L.L. Bean Reviews

Updated July 16, 2015
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3.8
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L.L. Bean President and CEO Chris McCormick
Chris McCormick
48 Ratings

Pros
  • They encourage you to enjoy the outdoors by giving you a 40% employee discount on most merchandise (in 17 reviews)

  • Compensation is good, and work/life balance is valued (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Bean is a nice place to work, there is barely any room for advancement (in 6 reviews)

  • There is NO room for growth from a part-time sales position (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

88 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great Company, Even Greater People

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in Freeport, ME
    Current Employee - Intern in Freeport, ME

    I have been working at L.L. Bean

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people who work here are the greatest coworkers I have ever had. Love for the outdoors means you are encouraged to explore and try new and exciting things both during, and before and after work. Work life balance is paramount to the company and to individual employees.

    Cons

    Antiquated structure and way of doing things. Older average age of employee than in most metro-area companies. Outdated systems and slow moving processes can sometimes be frustrating, but 100+ years of success is difficult to argue with.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure the upper mid-level management still engages with their employees, and are able to focus on managing. Continue to do much of what you are currently doing, especially remaining visible and in tune with all functional areas of the company.


  2. Helpful (6)

    After 5 years I've found it to be so-so.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Freeport, ME
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Freeport, ME

    I have been working at L.L. Bean full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Most people are friendly Mainers who make great teammates. I like the community / team play aspect of working at L.LBean. The workplace politics are definitely there, like everywhere, but are a lot less in your face than at other employers. Interpersonal relationships are held at a high premium at L.L.Bean. About half dozen of my (soon to be former) co-workers will undoubtedly be lifelong friends. The Bean's Best program is a great idea.

    Cons

    In general, I enjoyed working at L.L.Bean. For an IS job, which can be extremely stressful at times, I found the level of stress at L.L.Bean to be a lot less, and people to be easier to deal with on the whole. I soured on the job after 3 years, due to the insulting process of attempting to move ahead in the company. L.L.Bean isn't the place for you if you have great technical skills and motivated towards career development. For technical jobs, your peers have a highly mixed level of experience, and across the IS department the lack of deep technical skills means that lots of people lean on people with better technical skills. Ironically, actual job achievement does not seem to be rewarded. Once in 5 years I received anything other than a standard 2% raise, and I found I was more capable/driven than the vast majority of my peers in IS. At previous employers this would have meant better overall compensation each year, but at L.L.Bean it meant exactly nothing at all. Advancement at L.L.Bean is nebulous and doesn't seem to be based on one's actual work experience or ability to get the job done. This is where politics became really apparent to me. I literally saw several terrible people get promoted, and was absolutely stunned; I get the part about interpersonal relationships and all, but there's a point where cronyism undermines the integrity that the company holds so dear. L.L.Bean has been doing some variant of employing people for over 100 years, and while I respect its longevity and treatment of the customer overall, I also can't help but to address its inflexibility. When you hear the company crowing about retaining talent, but then it won't meet talented people even half way when it comes to negotiating compensation or career development, you come to the conclusion that the company is a wolf after all. When I decided it was time to move on, there was a clear distinction between the flexibility offered by "new school" companies, and the antiquated/conservative nature of what L.L.Bean was doing.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the dead weight in IS and streamline its management. Don't wait for a RIF to remove people who don't perform. While the community aspect of L.L.Bean is attractive, ultimately people are there as employees first, and part of the community second. Reboot the Bean's Best program; it's a wonderful idea, but winning Bean's Best is too far abstracted from top notch performance on the job. Oh yes, and as noted above, if you claim you want to retain talent, then practice what you preach!


  3. Digital Marketing

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

    I have been working at L.L. Bean full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Brilliant coworkers and collaborative environment. They encourage employees to get outdoors and issue four outdoor days a year. Work life balance.

    Cons

    L.L.Bean employees speak their own language and it takes about a 18 months to fully understand the nuanced communication methods.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Values Stakeholders

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

    I have been working at L.L. Bean

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, work/life balance, values employees, family owned.

    Cons

    Conservative, slow decision-making process, tools aren't always up-to-date


  6. Talent Acquisition

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Talent Acquisition in Freeport, ME
    Current Employee - Talent Acquisition in Freeport, ME

    I have been working at L.L. Bean full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Wonderful culture, strong core values, great community, many growth opportunities

    Cons

    In process of updating facilities

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing!


  7. Helpful (1)

    Copywriter

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Copywriter in Freeport, ME
    Current Employee - Associate Copywriter in Freeport, ME

    I have been working at L.L. Bean full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    A creative work environment makes for interesting daily experience and an employer that you take pride in working for. They respect and treat you like you deserve.

    Cons

    As reason would stand, employees stick around for a very long time and it can be difficult to experience promotion in particular departments, except for those who excel.

