Pactiv Reviews in Lake Forest, IL

Updated July 19, 2014
Updated July 19, 2014
79 Reviews

2.6
79 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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John McGrath
26 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • good benefits, great match on your 401 (in 5 reviews)

  • Fast paced, decent pay, safety focused(so injuries are low), not that hard(but then again i'm hyper-active) (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • So focused on cost cutting that bthere is a lack of vision regarding the big picture (in 4 reviews)

  • The only downside to working at pactiv is the rotating shifts (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

23 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Growth opportunities exist, but you have to hunt them out yourself.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Financial Analyst  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Lake Forest, IL

    I worked at Pactiv full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    If you show that you can handle it, the company will have opportunities inside and outside of your existing department. Show some skill and hustle and you can start checking off boxes in your career path. Continuing layoffs create gaps in the organization which always yield opportunities for at least lateral movement.

    Cons

    You'll have to constantly network within the Company because there is no effective formal method to match employees with potential roles. Layoffs have created a very lean organization and your boss will not have any time to mentor you or grow your career. Only a handful of management have earned loyalty from their own reports. Astro-turf'd corporate culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Despite all of the layoffs you've got some substantial dead wood in the organization. Their presence is a mental drag on the employees that are now doing 1.5 jobs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Started well but not improving

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Current Employee - Analyst in Lake Forest, IL

    I have been working at Pactiv full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The compensation is ok, and some are over-compensated. Public Transportation options from the city.

    Cons

    Cost cutting structured in a haphazard manner. No real room for advancement especially with workforce reductions. Morale is terrible everywhere, and everyone is looking to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not everyone is as highly compensated as you. When people are afraid everyday that they could be cut, morale will suffer and you people will start heading for the exits. Be more strategic in the cost cutting, and do it all at once. When you have a RIF every other week, people really start to get sad/angry/nervous and will do anything to leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great products, excellent customer base

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

    I have been working at Pactiv full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great products and excellent customer base

    Cons

    Striving for extremely high earnings for all product lines and continued cost cutting

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Not given the tools to succeed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Supply Chain  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Former Employee - Supply Chain in Lake Forest, IL

    I worked at Pactiv full-time

    Pros

    Good 401k match (6%), people within department generally helpful. Decent growth potential if you are in sales.

    Cons

    Very insular company with little collaboration. If you are not in sales, lots of dead-end jobs with little career advancement. Company makes a lot of money but does not seem to value employees. Several people have to attend multiple meetings each day without a working laptop because it isn't "in budget" but yet, they made 500+ million in EBITDA last year. Pactiv had layoffs in 2011, two rounds of layoffs in 2014 (despite the high earnings) and environment is very unstable right now. People generally afraid to speak up for fear of losing job. Very minimal annual increases (2%) and minimal increases when promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open up and share strategies. Spend more money on your employees and they will become more valuable to the organization. If you want to hear what people really think than do away with the town hall format; get to know the people. Remember who helped build Pactiv into the company it is today. Doing "more with less" only works if you have the technology to back it up. Otherwise the good recruits will eventually leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Don't make the worst mistake of your career by coming here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Lake Forest, IL

    I have been working at Pactiv full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You do get a paycheck

    Cons

    The layoffs continue. There is constant reshuffling. Demotions galore... What is the point of it all? The employees would certainly like to understand. There is no strategy and no end in sight for the increasing amount of work.
    If you note the reviews, the employees are mostly unhappy in Finance and Accounting. The Finance organization is in shambles. The loss of knowledge due to layoffs is tremendous. The morale is non-existent.
    The atmosphere is very political and is based on friendships. Instead of having repercussions for having ruined the organization, senior management gets shuffled around to another area of the company. Promise of growth - where are you?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a strategy. Then stick to it. Stop chasing short-term gains and concentrate on the future.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Hard to get promoted, no career path

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Lake Forest, IL

    I worked at Pactiv full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Benefits are decent. vacation days are just ok. people are great, have potential to grow into long friendships. convenient shuttle service if you take metra. You can learn a lot if people want to train you. Easy to move to other areas (laterally).

    Cons

    Multiple systems of data due to many acquisitions, require lots of manual data manipulation. lack of standardization in reporting data. Management fire and demote people without proper communication; they also favor certain people from legacy companies. HR is unresponsive to issues and company culture could use some improvement. No training or defined career path. Hard to get promoted since there are not a lot of levels to grow into. you can move into another position easily but it's not a step up. work is often not communicated in a timely manner, and deadlines can be somewhat unreasonable.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    The "One Pactiv Advantage"' has no advantage for it employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant in Lake Forest, IL

    I have been working at Pactiv full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It's a paycheck. They seem to take safety at their plants very seriously. My supervisor. I'm looking for another job.

    Cons

    Too many to list. Its a very successful company, but that does not mean they reward employees with that success. They have plenty of opportunities for easy morale boosters, but they only give lip service to how important the employees are. Below market area pay, appalling benefits (compared to other companies in the metro area), inflexible hours, telecommuting only for their benefit (such as grossly extreme weather conditions or power outages and management has deadlines that need to be met), very, very, very dismal corporate office space that's filthy and needs both equipment and furniture updates for their employees "that are so important to them" to be more efficient and productive. Its depressing place to walk through the halls on a daily basis. Combine that with all the miserable people you come in contact with 9.5 hrs. x 5 days a week that is some serious hard time. Eight out of ten people will tell you they are actively seeking alternate employment (and they are public about it--even with their managers!). Oh, and politics, politics, politics. Can't tell you the number of cliques that start at director level (or higher) that just trickle down through the ranks. The worst in-fighting I have ever experienced in my entire career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. The see what they want to see when they want to see it or when it suits their game. They form committees who are all too willing to (read fearful) be puppets to be advocates for employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    It has allowed me to move up very quickly. 6 jobs in 11 years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Analyst  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Lake Forest, IL

    I have been working at Pactiv full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The people are great to work with. The culture within the company is very good in my experience. I recommend it.

    Cons

    The pay could be a lot better. I have been there for over ten years and feel like I should be compensated a little better than I am at the moment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Well Organized Supply Chain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Warehouse Manager  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Former Employee - Warehouse Manager in Lake Forest, IL

    I worked at Pactiv full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great systems that help drive down costs
    Salaried ranks work avg hours (not a burn out place)

    Cons

    Limited vertical movement
    Continued pressure for lower costs without capital investment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to look internally for candidates prior to looking externally.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    great people great atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Account Representative  in  Lake Forest, IL
    Current Employee - Customer Account Representative in Lake Forest, IL

    I have been working at Pactiv full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great co-workers to work with

    Cons

    lack of opportunity in other departments

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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