Lakeshore Learning Materials

www.lakeshorelearning.com
Engaged Employer

Lakeshore Learning Materials Reviews

Updated August 12, 2015
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3.3
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Bo Kaplan
46 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

105 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    I love this company!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Huntington Beach, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Huntington Beach, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    *Positive & fun work atmosphere *Flexible schedule, great for college students *Rewarding job/ positive acknowledgement *Management is phenomenal

    Cons

    *Our store has a weak air conditioning system (that is all I can complain about).

    Advice to Management

    I am so impressed with my store manager at Lakeshore(Fountain Valley, CA) she goes above and beyond to acknowledge her employees for great customer service. She always has a positive attitude and keeps her cool in stressful situations. She is everything that a manager should be. She deserves positive recognition for everything she brings to this company.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Lack of Advancement Opportunities

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

    Pros

    - Great Employee Discount - Dedication to Customer Satisfaction Above All Else - This is an excellent Part-Time opportunity for Educators looking to make extra money.

    Cons

    - Privately held company that's not accountable to anyone but themselves. - Nepotism runs rampant at the corporate level. - Customer's word is taken as gospel. There's one thing about satisfying customers, but it's another thing to never back up your employees. - There's zero opportunity for advancement for management. All opportunities are available in California, but there's no internal job posting system. Since there's no job board, opportunities are only told to those that they want to apply. - Local management is not skilled at showing employee appreciation. - Was actually told on a conference call by the District Manager that they "...are not there to be your cheerleader." And that's NOT taken out of context and NOT edited.

    Advice to Management

    I would like to understand how corporate is not scratching their heads wondering why so many managers/assistant managers have quit. It's normal for people not to stay in retail very long, but to have 4 leave in the district (actually more but only 4 I can say with 100% certainty) within 2 years? Doesn't that make you wonder?? My advice to management: Give leadership at the district and store level training on how to appreciate and LISTEN to their employees. Sure you don't have to implement EVERY suggestion an employee makes, but you can at least pretend to listen. Show appreciation for the hard work that retail employees have to do. It's a very demanding job with very little "thanks".


  3. Helpful (6)

    BEWARE

    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefits are good and if you're lucky, you get put in a department with nice people who know what they are doing.

    Cons

    Pay sucks. If you start out low, you will never really get that much more out of them even though they can afford it. HR cannot be trusted because they will report everything you say back to the directors and managers. They keep incompetent, lazy workers and let go of the good ones, OR keep them around, but never promote them (or they say they did, but it's not true on paper). There's a chance you will get moved around to different departments. There's a lot of office politics. Management will clash with each other from time to time and they change their minds a lot. Occasionally, upper management will yell at their subordinates when everyone can hear it. Only when you tell them you are quitting, do they try and get you to stay by giving you what you want (my advice: do NOT stay).

    Advice to Management

    Stop micromanaging and please stop hiring incompetent, lazy people who not deserve to be there.


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  5. Helpful (12)

    IT'S JUST A JOB SITE, NOT CAREER!

    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Private gym - Only if you're the owner. - Lunch warmed up and ready by noon daily by the Ops team - Only if you're the owner. - Close parking - if you're the owner or if you're a lifer (25 yrs +)... but that is a life sentence! - Can roll out of bed and head to work, no dress or personal hygiene code what so ever. - Profit "sharing" after 2 years of employment, yet nobody can give you a clear answer on how that is calculated. Ironically, the company has 45+ Million Dollar Days in a row and the checks are not getting bigger, well at least for the employees they are not. -Summer Surprise - Every Wednesday for 5 weeks the owners and their "groupies" run around the building throwing snacks such as a bagel, caramel corn or ice cream at the employees. The last surprise of the 5 weeks usually is a Lakeshore logo lunch box, towel or jersey. - We no longer have to all take lunch from 12:00-12:45 PM, they allow us to take our lunch anytime, with the exception of after 3:00 PM. But with only 45 minutes, it's hard to actually go out to eat. -Lakeshore will always be profitable... they will cut people and overhead before losing $$$.

    Cons

    Many of the reviews for Lakeshore share how the owners are "passionate" which translates to the 3 grown men cursing, yelling and throwing tantrums if things do not go their way. For those of us who have not been at Lakeshore all of our adult lives, we realize this is crazy and not good management. However, many of the people at Lakeshore have been there all their lives, straight out of high school and do not realize that in real companies people are not subjected to such behaviors. Although it sounds good to have started working in the warehouse and now you are VP, it does not mean you are prepared to be a VP. You were simply put there because you did your job and honestly, they do not want to pay the salary of someone who has the education and experience from another company. This means management is lacking the skill set to effectively manage. This also leads to a cover your behind culture. Watch out, your manager will throw you under the bus rather than have your back and defend their team. It's a dog eat dog world there. In my department, the managers were all once teachers. Teachers are good in a classroom environment with children. However, when you only have that classroom experience, but now you are managing adults, you simply do not know how to do it. When your employees do something "good" you hand out Lakeshore certificates with their names written on them, and when they are "bad" you bring them into your office and you scold them as you would a 6 year old. In my department, the Department Manager doesn't fully understand her job and in the process she makes the employee's lives miserable. Sometimes she stretches the truth, but the entire department knows she is not telling the truth and she is not fooling anyone, well maybe she is fooling the owner. The other manager has been with the company forever and sadly, he doesn't realize that outside of Lakeshore, there are companies that treat their employees with respect. He has no business managing people. A manager should never bad mouth any employee in front of other employees, much less bad mouth the other managers. The disrespect and lack of professionalism is unbelievable. If you are at Lakeshore, make sure you get out before you end up with a life sentence and you no longer have any marketable skills. Your career will come to a screeching halt and even worse, you will end up going backwards, just doing menial tasks to fill your time (8-4:30).

