Lakeshore Learning Materials

www.lakeshorelearning.com
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Lakeshore Learning Materials Reviews

Updated April 26, 2015
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3.8
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Bo Kaplan
17 Ratings

Pros
  • Modest profit-sharing is offered after 2 years of employment (in 14 reviews)

  • Casual dress code, employee recognition and perks (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management micro manages, doesn't trust the expertise of their middle management (in 9 reviews)

  • Expectations are high and if you are not meeting them you will stick out like a sore thumb (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

42 Employee Reviews

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  1. Fun great company- great leadership- cool people!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Carson, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Carson, CA

    I have been working at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fast paced, loads of growth opportunity, we are a business that's rewarding and helping teachers & kids- quality people, product & service. Plus, they do cool things for their employees!

    Cons

    Parking stinks, but they have a tram that helps. Building/office environment is fun and upbeat- but an old warehouse turned office space- lack of windows.

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring great people and are "bought-in" and work hard- it's a great vibe to work with the kind of people you're going after! Keep it fun


  2. Helpful (3)

    Five years plus-

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Carson, CA
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Carson, CA

    I have been working at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Have worked in customer service area for over 5 years. Teachers and parents love our products. Fun to hear that everyday. Quality and customer service take on an intense level of importance here. They really are serious about taking care of customers. Good benis , profit sharing, work with smart people and although I don't use it, nice to walk by our onsite childcare center everyday. Parents really seem to like having it so close.

    Cons

    Parking can be a little tough. Company continues to grow rapidly. Having multiple buildings on campus makes it a little tough to meet folks from other depts.

    Advice to Management

    Work on communicating with other departments about the remarkable feedback we get from customers. Sometimes unless you work directly with customers, you don't get the stories. Never worked at a place where customers loved us as much.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Best place to work!

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

    I have been working at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I have had nothing but great experiences in my years with Lakeshore! I have been given opportunities to learn a variety of different departments which has increased my versatility and also kept me challenged. It is a fast paced environment but it makes the day move quickly and honestly I think most people prefer working on a team that moves with urgency. At Lakeshore you have a voice. Leaders are always willing to hear suggestions and creative thinking. Not all ideas will work, but I never feel discouraged by sharing them. Lakeshore is a family run company that truly feels like a family (a big one!). Also lots of perks such as profit sharing program, 401K, company fun days throughout the year, company on-site preschool and tram to take you to your car. Also, some departments have early hour schedules that allow employees to begin working as early as 6am and therefore can leave before the normal 5pm schedule.

    Cons

    Not really any down sides. The parking at the main building can be tough if you arrive after 8am and restaurants in the area are not great, but the company has recently invited gourmet food trucks to the parking lot at lunch to help with that.


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  5. Helpful (12)

    In over my 15 years of experience working definitely one of the worst companies I've ever worked for.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Carson, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Carson, CA

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Casual dress and profit bonus after more than 2 years.

    Cons

    Wow where do I begin with this place. First let me say these negative reviews are SPOT ON. And it is blatantly obvious that the positive reviews are written by HR or employees who are probably forced to do so by HR. Really NO cons? you'd make them more believable by adding at least a few REAL negatives. This company is a bunch of former teachers who lack the education, experience and skills to be managers. Their systems are old outdated and archaic. The offices are an ugly old converted warehouse with no windows where cubicles are piled on top of each other and people are forced to work in the tiniest of spaces. No privacy everyone can hear each other's conversations whether they want to or not no matter how inappropriate or not. The company is portrayed by their human resources as the wonderful happy family business. What that means is nepotism is still alive and well and everyone else is disposable. They do not value employees or people here and if you do something wrong or go against the Lakeshore rules you are GONE. No questions asked, no warnings, no discussions just gone. I had heard many horror stories about how that happens, but didn't believe it until it happened to me. I was there for one month. I had been told that the manager in that specific department was new and she might not know what to give me to do. Well they were right in that aspect. After a week I realized there was no REAL work to do, just a few duties that would take more than an hour two to do. I spent most of my time filing in a cold ugly warehouse, not what I was hired to do. This department had 5 managers which I thought was strange but it quickly became apparent that the department head was delegating ALL her work to all the others therefore there was no real work for her to do or give me. The old saying, if you're not good or don't know what your doing surround yourself with good people. Then you can go to meetings and shake your head and pretend you know what your doing. I also learned while I was there that her last assistant didn't last more than a few months either. Two assistants gone in less than a year, wow! doesn't seem like we are the problem. So imagine my surprise when I got a call from HR, when I had not been talked to by said manager directly, not once. Nothing was told to me about my performance or concerns she had although I was only there for a few weeks, a normal company would take that into consideration. To be told "you are not following up enough" I was in shock. Following up on WHAT? there was no REAL work given to me. Despite all that I know I am better off and to get out of that place. This company gives you the feeling you are in elementary school I guess what they do there affects how they treat their employees and make their rules. Everyone comes and goes around the same time, everyone takes lunch at the same time (have to take lunch at the same time as the owners in case they call and need you, wouldn't want to make them wait!) you have a feeling like you are being "watched" or someone is going to snitch on you. And there are snitches. Those are usually the brown nosers who've been there for so long they think this place is normal. The people who have been there for so long don't know anything else, they don't know that there are real companies out there that actually value their employees and treat their employees like adults and not children. Companies with real managers who are educated and have the experience and actually know how to manage people. This company should have a revolving door on it!

    Advice to Management

    Hire educated managers or at least educate the ones you have. Learn to truly value you your employees. Not throw money at them once a year and think that's good enough. Stop treating employees like children. Communicate professionally with your employees. No yelling and screaming and throwing tantrums like babies. Stop running the company on fear (everyone constantly worried about losing their jobs) Remember employees are HUMAN and humans make mistakes and that's no reason to discard them like garbage. Get over yourselves, you are making and buying children's toys not curing cancer!


