Lakeshore Learning Materials

  www.lakeshorelearning.com
  www.lakeshorelearning.com

Lakeshore Learning Materials Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
Updated October 23, 2014
79 Reviews
3.6
79 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Bo Kaplan
35 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Employee perks: VIP scratcher cards and spin to win games, Halloween Carnival, Profit Sharing (in 11 reviews)

  • The employees are wonderful and they have a relaxed dress code (in 7 reviews)


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

  • Micromanagement, overworked and underpaid, fear of losing job (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good contract employer

    Former Employee - Production Artist in Carson, CA
    Former Employee - Production Artist in Carson, CA

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

    Pros

    I worked in the product art dept. on a contract basis. Project was organized, everything had a schedule and a list of to do's was easy to follow. Even though it was contract work they paid time and a half for overtime, also gave dinners on those days. Paid weekly, and gave you a check on the last day of work before you left. Coworkers are friendly, hard working, and help each other out. Fun and friendly work environment.

    Cons

    My commute was long, but the compensation and coworkers made it worth it. Would have liked a longer contract.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Feel like you're back in Kindergarten

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

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Pay. Good for mothers interested in onsite daycare and product discounts

    Cons

    Culture is strange you'll feel like you are back in Kindergarten. Lots of drama with management. Lay offs are frequent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Not for millennials, Managers lack Integrity

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

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time

    Pros

    Privately owned. Good benefits after 90 days of probation. Profit sharing/bonus after 2 years of employment. Company is well known among teachers and educators.

    Cons

    Very little chance for growth or ever being promoted. Lots of internal drama and politics, especially in small departments. No training whatsoever! Degraded when asked questions. Lack of integrity amongst the old-timers (texting for 20 minutes straight, using GTalk to chat with friends, etc.). Lack of diversity - mainly hire women who are 45+ years old and since they've been there for 12+ years, new (especially younger employees) are isolated and treated differently.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have some integrity! Just because you've been there longer than a newly hired associate has lived, doesn't mean you can degrade them and cover their desk with all of your work. Provide concrete training and measurements of detecting when someone is ready to interact with customers. Welcome questions and understand that what's second nature to you is a foreign language to a newly hired employee. Respect is not innately bestowed, you need to earn it by the way you treat the littlest among you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    Good pay, decent benefits, no long days...but it'll cost you your self-esteem

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

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

    Pros

    I'm paid just slightly above fair market to perform my job. Long hours are not expected. On-site daycare/preschool available to employees only. Having babies is de rigueur here. There's an exceptionally high percentage of pregnant women at this company at any given point in time. Good or bad, most employees are female. If I had to guess, most are high school graduate level with some college educated. Many employees have long tenures at Lakeshore. Despite the owners, the employees are amazing with few exceptions. Despite the "positive" that some employees have been there a long time, this is also a giant negative. Many are in constant fear of being fired and thus are terrified of change. Trying to update a process that's inefficient with a bunch of people who don't want to change anything is incredibly painful to swallow. Most employees are perky and friendly. Modest profit-sharing is offered after 2 years of employment.

    Cons

    Lakeshore is located in a "ghetto" of industrial parkways butted up against shady low-income neighborhoods. Employee vehicles are frequently vandalized as there is no security. Anyone can come and go freely in and out of the buildings as well. General feeling of uneasiness among current employees who fear ex-coworkers re-entering the buildings to unleash their distaste for the place. No windows in any of the offices. Picture cube-land with surgical florescent overhead lights, confetti colored linoleum and grey walls in the offices and juvenile primary colors throughout the maze of hallways. Corporate offices are converted warehouses with poor heating and cooling regulation. Plan on wearing your winter clothes year-round. Management style is a "rule by fear" trickle-down from the patriarch of the private family-owned company. Threat of violence and terror is how things get done here. Instead of employees focusing on how to do their best and get the best product out, the sole focus of everyone's job is instead on how to avoid getting screamed at by the owners. If you enjoy seeing grown men throw monumental, obscenity-filled temper tantrums, this this is the place for you. This atmosphere breeds a "get thrown under the bus" environment where many hours are spent trying to figure out WHO messed up rather than HOW we can avoid it happening again. Most employees are miserable clock-watchers. Lakeshore is a revolving door for quality new-hires who quickly figure out how challenging it is to nurture a brand under the above-mentioned circumstances. Out of touch with modern technologies and are inefficiency proponents. Most processes are incredibly antiquated driven by a paper-based system of sharing information. New concepts and procedures are seen as threats and are NOT encouraged. For those who are bold enough to desire improvement in attitudes, procedures or atmosphere and try to implement change they are quickly thwarted or quietly dismissed from the company. Congeniality beats competence in the test for longevity here. If you don't contribute much but you're really, really nice, you'll likely never be fired. However, if you stick up for yourself when wrongly accused or, you aren't sweet as cream, you may get a call to HR at 3pm one day and never come back. Your current workforce skills will start to die away and new ones will not be developed. There's no lunch room or outdoor seating to handle the number of employees here. Most people bring their lunches from home and sit in their cars or eat at their desks because lunches are only 45 minutes long and decent restaurants are too far away. Profit-sharing amounts aren't substantial enough to keep good employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in market analysis and focus groups instead of assuming you know what customers want. Provide your employees with a full, covered outdoor eating area with sufficient seating. Encourage a healthier atmosphere by putting an end to the influx of sugar you offer as treats to an employee base who is already 90% severely obese. Having a private gym and daily catering that only the 3 family members have access to is distasteful. We don't want to see that, especially after we have to walk past your brand new Teslas every morning. Keep in mind that the boasting throughout the year of how many million-dollar days we have is logged into every employee's mind so when profit sharing rolls around and we see that the amount never seems to increase despite our profits having increased, we REALLY start to despise those Teslas, catered lunches, and the high-end gym you keep for yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    a high level of stress and a complete sh*t show

