Gentex (Michigan) Reviews

Updated August 16, 2015
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3.8
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Gentex (Michigan) Chairman and CEO Fred T. Bauer
Fred T. Bauer
53 Ratings

Pros
  • awesome people, awesome work environment (in 9 reviews)

  • Good quarterly profit-sharing bonuses, pleasant co-workers, supportive atmosphere (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • A lower base pay with the remaining compensation made up through a stock option plan and quarterly profit sharing as a benefits model is dated (in 5 reviews)

  • This results in a significantly lower base salary (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

64 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    One of the greatest automotive suppliers ever could use help with the management team to be just as great to work for.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Zeeland, MI
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Zeeland, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Financial rewards. Fantastic product line and ongoig R&D supporting future growth prospects. Great people throughout the company.

    Cons

    One sided thinking. Lack of systems to measure individual performance and contributions. Customer focus/satisfaction plays too small of a role in overall company decisions, actions and priorities.

    Advice to Management

    Gentex is a great company with an outstanding product base and and even more impressive resaerch and development team to support new products and future growth. Stay open to viewpoints outside of the local community and give more weight to those with experiance from prior companies. Develop tools to measure performance objectively. Gentex rewards are fantastic but are opften misdirected to those posturing rather than producing. Create diversity of thinking. Stop micro-managing people and start benefiting from the great depth of talent that exists.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Bad!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior S/W Engineer
    Current Employee - Senior S/W Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They did seem to get whatever tools you needed.

    Cons

    I was fired on trumped up charges, I never new what they where until I was ushered out the door.


  3. Helpful (6)

    Not the same company it was a few years ago ...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Zeeland, MI
    Former Employee - Engineering Manager in Zeeland, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Gentex (Michigan) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Employees are encouraged to work independently with unlimited potential for promotion. When you first start at Gentex, they preach the "Foundations" which are different than ideals practiced in typical corporate America and a breath of fresh air. Five years ago, the company adhered to these ideologies and it was a very fast-paced, inventive, healthy work environment.

    Cons

    Over the past few years, the organizational structure has been a moving target with no clear structure or growth for those in management. Hardworking, intelligent people are leaving or being forced out the door due to politics. The company has lost sight of the "Foundations" and has turned into a typical corporate America company. The problem is that when the "Foundations" were adhered to, there was little need for policy and/or procedures. Now that those ideologies are gone, the company operates in an almost chaotic atmosphere and is managed by fear and intimidation.

    Advice to Management

    Fred started a good company based on good values and it worked. Get back to the "Foundations" and stop the political back-stabbing.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    You're either "in" or "out". And if you're "in" time is ticking before you are "out".

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Zeeland, MI
    Current Employee - Engineer in Zeeland, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    If you are in the top 10% of technical ability, then this place is a playground for you. Cost is little/no option when you want to buy equipment to do your job.

    Cons

    Don't try to get into leadership if you can't make it to the top. The compensation package is based on growth of company stock. At my interview I was told "in 5 years you'll be making more off of stock options than you will in salary." I held back a laugh, but figured that if I made something it was better than nothing. Leadership is a good-old-boys club; VP Engineering was an intern 14 years ago - it certainly helps that he is son-in-law of CEO.

    Advice to Management

    Put as much effort into modernizing your approach to people, leadership and compensation as you do into manufacturing and engineering and you would be miles ahead.


  6. Helpful (6)

    Great Place to work...if you're in the "in crowd"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Zeeland, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Zeeland, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free coffee and soft drinks; new, modern facilities; stock options; bonus program; most of the people are friendly and nice.

    Cons

    Don't get on anyone in charge's bad side...if you do, watch out! (even if you don't KNOW you're on their bad side). If you are willing to brown-nose and be a yes-man, you will go far in this company. Micro-managing is encouraged and practiced - don't allow enough independent working. A large company still trying to act as though it's small.

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  7. Helpful (2)

    For workaholics only.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operator - Glass in Zeeland, MI
    Former Employee - Operator - Glass in Zeeland, MI
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent pay. Clean work environment.

