The Standard

  www.standard.com
  www.standard.com

The Standard Reviews

Updated December 19, 2014
Updated December 19, 2014
102 Reviews
2.5
102 Reviews
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The Standard President & CEO J. Greg Ness
J. Greg Ness
56 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great location in downtown Portland (in 14 reviews)

  • Good people, good benefits, fair location (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Of course, upper management received healthy salary increases while non-management salaries stagnated (in 8 reviews)

  • The news that layoffs were coming in favor of outsourcing to India was announced by the IT VP a few months ago (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Stay away... Look elsewhere... This place is poison...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Policy Administrative in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Policy Administrative in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The sense of team and family with your imediate co-workers. Cause at the end of the day you are all in the same sinking boat.

    Cons

    The Following:

    Poor raises regardless of performance
    The class war between the salaried and the hourly employees
    Too much work, not enough people to keep up
    Useless and oblivious upper management that is only concerned with the bottom line
    Poor technology (I.E. Paper files, and 1970's billing systems)
    Poorly written contracts that are hard to administrate
    HR is less concerned with the employee's needs and only out to protect the company
    No advancement oppurtunities, not real ones anyway
    Supervisors picking favorites for open positions, and interviewing people for show
    Completely outdated dress code
    Witch hunts on employees and teams by upper management to attempt to make themselves look better, and or, busy to protect the fact that they are not effective at their own positions.
    Fake bonuses that never meet the standards that they are supposed to
    Extreme cronyism amongst upper managment, HR, and Team Supervisors

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The upper management should all quit, and let new people come in. The average raise for the employee's last year was about 1-2%, barely cost of living. The officers of course, all brought home record high salaries and bonuses. They are all posted in Forbes for your review.

    The companies values are to always "do the right thing"... After 5 years of employment here, I have yet to see that played out for either the employees, claimants, or customers. It should be do the right thing, as long as it makes the shareholders happy/richer. But I guess that might be too long to fit on a cheap business card.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Went from 5 to 1 in a year.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant II in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant II in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The location is great! Lots of food choices, and after hours fun. Overall, people are engaging, helpful and easy to work with. For an insurance company, they pay better than most.

    Cons

    My manager is scattered, and does not really know how to manage well. An example to this situation: When we are short staffed, due to vacation or illness, the manager thinks it's the right time to cross train people during this time. This behavior is consistent and many examples abound. Going to their boss is not an option as there is a 'club' among them.

    The company also revised its benefit plan for the 2015 year, but rolled out this information a couple of days after their company giving campaign ended; leaving many people feeling betrayed. Since the affected benefits are vacation related, many people were making their 2014 vacation plans on the old policy, only to be surprised with this information a couple of weeks before enrollment of the 2015 year. Lots of unhappy employees because of this change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management is its own club. They are 'untouchable' in that I don't feel like I can go to them. Going to HR is also out of the question as the employee looks disgruntled. I truly feel like I could do a better job at organizing and making big-picture decisions than my boss. If there is someone causing a high turn-over, their practices should be examined.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Look elsewhere is you expect hard work, great job reviews and expertise to pay off.

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

    I worked at The Standard full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers are very nice people.

    Cons

    Hard work is not valued if you don't know the right people. Doesn't promote from within or reward exceptional work, unless you are in the "right circles". Upper management is overpaid and underworked, and middle management is underpaid and overworked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the nepotism and back door promotions; hard working individuals get paid much less than people higher up who virtually do nothing. It is no secret that many wonder what some very well compensated people even do at all. Upper management is fraught with cronyism. Surveys are only given lip service. Work overtime and deliver exceptional results? Don't expect to advance more than a paltry 2% per year with a measly bonus even when you get an exceptional review. HR is fine with this. Your employees sacrifice their family time and quality of life to deliver the requirements of their jobs. If people excel they should be compensated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Do Not Recommend this employer

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

    I have been working at The Standard full-time

    Pros

    Flexible work hours
    Paid Time Off
    Team Members are fun to work with

    Cons

    No chance for promotion, no recognition for a job well done, leadership in the organization is lacking, most importantly the leadership has no idea how long it takes to accomplish a task. The expectations for delivery of work is unreasonable. There are so few employees to actually do the work that the stress of delivering any project on time is unmanageable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider firing all the front line management. They are with few exceptions completely unable to lead teams, inspire employees and are completely ineffective in doing their job. Stop asking employees for feedback via surveys when the results are completely ignored.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Not recommended for anyone. Ever.

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

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    downtown location, interesting coworkers, employee perks like access to cultural activities at a discount or free (OMSI, etc)

    Cons

    Pretty much everything. Management from the top all the way down to the team supervisor is diseased. Many, if not most, do not think for themselves. There is a lot of nepotism, everyone is related to someone else in the company.
    Training is seriously lacking. Many areas, especially claims, are severely understaffed and employees are made to feel it is their fault they are not working enough. The claims analysts are told to work until their work is done, which translates to you're expected to work 55+ hours in the office, work weekends, and even take work home. If you value your time outside of work, this is NOT the place for you.
    Teams have forced social interaction, which often include the next level of management, so you better be on your best behavior and act like everything is A-OK.
    Core values like "Care About People" clearly do not apply to the employees of the company but rather the customers only.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace yourselves with people who can actually do the job!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 13 people found this helpful  

    Awful place to work.

