Stepan Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
15 Reviews
3.2
15 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Stepan President, CEO, and Director F. Quinn Stepan Jr.
F. Quinn Stepan Jr.
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Comfortable place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PTD Specialist I  in  Elwood, IL
    Current Employee - PTD Specialist I in Elwood, IL

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

    Pros

    My department was very easy going and was not so much the corporate environment. My department had a great deal of flexibility and autonomy The company was growing and doing well, so never felt worried about downsizing. It still sort of has the small business feel to it even though more a midsize company. It does have very low turn over FWIW, many people spent their whole career there.

    Cons

    Advancement was a concern, if you are in R&D you will need a PhD to get anywhere in the research track. While I am sure advancement is a concern everywhere, there were just a whole lot of people that were in the exact same spot as there were years ago.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Very Good place to start your career

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

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

    Pros

    There is a lot of opportunity to learn and develop when you first start your career. There are multiple projects and assignments and opportunities for advancement in the beginning.

    Cons

    Work life balance is very poor, you are expected to maintain constant connection to Stepan and work 60-80hrs per week.
    Depending on your location and department, morale is very low and high turn over of employees exists.
    Management falls under the definition of micromanagers, which leads to less fulfilling work environment and limits creativity of the work force.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to empower the employees, their ideas and potential for success might surprise you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Supply chain

    Former Employee - Supply Chain  in  Northfield, IL
    Former Employee - Supply Chain in Northfield, IL

    I worked at Stepan full-time

    Pros

    Benefits are good and they have an onsite cafeteria (actually to keep you captive). Quality of life balance very bad. You are expected to work 60 hrs a week

    Cons

    Mgmnt only concerned with bottom line. Too many people with relatives who get special treatmnt

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let family work with family and treat people like you used to when Sr ran the show

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Chemist

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

    I worked at Stepan full-time

    Pros

    Some employees have ample opportunity for lateral movement and trying out new roles. Good holiday party.

    Cons

    R&D management is inept. No real support for employees through HR function. Most research resources dedicated to firefighting plant issues. Extraordinarily high level of turnover at Stepan, especially within analytical department of R&D. Generally low morale here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address R&D management issues to improve retention of good employees. As a former employee I cannot possibly recommend Stepan for a scientific career due to current leadership, although VP R&D I feel is quite good.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was great, Organization is changing

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

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to develop, work on many different things

    Cons

    Changed from a "family" to a stricylt P/L focus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember how you got where you are.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Overall an OK 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 Stepan

    Pros

    The benefits are very good and the people are friendly.

    Cons

    Physical work environment is old and outdated. Extremely conservative work atmosphere. Business formal wear every day regardless of your position and dress code seems to differ among departments.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    You could do worse.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Stepan

    Pros

    Company is committed to RandD and good returns. Stepan has some top quality people that are great to work with. Promotes family values almost as much as family members.

    Cons

    Has a quirky corporate culture that limits it's efficiency and effectiveness. Pay is consciously kept slightly below average. Accomplishments versus committed resources are smaller than in any other company I've experienced - mostly the result of the culture and lack of modern corporate structure. The kind of Streamlining-restructuring needed to fully realize their potential typically comes only after a change in ownership.

  9.  

    Wonderful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Chemist  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Chemist in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Stepan full-time

    Pros

    People/coworkers
    Employee development and training
    Professional but comfortable working environment

    Cons

    Salaries aren't always adjusting for cost of living

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    A good employer and a solid place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Good compensation package, friendly people, supportive culture, typically interesting work. Stepan is a place where you can go to work and spend the majority of your career. There are opportunities to move laterally and up, depending on your goals and willingness to explore other business functions.

    Cons

    Stepan has a lot of focus on their three year plans, however those plans change yearly, and most work at the business unit level is spent fire-fighting issues. This can be extremely frustrating when you're being evaluated against the progress you've made on long term projects, but required to spend most of your work day answering the phone and attending to crises.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Small company with great growth opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Northbrook, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Northbrook, IL

    I have been working at Stepan

    Pros

    Family run company means senior leadership has a great deal invested in the success of this organization. The company has experienced 3 consecutive record years in terms of financial results through an economic recession. Our senior leaders do a great job of communicating priorities across the organization on a regular basis. Because of the small nature of the company (1800 employees) it feels like a family yet our 16 manufacturing sites globally make the company feel much larger and allows for individual growth.

    Cons

    Can be hesitant to take big risks and may lose out on big pay offs. Slow to change a very encultured workforce.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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