    Cons

    Medical benefits are terrible. Pays for check-ups and prescriptions, everything else is for you to cover. Didn't find out about weekend shift until Friday Night. Management was distant. Management showed obvious Favoritism. Gender-bias is very clear Not understanding of needing to take days off when important. "Trial" period is for 6+ months Management seems a bit incompetent

    Advice to Management

    Don't be so disconnected. You have sections of your company working a solid 40 with half days on Fridays, and a different section working 70+ hours a week and weekend shifts.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Fast Paced Environment with Several Opportunities for Professional Growth

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Zeeland, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Zeeland, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gentex (Michigan) full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working environment that allows for telecommuting as needed. Company offers an impeccable support to provide you the necessary tools to do your job. Company continues to offer full college reimbursement which includes books. Fitness center at the corporate headquarters is available to employees. Profit sharing is one of the highest around with bonuses sometimes exceeding 20% per quarter. The company is growing at an astounding rate which always presents new opportunities.

    Cons

    Fast paced and high demand comes at a cost to the employees with continuous push for more throughput which many times mean more work hours. As the extra effort with more hours given is always appreciated verbally it is becoming very rare to be compensated for all the extra effort. i.e."Look Back Bonuses" that were given for the noticed work above and beyond normal duties are infrequent to non-existent. The company continues to claim the benefits package it offers is competitive to geographical area for similar positions but it still falls short. A lower base pay with the remaining compensation made up through a stock option plan and quarterly profit sharing as a benefits model is dated. This model put a high volatility on the total compensation and continues to miss the mark for comparative positions in other companies. The average miss is 15% lower than competitive positions. Even though quarterly profit sharing can hit +20% on rare occasions, it still misses total compensation at other companies with comparable positions within the area. The company growth is outpacing both the stock market and employee base which burdens the current staff having to pick up the extra work. For some, it puts employees at the breaking point that ultimately leads to the them leaving the company for noted better compensation, lower demand, and greater appreciation.

    Advice to Management

    A lean mentality is a good thing but when it shifts below the mark, employees are heavily burdened and throughput suffers. This often leads to mistakes which come at the cost to overall company profits. The time is overdue to review what you are offering employees as you claim; competitive compensation for what you demand. There is a lot of talent in the company; recognize their talents and do what it takes to keep them at Gentex.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Middle Career Employer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Zeeland, MI
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in Zeeland, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gentex (Michigan) full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The old values and culture. Great bunch of employees. Being intrusted to perform your job duties with minimal supervision.

    Cons

    Half of the mid/upper-managers are not qualified. Frequent management changes. Frequent structural changes. No longer living up to the purported values. Purging of competent people after 8+ years of experience.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the managers put into place due to politics and return to the core values that used to guide the company.


  10. Helpful (4)

    No Company for Old Men

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in Zeeland, MI
    Former Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in Zeeland, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Gentex (Michigan) full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Free pop. Company Picnics. Nice facility. Nice worker bees.

    Cons

    Low pay and your job evaporates if you make a base of $80k and are between 45 - 55. Poor upper management, they completely missed the European slow down and the futility of banking on the KTSA. Politics, politics, politics. Most managers have their jobs due to exaggerated accomplishments and always saying Yes. No future products in the pipeline.

    Advice to Management

    Ditch the managers that rolled in with the fogg as they have turned the company into a fear driven, rump smooching, below average company.


  11. Helpful (1)

    No time or structure for new hires

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

    I worked at Gentex (Michigan) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    3 weeks vacation is nice, but pretty standard. The health care was pretty decent. Bonus paid out quarterly with a drawback of a low starting salary. Talk of a non hierarchical structure (CEO will talk with you, everybody is "equal").

    Cons

    With the quarterly bonus based on performance and company standing, your starting salary is around 8-10 per ent lower than similar jobs. The lack of structure is pretty crazy. Seems like mostly younger crowd, kind of concerning for those above 40. The management, at least in the department I worked in was not focused on helping employees expand and focus their career. Surprisingly very cliquey for a professional organization. Lack of training and support for new team members. Experience by fire fighting technique without support. Everything (sw and hw) developed in house, which is fine to an extent but very new user unfriendly without support.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your employees. Transitioning to a new position is sometimes difficult. This goes for employees too.



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