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

    I worked at The Standard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Downtown location.
    Community involvement. Flex time.
    There are a few good people left that work there, most have left though.

    Cons

    This company does not care about employees. The Standard's motto is " Do The Right Thing" - and sells it as a promise to customers, however, they treat the employees (who are supposed to fulfill that promise) poorly. The stress and workload are terrible. Burnout is common.

    The Standard gives the board members and executives large pay increases, while eliminating 100 positions and closing offices around the country.

    The Standard has consistently been cutting employee benefits and incentives over the last decade. They do not value employees and have lost experienced and valuable employees in the last few years.

    The Standard is a completely paper environment and are behind in IT and systems (a decade or so?) compared to other carries. There are constant IT issues that interrupt daily work.

    You only get promoted if you know the right people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about your employees!!! Provide incentives! Try and stand out as a reputable place to work instead of telling your employees that you are cutting another benefit to "align yourself with competitors." Get your employees engaged in their work.

    Middle management needs to retire and this company desperately needs fresh perspectives in leading this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Terrible place to work for IT

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Programmer-Analyst in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Lead Programmer-Analyst in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Just like most places, there are usually good people to be found. If you're fortunate you will have the chance to work with others you enjoy and can learn from.

    Cons

    Outsourcing to India has been a miserable failure. Not an open door policy -- if you speak your mind, you will be punished for it. Those who smile and do nothing innovative are the ones who thrive. The nail that sticks up will get hammered.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Perfectly Mediocre

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Employee Benefits in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Employee Benefits in Portland, OR

    I worked at The Standard full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some nice people work here

    Cons

    Steady decline since going public. Slowly taking away employee perks and benefits, it's a stock company afterall, and shareholders get the goodies while employees get the shaft. MANY high quality managers and solo performers have left this company over the last ten years. Remaining senior management team is NOT strong. What's worse, there are no internal employees to replace them because they've all been weeded out. Rank and file employees not held in high regard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire. Now.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    So glad I am not there anymore

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

    I worked at The Standard

    Pros

    If you don’t work too hard, have no ambition to make the world a better place and don’t rock the boat/stay invisible you have lifetime employment

    Cons

    Very male dominated even though most employees are women – don’t promote women often except for a few token females and when hire senior level roles externally they hire men. It’s generally a mean, passive aggressive place. Lots of smiles to your face but back stabbing is the rule right up to the executive suite. It pays to throw peers under the bus to get ahead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Terrible work environment, and promotion is all about who you know

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Disability Benefits Analyst in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Disability Benefits Analyst in Portland, OR

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Downtown location, transit subsidy, good coworkers at the "worker bee" level. Recent attempts to increase morale, environment, and growth opportunity (but only after being ripped in an employee engagement survey). Feels good to help people in a time of need.

    Cons

    Terrible work environment - managers are not visible, and when they do, it is simply "smile and nod" as you attempt to interact. Lots of changes over the last few years in the claims department, with little to no input by the individuals actually doing the jobs. When hit with attrition, there was zero replacing employees - they simply added onto the workload and criticized when employees struggled, transitioning into micromanagement at every level. Once Actuarial figured out the impact of the lack of replacement employees on the bottom line, however, there was a rush to hire. Problem - not enough existing employees to train the new hires due to burnout and being overwhelmed with an extremely high workload; this led to even more turnover as new employees left or were fired for poor performance coming out of the training program. Completely acknowledged that it is a 55+ hour a week job and that if you don't have that capacity, you can leave. In fact, that was the managerial tag line for awhile: "Don't like it? Then leave!". Recently changed retiree health program which led to depletion of experienced staff, without the foresight to hire ahead for those losses. Workload approximately 1.5 times what is stated in the job descriptions, with the response being "job descriptions don't mean anything". Dirty cubicles with high levels of dust, shoddy paint, old facilities, and poor morale dominate the internal work environment. Poor technical capacity, with terrible IT support due to recent outsourcing to India - systems crash frequently, leaving users without access to vital systems (even phones) for days; however, employees are then criticized for not keeping up. Pay alll but frozen since 2008 with raises pretty much going only to the top levels (executive level had over a 100% compensation increase last year per SEC filings). Merit does not factor into promotions or job opportunities - it is about who you know (there is a high degree of both spousal and familial relationships at the management level).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Involve your employees in change management, listen to them, and make yourselves visible to show that you actually care more about your stock incentives and bonuses. Consider meaningful salary increases to make up for the years of stagnancy, and do the little things that show you care about those who earn those bonuses for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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