  6. Helpful (2)

    Lakeshore is a phenomenal company to work for

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

    I have been working at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Company is family owned and operated, has been profitable every year for the past 50 yrs, challenging and interesting work, leader in its industry, great people to work with who are passionate and dedicated to the mission of the company, thoughtful focus on employee engagement, longevity/tenure of staff, competitive pay and benefits package, profit sharing, food trucks, casual dress, on-site daycare, generous employee-discount. Management is thoughtful in decision-making process, and genuinely cares about employees. In my role, I have all of the tools that I need to do my job and do it well.

    Cons

    There aren't many -- as I read other reviews, I feel like my experience is quite different. Yes this this a fast-paced environment that is at times demanding, but I wouldn't say that I am micromanaged, but rather held accountable, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that -- any sound company does this. In general, the more you give to Lakeshore, the more you get. I've worked for a traditional corporation who was struggling, and this is pretty much the opposite -- Lakeshore is thriving as an organization, and I feel very fortunate to work here. If I had one con/complaint, it would be that there isn't a ton of flexibility in my schedule.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Quirky company

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

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    - Compensation: Slightly above average starting pay with yearly raises and profit sharing after 3 years.
    - Office culture: Was unique but borderline strange. It took my back to my grade school days when if I did something "good" I was rewarded with a sticker or scratcher and a chance to spin a wheel of prizes.
    - Coworkers had diverse background and experience
    - Good work/life balance: If you're looking for a job where you can clock in and clock out. This place will work. If you are self-motivated and looking for a place that will help you grow professionally, look elsewhere.

    Cons

    - Job stability/turnover rate: Some departments had a really high turnover rate. Lots of hiring and firing happening all the time. Always feeling like you can be canned because of "changes in direction"
    - Management qualifications: Nepotism is not lost here. Being a family owned company, it's ingrained in the company culture as is all the gossip and brown nosing.
    - Office environment: The place runs like an Elementary school. Everyone other than the 4 executives are expected to be in their seat by 8:30am, everyone takes the same lunch from 12-12:45 and wander around the parking lot like recess and everyone leave right when the bell rings at 5pm. You get called into the "Principals" office via loudspeaker.

    Advice to Management

    Trust in your employees experience/expertise and train leadership to evaluate employees, proposals, products, creative etc based on the company's strategic goals and vision. A lot of the processes in place, forced employees to work harder and not smarter.


  8. Helpful (8)

    Enter at Your Own Risk

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

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time

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

    Pros

    On the surface, everything is peachy here. Casual dress, profit bonus after length of time with the company, good benefits, on-site preschool and "no titles" to name a few. Don't be fooled.

    Cons

    This organization is plagued by many problems. Yes, it is a small company so you won't have to deal with "bureaucracy" but you will still have to deal with egos and and a "because I'm your boss and I said so" mentality. You get ahead by kissing behind and cow-towing to the people in charge. You often work on a project for months on end only to be told it is no longer a priority.

    I could tell stories about this place that would make your toes curl. However, I am not the kind of person that defames others. I just wish to encourage everyone who might be considering beginning a relationship with this company to think twice. I consider myself a hard-working person with integrity and I found it extremely difficult and stressful to work here.

    Does anyone else find it ironic that several "5 star" reviews have been added right in a row, and recently? I have heard from more than one source that management purposely asks employees to write good reviews when bad ones have been posted. Simply pointing out some information that might be helpful to evaluate this company.

    Advice to Management

    The worst part is that management probably honestly thinks they are doing right by their employees. But they are not. I'm not sure how you sleep at night (but probably on piles of money made off the backs of your hard-working and sometimes blindly-loyal employees).


  9. Helpful (7)

    Rule by fear

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Art in Carson, CA
    Former Contractor - Art in Carson, CA

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials as a contractor (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Childcare on site
    Great store discount
    Casual atmosphere
    Supportive peers

    Cons

    Micromanage
    Some managers rule by fear
    Owners scream in the hallways

    Advice to Management

    Get management counseling


  10. Helpful (7)

    worst 3 years of my life!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Carson, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Carson, CA

    I have been working at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    back then compensation was fair.

    Cons

    drama, uneducated managers who are insecure and rude. Gossip everywhere about everyone. it doesn't matter what you do is whose butt you are willing to kiss. Upper Management is so used to people kissing their butts is expected and rewarded. the owner is a joke and rude. So glad i"m no longer there!

    Advice to Management

    get off your high horses and evaluate people for their work.


  11. Helpful (5)

    I wouldn't recommend.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Entry in Carson, CA
    Former Employee - Data Entry in Carson, CA

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Some novel, morale boosting perks: a nice all day Halloween event and weekly summer giveaways (lunch bags, ice cream, etc)
    Very nice, if not somewhat oblivious, owner.
    Stable, low competitive niche in the education industry for what should be job security.

    Cons

    Low wages / high stress on production and service.
    High turnover (ALWAYS hiring for the same positions because of this, see job boards)
    Absurd pressure from management to "walk at a brisk pace, smiling at all times"-- to a ludicrous degree. Your break time becomes company time because of all the judgment and inter department gossip between management.
    Unprofessional, seniority-biased leadership. In one case a manager was lying to the owner about production numbers. This was then covered up and simply led to dept. transfer and a lower level staff member being terminated.
    Overcharged shipping fees consistently to customer with a lot of subterfuge.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest. Impartial. Respect ownership and be transparent in all you do. Other than that, the system for all its flaws seems to keep upper management happy.



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