The Standard Reviews

Updated August 26, 2015
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149 Employee Reviews

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  1. Basically a solid company and not a bad place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company is well managed from a fiscal perspective but often projects are looked from a very short term view rather than the long term. By that I mean that they'll tweak the definition of success to meet a budget target or delivery date rather than do the right thing for a projects long term success.

    Cons

    There's a fair amount of indifference between the different business units and not much of a view of the overall company good.

    Advice to Management

    Look a little deeper at the various proejcts going on and encourage more of a long term view.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Depends on what you are looking for in a job.

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

    Pros

    The Standard has excellent opportunities for advancement if you are willing to work hard. I started out working in a clerical position and was promoted every couple of years despite not having a college degree. Standard is willing to train people to various insurance occupations. They are also supportive if you are attending college part time to complete your degree.

    Cons

    Exempt jobs in frequently require working at least 50 hours a week in order to complete your work. In addition, the various departments at Standard sometimes have difficulties working together. There is only limited communication and it is sometimes difficult to get information that should be readily available.

    Advice to Management

    Trying to recommend to people to use their health benefits less was just silly. Accept that insurance company employees are going to use their benefits more extensively than employees in other industries.


  3. Great place to work if you can survive the constant re-orginizations

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Policy Administrative in South Portland, ME
    Current Employee - Policy Administrative in South Portland, ME
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people and the culture in Sopo is something I have never experienced at another employer. Everyone is willing to help and jump in to complete a task or meet a goal. They share information easily with others and you never feel siloed into your particular job function or field. They offer many opportunities to grow and learn from others outside of your position. They offer mentor/mentee programs that enriched both parties. I have found that they also offer much more competetive salaries than other insurance companies in the area for similar work and resposibilites completed. Overall a great place to work.

    Cons

    They are currently going through several rounds of lay offs.

    Advice to Management

    na


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  5. Helpful (5)

    A pretty good culture, with a few caveats

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefit package is relatively generous, managers are reasonable for the most part, there is ample opportunity for development. Working downtown is a plus in my mind, and makes it possible to use transit to commute. The culture is quite benign compared to what I'm used to at other large employers in corporate America. Despite some passive-aggressiveness indigenous to the Pacific Northwesterners, the majority of people I work with are pleasant enough and avoid drama and histrionics. Another point is the community involvement. Most places don't care about things like volunteer time, or hosting employee art shows, or allowing military bands to use their front doorstep as a stage during Fleet Week. Now make no mistake that the Standard is a publicly-traded corporation and makes decisions based upon business value first and foremost, no matter how warm and fuzzy their published values might seem. But in their defense, if you find your position being eliminated, The Standard is not a place where you will find a box on your desk at 9AM and are asked to leave the premises by 9:30AM escorted by a guard - which is the modus operandi for most corporations today.

    Cons

    The CIO, with the board's support, recently initiated a sourcing program which will shift many IT functions to India. I think there were other options available, but after making years of promises of a streamlined, leaner, cheaper and more responsive IT organization, our CIO had no choice but to throw this Hail Mary (or Hare Krishna, in this case *snicker, snicker*) in order to preserve his job. I think the drawbacks and repercussions to the sourcing strategy will most likely be severe enough to cost Mr. O'Brian his job within 18 months. In the meantime, we'll adapt as necessary to keep our operations afloat and projects on track. In terms of Senior management, there is a whiff of old-time stodginess apparent just below the C-levels, enabled by a consistently sycophantic cadre of yes men directly below them. The biggest impact is a systemic aversion to new technology and a torpid way of innovating processes, if innovation happens at all. My message to some of the other posters on the thread - if you see less than optimal behaviors and processes, become part of the solution! Present a new idea! Troubleshoot a flawed process! Don't complain when your'e asked to test a new product, since testing is integral to successful change management. Don't idly moan and groan while the world passes you by. Step up to the plate, or be quiet.

    Advice to Management

    -Drive adoption of new technologies more quickly -Have the discipline to release the consistent low performers in operational roles -Give senior managers a more direct connection to the realities on the ground to provide proper context to business decisions driven by the competitive environment at large - IT must become considerably more responsive to the business's needs


  6. Helpful (3)

    Good, challenging, fast-paced, lots of work, long hours

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Disability Benefits Analyst in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Disability Benefits Analyst in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Rewards and recognizing talent, stock plan option for all employees, some really supportive supervisors, and always work to be done.

    Cons

    Running on limited employees, work loads increasing without relief in sight, some unsupportive supervisors, long hours expected, and making hard decisions impacting people.

    Advice to Management

    Staff for normal work loads, continue recognition programs from co-workers and management, find and train the unsupportive supervisors, and expect great work with hard decisions to be completed within 8 hour day.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Enjoyed the experience, just found something better so moved on

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Standard full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Culture of conservatism appropriate for insurance organization

    Cons

    Slow moving Not a great deal of career opportunity for those inclined to push through the ranks

    Advice to Management

    Solid in general, some are as yet untested and somewhat unsure of themselves


  8. Helpful (2)

    Good place to work--at a stately pace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Individual Contributor -- IT in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Senior Individual Contributor -- IT in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at The Standard full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Really nice people, good pay, considerate management, good benefits, flexible schedules, nice downtown location--for those in Portland Home Office.

    Cons

    Company is very slow to embrace change and adopt best practices. People seem to be resigned to the fact that The Standard has limited ability to excel or achieve breakthrough progress.

    Advice to Management

    Create a clear vision for the future that everyone can get behind, and then drive execution.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Stability

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I've worker here for about 20 years, through ups and downs, demutualization, recession, etc and it has always been a solid company to work for.

    Cons

    Things have changed over the years; not always for the good. Annual raises for the past 4 years have been low or zero. Staff reductions have resulted in more work for everyone, with not much more pay.

    Advice to Management

    Share the wealth.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Great company but tough times are impacting results and moral

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Long term focus, great history, new Sales VP who is willing to change things up, great distribution network potential, top ten performer

    Cons

    Tough to articulate and execute a strategy, non-competitive in many market segments, lack innovation in products, experiencing higher turnover and position reductions

    Advice to Management

    Take risks before becoming irrelevant


  11. Great employer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Employee Benefits Service Manager in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Employee Benefits Service Manager in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at The Standard full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The Standard truly shows support for corporate values throughout the organization. It's not just talking the talk, every department walks the walk.

    Cons

    Lots of balls in the air in terms of process and standards, thus a recent reorganization.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the talent you currently have in staff, you might be surprised by the hidden gems you can discover.



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