lots of "smoke and mirrors" with little substance

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    General Mills offers a well rounded experience and is a great name to have on your resume. They are known for developing great leaders which makes a good stepping stone towards other companies. Lots of opportunities for "diverse candidates". One of few companies to offer a 401K match and company-funded pension plan, although they brag about this a little more than it's worth. The medical benefits are great for families, however, there is a large up front cost that is not beneficial for single folks. The pay is competitive against smaller companies, but seems just average when compared to Fortune 100 companies.

    Cons

    The company focuses so much on diversity and inclusion that this actually affects employment/promotion decisions, meaning that you get extra consideration if you are a female or minority. The company is filled with bad managers which creates a number of unnecessary employee relations issues. There is a lot of favortism and unfairness in people decisions throughout the company. It seems that people are viewed as a cost, rather than an asset. Decisions rarely get made. Everyone seems to want to discuss putting together a strategy and then fails to execute. The company is so risk averse that it misses a lot of opportunities. This also causes a lot of frustration with those who have a vision to achieve more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus more on performance and results of individuals and implement 360 degree feedback tools. Bad managers are having a significant negative impact on new hires. Also, limit lavish parties at HQ when plants are getting scrutinized for every expense. It doesn't make sense that the company is focusing on reducing costs, but it's all being done at the plant level when there are lots of opportunity at HQ. Most importantly, improve your decision making process - it's too slow!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good Company to Start Your Post MBA Career

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Good training and development. The company let's you take early responsibility as a marketer and you learn General Management principles early on.

    Cons

    Passive aggressive culture can lead to some surprises. The marketing track is extremely competitive and it's not always about your performance when it comes to getting promotion. Bottom line there's not enough spots for everyone so stay close to your headhunters. Get off to a fast start your first year or forget about getting to the next level. The best and brightest are at the company's choice so any blemishes can hurt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent with your promotion practices; no need to keep us all in the dark. Also, invest in training your managers to actually manage and develop people. They're great at running business but not all are created equal when developing people. Very hit or miss at that can hurt you early.

    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    General Mills

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Overall corporate concern with finding the best position within the company that matches employee skills. Salary and bonus levels very generous. Commitment to family is unmatched by other companies.

    Cons

    Ability to communicate senior leadership goals into workable, measureable objectives for mid-level management. Ability to recognize and reward efforts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on employee work-life balance. Maintain

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    AMM Review

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Good compensation
    Good Training
    Good reputation - lots of opportunities if you choose to leave

    Cons

    In Marketing the time to promotion is much longer than it has been in the past.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out a way to get back to the old promotion timing.

    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great name on your resume, just don't stay too long or you won't know how to work in the rest of the world

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    -Great general management experience
    -many 1st/2nd position brands to work on
    -potential for international experience
    -pays better than most other Minneapolis companies

    Cons

    -Work life balance not what it used to be
    -Very large Marketing backlog - 4-5 years plus before you are promoted to MM and the first MM jobs often don't have direct reports, PNL management.
    -Cliquey - you either fit the culture or you don't

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We've had a great few years - keep at it and don't become complacent. Figure out more ways to go after scrappy marketing.

    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start post MBA and great place to leave after a few years!

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Great amount of responsibility early on; Surrounded by smart people from top MBA programs who can create a strong network (you will need it); Can make an impact as a leader and bolster your resume to get headhunted by several other CPGs/marketing firms in more geographically desireable locations; Managers don't track vacation - more of an honor system as long as you get the job done

    Cons

    Tough learning curve for new hires; Can be challenging to maintain work/life balance especially dependent on manager; you have input but no real say in your rotation structure/management/projects; very difficult to make real friends or date as a transplant to the area (locals can be colder than the winters!)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More clarity on compensation policies as well as performance management ratings; Continue focusing on improving managers abilities to lead and inspire employees rather than overwork and intimidate them; Somehow figure out how to improve time to promotion (has moved from 3 now to 5+ years from hire date in less than a decade due to backlog of managers)

    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great training ground but expect to hit the ceiling quicker than your MBA counterparts

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity for getting a breadth of research experience by rotating through a number of positions - syndicated, trends, primary/divisional, shopper insights, international, social media. Because GMI still has an internal primary research supplier and large syndicated team you can get nuts and bolts research experience being on the 'client' side of research.

    Great benefits and they've started to embrace flexible work arrangements to some level. Lot's of smart people to work with. .

    Making an effort to embrace multicultural trends.

    Compared to other area which General Mills hires MBA's for, Consumer Insights is more stable career wise as the track is not up and out like marketing is.

    Does a great job stay on the cutting edge of research approaches. Currently focusing on training CI organization with 'future skills' needed to develop great consumer insights.and less on the tactical research abilities.

    Cons

    The glass ceiling exists at General Mills for everyone but they'll let you stay and look out the window. If you join after grad school expect a couple promotions and then you'll hit the wall after becoming a manager. It's rare to break into the Sr. Manager or Director ranks especially if you don't fit the preferred style and desire to be divisional focused. Wouldn't be so bad but after a while at the same level your salary increases decline even if you get great annual performance reviews.

    Not a great place to be an expert in a research area (e.g. new products, research method) since they don't have a technical or specialization track to reward expertise. Rewards/promotions are based more on how you manuver the political landscape. Expect to end up behind your MBA peers promotion wise since promotions are slow to happen and rarely accellerated. You may find yourself a CI manager but not have any direct reports so you'll have to do double duty exectuing and work overtime to make room for strategic thinking time.

    You have little direct control over how your career unfolds as the job rotation system is opaque and dependent on how powerful your current manager is in the group determining moves and how much effort they make to understand your talents and desires. They don't balance their talent pool well. They focus only on hiring graduate level employees so an experienced resarcher ends up spending too much time on tactical aspect of research.

    Due to strong risk aversion the marketing teams want to measure everything before making decisions. This puts big pressure on CI to often spend too much time tactically rather than strategically setting the stage.

    Big varience in the quality of upper managers/directors - some are focused on helping you with development and give clear guidance. Unfortunately though some are passive agressive /opaque and lack the ability to coach and provide development opportunities for their employees.

    Flexbile work arrangements/part time can work sometimes with managers who are skilled at ensuring workloads are appropriate for the time. The flex schedule will slow your career progression, not that there is much room anyway, and unless you are vigilant you may end up working more time than you get paid for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure the CI leadership team is also embracing the new skills and developing these skills. Find ways to provide more rewards and upward mobility for your long time employees. Balance your talent pool better and hire strong undergrad CI folks if you continue to have more tactical jobs and little upward mobilitiy. Don't just focus on multicultaral differences - learn to appreciate style differences too!

    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    General Mills - Generally a good place to work

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

    I have been working at General Mills

    Pros

    Committed to producing high quality products.
    Many opportunities for professional growth.

    Cons

    Leadership not committed to individual development - few managers know how to assist othesr with development.
    Manufacturing leadership often sets unrealistic goals, then accepts superficial and unsustainable results.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the time necessary to evaluate results and gains to ensure that the results are sustainable. Make a real commtment to developing people - There is MUCH to be gained with a small investment in increasing the effectiveness of individuals.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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