The Standard
2.8 of 5 85 reviews
www.standard.com Portland, OR 1000 to 5000 Employees

The Standard Reviews

Updated Jun 15, 2014
The Standard – US – “Standard Plaza”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 85 reviews

                             

42% Approve of the CEO

The Standard President & CEO J. Greg Ness

J. Greg Ness

(43 ratings)

42% of employees recommend this company to a friend
85 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great location in downtown Portland"
    in 13 reviews
  • "The downtown Portland location is excellent for commuting by public transport"
    in 8 reviews
Cons:
  • "Of course, upper management received healthy salary increases while non-management salaries stagnated"
    in 7 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
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    Awful place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

    ConsThis 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 Senior ManagementCare 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Terrible place to work for IT

    Lead Programmer-Analyst (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsJust 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.

    ConsOutsourcing 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Perfectly Mediocre

    Employee Benefits (Former Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsSome nice people work here

    ConsSteady 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 Senior ManagementRetire. Now.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
  • We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    So glad I am not there anymore

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIf 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

    ConsVery 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 Senior ManagementResign

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

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

    Disability Benefits Analyst (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsDowntown 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.

    ConsTerrible 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 Senior ManagementInvolve 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review

    1 person found this helpful  

    Burnout is a common practice

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsLearned a lot, great downtown location with nice views and adequate workspace, a few fun company wide events and annual employee giving campaign

    ConsCompany declines to let you work OT when you need it to get your job done but fully expects you to make the company a priority and work ridiculous amounts of OT when they decide they need it. Rewards low performers and punishes high performers. Discourages creativity and innovative thinking, they just want you to do what you are told. Managers have good technical skills but no people skills. All combine to make a stressful, negative work environment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementActually try practicing the values you preach. Develop your managers' people skills. Conduct necessary training or progressive discipline for your low performers.

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    run away from here

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIt is just a temporary paycheck

    ConsIt is very deceptive and misleading

    Advice to Senior Managementtry being straight with the employees

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    9 people found this helpful  

    The outlook for The Standard is not positive

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    Pros- Great downtown location
    - On all of the transit lines
    - Some of the people left are great

    Cons- Management at the supervisory, middle and upper levels is, on the whole, incompetent and disconnected from the operations of the company.
    - Promotion above the individual contributor level is far more weighted on who you know and not that you are particularly competent or accomplished in your field.
    - The company is so management heavy that decisions can rarely be made in a reasonable amount of time
    - The company has gone through a few rounds of layoffs and has had a high rate of employee attrition the last few years. Thanks to a few years of a weak economy and weak financial results, the company has been loath to replace individual contributor positions. This has left many employees with workloads that are completely unreasonable. The burnout is palpable.
    - The technology at The Standard is years behind the times. The number of manual workarounds for functions as basic as simple reporting demonstrate how far behind the company is with basic technology.
    - The culture of The Standard is incredibly passive aggressive and you can easily sink your career by making any suggestion or critical comment that runs contrary to a decision that was likely made by managers without a reasonable grasp of the systems or material in question.

    Advice to Senior Management- You need to have the fortitude to gut the many under-qualified managers and supervisors inhabiting your company, promote those with the competence and professionalism to restore some integrity to management and, in some cases, shell out the money to hire legitimate, proven professionals that can actually right the ship.
    - Foster a culture where critical thought and substantive feedback earn employees the appreciation of management instead the current culture where competence can, in many cases, be considered a professional liability.
    - Instead of the massive compensation increases like those given to upper management in 2012, give out some reasonable raises to your rank and file employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    An insurance company should not be publicly traded.

    Benefits (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsStandard has done a great job hiring smart, experienced and well-balanced people at the lower levels.

    ConsAs the company is publicly traded we are always having to answer to the shareholders and the bottom line. What drives us isn't always about what is best for the company as a whole, but what is more profitable.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou have a smart, educated and experienced workforce, use them! Decisions are being made from the top, but the people who are making these decisions are so far removed from the things they are making decisions regarding, it is almost ridiculous when we hear what they have come up with. One problem I see that influences this is there are too many layers of middle management. A few layers of middle management needs to be done away with so people who are making process and procedural changes are working more closely with the people who are actually carrying out the work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
    • Culture & Values
           
    • Work/Life Balance
           
    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
    • Career Opportunities
           
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    The Standard is awful for IT jobs!

    Data Analyst (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsYou can get away with doing nothing.

    ConsNo accountability, passive-aggressive, better to be nice than to be productive, software is all ancient and out of support.

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit and get some people there with balls, especially David ??? the CIO!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Was this review helpful?
    Yes | No
    Add Employer Response Flag Review
RSS Feed Embed

Worked for The Standard? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.

Glassdoor is your free inside look at The Standard reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for The Standard CEO J. Greg Ness . All 85 reviews posted anonymously by The Standard employees.