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Supervisor
    Former Employee - Sales Supervisor

    I worked at Lakeshore Learning Materials part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    lovely people to work with (mostly)
    relaxed dress code

    Cons

    lack of a sense of direction
    no clear responsibilities
    no accountability
    major lack of communication between store manager and rest of the management team
    deceitful higher ups
    its like pulling teeth for an opportunity for advancement

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    there needs to be a more open flow of communication. there shouldn't be 'tip toeing' around afraid of making others upset/hurting their feelings. better incentives for workers and benefits would be nice

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great products, fun people, demanding atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 5 years)

    Pros

    Multiple opportunities to learn and move up in your career. Most coworkers fun to be around. Very good compensation and benefits. Company is financially healthy -- rarely worry about layoffs. Have the satisfaction of knowing that you're contributing to the education of children.

    Cons

    Hours can be long, pace can be intense. Questionable promotions at times. Former CEO (who has not fully retired) has a very short fuse, known for actually screaming at people as though they are children. Inadequate parking at the office building.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Since the profit bonus checks have become noticeably smaller in recent years, consider replacing this benefit with a commitment to offer larger raises to all deserving employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Retail Job That Lets You Have A Life!

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

    I have been working at Lakeshore Learning Materials full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This company is smaller than a lot of big box retailers and I love the difference! Since its a family owned company all the employees in the home office and out in the stores are very involved. At other larger companies I felt like a store number on a report instead of like a person, but here I'm on a first name basis with all the retail VPs, payroll, HR, and operations after only a year, and it really makes me feel like I make a difference!
         The home office constantly strives to support the stores, trying to solve problems and make our job easier so we can focus on the customers like we're supposed to! The product is unique and something that's so easy to get behind and sell because you know it's high quality and being created by teachers for teachers and parents! The stores focus on customer service, community outreach, and do really fun things like in store celebrations, arts and crafts, and teacher workshops.
         The whole company has a "work hard, play hard" mentality, and I've had more time with my family than I've ever had in my 10 years of retail. There are no extended Christmas hours, no Black Friday early morning or late nights, and no overnight shipments or floor sets! That being said, they have high expectations from their employees and even though the schedule isn't as hectic as a big box store, the standards are a lot higher.
         For being a smaller company I was really impressed with the salary and bonus structure they offer, and they even offer bonuses to the assistant managers and supervisors, which is rare. Great hours, great pay, health benefits, 401k matching, and a 40% discount? It makes all the passion and dedication they expect from their managers worth it!

    Cons

    Heavy focus on customer service and product knowledge, definitely not a job you skate through! Since there's less stores and layers of management, its rare to move up into a DM position, although it just happened to a store manager last year! They do offer store managers additional responsibility and growth opportunities in lieu of this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep recognizing and valuing your store employees like you have!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Best Place to work!

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

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

    Pros

    Fun environment, great pay and benefits. Lakeshore only employs the best, love the people I work with. Company does a ton of fun stuff for their employees to show recognition for hard work. Best products in the industry and very high standards for quality and service.

    Cons

    Expectations are high so if you're a slacker, you'll never make it! Company environment can feel a bit rigid when it comes to structured shifts, lunch hours, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Loosen up a bit, show more trust in your employees. Provide a bit more flexibility when it comes to structured hours, time off, etc...in general the company culture is so awesome, family-oriented, and inspiring. Don't be so rigid.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you fit, you really do well here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 an year)

    Pros

    Great pay, benefits, casual environment, well organized

    Cons

    Upper management micro manages, doesn't trust the expertise of their middle management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow the great people working for you to do what they are good at. Trust them, good things will happen.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    This is my second home!

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

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

    Pros

    Room for growth if you work hard. Casual dress is a plus and employees support each other, professionally and personally. Fun events that motivate us and make us feel like we're really part of this company. Great benefits and a wonderful on site child care center. Proud of the products we sell. Excellent yearly profit bonus and management really cares about us as people, not just as employees.

    Cons

    Expectation level is very high, but if you thrive in a fast paced environment it's not really a con.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to develop employees that already work here.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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