    Advice to Management

    Take a good look at your problem departments. You are losing valuable employees that could contribute to the growth of the company, but are deterred by the horrible management. Each time someone actually leaves Lakeshore on their own, listen to their exit interview. The people leaving Lakeshore have nothing lose by telling the truth! Try to improve things for those still there and giving 100%.


  6. Helpful (5)

    Never speak your mind! Even at the store level. Retail like I have never seen it before!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager
    Current Employee - Store Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good employee discount after a year.

    Cons

    *Motivates by fear *Executives bully and belittle *Micro managed *Sexual innuendos *Cover your behind environment Like it has been said before all the positive reviews have been posted by home office people who are trying to override the more accurate ones. However all the negative reviews about this company are VERY true! Even the older reviews still ring true. The company very much MANAGES AND MOTIVATES by FEAR. Your success will be based your ability to play their political game. Which entails, nodding when you're supposed to nod, returning the flirtatious comment, allowing home office executives to ogle your staff during a store walk through and admitting you're wrong and you don't know your business, even though your last evaluation was outstanding, and all your KPIs are up. If you can continue to stroke their OVERINFLATED EGOS , while yours has had every bit of life sucked out of it, then this is the career for you! If however, you value your self worth, I would pursue other opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating the people you hire like "red headed step children" let them do the jobs they are paid to do without being ridiculed and bullied. When you work in an environment where you become reactive and scared to make a move for fear of being bullied or losing your job you are not a good leader. Stop treating employees like crap. Some employers actually value their employees and treat them well. In turn they treat your customers well and in turn your business thrives. It's actually a great business model! You may want to try it!


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great Entry-level Company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place for entry-level employees.

    Cons

    Micro managed. Not always a team environment and have to watch out for yourself.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Sales Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fexible hours, Cheerful Environment, Staff is always super nice everyone gets long really well. You get to work with children sometimes as well.

    Cons

    Managers were very cliquish. You don't get enough hours and pay for the amount of work that you end up doing. Very hard to get extra hours


  9. Helpful (1)

    Shortage

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shenandoah, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Shenandoah, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun being around the children , and learning everything about the products and the store, inside and out.

    Cons

    Needed a more knowledgeable staff, a prepared staff, a willing staff. To all over the place.

    Advice to Management

    Try a more organized approach , hire more people / better employees willing to work and not pass the buck.


  10. Helpful (3)

    From the store's perspective

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

    I have been working at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time

    Pros

    I know a lot of these reviews are for the corporate positions, but I wanted to make sure the Lakeshore stores got some love too! Lakeshore was one of my first “real” jobs when I was hired on as a part-time associate. Over the last 5 years I’ve been promoted repeatedly, first to supervisor, and then assistant manager. My favorite thing about Lakeshore are the possibilities. It really is a “get what you give” kind of company and by working hard I’ve been able to get a lot back! Lakeshore is a unique company, and the stores are no different. I have friends that work for big box retailers and they are lucky to ever see a decent bonus or any bonus at all, while Lakeshore offers attainable bonuses to all levels of management and tons of other contests and incentives to their associates. I also love the work/life balance, Lakeshore isn’t open on Easter or Thanksgiving and they don’t extend their hours later at Christmas and you won’t see me behind a cash register at 4am on Black Friday! Working with a flexible retail schedule and actually getting to enjoy the holidays is another great bonus to working here. The company is family owned and everyone treats it like they have a personal stake in it. Lakeshore has high standards and everyone who works here is really passionate about what they do, and honestly some people just can’t keep up. But there’s a ton of fun to be had too, with in-store events like arts and crafts, story times, and other celebrations. I spent a day at work dressed up like Cat in the Hat for a Dr. Seuss birthday celebration event… It was awesome and I had so much fun! Where else can you do that?

    Cons

    Like I said above, it’s definitely a fast paced job. If you’re the kind of manager who hides in their office all day, then this isn’t the place for you! The atmosphere is competitive and you have to really work hard to earn your hours.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to use your stores and their employees as a resource of information. We’re in the trenches every day and have some great ideas!


  11. Helpful (1)

    Senior Product Merchandiser

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    INCREDIBLE group of co-workers! A group of very intelligent people who genuinely care about the company & customer. Fantastic employee appreciation program, benefits are good, pay is a little below industry average. Overall a great company to work for and the products are something to be proud of.

    Cons

    Not a lot of autonomy in work or work schedule. A lot of people work in fear of getting something wrong and getting in trouble for the mistake. They could experience greater gains if people were encouraged to make mistakes and think outside the box.

    Advice to Management

    As the company grows the challenge is for the owners to keep the fragile but invaluable culture intact. Every employee needs to be bought on to putting the customer first and working as a team over individual success. A few corporate guns have been brought in at high levels who are not fully invested in the true company culture.



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