    Advice to Management

    Truly there is nothing to add. L.L.Bean is a top 5 employer in Forbe's Top Employers to work for. I'm proud to be an LLBean employee.


  8. Great seasonal job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative I in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative I in Portland, ME

    I worked at L.L. Bean

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The co workers are the best part of best part of the job.

    Cons

    Actually job was very boring.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Seasonal Customer Service Work at LL Bean- Not for the faint of heart

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Portland, ME

    I worked at L.L. Bean part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Customer Service focus is genuine. Company's foundation built on quality products and outdoor adventure. Company now offers an incredible range of products and adventure experiences. I worked in a Call Center as a front line customer service rep. Coworkers friendly, call center design aesthetics create a pleasant environment. Starting hourly wage above average.Front End training on systems and customer service provides support to jump into the work. Ongoing feedback from a job coach regarding job performance. Perks are employee discounts while employed. Most of Bean's customers are great.

    Cons

    LL Bean hires many seasonal employees annually to assist with their peak holiday sales. They are a well oiled machine with a tired and true system to recruit, hire, train, employ and lay off their temps. As a temp. seasonal ,my experience led to feeling like a widget to meet the business demand than a valued employee invested in Bean's success. Though starting hourly wage is above average, the number of hours employees are scheduled is far below average, And though you do receive a schedule two weeks in advance- you can be scheduled for random days and times within the shift you agree to work. You have to be very flexible and able to deal with an unpredictable schedule. If you have a conflict with days or times you are scheduled- it is up to the employee to try find a coworker who will take the shift or switch with you. In addition, if you want to work more hours- it is again up to the employee to try and find extra hours. This is stressful. There are only about 3 weeks in Bean's Peak season where there are over 24 hours scheduled in a week. There are no benefits as a seasonal employee, LL Bean does provide a number of benefits for their full year employees- and have high retention rates. As a seasonal, you are bombarded with meeting metrics in every aspect of your job and there are a number of ways you can get dinged- from clocking out a minute late to having customer handle calls above average. There is no time built into the work day to keep up with the system training and company information. As a customer service rep. you handle all kinds of customer inquiries from returns, to product info, to tracking down times, and taking orders. LL Bean has thousands of products and multiple systems for responding to customers. Initial training scratches the surface of the information needed to do this work effectively. As a customer service rep you also have to be ready wiling and able to really push the Bean credit card. You will be evaluated on how many transfers you make for card applications. There are a number of layers in who handles what for employee supervision lend to depersonalization for seasonal. Job Coach listens in on your calls and provides feedback, reviews metrics, and technically is available to answer question- in practice this is difficult. You can connect with an employee who's sole purpose is to provide an answer to a customer service issue. Work Place Coordinators handle changes in days or hours (that employee initiates), sick calls, etc. They just document- there is not really a connection regarding an employee specific needs. There are also floor leaders to ensure shifts are running smoothly. Anything to do with specific work schedule is done and received electronically. No personal connection. A dizzying array of people behind the scenes who have direct impact on employee hours, schedule, evaluation. Very murky on how one can find full time employment with LL Bean. No inside benefit successfully completing a seasonal work assignment.

    Advice to Management

    Revamp training for customer service. Build in time every day for employees to stay current with information and systems. Consider having people who can connect with seasonal employes regarding work schedules on a personal level. Make more hours available to those who can/ and want to work more hours. Have a connection for every employee to human resources. Transparency and clear communication would be very helpful on addressing the who, what, and when, of full time employment opportunities for interested seasonal employees.


  10. Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Representative I in Bangor, ME
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Representative I in Bangor, ME

    I worked at L.L. Bean as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Comfortable work environment. Great employee discount. Amazing training program. Pay well above minimum wage. Reasonable hours.

    Cons

    After employment when filling out new applications (I was only a seasonal temp) I realized I didn't have a direct manager, so providing contact information was hard.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing the work you are doing!


  11. Helpful (1)

    Manufacturing, impossible scheduling, no opportunity for advancement

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

    I have been working at L.L. Bean

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good people to work with and good benefits, seems like a good company overall. Casual work environment with little micromanagement.

    Cons

    Stuck in your job forever. No chance to move up the ladder. When positions open they only hire new people from outside instead of allowing us to apply. They said they can't afford to train an experienced peraon in the new job and train their replacement. Indecisive scheduling. We never sure when we're going to work or for how long. Sometimes we come in and only work 4 hours instead of 8. Sometimes we get told on Friday night that we have to work Saturday. Other times we plan on working Saturday and they cancel it on Friday night. They keep coming out with schedules but never follow them. No work/life balance when you have to be able to change your schedule on a dime.

    Advice to Management

    Set a schedule and stick to it! No jerking people around. Pay overtime on weekends if you've sent people home early during the week. Allow people a chance to advance to a better job.



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