The Standard Reviews

Updated March 25, 2015
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  1. 2 people found this helpful

    Good place to work--at a stately pace

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Enjoyed the experience, just found something better so moved on

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful

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

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

    I worked at The Standard

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful

    A pretty good culture, with a few caveats

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

    I have been working at The Standard

    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 ManagementAdvice

    -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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. Very good and getting better.

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

    I have been working at The Standard

    Pros

    The Standard is making some very positive structural and cultural changes. There is a growing culture of mentorship. There is great corporate support and many opportunities for professional development and career advancement. The company is on solid financial footing so the recent financial crisis has been less painful for us than for many in our industry. We have developed some bold and industry-changing ideas that are making us all proud. Also, there has been a recent movement toward sharing with our own employees some of the same benefits that we offer customers through our products and services.

    Cons

    Although I keep hearing that progress is being made, the benefits package is really not what it could be. I was attracted to The Standard by starting pay that was about 15% higher than the top of my previous employer's pay scale for my profession. But at the end of 12 months, with family medical expenses, this move actually resulted in about 5% net loss in total compensation because of the relatively poor benefits package. It also doesn't help that the benefits are so complicated to manage. It's rather analogous to someone assembling a computer from cheap components, then having to use a dozen complicated work-arounds to operate it.
    There seems to be no practical way for an applicant to know about this before accepting a job offer, but neither would it have been a deal breaker for me. With generous merit pay increases, I was able to get back into the black within about 15 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We have placed a lot of confidence in you, and I am seeing a lot of positive movement. Thank you for the recent initiative to finally allow your "most valuable assets" (employees) to "sip our own Champagne." I confess that I sometimes wonder why something so obvious took over 100 years to gain traction among the leadership. And I often wonder what it is about management culture that seems to drain many new leaders of their humanity as they rise up through the ranks from mailroom to boardroom.
    Still, as I move among the cubicles of our downtown facilities, I pick up the sense that people are pleased and relieved because the published corporate values (which some cynics felt were just marketing tropes) are now being applied in our own workplace family - and that bodes well for everyone.

    Greg - special thanks to you for your thoughtful, warm, and introspective leadership style. As individual contributors, we are in no position to judge your strategic decisions. But you have set a tone of humility, responsiveness and grace under fire that will have positive trickle-down effects on the "mental health" of the whole organization; and that means a lot, no matter where in the company we work.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. Good company to work

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

    I have been working at The Standard

    Pros

    The company has a goo conservative approach minimizing risks on investment. Has a long term vision, good values toward stake holders and employees.

    Cons

    Due to its conservative approach the overall corporation growth is very slow. At the same time considering today's economy I will say it is good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Only advice will be to continue investing in growth for the future. Looking for potential opportunities abroad to enable an international expansion.

    Approves of CEO
  8. Great place to work if you can survive the constant re-orginizations

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

    I have been working at The Standard

    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 ManagementAdvice

    na

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Depends on what you are looking for in a job.

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

    I worked at The Standard

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
  10. Basically a solid company and not a bad place to work.

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

    I worked at The Standard

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. I have had an overall good experience with The Standard.

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

    I have been working at The Standard

    Pros

    -Great co-workers
    -Good training and class offerings
    -Decent Benefits

    Cons

    -Feel undervalued
    -Management is not up to par
    -Not easy to make movements within the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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